The Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) is a regional initiative to foster science-policy dialogue and collaboration for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Americas. In the context of the IAI, science-diplomacy is grounded in the pursuit of scientific excellence, international cooperation, and the open access and exchange of scientific information relevant to global change to support policy and decision-making for the benefit of society.
Over the last thirty years, the IAI has developed and strengthened a robust network of policy and decision-makers, science practitioners, collaborative research networks, as well as generated a wealth of scientific knowledge, training methodologies and transdisciplinary research approaches related to global change topics addressing key issues, such as climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem services, oceans and water resources, among others. However, there remained a need to further strengthen the science-policy communication and collaboration among communities and countries in the Americas; providing policy makers with opportune sound scientific information to support their decision-making processes to address the complex and transboundary challenges facing the region.
As a result, the IAI Science Diplomacy Center was recently launched as a context-specific regional initiative to foster a supportive environment for government officials, experts, and advisors to nurture multilateral science-policy processes and build and enhance collaborations in the Americas to address shared global change challenges. The SDC, as the institutionalization of the IAI's successful capacity building and knowledge generation efforts, is uniquely positioned to bring together diverse knowledge, expertise, and experience to serve member countries and the wider region.
The complex, interconnected and transboundary nature of global change requires the efficient implementation of science diplomacy concepts, tools, and processes - a topic of growing interest worldwide and in the Americas, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean region to strengthen science and technology to support the achievement of SDGs. The purpose of the SDC is to act as a regional reference and resource to support science diplomacy-related activities such as capacity building, research, exchange of best practices, networks, dialogues and projects. It aims to promote collaboration between scientists and decision-makers in the Americas and enhance the capacity of professionals and institutions to understand and implement science diplomacy. The Center also aims to contribute to the development of national and regional science diplomacy strategies, programs, effective public policies and support governments in the region to develop science diplomacy mechanisms to address global environmental change of national, regional and transboundary priorities.
The SDC Advisory Board also had the opportunity to interact with the next generation of science diplomats and science advisors from Latin America and the Caribbean, who are fellows of the IAI Science, Technology and Policy (STeP) Fellowship Program, as the meeting overlapped with the STeP Leadership for Science Diplomacy Workshop.
The IAI launched the Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) as a pioneer initiative in the Americas. The Center will seek to develop, connect, strengthen and mobilize current science diplomacy efforts, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean, through international collaboration. It will establish a platform for engaging various science advisory ecosystems from across the region in order to become an important regional resource for strengthening science diplomacy capacities, collaborations, and strategies to address global environmental change of national and regional priority. Please see the meeting report here:
The inaugural SDC Advisory Board currently consists of 11 professionals from the Americas and abroad, including IAI Parties, SAC/SPAC members, science diplomacy experts, and representatives from policy, academia, and the private sector:
SAC and SPAC representatives
IAI Associate Representative
Science Diplomacy Experts
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The IAI held a hybrid Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) Advisory Board Meeting at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC, USA from 6 to 7 March 2023 to follow-up on discussions from its first in-person meeting in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
The members of the IAI Directorate and the Advisory Board engaged in collaborative and strategic planning discussions to advance on agenda items including:
The output of this hybrid advisory board meeting was the decision to engage the IAI member states in the co-design process to determine the flagship or priority activities of the Center. Likewise, as a result of the initial work of the SDC Advisory Board, a draft SDC working plan has been developed, which will be presented to the IAI Parties at CoP 31. Please see the meeting report here:
The SDC Advisory Board Meeting also coincided with the AAAS Annual Meeting where members of the IAI Directorate presented in the session “Science Diplomacy Fellowships for Stronger Public Policies” on 4 March at 2:30-3:30pm EST.
The IAI Directorate was pleased to invite national representatives and observers attending the 31st meeting of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) Conference of the Parties to a science diplomacy side event held on 21 June 2023 at 17:00-18:30.
The objectives of this event were to present the vision, mission, and goals of the IAI’s recently launched Science Diplomacy Center (SDC), discuss regional case studies on science diplomacy, identify needs in capacity building and processes related to science-policy, and explore how the Center can best support national and regional priorities as identified by Parties. Other information on the SDC can be found here:
This side event not only facilitated the engagement with member states, but discussions also identified the top three (3) flagship activities of the Center for the next three (3) years. The event was designed to ensure active participation, facilitate dynamic discussions on specific topics related to science diplomacy and the role of the Science Diplomacy Center in the region, allowing for a diverse range of perspectives to be heard. This ensured that member states not only collaboratively designed the Center's initiatives, but also reinforced their ownership and engagement in the SDC's activities. Please see below a summary of the event and accompanying presentations:
Workshop Topic: Introduction to Science Diplomacy
Date: 16-21 October 2023
Location: Panama City, Panama
The inaugural Introduction to Science Diplomacy training workshop is organised by the Science Diplomacy Center (SDC) and sponsored by the National Secretariat of Science, Technology, and Innovation (SENACYT), Panama. The program, including its associated training workshops, aims to enable government officials, science advisors, and experts in the Americas, particularly Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, to support national and multilateral science-policy processes. Likewise, it aims to foster dialogue and collaborations that can effectively address shared global challenges faced by the Americas.
The main topic of the workshop will be an Introduction to Science Diplomacy, including: