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					SEI Strategy
2010 - 2014

    The SEI Strategy 2010-2014 will guide        biodiversity and over-use of freshwater
    the directions of SEI’s research and         resources. In this transformative
    engagement in bridging science to policy     period of human enterprise, scientific
    for sustainable development over the         advancements, innovations and policy
    coming five years. It also defines where     support on solutions and strategies for
    SEI aims to be in five years time, based     sustainable development are needed
    on a careful assessment of the needs for     more than ever. SEI is well positioned
    new integrated knowledge to support          to provide integrated knowledge, policy
    transitions to sustainability, the areas     support, dialogue platforms and capacity
    where SEI can offer internationally          development in line with the mandate
    recognised expertise, and the knowledge      provided by the Swedish government,
    gaps that lead to international demand       to support the business of taking care
    for SEI’s services. We have focused our      of our planet in an era of rapid global
    priorities in the new Strategy on where      change.
    these three criteria – needs, know-how,
    and demand – overlap.                        The Strategy was developed following
                                                 an extensive internal and external
    The SEI Strategy 2010-2014 covers a          consultation. We interviewed over 50
    decisive period for world development        partners in research or policy making at
    in the efforts to provide a safe operating   different scales and from all parts of the
    space for humanity on the planet. Evidence   world. Group meetings and online surveys
    indicates that we have entered a decade      were used to gather and process the
    when humanity must bend the curves of        input from staff from across the Institute.
    many of the undesirable trends in global     We have listened carefully to advice and
    environmental change; from greenhouse        critique from SEI colleagues and key
    gas emissions, to air pollution, loss of     stakeholders in the world.

2                                                               SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
SEI is an independent international research institute that
undertakes policy oriented and applied research on environment
and development issues. Our innovative, integrated systems
research forms the basis for our work on policy advice, capacity
development, decision support and implementation of policy and

To meet anticipated needs and demands        This is an ambitious new SEI strategy
we expect SEI’s impacts and outcomes to      confirming the direction and building on
increase over the coming five years. We      the achievements of the Institute over the
aim, by the end of this new Strategy, to     past decade. It raises expectations of a
have raised even further SEI’s ability to    new level. We are confident the Strategy     Preface                                                            2
provide high quality integrated knowledge    provides a wise and realistic way towards
and policy support for sustainable           this goal.                                   Our strengths                                                      6
development. Our programmatic structure
has been transformed to fewer more
comprehensive research themes. We                                                         Mounting challenges, increasing opportunities: the world in 2015   10
emphasise SEI’s focus on science-based
policy and development outcomes, and                                                      Research themes                                                    12
firmly position SEI as an international      Kerstin Niblaeus        Johan Rockström
research institute. At the same time                                                       Managing environmental systems                                    13
we will continue to be an independent        SEI Board Chair     SEI Executive Director    Reducing climate risk                                             14
institutional knowledge resource to                                                        Transforming governance                                           15
support Swedish priorities at home and                                                     Rethinking development                                            16
abroad on sustainable development. We
will significantly raise our institutional                                                Reaching our goals                                                 18
capacity on governance and management,
improve our own learning capacity                                                         Delivering results: mobilising our expertise                       20
through a new monitoring and evaluation
system, our capacity for results-based
management, and continue to invest in our
one institute culture and our internal and
external communications.

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                                     3
Our mission is to
support decision
making and induce
change towards
sustainable            SEI in 2014
around the world by
bridging science and
policy in the field
                       O    ver the coming five years (2010-2014) SEI
                            will respond to the growing demand for
                       knowledge driven policy support and practical
                                                                         40 per cent of our global operations by 2014.
                                                                         Increasing our institutional and flexible long-
                                                                         term funding will put us in the position to
                                                                                                                            stronger institutional arrangements with
                                                                                                                            agents and arenas of change in the world.
                                                                                                                            We are committed to strengthening our
of environment and     solutions that help to solve the challenges of
                       environment and development. Building on
                                                                         respond to urgent and complex problems over
                                                                         the coming five years. It will also enable us to
                                                                                                                            partnership-based work from community to
                                                                                                                            regional levels, and linking these to key public
development.           SEI’s legacy, we aim to be one of the world’s
                       leading providers of systems understanding,
                                                                         define our own strategic directions, ensuring
                                                                         that we stay at the frontier of knowledge,
                                                                                                                            policy and private sector arenas. By embedding
                                                                                                                            our research within partnership-based
                       innovative ideas and policy solutions for         and make us a more effective and efficient         communication of science and policy, we aim
                       sustainable development at local, national,       partner by improving the management and            to increase our impact on policy making and
                       regional and global levels.                       accountability of the Institute.                   implementation.

