The practice-based submission outlines a model of engagement that has been developed over approximately ten years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa (SA). The objective is to articulate an approach of communicating science with South African politicians and policy makers via a dedicated science council/parliamentary office and to share how various opportunities are created and utilised. In order to demonstrate CSIR value during legislative debate and other engagements, and in order to ensure sustained/increased parliamentary funding, it is becoming increasingly important to communicate to Parliament how the CSIR contributes to and enables delivery on national priorities. The Parliamentary Liaison office (PLO) facilitates dual communication opportunities between scientists and politicians. The depth of learning gleaned from both Parliament and the CSIR over a sustained period and the close working relationships developed with internal and external stakeholders enabled the development of different levels of engagement opportunities. Though interrelated, four broad categories where the PLO supports colleagues with parliamentary engagements have been identified. They are: (1) communicating legislative and policy developments at government department and parliamentary level, (2) communicating accountability and oversight activity, (3) arranging pro-active engagements with key parliamentary portfolio committees (4) engaging parliamentaryand portfolio committee support staff. The PLO also supports colleagues by relaying parliamentary information. This information is customised and is differentiated for recipient groups within the CSIR - namely for the Executive, the Operating Units and Centres and the Interest Group layer. Each layer, in turn also has a customised communications approach.

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A science council engagement model with the South African Parliament

Azeza Fredericks   Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

The practice-based submission outlines a model of engagement that has been developed over approximately ten years at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa (SA). The objective is to articulate an approach of communicating science with South African politicians and policy makers via a dedicated science council/parliamentary office and to share how various opportunities are created and utilised. In order to demonstrate CSIR value during legislative debate and other engagements, and in order to ensure sustained/increased parliamentary funding, it is becoming increasingly important to communicate to Parliament how the CSIR contributes to and enables delivery on national priorities. The Parliamentary Liaison office (PLO) facilitates dual communication opportunities between scientists and politicians. The depth of learning gleaned from both Parliament and the CSIR over a sustained period and the close working relationships developed with internal and external stakeholders enabled the development of different levels of engagement opportunities. Though interrelated, four broad categories where the PLO supports colleagues with parliamentary engagements have been identified. They are: (1) communicating legislative and policy developments at government department and parliamentary level, (2) communicating accountability and oversight activity, (3) arranging pro-active engagements with key parliamentary portfolio committees (4) engaging parliamentaryand portfolio committee support staff. The PLO also supports colleagues by relaying parliamentary information. This information is customised and is differentiated for recipient groups within the CSIR - namely for the Executive, the Operating Units and Centres and the Interest Group layer. Each layer, in turn also has a customised communications approach.

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