The guideline for preparing evidence for science, technology and innovation policy-making: A Delphi study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant prof. Science and Technology Policy, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc(.

2 Assistant prof. Library and Information Science, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IranDoc)


Given the acceleration of developments in science, technology, and innovation as well as the importance of these fields in the development of knowledge-based economics of countries, the way to formulate evidence for science, technology, and innovation policy should be such that enable policymakers to understand key issues and consider them in the shortest possible time and use them in their decisions. However, it is not yet clear what kind of components should be considered in the format of preparing such evidence. This study aims to design a practical guideline so that efficient evidence can be developed for policymakers in science, technology, and innovation. In this regard, first, the main components of guideline were explored and identified based on literature and they were categorized into three dimensions: structure, content, and design. Then such dimensions and components were organized in the questionnaire and distributed among a Delphi panel including   15 scholars and policymakers for validation. Based on results obtained from this study the best way of preparing evidence for policymakers in different level of policy-making (executive, sectoral, and macro levels) is policy brief and its key components  include a bibliography ( which itself include title, affiliation, date, and document number); introduction and statement of the problem; findings; policy recommendations and references. Moreover, the results show that structure, content, and design components are the same in different levels of policy-making and the only difference is the size of the policy brief.


  1. Apollonio, D. E., & Bero, L. A. 2017. Interpretation and use of evidence in state policymaking: a qualitative analysis. BMJ open. Vol.7. No.2. PP.1-10. 
  2. Banks, 2009. "Challenges of evidence-based policy-making". Australian Public Service Commission. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  3. Bohman, James. 1998. "Survey article: The coming of age of deliberative democracy". Journal of political philosophy.6.No.4.PP.400-425.
  4. Bardach, Eugene. 1984.”The dissemination of policy research to policymakers”. Knowledge. Vol. 6.No.2.PP. 125-144.
  5. Bessette, Joseph M. 1980. Deliberative democracy: The majority principle in republican government. Robert A. Goldwin & William A. Shambra. How Democratic Is the Constitution.PP. 102-116
  6. Clarence, Emma. .2002. “Technocracy reinvented: the new evidence based policy movement”. Public Policy and Administration.V17.No.3.PP. 1-11.
  7. Davies, Philip. 2004. Is evidence-based government possible. Jerry Lee Lecture. Available at:
  8. [10 November 2020]
  9. Eisele, F. 2006. Preparing a Policy Brief Issue. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  10. Elster, Jon. 1998. “Deliberation and constitution making”. Deliberative democracy. Vol. 97.P. 111.
  11. Englehart, Judith K. 2001. “The marriage between theory and practice”. Public Administration Review.Vol. 61, No.3.PP. 371-374.
  12. Food and agriculture organization of United Nations (FAO). 2013. WrItIng effectIve rePorts. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  13. Gordon-Strachan, G., Bailey, W., Lalta, S., Ward, E., Henry-Lee, A., & LeFranc, E. 2006. Linking researchers and policy-makers: some challenges and approaches. Cadernos de Saúde Pública. Vol.22. PP. S69-S76.
  14. Hung, Hsin-Ling, Altschuld, James W., Lee, Yi-Fang . 2008. “Methodological and conceptual issues confronting a cross-country Delphi study of educational program evaluation”. Evaluation and program planning.Vol. 31. No.2.PP. 191-198.
  15. Howard, Keith, and Sharp, John A. 1985. “Social indicators and policy selection: An experiment in constructing a social objective function”. European Journal of Operational Research.Vol. 19, No. 2.PP. 176-185.
  16. International Centre for Policy Advocacy. 2017. An essential guide to writing policy briefs. Available at:
  17.[10 November 2020]
  18. Jewell, Christopher J. and Bero, Lisa A.  2008. “Developing good taste in evidence: facilitators of and hindrances to evidence‐informed health policymaking in state government”. The Milbank Quarterly.Vol. 86.No.2.PP. 177-208.
  19. Jones, N., Walsh, C., & Young, J. 2007. Policy Briefs for Communicating Science, Technological and Innovation Findings: What Constitutes Best Practice. Unpublished mimeo. London:
  20. Knott, Jack, and Wildavsky, Aaron .1980. " If Dissemination is the Solution, What is the Problem?". Knowledge.Vol.1. No.4. PP.537-578.
  21. Kumpalume, Peter .2016. Guidelines for Evidence Use in Decision-Making in the Health Sector in Malawi. Malawi: Ministry of health. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  22. Kuzevski, Marc.2013. Writing guidelines: Policy Brief. Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge (undated) and Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Network Coordinating Team. Available at: [10 November 2020]

  1. Lindblom, Charles E. 1959. "The science of" muddling through".public administration review.PP.79-88.
  2. Legendre, Pierre .2005. “Species associations: The Kendall coefficient of concordance revisited”. Journal of agricultural, biological, and environmental statistics.Vol.10.No. 2.P 226.
  3. Mandell, Marvin B.and Sauter, Vicki L. 1984. “Approaches to the study of information utilization in public agencies: Problems and pitfalls”. Knowledge.Vol. 6. No. 2.PP. 145-164.
  4. Hasson, Felicity., Keeney, Sinead, and McKenna, Hugh. 2000. “Research guidelines for the Delphi survey technique”. Journal of advanced nursing.Vol. 32. No.4. PP. 1008-1015.
  5. Newman, K., Capillo, A., Famurewa, A., Nath, C., & Siyanbola, W. 2013. What is the evidence on evidence-informed policy making? Lessons from the International Conference on Evidence-Informed Policy Making. International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). Oxford, UK. PP.
  6. Nabavi, Majid, and Hamid R. Jamali. 2018. Determining information needs of science and technology policy makers in Iran. Information Development. Vol.34. No. 4. PP. 382-396.
  7. Orem, Juliet Nabyonga, David Kaawa Mafigiri, Bruno Marchal, Freddie Ssengooba, Jean Macq, and Bart Criel. 2012. Research, evidence and policymaking: the perspectives of policy actors on improving uptake of evidence in health policy development and implementation in Uganda. BMC Public Health. Vol.12. No.1. PP. 109.
  8. Pittore, Kat., Meeker, Jessica., and Barker, Tom. 2017. Practical considerations for communicating evidence to policy makers: identifying best practices for conveying research findings. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  9. Powell, Catherine .2003. “The Delphi technique: myths and realities”. Journal of advanced nursing.Vol. 41.No. 4.PP. 376-382.
  10. Scott, Christopher. Measuring up to the measurement problem. In The role of statistics in evidence-based policy making. CBMS Network Meeting. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  11. Tsai . 2006. Guidelines for Writing a Policy Brief. Available at:  [10 November 2020]
  12. Wolfe, Rebecca .2013. Policy briefs: A guide to writing policy briefs for research uptake.Resilient&responsive health systems. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  13. Young, Eóin, and  Quinn, 2004. Guidelines for writing a policy brief. Available at: [10 November 2020]
  14. Young, Eóin, and  Quinn, 2017. An Essential Guide to Writing Policy Briefs. International Centre for Policy Advocacy ICPA gGmbH. Available at: [10 November 2020]