Dr Itai Makone, the Policy Innovation Lab’s Social Science researcher, participated in the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) conference held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 1-2 May 2024. INGSA is a forum for policymakers, practitioners, national academies, the private sector, and academics to share experiences, build capacity, and develop theoretical and practical approaches to using scientific evidence to inform policy at all levels of government. INGSA’s fifth global conference marked its 10th anniversary and a historic occasion by convening for the first time in the Global South.

The conference hosted delegates from 65 countries. The theme of INGSA2024 was “The Transformation Imperative.” The discussions sought to rethink how scientific advice to policymakers has been conceptualised and applied. The conference addressed the expanding role of science, where global challenges transcend national boundaries. Additionally, the conference deliberated on the role of expanded evidence for decision-making. INGSA2024 organisers recognised that scientific advice can no longer be limited to technical diagnoses only but must consider a wide range of sources, including diverse cultures, languages, demographics, and geopolitical alliances.

Dr Makone identified the following key takeaways from the INGSA conference:

  1. Evidence-based decision-making is significant for effective policymaking and driving positive societal outcomes.
  2. Using AI for informed policymaking is essential for evidence synthesis, summarising large texts, initial policy drafts, developing trends, and identifying points of divergence. However, using AI for impact assessments and horizon scanning are essential tasks that humans must perform. Highlighted challenges and risks of AI technologies include data considerations, privacy, accountability, transparency, and ethical concerns.
  3. The use of expanded evidence for scientific advice enables policy decisions that are inclusive, efficient, and impactful.
  4. International cooperation among scientists in addressing global challenges is imperative for effective science advice.

To follow up on the conference, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T359LZWyzUk.

The Policy Innovation Lab acknowledge the support received from GIZ.

Published On: May 17, 2024Categories: News
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