This document sets out the SAPEA guidelines on advising policymakers and society, as well as internal procedures for quality assurance of scientific advice. The aim is to assure the excellence and independence of SAPEA's scientific advice through the provision of clear guidelines.
The ultimate goal of scientific advice for policy is to contribute to policy decisions. In this respect, scientific advice should be relevant, trustworthy and timely.
Relevance can be achieved by shared understanding between policymakers and scientists of the policy issue and precise scientific key questions that need to be answered. The relevance, the policy context and the scientific questions are presented in a scoping paper which forms the basis for SAPEA Evidence Review Reports.
To be trustworthy, advice is provided by authoritative scientific experts. Collectively, they cover the range of pertinent disciplines and scientific opinions and take an objective view on the issue at stake.
How do we find our experts?
To be useful for policymakers, science advice for policy has to be generated in a timely fashion using foresight processes such as horizon scanning, visioning and scenario planning consistent with future-oriented policymaking.
Summary of guidelines
Our quality assurance guidelines apply to SAPEA Board members and staff, members of SAPEA working groups, Fellows of academies, other experts and further contributors who are involved in SAPEA working groups. They are also published here online to inform the scientific community, stakeholders, policymakers and society.
- SAPEA ensures that advice is based on the most up-to-date scientific and technical
knowledge publicly available, across all disciplines.
- The working group as a whole has the full range of expertise required for the topic. This assures scientific reports are in line with best available evidence and consider all relevant scientific issues and knowledge.
- All those involved in the scientific advice process are required to disclose any interests that could compromise impartiality and independence by filling in a Declaration of Interests form.
- SAPEA ensures that results are presented in a scientifically balanced way.
- A rigorous peer review process is part of the SAPEA Quality Assurance procedures before publication.
- Publications detail the process by which results were obtained, the source of funding for the project, names and institutional ties of all those involved.
- SAPEA is committed to transparency and openness.