From Science to Policy: Assessing the Assessment Process

21 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2002

See all articles by David Cash

David Cash

Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

William C. Clark

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: November 2001

Abstract

Global environmental change is increasingly understood to have causes, consequences, and responses which span multiple levels, from the local to the global. The multi-level nature of such problems has required a radical shift in the relationship between knowledge and action. This working paper illustrates that in an era of global change which is inexorably linked with local ecosystems and communities, successful efforts of regional assessments which address large-scale environmental change can be characterized as distributed research, assessment, and decision support systems. Such systems share a number of characteristics. They: 1) integrate research, assessment, and decision-making across multiple levels; 2) are structured to assess and address global change in the context of local consequences; 3) identify, assess, and respond to the interactions between society and environment which cross levels; and 4) structure the relationship between decision-makers and researchers as a two-way, dynamic, and iterated process (not a "pipeline" from science to decision-maker).

Keywords: Environment and Natural Resources, Information Technology, Intergovernmental Relations, International Development

Suggested Citation

Cash, David and Clark, William C., From Science to Policy: Assessing the Assessment Process (November 2001). John F. Kennedy School of Government Faculty Research Working Papers Series RWP01-045. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=295570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.295570

David Cash

Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs ( email )

100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
United States

William C. Clark (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3981 (Phone)
617-495-8963 (Fax)

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