Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Engaging With International Bodies

Module 2 Lesson 3: Banner - Engaging with international bodies

Most international bodies have formal processes for selecting experts to help write reports, and you can find out how to get involved via their websites. For example, each of the United Nations Rio Conventions on climate, desertification and biodiversity has science-policy interfaces. The climate convention works with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Hundreds of experts from different disciplines volunteer time and expertise to produce IPCC reports, and thousands more contribute to the review process and to the literature these reports are based on.

One way to get your research Ied in an IPCC report is to look at the “future work” section of their website to find out what reports they are writing, and the cut-off dates for articles to appear in the peer-reviewed literature if they are to be included in the report. You may or may not be able to make these deadlines, as you have little control over the time it takes to get your work peer-reviewed, but you may wish to prioritise more relevant papers for completion first, in an attempt to have these covered in the report. 

People working around a table. A man is showing a document to a woman.

However, just getting your work published in time does not guarantee that it is covered, as most reports use narrative rather than systematic review techniques. It is therefore worth finding out who the coordinating and lead authors are, or if there is someone whose job it is to act as a liaison between writing teams and the wider academic community, and reaching out to them with your relevant publications to ensure they aren’t missed. The desertification convention’s equivalent body is simply called its Science Policy Interface and the biodiversity convention’s body is the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

In addition to international conventions and treaties, there are a wide range of international policy bodies (e.g. the United Nations World Health Organisation and multipartner initiatives (e.g. the UN Environment Programme’s Global Peatlands Initiative, which is a partnership of over 40 international organisations). Each of these organisations and initiatives has its own ways of working with researchers and evidence, and it is usually fairly straightforward to find out online how you can engage with them.