Politicians like clear-cut answers to questions of risk so as to generate a solid platform - a discourse of scientific certainty in assessing contaminants, exposure pathway and receptors on which to base a decision.
As such, policy briefs should focus on the:
- problem and its context;
- proposed goals and relevant sub-goals and indicators;
- linkages between the proposed risk management and national policies (e.g, socio-economic development plan);
- costs and resources that will be needed;
- implications and benefits of the proposed risk management measures; and
- specific decisions which need to be adopted, by whom (parliament acts, government decision, adoption or revision of policies; or rules/regulations by concerned agency).
Policy Brief Checklist
When providing advice to decision-makers (e.g, Ministers) some of the following questions may be considered:
- Does the advice reflect the full range of risk issues discussed in the lead-up to the development of a policy-position?
- Does the advice offer an evaluation of multiple perspectives of risk, including those provided by a wide range of sources of expertise and knowledge?
- Does the advice communicate the outcome and what was learned and achieved through engagements with stakeholders and the public?
- Is information provided concerning the legitimacy of proposed piece of advice and the sources of information guiding it?