United Nations Policy Research Uptake Project
Strengthening the policy research uptake in service of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development
Wednesday 20 March 2019
As the President of World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD), together with other four global academic networks, I have been invited by the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) to its project entitled “Strengthening the policy research uptake in service of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development” which was published on Wednesday 20 March 2019.
JIU was very keen to complement its findings from the JIU participating organizations by incorporating perspectives from the academic communities. JIU was also very keen to engage WASD and other academic networks to identify ways for the UN system to make the best use of external knowledge resources and to build bridges with the academic community.
For the first time in its 52 years of history, the UN has officially consulted the academics and researchers on the policy research uptake in the UN. According to the report, JIU has never conducted before a review of the policy research function in the UN system and could not find any comprehensive assessments of research policies and activities.
According to the report, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires, among other things, evidence-based policies and planning at all levels. And hence this report is very important to strengthening the role of the UN system as a creator, catalyst and distributor of trusted, objective and reliable research, the report concludes.
During the project, WASD provided feedback to JIU on their survey before its dissemination through its various communication channels. WASD also organised a comprehensive group discussion/workshop by mobilising many academics from different universities including senior members of WASD International Advisory Board. In their report, JIU expressed its full gratitude to the leadership of WASD and the other four networks, whose efforts were rewarded by the excellent participation of academics from all over the world, from the North and South, covering three linguistic intellectual spaces (English, French and Arabic).
Dr. Petru Dumitru, Inspector JIU and main author of the report said:
Special thanks go to the professors and political scientists whose genuine interest in the report allowed the JIU to learn and use the academic perspectives that enriched the report: Allam Ahmed, Stephen Browne, Patrick Nédellec and Thomas G. Weiss.
In terms of the future, as part of their 2019 Programme of work, JIU will undertake a UN system-wide review of policies, programmes, and platforms to support learning. The review will attempt to identify existing good practices, in particular in using e-learning platforms and other training initiatives, which can contribute to enhancing capacity-building and the adequacy of training policies and programmes with respect to the mandates of UN organisations. Once again, WASD is pleased to collaborate with JIU and will also engage its various relevant academic and research institutions as well.