SGI White Paper Methodology

The SGI White Paper Series conducts Systematic Reviews of the existing evidence base, expert elicitation exercises to leverage existing tacit knowledge, and primary research to fill apparent research gaps.  These techniques are the key features of the policy research approach known as Evidence –Based Policy and Practice (EBPP) (Sorrell 2007). This approach was originally developed in areas of public policy research including healthcare, education, social work and criminal justice (Sorrell 2007). It is informed by the approach adopted by the Cochrane Collaboration in the assessment of evidence in healthcare policy (King et al. 1994).

Systematic Reviews are designed to screen the literature in a systematic and transparent way to identify and critically analyse evidence relevant to answering a pre-determined question (Khan et al. 2003). The review process followed by the SGI is an adapted version of the process developed by the UKERC TPA (Gross et al. 2006), represented by the generalised procedure seen in Figure 1.

The White Paper Series also establishes an international Expert Panel per project to provide guidance and advice throughout the project research phase. These experts are drawn from the academic, government, industry and third sectors to provide a range of perspectives. Consulting key experts throughout the process ensures that the White Paper Series delivers outputs that reflect the needs of relevant stakeholders and adequately answers the research question (Higgins J. P. T. & Green 2011).

Figure 1: The methodological procedure followed by the SGI White Paper Series, including systematic review and expert elicitation.




Gross, R., P. Heptonstall, D. Anderson, T. Green, M. Leach and J. Skea (2006). The costs and impacts of intermittency : an assessment of the evidence on the costs and impacts of intermittent generation on the British electricity network. London, UK Energy Research Centre.

Higgins J. P. T. and S. Green (2011). Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions version 5.1. 0 [updated March 2011], The Cochrane Collaboration.

Khan, K. S., R. Kunz, J. Kleijnen and G. Antes (2003). “Five steps to conducting a systematic review.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 96(3): 118-121.

King, G., R. O. Keohane and S. Verba (1994). Designing social inquiry: scientific inference in qualitative research. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Sorrell, S. (2007). “Improving the evidence base for energy policy: The role of systematic reviews.” Energy Policy 35(3): 1858-1871.