Investing in government science advice to improve policymaking

January 31, 2017

A new project funded by IDRC and led by the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU), aims to facilitate the flow of information between researchers and governments to ensure that sound scientific evidence informs policymaking. The project will establish a network of individuals and organizations that are well positioned to provide science advice to governments in developing countries.  

INGSA started in 2014 when Sir Peter Gluckman, as Chief Science Advisor in New Zealand, assembled some of the world’s preeminent thought leaders in the emerging field of providing science advice to governments to develop an agenda for global discussion. INGSA is now a network of top researchers and science advisors from high-, middle-, and low-income countries around the world. The network has created new knowledge, expertise, and techniques to improve science advice and it has convened research and policy leaders to talk about the policy implications of science.

With this new CA$1.5 million grant from IDRC, INGSA will bring its experience to low- and middle-income countries. It is an opportunity to advance national and regional science advice systems and to tackle the particular challenges that developing countries face when science and policy meet.    

By training and connecting a critical mass of well-organized experts in various regions and globally, this project will build capacity to address complex issues such as epidemics, climate change adaptation, youth unemployment, and the well-being of populations. It will support regional networks; advance knowledge of issues surrounding science advice in the developing world; and develop leaders through fellowships and mentorship opportunities. It will also produce high-calibre knowledge and educational material such as case studies that will be made freely accessible to all users.

In addition, the project will convene researchers and policymakers at workshops specially designed to address the increase in demand and use of evidence in policy and to promote dialogue with multiple stakeholders from local science ecosystems. These will build on a workshop held in South Africa in February 2016, which brought 40 young African scientists and policymakers together. A similar workshop for Francophone Africa will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2017.

For more information, please visit the International Network for Government Science Advice website.