Announcing ICP 2020 selected projects

A huge thank you to everyone that submitted their project proposals to the Impact Collaboration Program 2020 (ICP 2020)!

This year, the ICP is giving special attention to the theme of data-driven policy-making.

We received over 40 submissions with many outstanding science-policy collaboration proposals, which made our choice very difficult.

We were fortunate to be supported in our evaluation by a set of highly qualified experts that carefully rated each project:

As a result of this process, we are excited to announce the following projects, which will receive a grant of CHF 40’000 each along with customised advice and support by the GSPI Executive Team. The four projects will complete their deliverables over the next 12 months.

If you have any questions on the process or the selected projects, don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@gspi.ch.

Developing an Online Platform for Tracking Scientific Needs under the Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) on Chemicals and Waste

*Main applicant: ETHZ (Dr. Zhanyun Wang)
*Main partner: UNEP (Geneva/BRS Secretariat)
*Overview:

The Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) play a fundamental role in achieving sound management of chemicals and waste at the global level. To support informed policymaking and effective implementation of the MEAs, different scientific evidence is needed. But as the MEAs have grown increasingly complex over time, the scientific community increasingly cannot capture and react to all these needs. This growing gap between the scientific community and the MEAs hampers informed policymaking and effective implementation of the MEAs.

This project aims to build up a user-friendly online platform to track and present the specific scientific needs under the MEAs to the scientific community, with an initial focus on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions. The project will review convention provisions and decisions in detail, identify needs for scientific information, translate them into specific research questions, and present them via a user-friendly online platform to the wide scientific community. In the long-term, the platform will provide the scientific community a one-stop shop to track and understand needs under the MEAs and other relevant international initiatives, and support their effective participation in the sound chemicals and waste management at the international level.

Reliable Data for Evidence-Based Housing Policies (REDEHOPE)

*Main applicant: UNIGE (Dr. Matteo Tarantino, Dr. Alexandre Hedjazi)
*Main partner: UNECE
*Overview:

Housing policies, a key factor in ensuring access to decent dwelling and a cornerstones of the SDGs, rely upon the sharing between public and private stakeholders of many forms of data (eg. income, family composition, stock, housing conditions, prices, occupancy), otherwise known as ‘data ecologies’ (DEs). Yet, many countries struggle in building effective housing-related socio-technical systems for data collection and circulation, thus hindering robust and fair housing policies.

This project will develop a diagnostic tool, in the form of an assessment guide, to help States identify issues in their housing data ecology and respond appropriately to such issues, enabling them to develop more effective, affordable, scalable housing DEs. The tool will be based on new research on housing data management procedures and extensive analysis of a selected set of developed and developing countries. The end-product aims to help: (a) diagnose organizational and technical issues in local housing data ecology, (b) overcome these issues; (c) push SDG monitoring in housing data routines. If successful, this tool might become part of UNECE’s Housing Division’s standard intervention toolkit, and become the object of training seminars and capacity-building exercises with its member states.

Establishing a Consortium for “Public Good” Data: The Politics of Energy Transition in Emerging Economies in Crisis Recovery

*Main applicant: IISD (Chris Beaton)
*Main partners: ETHZ, ISEP, The Policy Practice
*Overview:

For decades, the transition to clean energy has been treated as if it were solely a technical problem. But energy is also political: at a macro level, involving some of the world’s most powerful institutions and individuals; and at a micro-level, intimately affecting all businesses and households, and thereby their attitudes to their governments.

Interventions to address political problems need to be based on strong quantitative and qualitative data. Today, such data is mostly collected by multilateral development agencies, who often operate under confidentiality agreements and do not always publish their work. The remainder is gathered by numerous independent organizations – but their efforts are scattered and they have relatively few resources.

Improving the quantity, quality and transparency of data on the politics of energy transition is a challenge too large for one organization. It is an excellent area for collaboration between policy practitioners and academia, requiring deep political insights into change-making; rigorous methods on data collection; and innovative analytical techniques. Large datasets on this theme are a “public good” that will assist all actors seeking to promote clean energy transitions. This project will establish an international consortium on this theme focused on fossil fuel production, fossil fuel consumption and roadblocks to renewables in large, emerging economies, where needs are high and data availability is poor (initial focus on India, Indonesia and South Africa).

MArine Plankton diversity bioindicator scenarios for policy MAKERs (MAPMAKER)

*Main applicant: IUCN (Dr. Aurélie Spadone)
*Partner: ETHZ
*Overview:

Global marine biodiversity supplies essential ecosystem services to human societies: marine plankton ecosystems fuel ocean productivity, drive global biogeochemical cycles and regulate the Earth’s climate. Climate-mediated loss of biodiversity has been suggested to negatively impact ocean ecosystem services, but future projections of climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function remain poorly constrained due to a lack of observational data. Hence, policy makers lack quantitative evidence on the vulnerability of marine ecosystems.

The project proposes to build an interactive web tool for policy makers that visualizes projected ecosystem impacts and changes in global plankton diversity as a function of global warming. It will make use of existing biogeographic data and models to inform data-driven decision-making on marine biodiversity conservation at the international level via IUCN network activities, and provide input to initiatives such as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Project results will be presented in various formats during the next IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2021. Long-term impact will be achieved through the development of versatile, transferrable biodiversity metrics for use beyond this project, and the professional dissemination of results and output products at the international policy level.