Politics and Power in Evidence-based Policy

International Geneva, and other communities aiming to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, need an approach that helps to filter information, grasp complexity, and make decisions despite uncertainty – this is the purpose of evidence-based thinking.

Policy-making is a social process. Therefore, successfully applying evidence-based thinking in practice is dependent on individuals’ interests and power to influence decisions. Evidence-based thinking thus needs to be coupled with methods to make sense of these social realities and find the context-specific leverage points within them. Power mapping is a method that relies on social network analysis to understand connections between policy actors and ultimately identify the key individuals to convince in order to create a policy change.

NGOs and lobbies have been using power mapping to push for agenda items effectively. This event convenes experts and participants to foster a pragmatic discussion on how international Geneva actors and research institutions can use this method to bring scientific evidence at the core of policy decisions, and, by extension, increase their impact. 


16:30 WELCOME, Nicolas Seidler, Executive Director, Geneva Science-Policy Interface

16:40 DISCUSSION, Introduced and moderated by Dr Louise Gallagher, University of Geneva

  • Dr. Moira Faul, Deputy Director,  Public-Private Partnership Center
  • Phil Gass, Senior Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Anja Kaspersen, Director, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs


When & Where

Tuesday October 1st, 4:30-6:30 pm, SDG Solution Space, Innovation Park, Campus Biotech (University of Geneva), Avenue de Sécheron 15, 1202 Geneva


The Evidence-based Thinking in Practice series is designed for professionals engaged in strategic planning, research management or production, and science-policy interface functions within the international community and private organizations in the Geneva region.


If you would like to participate, please register by sending an email to contact@gspi.ch with your name and contact details by Friday 27 September. Feel free to circulate this invitation to professionals who are directly interested in this conversation.