08 – 12 April 2013 – Quito, Ecuador
The IAI and NCAR (National Corporation for Atmospheric Research) organized the “Colloquia on Knowledge Integration at the Science-Policy Interface”. The Colloquia were funded by the IAI with resources from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) through the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Hosts and co-organizers were the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, the National University Pedro Henríquez Ureña, the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador and the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador.
Two Colloquia were held in 2012 and 2013, the first in the Dominican Republic and the second in Ecuador. Participants were guided to integrate knowledge, data and methods from different scientific disciplines for the understanding of
a) risk and vulnerability to environmental change; and
b) the institutional factors that influence the range, feasibility, effectiveness, legitimacy and fairness of risk management and adaptation responses.
An understanding of the potential impacts of global change requires a melding of social and physical sciences. It demands not only policy decisions informed by robust scientific knowledge, but also an understanding of the institutional factors shaping policy responses.
The colloquia aimed at training current and future decision-makers in the integration of social and physical knowledge at the science-policy interface.
The IAI has developed a broad portfolio of research across the Americas, supported by strong networks of scientific collaboration and, increasingly, a real dialogue with decision makers who need and use the knowledge generated” (Tiessen 2012). Although the knowledge thus far generated is scientifically and technically robust (credible), the scientific teams have not always been able to communicate their science with the users whose decisions they seek to inform (i.e., to be salient and legitimate) (Brasseur et al., National Academies 2007). To go “beyond the limits that currently exist in the dialogue between science and policy, without stepping too far into the realm of advocacy” (Tiessen 2012), it is important to understand that a series of other social and political factors captured in the notion of governance inform and/or influence decision making by governmental and nongovernmental actors. We define environmental governance as the formal and informal institutions, policies, rules and practices that shape how decision makers and stakeholders interact with the environment at all levels of social organization.
The second Colloquium placed emphasis on governance, providing the approaches, tools and techniques to understanding governance issues shaping knowledge integration at the science-policy interface, such as policy cycles, policy design, power, institutional capacity, equity and justice.
Through plenary talks and round tables, presenters shared their own experiences and lessons learned on the efficacy of the core scientist-practitioner research partnerships of existing projects and their effectiveness in targeting solutions and enhancing information exchange.
Training Institute Seed Grant Program (TISG –II)
The TISG program funded projects for colloquia participants to join the IAI network and continue engaging with colleagues, strengthen and foster multinational and multidisciplinary collaboration; and promote application of research ideas and knowledge imparted in the training.
to further encourage network building;
to promote the application of the training provided on pressing real-world issues that have both a global and a local environmental change dimension;
to foster the understanding of the institutional factors shaping risk management and adaptation responses
to foster multinational and multidisciplinary collaboration;
to develop and strengthen proposal writing skills;
to develop and strengthen management capacity for international grants;
to increase the participation of small countries in IAI research program.