                       Research                                                                                             Our role as a provider of science-based policy
                       We will improve our core business - research        “What makes SEI unique is the strength           advice to national governments, regional
                       and capacity development to inform policy and       of its scientific research.” Saleemul            agencies and global organisations will continue
                       promote change to sustainable development           Huq, Senior Fellow, Climate Change               to be important for SEI. As an institution funded
                       - by enhancing and integrating our research         Group, International Institute for Envi-         in part by the Swedish state, we will further
                       capabilities. We will explore new opportunities     ronment and Development.                         develop our special position as an international
                       to study issues of relevance for the private                                                         resource to support Swedish priorities on
                       sector, from large global corporations to                                                            sustainable development.
                       local businesses, but will always maintain the    Communication
                       independence and excellence of SEI’s research.    SEI will prioritise science-to-policy communi-     Global and local
                                                                         cation so that our research is more visible        We will capitalise on SEI’s unique distributed
                       In order to strengthen SEI’s position as a top-   and can take an active part in making change       structure, using our seven research
                       class international research institute we aim     happen. We aim to combine SEI’s role as            centres and offices around the world to
                       to raise our strategic core funding to at least   an independent knowledge provider with             develop local and regional partnerships

4                                                                                                                                            SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
and networks. We will continue to develop          3.	 Build	 bridges	 between	 knowledge	
SEI’s global commitment, by pursuing work              and	 decision	 makers	 by	 investing	 in	        To reach our overarching goals over
that supports transitions to sustainable               communications.	                                 the coming five years we will organise
development in both rich and poor regions                                                               our work in clusters of strategic invest-
of the world, with a strong emphasis on our        4.	 Establish	 institutional	 relations	 with	       ment, covering the current and emerg-
longstanding legacy in the USA, Europe, Asia           agents	 of	 change,	 making	 SEI	 a	 prime	      ing science-policy agenda and our
and Africa. A key focus will be on linking our         provider	 of	 policy	 advice	 on	 sustainable	   leadership, management, and staff
global competence to grow our institutional            development.                                     development:
partnerships in Africa and Asia. We will                                                                • managing environmental systems
develop our collaborative work in Latin            5.	 Use	 our	 unique	 distributed	 structure	 to	      for human wellbeing,
America, and continue to exchange methods              raise	the	local	and	regional	impact	of	our	
and experiences between different regions              work	through	capacity	development	that	          • reducing climate risk,
in the world.                                          supports	implementation.	
                                                                                                        • transforming governance for sus-
We will build institutional and leadership         6.	 Fill	 key	 knowledge	 gaps	 in	 new	 areas	        tainable livelihoods,
capacities in the South. Our research is carried       including	 economics,	 transformations,	
out with partners in the North and the South,          governance	 and	 resource	 integration	          • rethinking development,
and we will give further emphasis to supporting        (land,	 water,	 air,	 sanitation)	 for	 human	
the exchange of knowledge, collaborative               development.	                                    • policy impact and communications
North-South and South-South efforts on
research, and policy making, as well as capacity   7.	 Create	 strategic	 flexibility,	 greater	        • leadership and staff development,
development, particularly with partners in             impact,	 and	 better	 accountability	
poor countries.                                        by	 diversifying	 our	 funding	 base	            • management,        monitoring     and
                                                       and	 obtaining	 at	 least	 40	per	cent	            evaluation.
Overarching institutional goals                        institutional	core	funding	by	2014.	

