Can indicators fill the gap between science and policy? An exploration of the (non) use and (non) influence of indicators in EU and UK policymaking

Sébastien, Léa, Bauler, Tom and Lehtonen, Markku (2014) Can indicators fill the gap between science and policy? An exploration of the (non) use and (non) influence of indicators in EU and UK policymaking. Nature and Culture, 9 (3). pp. 316-343. ISSN 1558-6073

[img]
Preview
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (337kB) | Preview

Abstract

This article examines the various roles that indicators, as boundary objects, can play as a science-based evidence for policy processes. It presents two case studies from the EU-funded POINT project that examined the use and influence of two highly different types of indicators: composite indicators of sustainable development at the EU level and energy indicators in the UK. In both cases indicators failed as direct input to policy making, yet they generated various types of conceptual and political use and influence. The composite sustainable development indicators served as “framework indicators”, helping to advocate a specific vision of sustainable development, whereas the energy indicators produced various types of indirect influence, including through the process of indicator elaboration. Our case studies demonstrate the relatively limited importance of the characteristics and quality of indicators in determining the role of indicators, as compared with the crucial importance of “user factors” (characteristics of policy actors) and “policy factors” (policy context).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: boundary objects, energy, evidence, policy, role of knowledge, sustainability
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Depositing User: Markku Lehtonen
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 08:44
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 08:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/50679

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
POINT: Policy Influence of IndicatorsG0472EUROPEAN UNIONSSHCT2008217207