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Global Research Strategy

The ICLEI Global Research Strategy strives to spark and guide collaborative research activities to enable subnational governments to accelerate sustainable development, informed by robust research

Vision Statement

The ICLEI Global Research Strategy strives to spark and guide collaborative research activities to enable subnational governments to accelerate sustainable development, informed by robust research. It responds to the ICLEI Montréal Commitment and Strategic Vision, and pays special attention to the Five ICLEI Pathways. The ICLEI Global Research Strategy - through different mechanisms - seeks to harness the momentum built across different levels of governments, academia, the private sector, and civil society, working hand-in-hand to generate research driven knowledge that is transferable and gives rise to a more sustainable future.

ICLEI Global Research Strategy

With its network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments in over 100 countries, ICLEI is uniquely positioned to engage in and steer city-led research to bridge the gap between research, policy-making and action in sustainable development.
In support of the recent international agreements and sustainability frameworks such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Agreement, ICLEI’s research strategy brokers, catalyzes, co-generates, and promotes robust sustainability-related research.

This work is in line with the international sustainability research agendas and supports the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science and Innovate4Cities’ multi-year research strategy developed by the Research and Innovation Technical Working Group at Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM).

Aim

The overall aim of the ICLEI global research strategy is to stimulate collaborative research activities to address persistent and emerging challenges of sustainability in cities and regions, and provide local and subnational governments with information, tools, and policy recommendations to help overcome many of these challenges.

In this respect, our aim is to work with leading universities, research institutes (including the institutes (co)owned/funded by cities) and think tanks that engage on relevant topics. Together, we aim to create fit-for-purpose knowledge generation and transfer to provide accessible, timely, applicable and defensible sustainability information to decision makers operating at the city and regional scale.

Main Mechanisms, Research Team, and Activities

ICLEI encourages a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to its research agenda. We believe that the key to success for ICLEI’s global research strategy is the capacity to foster partnerships and capitalize on research and practical expertise within and across our regional locations. Therefore, partnership building and collaborative approaches will take center stage in implementation of this strategy.
ICLEI Academy is an initiative to help achieve the objectives of ICLEI’s global research strategy. Through the ICLEI Academy, Master students and PhD candidates can apply for internships and thesis writing opportunities. Through this platform, ICLEI contributes to the global effort on education for sustainability, and presents an opportunity to young talents to learn from, but also contribute to city-led research activities. The ICLEI Academy also provides Executive Courses (for decision makers and practitioners), and organizes summer and winter workshops.

The ICLEI Research Team at the World Secretariat

is the primary coordination team that oversees and steers the implementation and operationalization of ICLEI’s global research strategy. The research team exercises this mandate through activities in multiple working areas, including:


  • mapping and updating the gaps and priority areas for city-led research activities;
  • identifying key research partners (from universities to research institutes and networks, private sector, foundations, etc.);
  • establishing fit-for-purpose partnerships;
  • creating an enabling space for cooperation and exchange with research partners - i.e. cooperation modalities;
  • serving as the entry point for interaction between the research community at-large (academics, private researchers, think tanks, etc.) and cities and regions;
  • coordinating the design of research proposals based on mapped research priorities in collaboration with partners;
  • co-designing and development of peer-reviewed publications with partners to make further impact in the global sustainability space;
  • developing the program and organizing the research-related components of ICLEI events (including the Researchers Symposia at ICLEI World Congress and KNOW sessions at Daring Cities).

In addition, ICLEI’s Global Research Team is in charge of putting the Research Strategy into practice at a larger scale, and actively exploring the possibilities to engage the ICLEI network with city-led research activities as appropriate.

Get involved

To learn more about ICLEI global research strategy, engage with activities under ICLEI Academy, or explore partnership possibilities, please feel free to contact Pourya Salehi at: pourya.salehi@iclei.org

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