Many agricultural policies are not adopted even though they may be both beneficial and economically effective, because of a failure to appreciate a range of behavioural barriers and drivers among decision-makers. This project will focus on bridging the gap between science-communication and decision management in animal and public health policy formulation. It will explore how motivation, social constructions, power relations and contextual factors, such as the translation of scientific knowledge, shape management decisions about animal health policy interventions. It will utilise UK case studies to explore the effectiveness and efficiency of existing mechanisms (such as the Scottish Government Centres of Expertise models) for the delivery of scientific evidence to government and industry on issues of food security and One Health in order to develop and optimise suitable frameworks for sustainable, resilient and efficient science-policy communication which may be applicable to developing country scenarios. Expected outcomes of the project include a portfolio of behavioural interventions which will improve the translation of the scientific and economic evidence-base to end-users and nudge decision-makers towards more effective prioritisation and implementation of complementary animal health policies.
Research training: The PhD student will use mixed qualitative (semi-structured interviews and stakeholder focus groups) and quantitative methods (structured questionnaires and KE efficiency analysis) to a) test the effectiveness of knowledge exchange models to facilitate stakeholder engagement and co-construction in delivery of robust evidence for policy and b) identify behavioural interventions which will nudge decision-makers towards more effective policy prioritisation. Quantitative techniques (e.g., Data Envelopment Analysis (Toma et al. 2013), Structural Equation Modelling (Toma et al. 2016) will be applied to identify the efficiency of knowledge brokering and the impact of various determinants on this using case studies from EPIC, Scottish Governments Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks (Boden et al. 2014).
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