This session focused on the processes of procuring and synthesising evidence to provide scientific advice in typical policy development situations. It also considered the various systems in which these processes are embedded. Participants discussed challenges, opportunities and lessons learnt in terms of:
Information flow: Who requests scientific advice? Who/which institution(s) provide this scientific advice? How is the flow of information organised?
Independence: How to ensure that the advice is unbiased, balanced and credible? What features (structural, cultural, personal, etc.) protect or jeopardise independent and bias-free advice, and how are these handled?
Timeliness: At what point(s) should science advice inform the policy process and what mechanisms help to ensure the right timing?
Impact: How can the impact of scientific advice be assessed?