The Department of Agriculture is an organisation of over 4500 people working in locations all around Australia. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is a research bureau within the department which provides professionally independent research, analysis and advice for government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.
The department works in complex, natural resource domains, which calls for science to underpin our evidence-based policy development, decision-making and service delivery. Our scientists are constantly producing evidence and seeking out the best delivery mechanisms for it. Our policy makers are constantly searching for evidence to improve the quality of their decisions. This presentation will explore from a practitioner’s perspective, how and what types of scientific advice interact with the policy making process and use case studies to illustrate this interaction.
In recent years ABARES has focussed on multidisciplinary research that integrates science, social and economic disciplines to inform policy and decision making. As an example, ABARES recently carried out research to inform the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s planning and decision-making process in implementing the Basin Plan. The research provided a measure of the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of communities within the Basin to changes in water availability.