Since Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) educate current and future decision makers, they play a key role in building more sustainable societies and creating new paradigms. As educational institutions, they have the mission to promote development through research, teaching, outreach and disseminating new knowledge.
A policy brief is a short, stand-alone document targeting decision makers. It focuses on a specific issue or problem, and advocates a certain course of action for addressing it. It makes a clear, persuasive argument for a certain course of action, based on evidence and analysis. A policy brief can be an effective tool for contributing to policy debates and influencing the policymaking process.
As one of ProSPER.Net’s main objectives is to bring up a new generation of leaders with the competencies to tackle the multi-faceted challenges of sustainability, ProSPER.Net Policy Briefs should help develop structural links and interactions between scientists, policy-makers and society at large. ProSPER.Net Policy Briefs can further help promote and practice inter-university collaboration within and beyond the network. The main aim of a ProSPER.Net Policy Brief is to integrate sustainability in curricula and research, both core ambitions of the network. In broader terms this means the transformation of HEIs in their curricula, research, campus and outreach towards sustainability.
Policy briefs must:
- explain a specific problem/issue,
- outline what changes are needed and what options exist, and
- recommend actions for addressing the problem.
Many organizations publish policy briefs, including think tanks, NGOs, and private sector organizations. Policy briefs are NOT promotional materials for projects. The argument and recommendations within a policy brief can, and in the case of ProSPER.Net should be based on the conclusions of project research. Project work should be related to the argument of the policy brief. By presenting recommendations based on specific research, policy briefs can help promote ProSPER.Net’s research work.
For more information and the Guidelines on how to write a ProSPER.Net Policy Brief click here.