The assumption hiding behind the concept of “evidence-based decision-making” is that policy makers are eager to consider, appreciate and use the work of researchers and acknowledge that research results “effectively transferred, could be used to inform policy and practice decisions and subsequently improve their outcomes”. Yet, this equation seems to be dysfunctional in the Euro-Mediterranean region and arguably in particular in the southern Mediterranean, where too often the resources dedicated to research are considered either as charity or as an obligation deriving from education or science related international commitments. The decision making sphere in many countries is to a large extent inaccessible to researchers.
This policy paper explores the underdeveloped relation between researchers and policy makers with a specific focus on security practitioners and on countries of the southern Mediterranean. There seems to be double-sided barriers with on the one hand limited appetite from security practitioners to engage with researchers and on the other hand a lack of confidence from researchers to reach out and advocate for their research results. This mistrust translates into a barrier to data access for researchers and a lost opportunity of knowledge transfer for decision makers. This situation calls for profound changes, both psychological and institutional.