Policy regulation and practice informed by the best available science are precursors for a water sensitive city. However, achieving this in practice is a significant challenge for scientists and policy makers alike. We asked, what’s the best approach for converting science to policy?

The answers came from our A3.3 research project, ‘Strategies for influencing the political dynamics of decision making’, which aimed to develop capacity within CRCWSC participants to better influence opinion formation and policy making, to help move towards water sensitive cities. The project looked at the attitudes and behaviours of senior decision makers to connect science and expert advice to policy and decision making, assessed current approaches to difficult policy problems, and generated models for evidence based decision making.

Now the project is complete, we’ve developed three resources to help scientists and practitioners communicate their findings about water sensitive cities, and to influence policy making, generate decisions that are better informed and linked with science, and promote community engagement that will build long term support for change.

The resources:

1. From science to policy web pages

Here you’ll find summaries of strategies, tactics and techniques for influencing policy makers:

a. The 10 commandments of influencing government—clear guidelines for thinking about influence and being most effective in speaking to government, from Professor John Thwaites’ long career in politics and influence

b. Strategic thinking for influence seeking—key insights into the big picture issues that should frame our thinking about influencing decision making and policy making, from the A3.3 project team

c. Tactics for effective pitches and decision maker communications—key findings on the techniques and approaches to effectively communicating science and research to policy and decisions makers, from the A3.3 team

d. Training videos (coming soon).

2. Manual
Policy influence: tactics and strategies for researchers is a manual to help scientists understand both the ‘rules of the game’ and how to play it. It gives insights into the nature of opportunities for influence, and how to exploit them, while being frank about the obstacles.

3. Two industry notes that complement the manual
Industry notes are short summaries of our research. The two notes for A3.3 are:

a. How can scientists have greater influence in policy making?
b. The challenges of translating science and research into policy.

These resources are now available on our website, and we hope they help all of us play a greater role in policy outcomes, as we transition to water sensitive cities.

Last updated: 4th Dec 2018