Published: 18-03-2024 17:11 | Updated: 05-04-2024 11:45

An educational policy lab about the journey of a Swedish Government Official Report

A group of people sitting with their backs to the camera facing a panel of three women and a moderator
Policy lab the 14th of March 2024 about how Swedish Government Official Reports work Photo: Åsa Svensson

On Thursday, 14 March, the fourth policy lab was arranged since the start in October 2023. The participants were invited to follow the journey of a Swedish Government Official Report and discuss when and how researchers can provide input in the most useful way. It was an educational session where everyone had the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions and benefit from expertise in the field, from both inside and outside KI.

In the foreground people sitting, in the background a panel of three women sitting at a table and a moderator standing next to them.
The panel at the policy lab on the 14th of March 2024. From left: moderator Anna Zorzet, Ingrid Petersson, Karin Schmekel, Maja Fjaestad Photo: Åsa Svensson

The policy labs are organised by a working group consisting of people from the Centre for Health Crises, the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health and the Research & Doctoral Education Office. It is a forum for discussion and learning about the relationship between research and policy making. The first policy lab was held on 26 October last year. It was about the structure of the Swedish political system, especially focusing on health care policy, but also the role of universities as authorities. This was followed by a smaller policy lab on the new aid reform agenda, as well as one where representatives from the Swedish Government Official Report Ett helt eller delvis statligt huvudmannaskap för hälso- och sjukvården presented their work. 

How a Swedish Government Official Report is conducted

On March 14, it was time for a new policy lab, this time with a focus on how a Swedish Government Official Report works. The working group had invited Ingrid Petersson, who has extensive experience from various roles in both the public and private sectors. Among other things, she has been Director General of the Swedish Research Council Formas and State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. She has also led several Government Official Reports, most recently on food preparedness and governmental research funding

Starting with the inquiry on governmental research funding, Ingrid took the participants on the journey of a Government Official Report. She also described why we do them, what different reports look like and how the work is done. Since reports are often set up on broad, more complex issues, to reconsider or change the direction of a social issue, many people with knowledge of the subject want to provide input, including researchers. In addition, as a public university, KI is an entity that often submits consultation responses to Government Official Reports. Therefore, it can be relevant to know how they are conducted, in order to learn more about how, when and in what way input and consultation responses can be received in the best way. 

Panel discussion with insights from both civil service and politics

Ingrid's introduction was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Anna Zorzet from the Centre for Health Crises. During the discussion, Ingrid, together with Karin Schmekel, former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, now Head of the Research & Doctoral Education Office, and Maja Fjaestad, former State Secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs, now Expert Coordinator at the Centre for Health Crises, answered questions from the audience. The questions were varied, and many came from people with their own experience of, for example, writing consultation responses. The panel also discussed how researchers can best provide input to Government Official Reports. The panel generously shared insights and experiences from different parts of the journey of a Government Official Report, both from the perspective of politicians and civil servants. 

Upcoming policy labs

Policy labs are arranged regularly during the semester. Keep an eye on the Centre for Health Crises and/or Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Health's websites and in KI’s newsletter KI-Nytt for information on the next policy lab! If you subscribe to the Centre for Health Crises’ newsletter, you will receive invitations to the policy lab straight to your mailbox!