Communication, Environment, Policy, Politics, Research

341. Connecting research with policy

This is a brief PD to advertise the availability of a new resource: a report called “Connecting Research With Policy: Guide to Writing for Policy-Makers“, put out by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the National Environmental Science Program.

I’ve written on that topic previously (most recently in PD321), but I thought this report contained some very helpful advice and guidance. Here’s an extract from the introduction.

“In the course of their research, most environmental researchers are likely to identify issues that have implications for government policy-makers and decision-makers. This guide has been designed by the NESP TSR
Hub to support researchers working in the environmental field to develop communications tailored for these end-users. It outlines four types of products designed to communicate research with policy end-users:

1. In-brief: A succinct communiqué (2 pages, 800-1000 words) aimed at concisely communicating relevant research findings and proposed actions on one key policy issue.

2. Discussion paper: A longer piece (e.g. 4-20 pages) aimed at canvassing a breadth of information on a complex policy question. Examples include deeper exploration of the background and context of the issue; review of current research pertaining to the issue; and/or examination of a range of options and their benefits, risks and costs.

3. Inquiry submission: A targeted piece (e.g. 4-12 pages) aimed at providing synthesised research information in direct response to a parliamentary inquiry or commission on a relevant topic. These should address one or more of the inquiry terms of reference and be submitted through the inquiry’s call for public submissions.

4. Policy report: A structured report (e.g. 20+ pages) providing detailed information and analysis on a policy-relevant topic. The report should include an executive summary outlining key findings, provide detailed chapter-by-chapter discussion of the issue, offer conclusions and potentially offer recommendations or options for action stemming from the research.”

Further reading

Morgain, R. and Robbins, R. (2019). Connecting research with policy: TSR Hub guide to writing for policy-makers, National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Available here

Pannell, D.J. (2019). Communicating economics to policy makers, Pannell Discussions no. 321.