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21-23 MARCH 2017

Final OpenNESS Annual Meeting in Smolenice, Slovakia

Writing effective policy briefs

Project-specific policy briefs are useful. However, clustered policy briefs that bring together results and evidence from various projects around a policy question may be much more effective. This was the basis for BiodivERsA to organize a workshop in support of knowledge brokerage.

BiodivERsA has been coordinating and funding biodiversity research for many years. A key requirement of the funded projects is to reach out and ensure that output feeds into policy and stakeholder processes. As part of facilitating this process a two-day meeting was organized bringing together representatives of 25 BiodivERsA research projects, policymakers and knowledge brokers. ECNC was invited as a knowledge broker and to represent the OpenNESS project.

A morning session contained a number of keynote presentations about science-policy interaction, stakeholder engagement, essentials of policy briefs, and aspirations of the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation in this respect. All projects present were also given the opportunity to hold a 2-minute pitch talk to present their work.

In the afternoon breakout groups formulated policy questions connected to biodiversity and ecosystem services which then were picked up by other groups to identify elements for potential policy briefs to respond to these questions. Those projects that could contribute to the policy briefs were identified in order to ensure a joint and clustered input into the briefs. OpenNESS can make a considerable input, as many themes relate to what it takes to turn the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital into practice. The policy briefs will be produced in the coming months.

The 60-odd participants joining at the Belgian Federal Public Planning Service Science Policy (Belspo) in Brussels witnessed a very intensive day and the difficulties involved in producing a policy-relevant, clear, concise and science-based policy brief.

Photo (top): Discussing hot policy topics and co-building of policy relevant questions, © BiodivERsA