JIU review of policy research uptake in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (JIU/REP/2018/7)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its universal, holistic and integrative approach that cuts across all dimensions of sustainable development, makes collaborative actions and interdisciplinary approaches at the system-wide level, as well as relationships with other stakeholders, imperative. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires, among other things, evidence-based policies and planning at all levels. Adequate research uptake is essential in order to comprehend the dynamic trends in economic, social and environmental developments and to anticipate and prevent emerging challenges by channelling and supporting critical thinking in policy debates.

The Joint Inspection Unit conducted the first ever review of the policy research function in the United Nations system with the aim to raise awareness on the importance of this function in support of a transformative agenda for sustainable development. The review intends to acknowledge the role of research as a unique asset of the United Nations system, elevate its visibility, and find ways to make its production and uptake more efficient and transparent. It argues for the need to better hear the voices of researchers in decision-making. More importantly, the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report may lead to the strengthening of the role of the United Nations system as a creator, catalyst, and distributor of trusted, objective, and reliable research.

The report presents 12 recommendations, addressed to the General Assembly, to the Economic and Social Council, to the governing bodies of the United Nations system organizations, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and to the Executive Heads of other United Nations system organizations.