Catalysing science-policy interface in natural resources management: Insights from three Nepalese experiments

On 4 September 2018, Dr Hemant Ojha delivered a seminar at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Canberra, Australia.

A summary of his seminar is given below:

Summary

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 is not possible without improving how researchers and scientists interact with policy makers and development practitioners. This is because development and environmental management challenges are complex, and solutions require closer and more interactive interface among science, policy and practice. However, despite some improvements in the last decade, much of the work done by scientific community still remains unused in policy and practice.

 

In this seminar, he drew on his last decade of work in Nepal in which attempts were made to catalyse science-policy-practice (SPP) interface in select issues of forest and water management, with goals to enhance livelihoods, social equity and climate resilience. He highlighted three experimental works involving multiple organisations, actor coalitions, and methodologies for improving the SPP interface.

Whilst presenting lessens from these cases, he also highlighted the challenges we confront, and continual improvements we attempted in our strategies so as to improve the SPP interface we targeted. A key message from this seminar is that there is a lot more that research and technology development organisations can do to catalyse SPP for transformative innovation, even when the policy world is not actively seeking for new evidence and science.

He concluded that a large part of the science work could be better contextualised in relation to practical discourses and change opportunities for better impact.