The role of ABARES
ABARES provides professionally independent, world-class research, analysis and advice for government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting Australia's agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.
ABARES is the research division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
- To support evidence-based policy making by providing specialist policy-relevant research and advice to decision-makers on key policy challenges facing the agriculture, fisheries, forestry sectors today and into the future.
- To develop our capability for integrated research and advice that will forge a stronger future for ABARES as a provider of such products to government, industry and the public.
- To promote our research findings through our website, seminars, conferences and other communication media that best meet the needs of our stakeholders.
- To manage and develop our people, systems and processes.
ABARES operates under the following guiding principles:
- Excellence - ensuring high-quality services and products are built upon a commitment to evidence, timeliness, accuracy and client quality expectations.
- Promoting the value of good science and economics - ensuring that the core functions and processes of science, economics and innovation are always the driving forces behind our work and that reliability and validity remain paramount.
- Making information accessible and understandable - striving to collect, analyse, contextualise and present technical and complex issues in language that can be understood and used by decision-makers.
- Innovation and creativity - motivating and supporting individuals to develop original and creative approaches to support ABARES outcomes.
Stakeholders can be confident that ABARES produces economic and scientific research, commodity forecasts, statistics and other analysis based solely on sound and broadly-accepted economic and scientific concepts and principles and the latest available information and data.
"Professionally independent" means that ABARES aims to maintain a public presence and reputation for analysis based on the best available scientific and economic research. Outputs need not necessarily reflect the government's views or policy positions.
ABARES maintains its professional independence through:
- Recruiting, developing and maintaining staff with expertise in relevant disciplines
- Undertaking rigorous research and review processes
- The final point of clearance of publications being the Executive Director of ABARES
- Pursuing an objective of publishing all research outputs and recognising authorship of individual staff
- Maintaining a public presence in supporting, clarifying and communicating the content of outputs
- Undertaking research for a range of public and private sector organisations, and
- Collaborating with researchers from other domestic and international research organisations.
The statement of professional independence for ABARES relates to the position of the organisation rather than the individuals within it. When ABARES staff comment in public on behalf of ABARES there is an expectation that they will be presenting the views of the organisation. If individuals wish to express comments in public in their private capacity, they will state clearly that it is a personal opinion rather than the official views of ABARES.
In undertaking policy analysis, ABARES examines the full range of alternative options potentially available to policymakers and, at times, may enter into public discussion on its research findings and on the consequences of alternative policies. ABARES also has the ability to directly contribute to the development of public policy. This role is important for the government in making informed decisions based on the best available information and analysis. This role places certain responsibilities on ABARES, at times, to operate within the confidential realm of policy making.
ABARES collects a range of information from individuals, particularly through its surveys of farming, fishing and forestry businesses and case studies of rural communities. ABARES maintains stringent data security and undertakes not to publish or release (including to other government agencies) data that may identify or compromise the privacy of individual entities.