In five years time SEI aims to:                  8.	 Understand	 and	 demonstrate	 evidence	
                                                      of	 our	 impacts	 by	 investing	 in	 planning,	
1.	 Be	 among	 the	 world	 leading	 knowledge	        monitoring	and	evaluation.	
    institutions	    advancing	       credible,	
    policy	 oriented	 and	 applied	 inter-and	 9.	 Improve	         SEI’s	     leadership	      and	
    multidisciplinary	research	for	sustainable	       management	systems.	
                                                 10.	 Continue	 to	 develop	 the	 SEI	 global	 one-
2.	 Be	a	relevant	and	respected	international	        institute	culture.	
    convenor	 of	 science-policy	 dialogues	
    on	 complex	 sustainable	 development	

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                            5
                                   “SEI has carried out an extremely im-         on Climate Change, describes one of
                                   portant series of research activities in      SEI’s trademarks: breaking down bar-
                                   which [the Institute] has looked not          riers between development and envi-
                                   only at climate change or environmen-         ronment issues, exposing the complex
                                   tal problems but also at the context in       relationships between people, nature
                                   which these problems occur, as far as         and social systems and striving for a
                                   development and economic growth are           complete picture rather than looking at
    Our strengths                  concerned. SEI has thus contributed to
                                   a holistic understanding of these is-
                                                                                 aspects of a problem in isolation. SEI’s
                                                                                 broader view of problems is, in part,
                                   sues.” Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair-           made possible by its global network of
                                   man of the Intergovernmental Panel            research centres.

    Carrying out integrated
    research to fully evaluate    O   ver the past 20 years, SEI researchers
                                      have been generating, synthesising
                                  and communicating knowledge for
                                                                                 critical gap between fundamental science
                                                                                 and implementation, by concentrating
                                                                                 our efforts on connecting these two
    challenges and provide        evidence-based policies that support           through applied research to pilot testing
    solutions                     sustainable development in the North           and demonstration. Extending our
                                  and South. From briefing the Kenyan            fundamental science, we draw upon close
    Confronting issues before     cabinet on adaptation to climate change,       partnerships with universities around SEI
                                  to leading contributions to the UN’s           focus the world for input to our applied
    they enter the main stream
                                  Global Environment Outlook assessment          and integrated research. Similarly, we
                                  (GEO4); we have an impact from local to        work with partners – from the public
    Providing decision makers     global levels.                                 and private sector – to translate our
    with rigorous and objective                                                  knowledge into improved practice on the
    analysis                      Our research has three key purposes:           ground.

                                  •	 	 dvancing	new	knowledge,	                  We tackle overarching issues like
    Working in partnership to                                                    climate change, energy futures, food
    bring about change            •	 providing	policy	advice,	                   security, vulnerability, risk management,
                                                                                 and governance, as well as resource
                                  •	 enabling	agents	of	change.	                 challenges such as the sustainable use
                                                                                 of land and water, and how to deal with
                                  SEI’s role is to provide solutions to          air pollution. Our water and energy
                                  environment and development challenges         systems tools are used all over the world
                                  through      state-of-the-art   inter-and      to model the present and plan for the
                                  multidisciplinary research, combined with      future. We now host a community of
                                  on-the-ground capacity building. SEI fills a   over 2000 Southern energy analysts

6                                                                                               SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
                                                        Going Clean: the economics of China’s low-carbon development                                        Energy Futures

