EKLIPSE Ethical Infrastructure framework

In developing an interface between knowledge holders, stakeholders and decision makers on biodiversity issues, the EKLIPSE Mechanism, just as any science-policy-society interface, faces many challenges. In the crucial endeavour to tackle all those challenges, determining an ethical course of actions is essential to the credibility, relevance and legitimacy of such an interface.
To achieve this, EKLIPSE aims to establish and follow an ethical infrastructure for all its main activities, thus strengthening recognition and transparency of its processes. As such, EKLIPSE ethical infrastructure builds on many lessons learned from other interface processes, scientific quality assurance and engagement issues coming from transdisciplinary research.

As developed in a recent paper1 in the context of EKLIPSE and one of its precursor BiodiversityKnowledge, the ethical infrastructure should focus on three main building blocks, namely guidance, management and control (see table below).

  • The guidance block provides strong leadership, statement of values such as code of ethics and professional socialisation activities such as education and training.
  • The management block includes policies and practices that create conditions “that ensure fair and impartial selection, promotion and remuneration, as well as contribute to social respect”.
  • The control block regroups elements such as “a legal framework; effective accountability and control mechanisms; transparency, public involvement and scrutiny”2 .

Below you can find the 13 measures and instruments we would like to implement in the EKLIPSE mechanism. This will be done in a stepwise approach as major needs to set them up arise and also as they are subject to adaptation due to the reflexivity and evaluation of EKLIPSE processes. Those measures in bold and italic are the ones that have been already applied.




1) Clear guiding values

5) Hotline

9) Sanctions for reprehensible acts

2) Code of ethics

6) Complaint mechanism, including investigation and follow-up

10) Legal framework including rules and directives

3) Trainings

7) Body for the management of the infrastructure

11) Public Relations Team (PR)

Crisis management group

4) Declaration of Conflict of Interest

8) Transparent selection procedure for staff, requests, experts, reviewers and evaluators


  • Selection criteria

  • Open calls for recruitment

  • Forms for experts to reply to the call for expertise

  • Log book of requests

  • External facilitator for some meetings


12) Setting up feedback processes such as public consultations



13) Transparency of all the outputs:

  • Broad dissemination

  • Mandatory double check of all accepted requests

  • Follow-up of how reports are used

  • Standard evaluation protocols


[1]  Tremblay et al. (2016): BiodiverConserv 25(7): 1253-1267 (DOI: 10.1007/s10531-016-1123-9) 

[2]  The building blocks are based on Bertok& Beth (2005): Public sector integrity – a framework for assessment.- OECD, France 

Please find links to the poster and the flyer used during the EKLIPSE Proof of Concept Conference (POCC).