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Needs and Options in the Use of External Advice: A Typology

Authors: consultation, decision-making, external advice

What is “external advice”? We understand external to refer to anybody not employed by Government and advice to refer to any input of information that may affect the basis for decision-making or decision-making itself. As such it is difficult (and ill-advised, we would argue) to make a clear differentiation between “advice” and “consultation.” There is a gradient between obtaining expert advice from a single person all the way up to the institutionalised consultations provided by democratic instruments. This typology, written for Health Canada, surveys all types of advice based on the needs of the organisation and based on the options that are, in principle, available. It is has been written as an annotated checklist that can be used to support a systematic approach to obtaining external advice in any public organisation.

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