On 7 July 2021, the GSPI co-organised with the Simon Institute for Longterm Governance (SI) an SDGs Learning Session at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF).

The event

Entitled ‘Fostering Evidence-Based Decision-making for Sustainable and Just COVID Recovery and Transformative SDG implementation‘, the session moderated by GSPI’s Executive Director Nicolas Seidler featured a range of organisations developing tools and approaches to harness data and evidence into effective decisions to move the needle around urgent and wicked global challenges.

Session on Behavioral Solutions for Evidence-based Decision-making

Maxime Stauffer, GSPI’s science-policy officer, made a presentation on behavioral solutions for evidence-based decision-making.

In the context of a crisis such as COVID-19, more than 100,000 scientific papers were published in ~12 months. Similarly in the context of the 2030 development agenda, decision-makers who need to make informed decisions on complex problems under time constraints face the problem of sorting through a vast range of information sources of varying quality.

This challenge, therefore, begs the following question: how can decision-makers deal with information overload in the face of uncertainty?

This session segment built on behavioral science to equip participants with cognitive tools to effectively filter information, navigate interconnectedness and learn from their decisions.

Maxime’s presentation offered the opportunity to launch a brand new guide published by the GSPI and SI, entitled ‘A Very Short Guide to Decision-Making on Wicked Problems’. A preliminary version of the guide can be found at this link. 

Recording of the event


  • Introduction to overall concept + aims
  • Part I: Tools and Resources for Evidence Based Decision-Making (75 minutes in total)
    • Thinking Beyond GDP – IISD
    • From Fragilities to Resilience: Tools for Sustainable, Just, and Transformed Economies – WBA, UNRISD, GRI, UNCTAD, FEMNET
    • Leveraging the use of geospatial information technology and satellite data to strengthen evidence-based decision making for sustainable, climate-resilient and inclusive development – UNITAR-UNOSAT & UK Space Agency
  • Part II: Behavioral Solutions for Evidence-based Decision-making – Geneva Science-Policy Interface & Simon Institute for Longterm Governance
  • Conclusion

Overal session partners: 

  • International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • World Benchmarking Alliance
  • UK Space Agency
  • Geneva Science-Policy Interface
  • Simon Institute for Longterm Governance
  • UN Global Compact
  • Danish Institute for Human Rights
  • Women’s Major Group
  • Global Reporting Initiative