INGSA launches Policy-Making Tracker and calls for global volunteers

INGSA seeks to mobilize its network to help keep track of how, and not necessarily what, policy interventions are being made by various national and sub-national (state, province, etc.) governments across the world.

Never has there been a rallying point for science advice at a global scale as we are now experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  With it come the hallmarks of advising in a time of crisis:  the evidence is uncertain, the science is fast-moving, the stakes are high and, in some public discussions at least, values are in dispute.

In response, this Wednesday INGSA launched a global Covid-19 policy-making tracker. With other COVID-19 policy-trackers appearing internationally over the past week, INGSA Executive Officer, Lara Cowen explains the important niche that the INGSA’s tracker fills, “Our goal is to mobilize the INGSA network to help keep track of  how, and not necessarily what, policy interventions are being made by various national and sub-national (state, province, etc.) governments across the world”.

The aim of the INGSA policy-making tracker is to understand the decision making process in each government’s response to COVID-19. In particular, we want to focus on whether justifications are given for a policy announcement, what person or group is providing the advice or evidence, and whether there is any evidence cited in the policy announcement.

Lara Cowen, INGSA Executive Officer

“It is important to distinguish the INGSA project as a policy-making tracker – our primary interest is not to compare policy choices but to understand and compare what was behind those choices”, says Cowen.

The policy tracker will also be an invaluable tool to feed into a larger deep dive comparative study that INGSA is developing. The focus of the comparative study is to understand the kinds of evidence, its uptake and mechanisms used to develop and implement these interventions by governments, and how these approaches varied by jurisdiction.

“The INGSA COVID-19 policy-making tracker is key to understanding the various ways in which evidence is mobilized at different stages of the pandemic, by whom and to what end,” says INGSA Chair, Peter Gluckman. 

“The policy-making tracker will help us understand the broader conceptual frameworks of evidence-to-policy pathways that could help guide best response to other transnational crises in the future”.

Peter Gluckman, INGSA Chair and President-elect of the ISC.

INGSA is currently recruiting volunteer rapporteurs from each national jurisdiction. In you are interesting in finding out more, please contact covid@ingsa.org

To visit the policy-making tracker, click here.


International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)

International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA): As a legacy of the first global conference in 2014 on science advice to governments co-organised by the ISC’s predecessor organization, the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Auckland, New Zealand, the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) was formed.


Image by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

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