Strengthening the science-policy interface for socially inclusive governance

Published: 03 June 2021
Last edited: 03 June 2021

The elaboration of a plan for creating understanding and collaboration between researchers and decision-makers was a necessary tool to promote that scientific knowledge can have impacts on the policy domain. This plan entailed the following actions:

  • Face-to-face or online meetings to formally introduce the research project to the protected area decision-makers and managers while using media (e.g., radio and press), and developing seminars to inform local residents and other stakeholders about the project;
  • Invitation to decision-makers and managers to be involved in the project activities (e.g. local knowledge alliance, film and meetings);
  • Tailoring the research activities to the decision-makers agenda to facilitate their participation;
  • Organization of regular meetings, webinars and newsletters in local languages to inform about the project advances and findings;
  • Development of workshops with decision-makers to analyze the applicability and usability of resulting tools and other research outcomes within the protected area;
  • Dissemination of research reports in local language before academic article publications to validate the results;
  • Writing posts in the national park’s blog and other related websites to disseminate research findings within the protected area channels.

Classifications

Category
Alliance and partnership development
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Management planning
Other
Science-policy interface
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
Phase of solution
Entirety

Enabling factors

  • Conducted key-informant interviews with staff from the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park to identify the interests and needs of decision-makers and align our research activities;
  • Involved key staff from the National Park with the capacity to promote institutional changes and decisions to facilitate that our scientific insights might reach impacts on the management setting;
  • Organized a workshop with decision-makers to evaluate research tools in terms of applicability in the management cycle in order to facilitate their use by them.

Lessons learned

  • An early exploration of the management and decision-making setting is relevant to plan for and develop solution-oriented research that can be implemented within the management cycle;
  • Periodical meetings between researchers and decision-makers help scientists gain awareness of the variety of directions in which their research can impact the policy domain, and decision-makers gain access to the best available evidence to make decisions. This is crucial to align research to the decision-makers' needs and facilitate the use of science in the management setting;
  • Producing scientific outcomes that are translatable into real outcomes in the management can motivate decision-makers to participate in the research;
  • Writing policy reports to introduce scientific insights into the native language facilitates the use of scientific information by decision-makers;
  • Planning the research activities so that overwhelming decision-makers with multiple requests is avoided.