"From Science to Policy: Assessing the Assessment Process"
John F. Kennedy School of Government Faculty Research Working Paper RWP01-045.
Working Paper, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
November 15, 2001
Authors: William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP, David Cash, Former Associate, 1997-2000; Former Research Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program, 2000-2001
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Environment and Natural Resources; Research and Assessment Systems for Sustainability
Global environmental change is increasingly understood to have causes, consequences, and responses which span multiple levels, from the local to the global. The multi-level nature of such problems has required a radical shift in the relationship between knowledge and action. This working paper illustrates that in an era of global change which is inexorably linked with local ecosystems and communities, successful efforts of regional assessments which address large-scale environmental change can be characterized as distributed research, assessment, and decision support systems. Such systems share a number of characteristics. They: 1) integrate research, assessment, and decision-making across multiple levels; 2) are structured to assess and address global change in the context of local consequences; 3) identify, assess, and respond to the interactions between society and environment which cross levels; and 4) structure the relationship between decision-makers and researchers as a two-way, dynamic, and iterated process (not a "pipeline" from science to decision-maker).
This paper is available in PDF format through the John F. Kennedy School of Government Faculty Research Working Paper Series.
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