  How can China best make the transi-       in economics, climate change, and de-         in the past not been integrated into         The Long Range Energy Alterna-
  tion from its present macro-economic      velopment, to tackle some of the most         China’s economic policymaking, but,          tives Planning system (LEAP) is fast
  structure to a low-carbon future?         challenging issues relating to China’s        influenced by this project, this is now      becoming the de facto standard for
     This is the question that a ground-    low-carbon development.                       changing. For example, Fan Gang,             countries undertaking integrated
  breaking economic study, led by the         The project shows that a shift to a         a key actor in the low-carbon China          resource planning and greenhouse
  Stockholm Environment Institute and       low-carbon economy is technically             project and a member of China’s cen-         gas mitigation assessments, espe-
  the Chinese Economists 50 Forum,          feasible and that it lies in China’s in-      tral bank Monetary Policy Committee,         cially in the developing world. The
  tries to answer. The research brings      terest to move forcefully in that direc-      is now advocating a policy change to         United Nations recently announced
  together leading international thinkers   tion. Environmental concerns have             a domestic carbon tax.                       that more than 85 countries have
                                                                                                                                       chosen to use LEAP as part of their
                                                                                                                                       commitment to report to the UN
                                                                                                                                       Framework Convention on Climate
and 85 countries use our LEAP software      reviewed scientific journals each year,       understanding of their decision making       Change (UNFCCC).
as part of their commitment to report       including articles in leading journals such   context), providing a solid base for            In China, the Chinese Energy Re-
greenhouse gas emissions to the             as Science and Nature. And in 2007, eight     stakeholder engagement and policy            search Institute (ERI) has used LEAP
UNFCCC. Our water allocation and            SEI researchers were recognised by the        advice that is grounded in the region. Our   to explore how China could achieve
planning model, WEAP, is applied in over    Nobel Peace Prize committee for their         research, communications and capacity        its development goals whilst also
50 river basins in the world. On average,   contribution to the Intergovernmental         development has helped farmers in            reducing its carbon intensity. These
we produce around 75 articles in peer       Panel on Climate Change.                      semiarid areas of East Africa to better      studies have helped to influence na-
                                                                                          manage their water resources and             tional energy policies and plans. In
                                            Our research is open source and not-          improve yields. These and other bright       the US, Rhode Island has used LEAP
 We are:
                                            for-profit. We believe that the insights      spots of innovation in land and water        as the main organisational tool for
 • a research institute committed           generated by our work can guide us            management for food and livelihood           analysing and monitoring the State’s
   to rigorous and objective scien-         through change and should inform              improvements have been synthesised           award-winning GHG mitigation
   tific analysis to support improved       decision making and public policy. We also    and presented to the UN Commission           process, in which multiple stakehold-
   policymaking,                            believe that local knowledge and values       for Sustainable Development (on behalf       ers are guiding the State’s efforts to
                                            are crucial in building sustainable lives.    of the Swedish government) in 2009. In       meet its GHG emission reduction
 • an honest broker in handling                                                           York (UK), our research is helping the       goals.
   complex environment, devel-              In the last five years, SEI has established   local authority to target individuals and       And research into improving and
   opment and social issues and             network based research centres in             induce changes in lifestyles on the basis    extending the LEAP model contin-
   providing impartial policy ad-           Asia and Africa. We are working closely       of analytical tools related to consumption   ues. In 2009, work was completed
   vice,                                    with the local academic communities           and people’s preferences. We are also        that means that LEAP now includes
                                            to draw upon their local expertise and        continuing our initiative in China, but      a wider range of greenhouse gases
 • an agent for change that pro-            to help develop their research capacity.      without establishing a new centre.           (such as ozone) and even takes ac-
   motes transitions to a more sus-         Our research centers in Africa and Asia       Instead, the “China cluster” is staffed      count of the pollutants that lead to
   tainable world.                          also give the Institute access to local       across SEI centres, with the coordinating    such gases.
                                            and regional decision makers (and an          unit at headquarters in Stockholm.

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                                                        7
                                                                                                                    Sustainable sanitation

      SEI’s research on sustainable and produc-      itation on the agenda of policy makers,       densely populated Aguié province col-
      tive sanitation, carried out by the EcoSan-    rests on evidence that the concept works      lecting urine and using it as a liquid fer-
      Res programme and funded principally           and can be replicated in many different       tiliser. The results have been significant
      by Sida, is a prime example of how the         contexts. In southern Niger where rain-       for the eight communities involved in
      Institute integrates research, policy sup-     fall can be erratic, an SEI project in co-    the participatory test: good yields have
      port and capacity development to provide       operation with CREPA (Centre Régional         led to high demand for productive sani-
      solutions that increase food security, alle-   pour l’Eau Potable et l’Assainissement        tation toilets that produce fertiliser and
      viate poverty and improve public health.       à faible coût) and IFAD (International        improve hygiene. Moreover, the eco-
         The success of the programme, which         Fund for Agricultural Development) in-        nomic worth of recycling human waste
      has put sustainable and productive san-        volves more than 700 households in the        as a fertiliser

