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Using science for/in diplomacy for addressing global challenges

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - S4D4C (Using science for/in diplomacy for addressing global challenges)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2021-04-30

European societies face a number of increasingly urgent and complex challenges. These challenges are becoming more interdependent and global in nature. The EU plays a leading role in addressing these global challenges.
Global challenges require coordinated international efforts, which makes them central to foreign policy. In addition to diplomatic skills needed to balance interests and capacities of actors, there is also a need for greater expertise and, more concretely, scientific knowledge. Diplomats cannot be expected to have or to easily obtain this knowledge, even less so in today’s dynamic research and innovation systems. For the most part, they have to rely on scientific advice. However, communication between the scientific and diplomatic communities is not straightforward. The models, processes and resources for this sort of scientific advice are also not yet systematically available.
There is potential for better harnessing European science and science cooperation for European science diplomacy and foreign policy goals, both at EU and MS level. Not only can new approaches for scientific advice in EU foreign policy benefit from advances in research (e.g. new climate models), but novel ways of carrying out research can also offer opportunities for foreign policy impact. Science diplomats can make use of these opportunities, including aspects of open science, internationalisation, and Responsible Research and Innovation. In the current political and societal landscape, the needs, interests and opportunities pertaining to science diplomacy have increased. The S4D4C project aims to ensure that the needs are understood and that the opportunities are effectively communicated into EU policies to address future challenges.
The overall aim of S4D4C was to support current and future European science diplomacy for the benefit of European capacities, EU foreign policy goals and especially the development of solutions for global challenges.
The overall objective translated into the following specific objectives:
• Providing new insights and a better understanding of the contributions of science and science collaborations to foreign policy goals, especially in the context of European models and experiences
• Facilitation of effective and efficient interfaces for European science diplomacy to take better advantage of European science and science cooperation
• Provision of policy guidance on where and how EU and EU Member State (MS) science diplomacy can be active in the future
• Better preparation, clearer mandate and stronger identity of European science diplomats
• Increased capacities and knowledge resources for EU and MS science diplomats
• Expanding global reach and visibility for EU science diplomacy
In the first year of the project, we focused on the conceptual framework. Our main results are a report on the state-of-the-art of science diplomacy and a related policy brief. We have also implemented a baseline analysis and needs assessment on what it takes to do science diplomacy. We prepared the conceptual framework for the case studies and the scientific guidelines. S4D4C partners also identified ethical and data management issues.
The empirical work on the case studies was implemented, nine cases elaborated and published as reports and posters. The transversal analysis of the cases resulted in a publication of “matters” of science diplomacy. The results of the empirical work, together with co-creation workshops fed into the development of a meta-governance framework, the New Protocol for Science Diplomacy and training activities. We implemented an "open doors" programme bringing young scientists into diplomatic contexts and promoted knowledge exchange instruments. Furthermore, a highly successful online course on European Science Diplomacy was developed and implemented. Face-to-face trainings were implemented based on a structured curriculum. The partners summarized the lessons learnt in a document for trainers, Teaching Science Diplomacy. Training materials were documented and made available as open source resources. The website was enriched with a commented bibliography and a knowledge resource database. Three major networking conferences were organized, focusing on the European stakeholders (in particular in Berlin, 2019) and a global dialogue (in particular in Madrid, 2018 and online 2021). The outcome of the first event was the "Madrid declaration on Science Diplomacy", the second event resulted in a policy report “Calling for Systemic Change” and the third one concluded with the major deliverable of setting up a “European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance” based on the analysis and recommendations to further nurture the ecosystem.
Website and social media channels were actively maintained throughout the project based on the strategies laid out in the dissemination/exploitation and communication plans. The impact monitoring framework was defined and implemented, concluding with a report on “The Impact Story of S4D4C”. During the whole project lifetime, all partners were involved to build our stakeholder communities using a mailing list, LinkedIn, twitter, the Madrid declaration, personal contacts, workshops, trainings and meetings – activities that are sustainable through the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance which has been developed together with partners of the SD Cluster projects EL-CSID and InsSciDE.
S4D4C’s work goes beyond the state-of-the-art in conceptual (governance framework, discourse analysis), empirical (nine case studies) and policy perspectives. S4D4C provided training opportunities (online and offline) based on a needs analysis, spreading its understanding of the concept and the potential benefits for addressing global challenges. The open online course which has been developed remains available beyond the end of the project. The stakeholder landscape was activated through networking meetings and communication activities. Results of the project will be carried forward by the European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance. Readers are invited to visit for updates.
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