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TitleGetting to policy impact : lessons from 20 years of bridging science and policy with sustainability knowledge
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsForrester, J, Nilsson, M, Lee, C, Moora, H, Persson, L, Persson, A, Peterson, K, Simon, J, Tuhkanen, H
Paginationvi, 73 p.; 1 fig.
Date Published2009-08-01
PublisherStockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Place PublishedStockholm, Sweden
ISSN Number9789186125134

In order to address the increasingly complex contemporary environment and development problems and instigate a societal move towards sustainable development, knowledge which is scientifically valid, policy relevant and socially robust is required. From the policy-maker world, calls for more ‘evidence-based’ policy are increasingly heard not just in the field of sustainability. As a consequence, research organizations, both those within and outside academic institutions, need to not only consider how their work is received, but also increasingly the role and impact of their work for policy making, industry and society at large. Evidence of this trend is found in the explicit requirement from most research funding agencies that proposals demonstrate strategic or policy relevance. For research organizations concerned with sustainable development, such as the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), policy relevance is also at the core of its mission. Such organizations, with an important audience in the public policy sphere from subnational to global levels, should be evaluated on the basis of what types of public policy impacts the knowledge it generates is having at different levels of governance. However, such evaluations are inherently tricky. Despite its strong presence in nearly all research funding descriptions, ‘policy impact’ is an ambiguous term, and there is very little consensus about what it really means or how to measure it. [authors abstract]

Noteswith 45 references and 18 endnotes


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