The Australian Government has recently released a report on ‘the place of science policy development in the Public Service’. The study holds up NERP as an example of how science can effectively influence policy.
The Place of Science in Policy Development in the Public Service systematically reviewed the ways in which scientific input is used to inform policy development in the Australian Public Service (APS). It provides departments and agencies with practical and useful strategies to maximise the use of science in policy development. Ultimately, the project has sought to arrive at an end-state where policy making within the APS draws on the best available scientific evidence on a routine and systematic basis.
And it suggests this is already happening with NERP (p14): “The NERP example demonstrates that through thoughtful program design, it is possible to fund activities that achieve the twin objectives of enhancing Australia’s world-class environmental research capabilities while also delivering useful knowledge, tools and information to policy makers and the broader community.”
The ingredients to NERP’s success, the report suggests, is through: involving policy makers in the framing of research questions, focusing on knowledge brokering and translation, facilitating access to research, enhancing mutual understanding and encouraging innovation in evaluation.
See http://www.innovation.gov.au/science/Pages/Library%20Card/ APS200ScienceinPolicyReport.aspx for the whole report.