What we do
As a specialised intermediary, the GSPI brokers collaborations, facilitates dialogues and provides expert guidance to stakeholders in science and intergovernmental organisations, to help them advance human rights, global health, environmental sustainability, and more.
Our mission is to foster the contribution of scientific actors in multilateral governance processes. As a specialised intermediary, we support science-informed policies on global challenges by leveraging our unique position in the heart of Geneva as a hub of international cooperation, and our strong ties with world-class research-intensive Universities.
We envision International Geneva as a hub for global governance, where:
- Interactions between leading academic institutions and policy professionals are frequent and sustainable;
- These interactions lead to the formulation of impactful science-informed policies and practices.
How we work
Practice and studies have shown that the most effective way of facilitating science-informed policymaking is through collaborations. They allow scientists and policy professionals to overcome challenging barriers to engagement, such as the lack of incentives and resources, siloed professional networks and different professional language and timeframes. The GSPI supports impactful collaborations involving scientific, policy and implementation actors through grants, network mobilization and expert advice.
Our flagship instrument is the Impact Collaboration Programme, a funding scheme that is unique in many ways. It brings together intergovernmental organisations and recognised academic institutions into specific pathways that ensure the effective contribution of science in a given policy process.
The GSPI also provides ad hoc guidance and services to scientists, academic institutions, and international organisations exploring opportunities to build collaborations and other boundary mechanisms.
A large part of the scientific input provided to global governance processes happens through formal advice mechanisms and expert consultancies. That implies that only a limited set of scientists gets their voices heard in policy fora.
Working with partners from international organisations and recognised academic institutions, the GSPI promotes timely science-policy dialogues and knowledge exchanges to address issues related to the competence areas of International Geneva, namely global health, environment and sustainable development, human rights and humanitarian action, peace and security, new technologies, etc.
The GSPI creates or signals windows of opportunities, helps identify relevant researchers and curates their participation in specific policy fora, ensuring that proper two-way interactions take place to enlighten both researchers’ and policy professionals’ understanding of a given policy challenge. These activities can also include the coordination of knowledge co-production processes, such as policy briefs, with the objective to promote timely, policy-relevant, science-based and transdisciplinary insights on global challenges.
Building strong interfaces between policy and research actors requires the contribution of a range of professional actors fulfilling different roles at different times. These intermediaries have become essential to our societies where policy challenges – often brought by scientific innovation itself – are complex and urgent. Yet, there are still very few opportunities to develop skills and be recognised professionally for spanning the boundaries of science and policy.
The GSPI contributes to the advancement, professionalisation and recognition of science-policy engagement as a field of practice. It produces knowledge, resources and learning opportunities to build the capacity of scientists, policy actors and intermediaries to work with one another more effectively.
Through its capacity-building programme, the Learning at the Boundary programme (L@B), the GSPI offers several types of training formats, such as an annual Summer School, study tours within International Geneva, tailored workshops within scientific institutions and expert inputs in programmes and conferences.
The GSPI strives to produce knowledge and resources in two main ways. First, it collects insights from its own programme of activity, including the projects it supports, to ensure its own action is evidence-informed. Second, it engages with research initiatives that produce knowledge on practices and developments at the science-policy interface.