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Scientific Advice During Crises

Facilitating Transnational Co-operation and Exchange of Information

image of Scientific Advice During Crises

This report looks at how scientific advice can best support crisis management during transnational crises, such as those provoked by natural hazards or pandemics. Scientific advice has an important role to play in all phases of the crisis management cycle - preparedness, response and recovery.  It can be particularly valuable during the sense-making period when a crisis occurs and develops.  However, this value is dependent on the quality and timeliness of the advice and most importantly its relevance to the decisions that crisis managers and policy-makers have to make during a crisis. Generating rigorous scientific advice requires access to relevant data, information and expertise, across scientific disciplines and across borders. Ensuring this advice is useful requires effective connections between scientific advisory processes and crisis management mechanisms, including at the international level.

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Improving the use of science advice in international crises: Conclusions and recommendations

There are five key areas where policy action is necessary to improve the provision and use of science advice in international crises. Firstly, the appropriate structures and mechanisms to link scientific advisory mechanisms and crisis management need to be in place at the national level.Secondly, there is a need for clear communication and exchange across national boundaries and effective frameworks to facilitate this. Thirdly, there is a need to build trust between providers and users of scientific advice across national borders. Fourth, being prepared is crucial to crisis management and cross-sectoral and cross border cooperation is required to ensure this. Finally, communication with the public should, as far as possible be coordinated across countries.

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