Include scientific knowledge and expertise

Taking into account the complexities and importance of policy making, scientists and policy makers should be collaborating to improve outcomes of public administration. Insofar, policy makers and researchers have different mentalities, languages, time horizons and imperatives. Ways of bridging the gap between both of them are necessary. Organisational changes, knowledge sharing and new platforms for cooperation can be helpful to close the gap and support collaboration between science and administration. Engaging scientific experts is needed both to help develop policies and to evaluate policies. [1]
Addressing the increasing complexity of public issues, it is also necessary to involve experts and analysts from other disciplines than law: especially Public Administration (concentrates on the internal functioning of executive government institutions), Political Science (focuses on political context), Economics (studies behaviour under resource constraints), Sociology (gains an understanding of individuals in their communal setting), Information technology (use of information and communications technology - ICT and digitisation). [2]
The interviewed professor of administrative science  stated, that it is desirable for administrative staff to regularly review the latest scientific findings (through conferences or workshops) and make potential transfers in their area of work. A multidisciplinary approach, which broadens the horizon, opens up new perspectives and helps to identify new trends, is valuable in every step of the policy cycle but has special relevance in the agenda-setting phase.

 

[1]    Choi B. C., Pang, T., Lin, V., Puska, P., Sherman, G., Goddard, M., Ackland, M.J., Sainsbury, P., Stachenko, S., Morison, H., Clottey, C. (2005), Can scientists and policy makers work together?, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 59 (8), 632-637, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.2004.031765.
[2]    Van der Waldt, G., Du Toit, D. (1999), Managing for excellence in the public sector, Juta & Co, Landsdowne.
Type of content: Needs
Type of need: Informational need