Policy decisions are more robust when they are informed by different sources of evidence rather than a single piece of research. However, assembling a high-quality body of evidence can be challenging if many different organisations are involved, if the issue is a complex one and if the evidence is changing over time. In the UK, the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership has developed an innovative method for synthesising and presenting complex evidence which has wide relevant for other sectors, and other countries.
Members of the partnership gather together evidence on main policy-relevant issues and provide a realistic assessment of how confident scientists are in their knowledge about what is currently happening, and what is likely to happen in future. The report cards synthesise the evidence so it is accessible to non-specialist policy makers and the public. %u2028This makes it easy for marine policymakers to access and understand complex evidence.
The experience of creating Annual Report Cards shows that it is possible to create a partnership involving government, non- government and research organisations that can assess the quality of a complex body of evidence, synthesise it and keep it as up-to- date as possible.