Towards a Systematic Understanding of How to Institutionally Design Scientific Advisory Committees

Global Challenges, Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2018

8 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2018

See all articles by Steven Hoffman

Steven Hoffman

York University; Harvard University

Trygve Ottersen

University of Bergen - Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

Ali Tejpar

University of Ottawa, Common Law Section, Students; Carleton University, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Students

Patrick Fafard

University of Ottawa - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Date Written: September 27, 2018

Abstract

Scientifically-derived insights are often held as requirements for defensible policy choices. Scientific advisory committees (SACs) figure prominently in this landscape, often with the promise of bringing scientific evidence to decision-makers. Yet, there is sparse and scattered knowledge about what institutional features influence the operations and effectiveness of SACs, how these design choices influence subsequent decision-making, and the lessons learned from their application. The consequences of these knowledge gaps are that SACs may not be functioning as effectively as possible. The articles in this special journal issue of Global Challenges bring together insights from experts across several disciplines, all of whom are committed to improving SACs’ effectiveness worldwide. The aim of the special issue is to inform future SAC design in order to help maximize the application of high-quality scientific research for the decisions of policymakers, practitioners, and the public alike. In addition to providing an overview of the special issue and a summary of each article within it, this introductory essay presents a definition of SACs and a conceptual framework for how different institutional features and contextual factors affect three proximal determinants of SACs’ effectiveness, namely the quality of advice offered, the relevance of that advice, and its legitimacy.

Keywords: Expert Panels; Scientific Advisory Committees; Policy; Evidence; Decision-Making

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Steven and Ottersen, Trygve and Tejpar, Ali and Fafard, Patrick, Towards a Systematic Understanding of How to Institutionally Design Scientific Advisory Committees (September 27, 2018). Global Challenges, Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3256466

Steven Hoffman (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

Global Strategy Lab
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
+1-416-736-2100 ext 33364 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.globalstrategylab.org/people/steven-hoffman

Harvard University ( email )

Department of Global Health & Population
665 Huntington Avenue, Building 1, Room 1104
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/steven-hoffman/

Trygve Ottersen

University of Bergen - Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care ( email )

Kalfarveien 31
Bergen, 5018
Norway

Ali Tejpar

University of Ottawa, Common Law Section, Students ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Carleton University, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Students ( email )

1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa
Canada

Patrick Fafard

University of Ottawa - Graduate School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

75 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

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