Policy Support and Governance Gateway

Issue paper

Global science–policy interfaces related to agrifood systems: a desktop review of structures and common patterns

This background paper to the guidance that FAO is developing on strengthening science–policy interfaces (SPIs) for agrifood systems at the national level sets provides information about the structures and patterns common to global SPIs. It aims to: 1) provide a broad overview and comparison of how international SPIs work, 2) identify a set of categories that are relevant to the work of SPIs, 3) present a systematic, comparative analysis based on publicly available data, 4) draw preliminary conclusions based on findings, and 5) suggest further avenues for study. The conceptual framework identifies three key components of SPIs that, operating together, have the potential to anticipate and respond to needs and demands for both policy and science. Governance comprises the formal and informal rules and procedures for operation and integration among the numerous actors at the interface of science and policy. Co-production specifies the mechanisms by which diverse stakeholders and knowledge types are integrated and recognized in SPI activities. Learning represents the intention and capacity of the SPI to gain insights from what works and what does not work as it carries out its tasks. The findings show that across SPIs, patterning of the three components varies.

Welch, E.; Louafi, S.; De Donà, M.; Xuan Nguyen, A.; Raab, K.