Date: March 2018 – March 2020
Led by: Carina van Rooyen
Partners: National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD)Funder: University of Johannesburg (UJ), through the University Research Committee
Portfolio: Evidence synthesis and evidence capacities

Our Responsive Evidence Synthesis Service (RESS) project is intended to map current environmental research evidence in South Africa to support the co-production of responsive (including rapid) evidence syntheses with the national Department of Environmental Affairs and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, through a demand-led process. The overall goal of the RESS project is to enhance the ability of South African environmental policy-makers to self-help and self-serve regarding the use of research evidence in various parts of a policy process. We envisage six phases for this project, namely (1) a pilot project of producing a demand-led rapid response review; (2) a scoping review of the models used for rapid response services; (3) an online, open access database of rapid responses services across sector everywhere in the world; (4) and evidence map of environmental research in South Africa, co-produced with GDARD, to serve as evidence base for a rapid response service; (5) a survey of user perceptions on the use of research evidence in policy-making, and especially the use of rapid response reviews; and (6) piloting a rapid response service with DEA, informed by all the previous phases.