The overall Sciencewise objective for the 2012-2015 programme is:
“To improve policy making involving science and technology across Government by increasing the effectiveness with which public dialogue is used, and encouraging its wider use where appropriate.”
In 2013, the programme carried out a “Theory of Change” process involving inputs from the Sciencewise programme team, the Steering Group and Citizens Group. The outcome of this exercise was the development of three interim goals that would support the delivery of its overall objective. The three interim goals are:
1. Effective Advocacy – to create greater acceptability for the place and value of public dialogue (both by decision makers and by public participants),
2. Structural and cultural change – to create the structures and systems needed to support the use of public dialogue (by developing official guidance, incentives, rewards and skills), and
3. Creating evidence – to demonstrate the effectiveness of dialogue processes (by delivering and evaluating projects to provide evidence and learning for policy and decision making).
The focus for this evaluation has been to review the overall activities, achievements and impacts of the current Sciencewise programme, which runs from April 2012 to March 2015, and to draw out lessons and opportunities for the future.