Management in Health, Vol 15, No 4 (2011)

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PROFILE OF SCIENCE ADVISORY REPORTS ON HEALTH IN EUROPEAN MEMBER STATES: RESULTS OF A SURVEY

Marius CIUTAN, Monika SKIBA, Carmen SASU, Silvia FLORESCU, Carmen ANGHELUTA, Dorine TMM COENEN, Louise G GUNNING, Carlos SEGOVIA, Andre PAUWELS, Susanne ALLANDER, Andre J KNOTTNERUS, Cristian VLADESCU

Abstract


Increasingly health and social policies in Europe and its Member States are based

on scientific evidence. Many countries have Science Advisory Bodies which provide

advisory reports based on science. The European Science Advisory Network for

Health (EuSANH) brings together Science Advisory Bodies from 13 countries

actively involved in producing and providing science advice to policy makers in

their respective countries.

Aim: As part of the EuSANH - Improving Science Advice for Health in Europe

project, this study aims to provide an overview of the manner in which science

advice is produced and a profile of science advisory reports.

Results: This study shows a great deal of variation in the methods by which science

advisory reports (SARs) are produced across EuSANH members, often depending

on the topic addressed. There is no common framework for advisory reports and no

common protocol for producing sound scientific advice. Due to the very large

diversity of the methodology encountered, it is impossible from this sample to define

one single way to produce a successful or influential SAR.

Discussions: The wide variety found in this study poses some questions about

possible best practices. Opportunities for collaboration to improve the quality but

most of all the efficiency in advising policy makers in Member States could be found

in a collaborative agenda. Since the national positioning of Science Advisory Bodies

is so different, advice to national government will most likely remain a national

issue. However, the initial scientific base for such a report could well be shared.

Furthermore, advisory reports to policy makers at a European and international

level should benefit from international collaboration.

Finally, it is worth exploring the possibility to optimise science advice by

using a common methodological framework that will promote not only

quality, but also the mutual credibility and international exchange of the

reports from different Member States.

Key words: science advisory report, thematic analysis, methodological

issues, EUSANH


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