Scientific Advice During Crises

Facilitating Transnational Co-operation and Exchange of Information

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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.


Scientific advice in crises

No two crises are the same and, in an interconnected world, we are increasingly confronted with novel and complex crises that have spill-over effects involving multiple countries. Science advice can be useful in all stages of crisis management - preparedness, response and recovery. Different countries have developed their own mechanisms for developing and accessing the advice that is necessary in specific situations. These tend to be more or less centralised or distributed and can be difficult to understand for outsiders, which can be an obstacle for international cooperation.


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