Publications

Science and policy interfaces in multi-stakeholder processes: Exploring how multi-stakeholder processes use science for policy development and innovation within the life sciences

Geene, J. van; Verhoosel, K.S.

Summary

Multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) have become important phenomena in the work of many of the Science Groups and knowledge units of Wageningen UR. Many MSPs are a vehicle for social and technological change and innovation. MSP concepts are linked with the ideas of social learning, transition management and innovation systems that are also related to the goal of more effectively linking research, policy and practice as promoted by Wageningen UR. While MSPs are increasingly seen as a critical way of dealing with complex, high risk and high consequence societal problems, such as climate change, overcoming endemic poverty or reducing pollution levels, they are not a ‘silver bullet’ nor a panacea. Much remains to be understood about their role and effectiveness in a wider context of politics, governance and societal change. MSPs are often used for policy development or policy implementation. Similarly, research is used to inform policy development or policy outcomes. Hence, in many MSPs there is a role for research in policy development. Key questions about the research – policy interface that will be addressed in the reflection day on MSPs are: • How is (scientific) research brought into MSPs as to strengthen evidence-based policy and innovation? • What is the role of researchers in MSPs? • Who decides on a research agenda, and who owns research outcomes? • How can existing research be used to improve MSPs and to promote solutions that benefit vulnerable groups? There is clearly value to be gained from the efforts of Wageningen UR wide sharing and critical reflection processes. The CD&IC programme, Wageningen International, hosted this Interactive Reflection Day, following a successful reflection day on MSPs in Science for Impact in September 2009. The Interactive Reflection Day was part of the three-week international course on 'Facilitating Multi-stakeholder Processes and Social Learning' attended by some 30 participants from all over the world. They facilitated and actively took part in the Interactive Reflection Day, coached by the MSP facilitators Jouwert van Geene and Karèn Verhoosel.