Unveiling the selected projects for the 2024 Impact Collaboration Programme

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April 30, 2024

Every year, our open call for projects aims to support collaborations that foster the contribution of science to international policy processes in the multilateral Geneva ecosystem. The 2024 call for applications was answered with high-quality proposals addressing relevant issues such as prevention of armed conflicts, resilient energy systems, violence against children or global housing crises. The proposals mobilised innovative methods and technology such as AI, geospatial analysis and co-design or foresight.

We are thrilled to unveil the final selection of the two projects that will be receiving our funding and support via our Impact Collaboration Programme.  

1. Strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention by facilitating science-policy synergies

This initiative stems from the new momentum generated to improve the efficacy and relevance of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in the face of evolving biological threats. The recent BWC Review Conference spotlighted the need for a mechanism to integrate ongoing scientific developments into the Convention's operations. The dual introduction of scientific review and verification mechanisms is poised to revolutionise the BWC's structure, enhancing its responsiveness and enforcement capabilities.

To support these developments, the BWC implementation support unit and the International Science Council will work together to develop, test and validate a methodology to build mutual understanding and enhance trust among BWC delegates and scientific experts. Through joint problem framing, targeted discussions and tailored knowledge products, the project aims to empower delegates with knowledge and tools to anticipate and preemptively address complex challenges posed by contemporary and future biological threats, thereby enhancing the BWC's foundational role in global biosecurity.

2. Shaping environmental policy in the pan-European region through applying foresight methodologies

As the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) approaches its centenary, it faces a complex policy landscape shaped by global megatrends such as the triple planetary crisis, digitalisation, and an ageing population. Coupled with the enduring effects of COVID-19 and regional conflicts, these factors contribute to a poly-crisis with far-reaching implications. UNECE's Member States recognise the need for agile policies and future-ready legislative frameworks to navigate these challenges and accelerate progress towards sustainable development goals.

Answering the wider effort within the UN system to promote Futures Thinking in policymaking, the UNECE Environment Division will collaborate with Cranfield University to integrate foresight methodologies in the work of the Committee on Environmental Policy, the governing body which supports member-states to enhance their environmental governance. 

Through horizon-scanning, megatrends analysis, and science-policy dialogue, the project will identify emerging issues, weak signals of change, and unexpected events with significant implications for the pan-European region and challenge assumptions about social, economic, and technological trends. By building foresight capacity and shaping future environmental policies, UNECE aims to enhance coherence among policies and prioritise actions to address pressing environmental challenges in the pan-European region.

Selection process

The selection of the above projects was made by an evaluation committee composed of GSPI staff and the following experts:

Each project will receive a grant of max. CHF 60,000 along with tailored advice and support by the GSPI team. The two projects will start in 2024 and produce actionable outputs to each address a specific science-policy issue over the next 12 to 18 months.


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