Scientific research in the drought policy process

Stone, Roger and Cockfield, Geoff (2013) Scientific research in the drought policy process. In: Drought, risk management, and policy: decision-making under uncertainty. Drought and Water Crises. Taylor & Francis (CRC Press), Boca Raton, FL. United States, pp. 105-116. ISBN 978-1-4398-7629-9


It has been argued that 'evidence-based policy making should work well' (Choi et al. 2005, and Chapter 9, this volume) because it is based on the assumption that better information will lead to better policy outcomes. In particular, following on from a comprehensive overview by Choi et al., scientists working on drought issues can readily produce various forms of evidence of and about drought, so therefore this should enable policy makers to optimise decision making. An extension of this optimistic view and approach is that policy makers, in turn, provide scientists working on 'drought' with evidence requirements and resources for their research to enhance future policy decisions (Choi et al. 2005). More pessimistically, it has been argued variously that evidence-based policy does not always work, or perhaps almost never works (Parsons 2002; Botterill and Hindmoor 2012), and there are several tendencies that work against it. The natural sciences approach to decision making 'relies excessively on the use of linear systems and discounts non-scientific forms of knowledge' (McLain and Lee 1996). Further to this, scientists engaged in policy development and advice may not be prepared to share their advisory and decision-making roles with other stakeholders or to participate with them on an equal footing.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (1 Jan 2011 - 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (1 Jan 2011 - 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2013 06:51
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 00:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change; drought; government response; co-operation; evidence-based research
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370202 Climatology
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management

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