Preparing for the next crisis mainly means being aware that it will inevitably come. This is the conclusion drawn by the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, the Health Council of the Netherlands and the Council for Public Administration in their essay ‘Acquiring, assessing and weighing. The use of knowledge in policy advice in times of crisis’ (Verwerven, waarderen en wegen. De inzet van kennis bij beleidsadvisering in crisistijd).
The essay is the result of a conference convened by the three councils to examine the role of knowledge in dealing with an acute, chronic or predicted crisis. The essay highlights three key lessons: adaptivity (politicians, administrators and advisory councils must be able to adapt appropriately and on time), multidisciplinarity (different perspectives are important) and division of responsibility (science, advice and politics must not become too intertwined).