When analysing the context in which a new Foresight exercise is embedded it is important to identify any other policies or programmes that already in place. It is imperative to make clear how the new project differs or adds to what is already available and why the approach being used is important or necessary.
This means that it is critical to establish why Foresight is a suitable approach to tackling current needs and, most importantly, the way in which Foresight might be positioned in the existing policy cycle. Thus, the benefits of Foresight in improving or evolving the current policy and decision-making systems, as well as the actors who should or are likely to be involved in this process, need to be defined at the start.
The figure below represents the policy cycle schematically. It is important to understand from the outset whether the Foresight exercise aims to unlock new needs and knowledge in the context of the project or if the objective is to facilitate the adoption or the implementation of the envisaged outcomes.
There is more information on positioning in some of the example cases: