Evidence Advisory Committee (EAC) terms of reference
Terms of Reference agreed: November 2022
Next review date: November 2023
The Evidence Advisory Committee (EAC) is a standing committee whose principal role is to advise the Board and provide independent advice, challenge and review to the Knowledge and Evidence Department, its strategic direction, and wider NRW evidence functions.
The EAC advises the NRW Board on approved NRW evidence programmes and their operational delivery, especially on the balance of strategic and operational focussed evidence.
The EAC will help to strengthen understanding in the wider research community and evidence users in government of NRW evidence processes and priorities. It also aims to ensure the adherence across NRW to the principles and guidelines laid down in central government guidance on obtaining and using scientific advice and related codes of practice.
The EAC will aim to address all evidence approaches used at NRW and all academic disciplines that are required to provide evidence for our decision-making.
The responsibilities of EAC are to:
- promote, stimulate and encourage the embedding of evidence processes, QA, and delivery;
- act as a sounding board for strategic and operational evidence identified or being delivered by NRW;
- provide oversight and scrutiny of all relevant reports for Data and Information business transformation;
- highlight new approaches to delivering evidence and innovation for NRW;
- recommend to the Board the balance of the evidence portfolio between operational and policy, reactive and futures, for future resource allocation;
- report to the NRW Board on the quality and fitness of evidence process and delivery in NRW;
- champion at Board level the use of futures studies in NRW, including technology and innovation foresight.
The EAC may make public statements, if necessary, once the NRW Board has accepted their advice. Internal communications may be used to support or promote the principles of evidence use in policy and operational decision making, highlight areas of interest, task and finish groups, and key outcomes from each meeting. Internal communiques should be issued within two weeks of the meeting.
The EAC will meet at least twice per annum, typically in January and June to assist the programming and budgetary cycle.
Deputies are not permitted.
The EAC will be chaired by the NRW Board member with responsibility for Evidence and Innovation (Professor Peter Rigby).
Membership will comprise a second NRW Board member and about eight independent external members, judged by the Chair and NRW leads to offer appropriate expertise, e.g. interdisciplinary evidence approaches (including behavioural insights), SMNR, research impact, analytical approaches, operational research, technology innovation, and science communication.
Initial EAC membership may be by invitation from the Chair and reviewed annually (length of terms to be decided). Competitive selection may be developed as the EAC matures.