Policy advice

The criteria of good practice of policy advice at Fraunhofer ISI

Criteria of good practice of policy advice

Fraunhofer ISI provides scientifically sound policy advice, which is based on qualitative and quantitative methods. On the basis of continuous dialoge and reflection Fraunhofer ISI makes it possible for its clients to give new political impulses.

  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • is independent from attempts to influence scientific investigations and their results
    • exposes all circumstances of possible bias (financial interests, institutional dependencies and memberships)
    • avoids dependencies on private interests and a strong focus on a few public clients (e.g.departments of ministries) 
    • as part of the public research system and as a non-profit research facility it conveys credibility and thus distances itself from commercial policy advisory institutes  Fraunhofer ISI
  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • has comprehensive and proven interdisciplinary competence in innovation and innovation political research
    • has fundamental knowledge of technical and non technical aspects of different subject areas of its political consulting
    • issues methodologically sound studies based on the latest scientific knowledge
    • operates evidence-based by analysing relevant imperical data and if possible different comprehensive sources of data
    • consistently follows a systemic research approach, which combines societal, economic and technical perspectives
  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • links up internally through different disciplines and organisational structures (Business Units, Competence Centers) or externally by cooperating with other reseach and consultancy facilities in order to adequately process the different facettes of research topics
    • is well placed regarding the networking in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and other national and international partners
    • collaborates with cooperation partners who share the criteria of good practice of policy consulting
  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • is in continuous dialog and in thematic reflection with its clients
    • can guide and accompany methodologically competent learning processes, foresight and scenario development
    • clarifies with its clients the publication rights with the right to make the consultancy results public through publications and lectures 
  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • combines factual correctness with political relevance in order to secure the quality of scientific policy advice
    • presents processes and analyses of investigations clearly and comprehensibly and directly draws conclusions from the results
    • depicts differences / discreprencies of the results in the respective context
    • prepares results graphically in an appealing manner
    • compiles user-friendly and target group-oriented reports, result summaries and result processes (executive summaries, policy briefs)
  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • responds quickly to political orders and questions
    • is characterized by a strong awareness of societal problems and challenges (problem-oriented prespective instead of technology push)
    • anticipates policy-relevant questions and has a radar for new issues (Weak Signals)
    • makes use of the committee activities of its emplyees in order to recognize new themes (theme scouting)
  • Fraunhofer ISI

    • has a strong awareness of its role as a policy advisor
    • follows the principle that in representative democracies policy advice is only one aspect of the political policy formation and decision-making process which can contribute to informing and illustrating and/or evaluating alternatives for action
    • bases its work on the fact that recommended alternatives for action have to be accurate but must also orient themselves towards the recipient‘s design options
    • has an understanding of the nature of political decision-making processes, responds to actors, their convictions and conflicting political rationalities and interests, and trains its staff accordingly 

Demands on politics as the client



As a policy advisor Fraunhofer ISI assumes that

  • advisory processes are comprehensible and clearly defined
  • tenders and the selection of consultants follow clear rules and are public
  • consultation results have been recorded and published
  • clients are unbiased
  • the consultation is not influenced politically and the clients‘ independence is accepted and supported
  • dependencies on individual consultants do not develop an d consulting contracts have a time limit