Courses Science & Policy

Policy Workshops A - F

Workshop A: Evidence-based Policy-making

Spring 2019

Objective: Facilitating the use of science in policy-making and regulation

Dr. Guillaume de Buren, ETHZ, Dr. Kathrin Frey, KEK-CDC Consultants Zürich, Dr. Luisa Last, 
PSC

The aim of this course is to gain methods, tools and competencies to improve the effectiveness of science in informing policy-makers. The lectures will introduce the concepts of environmental governance and evidence-based policy-making. The case studies will serve as a learning process on how policy-relevant evidence is produced and incorporated in practice.

Course goals:

  • You understand the concept of evidence-based policy making
  • You know other factors that interplay in policy making aside from evidence
  • You can argue about the possible advantages of a governance approach to environmental problems
  • Understanding of the political and institutional issues that surround global environmental governance
  • Capacity to formulate a policy brief


Workshop B: Stakeholder Engagement

Spring 2019

Objective: Exercise multi-stakeholder approaches

Dr. Minu Hemmati, Berlin, www.minuhemmati.net. and Dr. Luisa Last, PSC

Implementing policy programs, such as the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems, will require changing of habits and adoption of new techniques. Human nature, social theory and implementation experience all suggest that individuals and groups are reluctant to change if they do not see the benefits to themselves. The obvious way to convince people of the benefits of proposed changes is to involve them as equal partners in the analysis of the issue and in the development of policy proposals. In this course, students will learn how to build and work with a multi-stakeholder group.

Course goals:

  • Gain a basic understanding of Stakeholder Engagement and multi-stakeholder processes
  • Get an overview of possible issues within Natural Sciences where Stakeholder Engagement could play a role
  • Understand the different possibilities and forms of involvement the government uses to engage stakeholders
  • Learn to identify and analyse stakeholders
  • Know different levels of involvement and how to plan them; understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • Know criteria and methods for evaluating stakeholder engagement processes

 


Workshop C: Communicating Science

Fall 2018

Objective: More effective communication

Jacopo Pasotti, www.jacopopasotti.com

Policy-makers do not always have access to full understanding of issues when they are making decisions. Furthermore, years of top-down communication have eroded public trust in science. Academic researchers play an essential role in providing information to allow policy-makers to develop and properly assess science policy options. Communicating with the public is an important aspect of facilitating dialogue between scientists and policy-makers.
In this course, students will learn how to communicate science effectively to the media, policy-makers and a wider public. They will be introduced to communication tools and best-practice examples.

Course goals:

  • Identify and communicate aspects of your research that are relevant to policy‐makers and stakeholder groups
  • Know and understand different communication tools, such as short effective texts
  • Learn to deal with the media
  • Practice writing press releases
  • Practice public speaking techniques appropriate to interviews and non‐specialist audiences
  • Discuss cases of scientists' influencing policies and stakeholder opinions


Workshop D: Building Political Support

Fall 2018

Objective: Identify the institutions, procedures and agenda of policy activities

Sarah Bütikofer, Global Governance, ETH Zurich; Marcel Falk, chief communication officer, Swiss Academy of Sciences, Urs Neu, ProClim, Swiss Academy of Sciences

In recent decades, different ways of bridging science and policy have been explored. In a traditional research model, passing on scientific information may have been seen as sufficient to impact policy and culture. However, policy is understood as a principle of action in a specific context. Thus, in this course, the students shall learn what kind of actions are necessary to implement policies in different sectors, such as public agencies, civil society or the private sector. Who are the main actors and when do they need to be involved?

Course goals:

  • Identify the relevant policy- and decision-making sectors in Switzerland
  • Identify the relevant political actors at the national level
  • Understand when and how different actors in the policy cycle need to be involved
  • Identify the different legislative measures existing in Switzerland
  • Define policy fields relevant for own research
  • Appreciate knowledge translation/contribution as an ongoing process


Workshop E: Contributing to Policy Action – Analysis and Communication of Risks and Uncertainties

Fall 2019

Objective: Overview of the analysis and communication of risks and uncertainties

Lecturers: Tobias Krüger (Humboldt University Berlin), Christoph Beuttler (Stiftung Risk-Dialogue foundation), Sergio Bellucci (TA Swiss), Anthony Patt (ETH Zurich)

The reliability of scientific data and models are frequently subject of public and political debate. The aim of this course is to understand the concepts of risk, uncertainty and ignorance in relation to these data and models in order for course participants to be more aware of and work more effectively at the science-policy interface. Moreover, the course is dedicated to the aspect of risk and uncertainty communication.

Workshop F: Understanding Policy Evaluation

Fall 2019

Objective: Overview of the analysis and communication of risks and uncertainties

Lecturer: Sibylle Studer, Interface

The course provides a general overview of different policy evaluation approaches, as well as opportunities for concrete applications and reflections on impact models. It aims at discussing how, when, by whom and for what purpose policy is evaluated as well as under what conditions the effectiveness and efficiency of a policy can be measured. Based on the theoretical and methodological introduction on policy evaluation conducted by social scientists, participants reflect on how natural science can contribute to policy evaluation and on how research can become socially relevant.

Course goals:

  • Know different types of policy evaluation and their methods
  • Understand impact models in the context of policy evaluation
  • Gain insights on how policy evaluation helps to improve policy implications (in the field of natural sciences)
  • Apply policy evaluation logics in a case study