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.



Optimising policy advisory systems: Conclusions

This chapter provides conclusions along the analysed dimensions. It finds that adaptability of the system is important to enable advice that addresses new and wicked questions. Second, transparency is crucial to maintain trust in the bodies’ capacity to deliver solid and evidence-based advice and in the government’s capacity to take well-informed and well-considered policy decisions. Third, the autonomy of policy advisory bodies is crucial to deliver unbiased, objective advice. Fourth, including different perspectives is highly important to create representative and relevant advice. Finally, advice needs to be topical, on time and in the right format to have impact.


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