|Main authors:||Špela Železnikar, Matjaž Glavan, Sindre Langaas, Gerard Velthof, Susanne Wuijts, Susanne Klages, Claudia Heidecke, Marina Pintar|
|Source document:||»Železnikar, S. et al. (2021) Evaluation report on barriers and issues in providing integrated scientific support for EU policy. FAIRWAY Project Deliverable 7.1R 56 pp|
|2. Methodological approach|
In this section of FAIRWAYiS we evaluate the barriers and issues associated with providing integrated scientific support for European Union policies, related to drinking water quality including agriculture (WFD, DWD, GWD, ND, DSUP). Moreover, we identify obstacles for effective dialogue, cooperation and knowledge sharing, between the research, sector and policy-making worlds. There are many contextual, structural (e.g. inherent working methodologies) and cultural (e.g. relationship between researchers, sectoral representatives and policy makers) differences between research and policy-making. Literature states that existing practises which attempt to bridge the gap between research and policy-making do not provide efficient solutions [12, 14, 17, 19, 48]. Therefore, the EU emphasises the importance of strengthening the dialogue between policy-makers and researchers. This is the key for maximising the impact of science projects on policy-making.
This section is based on the desk study research with the fulfilment of the workshop and individual interviews results, on barriers and issues in providing integrated scientific support for EU policy.
2.1 Desk study research
A desk study was carried out as a basis for the workshop and interviews. The desk study focused on the following topics:
- agriculture and water in the EU,
- evidence-based policy making in the EU, and
- implementation of the Water Framework Directive.
A nonsystematic review of relevant scientific literature was carried out using scientific databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct and Google Scholar. Other information was obtained from websites of the EU and the internet.
2.2 Workshop (World Café Method)
A workshop on the “Evaluation of the issues and barriers around providing integrated scientific support for EU policy” was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 6 December, 2017. The workshop was led by a FAIRWAY project partner, the University of Ljubljana. The workshop method was based on a World Café workshop type with duration of 3h. The primary objective of the workshop was to discuss with representative EU-level actor organizations the role of the science and research sector in EU policy making and EU policies implementation related to drinking water resource protection against diffuse pollution of nitrates and pesticides originating from agriculture.
There were 4 main questions at the workshop. All of them are related to drinking water resource protection against diffuse pollution of nitrates and pesticides from agriculture.
Each question was hosted by a table host, who led the discussion. There were 15 minutes rounds per question. Participants were divided into two groups, coloured red and orange. Orange group consisted of 6 participants and red with 4. At the beginning of each round, table hosts briefly shared key insights from the prior conversation, so the new group could link and build using ideas from previous rounds, if they wanted to. At minute 10-13 table hosts started collecting/forming short summaries of opinions of each group (see underlined key discussion points presented in the main discussion) and wrote them on post-it notes, used later on for the main discussion.
Interviews with individuals were used to collect views on barriers and issues in providing integrated scientific support for EU policy. Invitations to participate in the interview were sent in three rounds. We sent the first invitations in December 2017 and the repeated invitations in January and February 2018. Altogether we managed to perform and complete 5 interviews. Interviews were conducted on the basis of telephone conversation of the average length of 20 minutes. The same questions as in the workshop were used to achieve a more in depth insight on the topic of issues/barriers around providing integrated scientific support for EU policy.
Note: For full references to papers quoted in this article see