Knowledge and information needs of adaptation policy-makers: a European study

Hanger, Susanne, Pfenninger, Stefan, Dreyfus, Magali and Patt, Anthony, (2013). Knowledge and information needs of adaptation policy-makers: a European study. Regional Environmental Change, 13(1), 91-101

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Hanger, Susanne
    Pfenninger, Stefan
    Dreyfus, Magali
    Patt, Anthony
    Title Knowledge and information needs of adaptation policy-makers: a European study
    Appearing in Regional Environmental Change   Check publisher's open access policy
    Volume 13
    Issue No. 1
    Publication Date 2013-02
    Place of Publication Berlin
    Publisher Springer-Verlag
    Start page 91
    End page 101
    Abstract

    Across Europe, national governments have started to strategically plan adaptation to climate change. Making adaptation decisions is difficult in the light of uncertainties and the complexity of adaptation problems. Already large amounts of research results on climate impacts and adaptive measures are available, and more are produced and need to be mediated across the boundary between science and policy. Both researchers and policy-makers have started to intensify efforts to coproduce knowledge that is valuable to both communities, particularly in the context of climate change adaptation. In this paper, we present results from a study of adaptation governance and information needs, comparing eight European countries. We identify sources and means for the retrieval of information as well as gaps and problems with the knowledge provided by scientists and analyzed whether these appear to be contingent on the point in the policy-making cycle where countries are. We find that in this early phase of adaptation planning, the quality of the definition of needs, the way uncertainty is dealt with, and the quality of science–policy interaction are indeed contingent on the stage of adaptation planning, while information needs and sources are not. We conclude that a well-developed science–policy interface is of key importance for effective decision-making for adaptation.

    Keyword Adaptation
    Boundary organization
    Europe
    Policy cycle
    Public policy
    Science–policy interface
    Copyright Holder Springer-Verlag
    Copyright Year 2012
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 1436-3798
    DOI 10.1007/s10113-012-0317-2
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    Created: Tue, 26 Aug 2014, 13:18:17 JST