    Our approach is often highly collaborative,      and production brought the concept of         As we face multiple challenges at all
    and stakeholder involvement has always           embedded carbon to the attention of           levels, SEI’s expertise is more relevant
    been at the heart of SEI’s work. Our projects    European governments. This has led to         than ever. This strategic document sets
    help to build capacity and strengthen            changes in government policy, such as         out the direction for SEI and how we will
    institutions to equip our partners for the       in Scotland where embedded carbon has         deliver our objectives over the next five
    long-term. Our sustainable sanitation            become a key sustainability indicator.        years.
    programme has not only put this topic on
    the policy making map, but also actively
                                                             Baltic Compass: navigating the route to a healthy Baltic Sea through
    spreads knowledge through a network
                                                                                            agriculture-environment partnerships
    of ‘nodes’ that stretch from Bolivia to
    Nepal. At the regional scale SEI has been         Baltic COMPASS is a strategic research       tems. Nevertheless, the competence,
    instrumental with UNEP in developing              initiative bringing the business, environ-   technologies, policies and science for
    and implementing the Malé Declaration             mental and agricultural sectors together     developing more sustainable solutions is
    in South Asia, helping governments                to protect the Baltic Sea and put agri-      available but currently unevenly distrib-
    cooperate on air pollution and developing         culture at the centre of the emerging        uted and used. The project particularly
    the scientific underpinning for decision          knowledge-based bio-economy.                 aims to remedy the gaps in capacity and
    making. SEI is an innovator, and has                Land use for agricultural purposes in      resources to combat euthrophication
    consistently shown the vision to confront         the region is expected to intensify due      and to communicate effectively at differ-
    issues before they enter the mainstream:          to climate change and increasing glo-        ent policy levels. Together with partners
    our pioneering work on renewable energy           bal demands for food and bioenergy.          from across the Baltic region we want to
    in Africa, originates in the early days           This is likely to exacerbate current pres-   identify win-win solutions for agriculture,
    of the Institute, while our more recent           sures on the sensitive marine ecosys-        environment and business sectors.
    research into sustainable consumption

8                                                                                                                  SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
Mounting challenges, increasing opportunities: the world in 2015

T    he world is experiencing environmental,
     political and economic change at a pace
that has never before been witnessed. The
                                                 processes. Food shortages and high-cost
                                                 energy coupled with increasing water
                                                 scarcity and air pollution are creating more
                                                                                                trajectory, greenhouse gas emissions must
                                                                                                be brought down in the five year window,
                                                                                                from 2015-2020. To achieve effective
                                                                                                                                                can shape the form and content of these
                                                                                                                                                financial flows.

Earth’s biophysical systems have been put        fundamental and serious impacts on the         mitigation energy systems, including            The shortcomings of unsustainable growth
under huge stress over the last few decades.     earth system than previously expected.         transportation, must be well on the way to      and high-consumption lifestyles are now
At the same time human development               Losses of biodiversity are projected to        a wholesale transformation within the next      apparent for the world’s developing and
challenges remain dire and elusive to            be ten thousand times higher than ever         five years.                                     developed countries. These shortcomings
remedy. While many people have been lifted       seen on the fossil record, with up to                                                          and the persistent challenges to human
out of poverty and received better quality       30 per cent of species already threatened      Since 2008, the world economy has been in       wellbeing urgently require a new
of life thanks to the global economic boom       with extinction.                               a state of recession. This has put additional   development vision and trajectory for the
in the 1990s and early 2000s, many groups                                                       demands on global decision makers to            global economy. This will entail differentiated
are experiencing increasing vulnerability,       Climate change is no longer an absent          stake out the way towards a development         sectoral and regional development paths and
deprived livelihoods and food insecurity as      threat but an immediate reality that           path that will generate development             niches, including for instance a new “green
the environmental resources on which they        requires global action on both mitigation      and welfare, while proactively dealing          revolution” for Africa. It will also entail a new
depend have been depleted.                       and adaptation. To remain within an already    with resource constraints, mitigating the       paradigm on how to analyse and implement
                                                 relatively dangerous two degree warming        threat of climate change, reversing natural     economic change.
As this strategic plan is being written, the                                                    resource degradation and preserving vital
number of people suffering from hunger             “Despite the gaps in knowledge,              ecosystems services. At the same time, the      The next five years represent a real
in the world is, after a period of decline,        enough is known to indicate the need         recession has also opened opportunities         challenge. But there are windows of
on the rise and now exceeds one billion            for urgent collective action, building on    for reshaping the development and               opportunity in which to make the necessary
people. Environmental change tends to              existing activities, to mitigate the fur-    economic growth agenda towards a                breakthroughs. At the level of global
impact poor groups the hardest, and while          ther loss of ecosystem services”             “green new deal”. As governments and            conventions, the “Rio” conventions on
they are both the least prepared for it and        Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,             businesses gear up to invest in new             desertification (CCD), biological diversity
the least responsible for it, they are largely     Our human planet, p. 38.                     infrastructure, technology and innovation       (CBD) and climate change (UNFCCC) are
marginalised in existing governance                                                             over the coming years, it is now that we        up for revision. In 2012, “Rio plus 20” may

