SCOR Board Meeting Discussion Highlights: November 2022

Meeting Minutes

SCOR Board Meeting Discussion Highlights: November 2022

Key discussions and outputs from the SCOR Board Meeting in November 2022

1. Climate Change – the International Development Strategy and opportunities for SCOR

The SCOR Board was briefed on reflections and outcomes of COP27 by Wellcome, The Board heard that COP had been challenging, with a low likelihood of strong outcomes, disagreements on loss and damage, and Presidency leadership issues. There had been more discussions about links between health and climate, but these were not dominant enough. Three trends: mitigation and adaptation were seeing more money and commitment, and more financing from foundations; there were conversations about loss and damage but less funding.

Significant opportunities for SCOR members to influence COP28 were also identified. Wellcome’s conversations with UAE (COP28 hosts) to secure a stronger health focus. UAE are engaging others support to help capacity to deliver. Wellcome had so far committed £85-100 million per year on climate and health, to put health at the heart of climate action. This would support availability, access and use of information, adaptation solutions and field building.

The Board discussed the role of SCOR and UKCDR in supporting UK funders on climate change, taking into account current activities and needs in the climate-development space. They proposed building on UKCDR strengths in mapping, convening and sharing information, including: a climate research tracker (developing a proof of concept ahead of COP28), which was endorsed by the Board; a cross-funder group on climate; develop an output highlighting return on investment of climate research to the UK. Funding would need to be discussed with additional funders.

UKCDR will begin scoping work on the climate change tracker, at the request of the Board.

2. Getting the best out of large funds

The SCOR Board was briefed on UKCDR’s current work on lessons from large ODA funds, consisting of two outputs a synthesis of evaluations of GCRF and Newton with policy pointers for future funding (publication Spring 2023), and development of cases studies on effective funding mechanisms for development impact (Spring/Summer 2023).

The Board discussed approaches to new funds, and inputs needed for decision-making. Highlighting the importance of building in research uptake and impact into planning funds, to ensure policy makers were aware of research and its quality and knew its relevance to their everyday questions. The Board agreed to continue the discussions how to improve the connections between science and policy to improve real-world impact with policy makers involved in research design, including exploring engaging the broader Chief Scientific Advisor (CSAs) groups.

3. Updates on projects addressing SCOR Board priorities

UKCDR’s Executive Director, Dr Maggy Heintz, presented the latest UKCDR activities. Key achievements included:

  • Launch of the Equitable Partnerships Good Practice Document at UNGA Science Summit (September 2022). A joint funder statement has been agreed and further training being explored.
  • A first draft of the analysis of impact of development research through REF2021 results is underway
  • UKCDR re-convened the International Research for Development Funders Forum (IRDFF) end September, with 10 countries.
  • COVID Circle tracker contains almost 19,000 projects worth at least $7.1 billion. The final researcher community event will be in December and learning report published early 2023.
  • The MODARI project, paused since February 2022, is due to restart with recruitment of an FCDO a senior data analyst and a UKCDR analyst.

The Board welcomed the equitable partnerships work and the SCOR Board should consider changes to funder practice to really support equity. UKCDR is exploring a follow-on project looking at funder-level partnerships.

The Board also heard from GloPID-R, who gave updates on the conclusion of COVID CIRCLE and the transition to Pandemic PACT. CIRCLE had tracked funding, and how this had been translated to policy makers through the UN and WHO frameworks. Other aspects included learning from funders’ experiences. Pandemic PACT would build on the positive characteristics (level of detail, open access, easily searchable, covering all disciplines) to automate the process and improve links to different types of policy makers, including through machine learning.

AttendeesMarie Staunton, CBE (Chair), Independent; Prof. Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor, FCDO; Prof. John Iredale, Interim Executive Chair, Medical Research Council (UKRI representative); Prof. Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser, DHSC; Prof Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies (Independent member); Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, Executive Vice President, ACET, (Independent member); Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary General, African Research Universities Alliance (Independent member); Prof. Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust; Adam Jackson, Deputy Director Strategy, BEIS ; Tom Crawley, Deputy Director, UKRI International.
ApologiesProf. Christopher Smith, Executive Chair, AHRC (UKRI representative); Harriet Wallace, Director International Science and Innovation, BEIS
UKCDRDr Maggy Heintz, Executive Director; Kevin Broady, Head of Operations; Dr Alice Chadwick El-Ali,

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