Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Meeting the global challenges – international funding of water activities (GEOSS, Future Earth)

Woman with Earth globe (Photo: Stock Foundry)
In this post Bente Lilja Bye presents a comparative study of international funding mechanisms through 3 or more different research systems. Note that the project is looking for an additional US partner.

By Guest Writer Bente Lilja Bye,

Why – Background

Solving the global challenges requires resources for science, technology and innovations as well as infrastructure and capacity building. An important element of this is Earth observations. 

Funding of the necessary Earth observations requires international cooperation. This particular task is included in the GEOSS work plan as ID-05 Catalyzing resources for GEOSS implementation. 

OECD adressed the same challenge in its Meeting Global Challenges through Better Governance. The issue of funding was discussed at a general level, but the (now informal) Working group finds it necessary to be more concrete in order to be able to do a more detailed analysis enabling more actionable advise.

An alliance of global programs, ICSU and IGFA/Belmont Forum and others, includes the issue of cooperation on funding in their 10-year Future Earth program.

The study is also a combined continuation of the activities in the GEO Work Plan's ID-05 Catalyzing resources for GEOSS implementation and WA-01 Integrated Water Information  (incl. Floods and Droughts).

What - Objectives (Goal – subgoal)

The main objective is to identify barriers hindering effective international funding. In particular address challenges due to the multidisciplinary character of projects on global challenges. Based on practical experiences in selected sectors/areas (water) provide advise and possible avenues leading to more effective cooperation on funding global challenges.

How – Workplan, activities, deliverables

The project is to compare how common members of GEO and Future Earth program are using international funding models and instruments. A near-real-time study of the barrieres and challenges met in the funding process of selected water projects. A comparison from a historic perspective will also be included.

Deliverable: An overview of practical and political barriers hindering effective international funding of S&T element of solving the grand challenges. Pilot: Water. A list of lessons learnt and best practices.

Who – the project members and beneficiaries

This project will be coordinated by GEO and listed as an activity under ID-05 C2 in the GEOSS Workplan. It will be open for contributions from all GEO members and Participating Organizations. GEO cooperating partners such as OECD and private foundations are key cooperating partners. We are considering co-chairing/coordination of this project by GEO and OECD.

GEO, OECD, EC, US-GEO, CN-GEO, UNESCO, Belmont Forum, IGFA, universities, others

When – April 2013 – 2015

i) Project Design 2 months
ii) Project Funding process 1- 3 months (project seeked funded by private funds, Melinda and Bill Gates, Rockefeller Foundation and others) overlap with project design
iii) Project implementation 2 years.


Project report can be given to the Global Research Council so that they can address the challenges that needs to be overcome in order to better coordinate international funds for science, technology and innovation.

UNESCO and other UN bodies etc.

Project report shall be given also to the Ministerial conference of GEO (political level)

Project report delivered to the involved funding agencies and participating organizations.

Bente can be contacted at 

1 comment:

  1. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me.