Linking Science and Policy on Climate Change: The Case of Coquimbo Region, Chile

  • Sonia SalasEmail author
  • Angelo Araya
  • Andrés Bodini
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


The generation of knowledge and its relation with the development of public policies has recently become a matter of concern. This paper explores the interaction, in the public’s perception, between scientific knowledge and policies on climate change and water resources, a critical issue when making decisions based on scientific evidence. The study, which employed a qualitative paradigm, generated an interview guide which was administered to a sample of 26 subjects (13 researchers and 13 politicians). The analysis considered four dimensions: evidence, relevance, relationships and “supply and demand”. The political sector highlights a lack of information for drawing up policies. Researchers point out that they do not know the best strategies to transfer their results to the political world. In the relevance dimension, both groups (politicians and researchers) agree on the characteristics that define this knowledge and note that funding plays a significant role as one of the main elements hindering the science-policy interface. The relationships dimension stresses the need to generate fluid communication channels between the two sectors. In short, the process of science-policy interactions has important flaws due to several factors: the political system, the funding platform, the duration of projects, the length of political administrations, and centralism in connection with regional development. In summary, findings revealed that the interaction between science and policy on climate change issues is weak. Its of utmost importance the development of systematic dialogue opportunities associated with institutional commitments and the inclusion of stakeholders while prioritizing specific areas of the science-policy interface on the climate change issue.


Science-policy interface Climate change Drought Adaptation 



The present study was part of the project “Bringing Together Climate Science and Policy: Contributions for Influential Science in Latin America”, which was funded by the IDRC (International Development Research Council) Canadian agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de La SerenaLa SerenaChile
  2. 2.Centro de Estudios en Zonas ÁridasCEAZALa SerenaChile
  3. 3.Saint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  4. 4.Unidad de SIGSECPLANIlustre Municipalidad de La SerenaChile

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