The requests process often involves several steps and various different groups from within the EKLISPE Community. When eligible requests are progressed, they often lead to the need for Expert Working Groups, knowledge syntheses or different kinds of foresight events such as conferences and events or science cafes. The process is explained in more detail below and in our short video.
- How are European energy policies affecting biodiversity and ecosystem services in countries globally?
- What are the main knowledge gaps hampering effectiveness and possible integration into existing approaches (including different governance systems and approaches) to restore ecosystem biodiversity, function and services)?
- Research and knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services: from global to European level, and vice versa
- Identify methodologies for the assessment of measures to protect biodiversity, as required in 6th National Reports under the CBD
- Collect evidence on combined impacts which are reinforcing and further exacerbating the overall impact; eg invasive species impact under changing climate or impact of several invasive species or chemical impact under changing climate etc…
- Investigate positive and negative feedback loops of ecosystems contributing to regulating climate.
Our first Call for Requests (Sept 2016) ‘Policy and other societal actors are invited to identify topics or evidence needs relating to biodiversity and ecosystem services’ (CfR.1/2016) generated 15 submissions (see pdf) and resulted in the selection of five requests which are currently ongoing. Click on a request below to read more about it and its related activities and outputs:
- Understanding farmer uptake: what measures are most promising to deliver on supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services in the next round of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?
- Which types and components of urban and peri-urban blue/green spaces have a significant impact on human mental health and mental wellbeing?
- How can environmental regulators support businesses to improve the outcomes of their operations for biodiversity, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverage sector in Europe?
- What are the impacts of electromagnetic radiation on wildlife (invertebrates, vertebrates and plants)?
- How are various ecological, economic and socio-cultural values related to nature and the ecosystem services it provides emphasized in different ways in dynamic social contexts and across policy sectors?
Our first request came from the European Commission, called ‘Nature-based solutions to Promote Climate Resilience in Urban Areas’. It led to the creation of an Expert Working Group (127 people applied to be part of what became a 15-strong group), a report that has since been used in policy contexts, a peer-reviewed article and a briefing from the European Parliamentary Research Service.
Watch our short video about the process of answering a request.
Figure: the steps of the EKLIPSE knowledge synthesis process
- The request process starts with an Open Call to decision-makers and policy-makers across the EU to put forward a Call for Requests. A request can be a question like ‘what is the current knowledge on a particular issue?’
- Our Knowledge Coordination Body (KCB) then screens and selects the Calls for Requests supported by our Strategic Advisory Board (SAB).
- The KCB liaises with the requester during a scoping phase to refine the question and identify how EKLIPSE could give added value in terms of what they need. This usually involves sending out a public Call for Knowledge (see some previous examples here) via our Open Calls, the KNOCK Forum, our Network of Networks and to wider stakeholders who have knowledge in a particular area of expertise. Knowledge holders post comments on the KNOCK Forum telling us about any existing publications, projects or reviews on the topic to avoid duplicating any existing studies.
- The KCB works with the requester to develop a Description of Work (DoW). This captures the essence of the request: why the request is being put forward and what the requester wants from the process as well as highlighting the EU policy relevance of the request.
- Once the DoW is agreed we put out a public Call for Experts (see previous examples here) on the requester’s topic. This Call for Experts is promoted on our KNOCK Forum, the Open Calls page and is sent out to our Network of Networks.
- The KCB conducts a selection process to make sure the best people from different sectors, different disciplines and different parts of the EU can all contribute their expertise. Then we set up an Expert Working Group (EWG) which will work to all the guidelines agreed in the description of work.
- The EWG develops a protocol of methods and approach which describes exactly how they will answer the request. The protocol goes through an extended peer review process which involves an open consultation with the public and all the knowledge holders of that particular topic (see a previous example here).
- Next the EWG synthesises all the current knowledge and produces an end product, (e.g. a report). Then a peer-review is conducted on the knowledge synthesis to make sure the end product is robust and credible. The end product is then given to the requester and finally, it is widely disseminated and made publicly available to all via our Outputs page.
Advantages of the EKLIPSE request process:
- The EKLIPSE approach responds directly to policy and other societal actors' knowledge needs through regular Calls for Requests
- The EKLIPSE approach builds on existing knowledge and links requests for knowledge to the most relevant knowledge holders through Calls for Experts
- The EKLIPSE approach frames questions directly with requesters to better understand what knowledge they need, for what purposes, in what timescale and with which resources
- EKLIPSE includes a Methods Expert Group, who have identified 21 knowledge synthesis methods, and can suggest the most relevant methods to match requesters' needs
Assessment of effectiveness of the product/item:
The assessments, reports and other outputs produced through the EKLIPSE approach are likely to have strong policy and societal impact as they are answering these actors' needs directly.