Think20 (T20), a network of research institutes and think tanks from the G20 countries, has been hard at work finalizing a series of policy briefs with input from SDSN members. Their outputs are viewable on the G20 Insights Platform, a new initiative of the T20 Engagement Group facilitated largely by the German Development Institute.
The policy areas are comprehensive, encompassing ten threads of G20’s work agenda crucial to sustainable development: The 2030 Agenda, Climate Policy and Finance, Forced Migration, Global Inequality and Social Cohesion, Global Tax Cooperation, Ending Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Financial Resilience, Digitalization, and Africa. Choose your area of interest, and the platform will present you with policy briefs developed by a corresponding T20 Task Force, the overarching vision it falls under, and expert literature for further information. Let’s look at an example.
Imagine a policymaker agonizing over how they can help their country implement the Paris Climate Agreement, without destabilizing their economy. They click through the policy area “Climate Policy and Finance,” and are recommended to read “Establishing an Expert Advisory Commission to assist the G20’s Energy Transformation Processes.” Written by a slew of professors, scientists, and other respected authorities across the globe, this resource walks them through their proposal of an Expert Advisory Commission, the tasks they should be mandated to fulfill, and exactly how they would be expected to inform, monitor, evaluate, and exchange information in service of sustainable climate policy. References range from the Paris Agreement itself, to IPCC research, to the UNFCCC, and more. A menu on the right-hand side provides links to existing agreements, policies, monitoring, and data, as well as the opportunity to quickly suggest one’s own ideas for initiatives and analysis.
For policymakers and change makers interested in the linkages between academia and government, the G20 Insights Platform is a good place to start. Their research rich policy advice is invaluable in a time where the link between politics and science-based targets has grown uncomfortably loose. While politicians cannot be expected to be experts in every field they affect, its is often the job of experts to ensure that the information needed is available and clear.
The G20 Insights Platform exists as a space to unify spheres – for experts to contribute their research, for policymakers to implement and benefit from it, and for the general public to get informed and join the debate.