UNU-IIST supports policy for sustainable development by contributing expertise in its focus areas to policy dialog and by developing and disseminating tools and techniques for evidence-based policy. Evidence-based policy is an approach that helps people make well informed decisions about policies, programs and projects by putting the best available evidence from research at the heart of policy development and implementation.
Global interdependence demands policy models on a global scale that can account for dynamic interaction among economic, environmental and social factors. It also requires new ways of thinking about policy that focus attention on dynamic connections and evolution, not just designing and building fixed institutions, laws, regulations and other traditional policy instruments. The greatly increased dynamics of world systems requires the ability to conduct monitoring on a large scale to detect when assumptions behind policies are breaking down. Through the ability to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on large scale and in real time, ICT has a central role to play in this area. UNU-IIST is committed to providing tools and techniques to assist in formulating, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating relevant policies at all levels. The institute is working to provide such policy support across all its programs, with concrete activities in areas such as:
- Platforms to give the poor a greater voice in policies that affect them,
- Systems for monitoring the effectiveness of poverty reduction strategies,
- Providing tools and specific analyses to assist government research funding agencies and institutions of higher education to make more effective use of limited research funding,
- Creating new types of online learning environments that enable data collection on student learning to inform education policy,
- Creating new marketplace models for education that enable a highly distributed approach to education provision with incentives to collaborate on production of open education resources, and
- Providing support for governments in developing e-government strategies based on the results of scientific research and field experience.