Policy Advisory Systems

Supporting Good Governance and Sound Public Decision Making

image of Policy Advisory Systems

Governments face increasingly complex, dynamic and ‘wicked’ challenges that require new policy solutions. To help them understand and respond to these challenges, policy makers often rely on evidence from advisory bodies operating at arms' length from government. This report provides a comparative overview and analysis of the important role played by these bodies in public consultation and decision making. It is based on a survey of policy advisory systems in 17 countries and a series of qualitative interviews. The report examines the institutional set up of such systems, and the role they play in the policy cycle. It discusses how to ensure that they contribute to open, inclusive and sound policy making.



Exploring the interface between policy advisors, politicians and public administration

Advisory bodies interact with politicians and public administration through various channels and at different times. This chapter explores this interplay. The first interface forms when governments request advice. Subsequently, advisors start to prepare advice, which involves exchanges with government. This can be crucial for topical advice, but may also sway the results. At a later stage, when the advice is published, getting the timing right matters for the impact of the advice. Once the advice has been published and shared with government, policy makers decide on how to respond to the advice, eventually closing the advisory process.


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