Comparative Table of Parliamentary TA Institutions



It is far from easy to assess the direct impact that TA and related forms of scientific policy advice have on decision making. On the one hand the general rule applies, that proposed pieces of legislation never quote the sources of information by which they may be inspired. On the other hand, TA is only one of a multitude of voices that influence the decision making process. Because of the lack of direct evidence one has to rely on more indirect means to assess utilization and usefulness of TA »products« to the »customer«, the Parliamentarians.

The first and maybe the most important criterion is the satisfaction of the Members of Parliament, which may be expressed openly in parliamentary debates or in more informal ways including face to face conversations. In fact TAB has fared quite well in this respect and there are numerous examples of MP´s highlighting their praise of TAB´s work.

A second one is the frequency of the occasions where Parliament in plenary debates and in Committee meetings deals with TAB-reports. The number of Committees that put TAB-reports on their agenda has indeed increased constantly in recent years. To a somewhat lesser extent the same holds true also for plenary debates, which documents the continuous practice of Parliament to consult technology assessment in complex scientific and technological issues.

Another indicator of how well received TAB´s advice is, is the demand for new TAB-studies, which continuously exceeds the capacity by a wide margin. For example, during a recent procedure of finding new topics, Parliament came up with close to 70 suggestions for new topics of which only 12 could be taken up because of capacity limitations.

And last but not least also the resonance in the media and the general public as well as the demand for electronic and printed versions of TAB products is an indication that TAB´s work is very well known and well received by many societal groups, may it be trade associations, NGOs, scientific and educational institutions, federal and regional ministries or others.

All in all, the interest in TAB´s activities both by expert audiences and the general public has stabilised on a high level. Even though TAB does not engage in intensive press and public relation activities, the resonance in the press and electronic media is very favourable and the TAB-staff is frequently asked for interviews or statements.


Chapter Impact - all countries

Country Report Germany



EPTA ITA  © EPTA, version 20 Oct 2012; provided by ITA