10                                                                                                                                                               SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
become a decisive moment for defining              What role will SEI play to meet these            of socio-technical systems such as energy,
further action within the context of the           challenges? The size and complexity of the       transport and ICT.
United Nations system. But other arenas for        environment and development challenges
global governance will also be critical in order   facing us is so large that new approaches        It is clear that some of the big questions in
to shape and steer world regions towards           to solve them will be needed. At the same        sustainability science for the coming years
a sustainability agenda. These include             time there is ample knowledge available to       lie in the substantiation and validation
the European Union and its neighbours,             allow immediate action on multiple fronts.       of these fields of inquiry, and, most
where strong policy and political change is        SEI will contribute by staying at the frontier   importantly, turning the insights coming
ongoing, the development of Africa as an           of knowledge for sustainable development,        out of them to applicable and useful
emerging player on the global marketplace,         continuing      to    provide      integrated    knowledge for decision makers – be they
new and reformed trade discussions                 assessments and capacity development             development cooperation administrators,
bilaterally and under the WTO framework,           that support policy and practice.                governmental policy-makers or natural
and new geopolitical ad hoc deliberations,                                                          resource managers.
involving emerging economic and political          Today, many scientists and policymakers
power holders such as China, India and             are struck by the complexity of social,
Brazil, as well as the old giants like the US,     economic and environmental systems                 SEI seeks to address three basic
EU and Russia.                                     that need to be governed. Economics,               needs.
                                                   organisational and management sciences,
Despite decades of efforts by researchers          and ecology are only a few of the disciplines      • First, much knowledge about
and policy makers, the governance of Earth         that have been forced to re-evaluate old             problems and solutions is avail-
systems is developing more slowly than             truths and assumptions about how the                 able, but it is fragmented and
the rapidly mounting problems require.             systems they seek to understand (and                 inaccessible for decision mak-
Policies and institutional arrangements            steer) really work. Insights that much of            ers. This requires synthesis and
at different scales and across sectors play        the governing dynamics take the form of              integration of knowledge.
key roles in setting and implementing the          complex adaptive systems have translated
agenda of change. These policy processes           into scientific concepts and fields of             • Second, new knowledge is need-
do not stop at the point of decision               inquiry such as resilience, transitions,             ed, on Earth’s biophysical sys-
making; the ways in which policies and             complexity economics and complexity                  tems and on decision processes,
strategies impact in practice involve social       leadership. In the economic system, the              people and institutions, and the
processes that affect and often hinder             recent economic crisis is a manifestation            interactions between these.
implementation. Multiple barriers impede           of this unpredictable pattern, with
change on the ground, ranging from                 causalities spiralling and leading to abrupt       • Third, existing connections be-
political interests and power relations,           changes and discontinuous change in                  tween scientific knowledge and
institutional path-dependencies, cultures          coupled financial and industrial systems.            decision making and practice
and traditions, lack of agency and capacity        In the environmental system, such change             are often weak, and new bridg-
among impacted communities, and                    patterns are well documented in climate              es, knowledge arenas and forms
lack of credible, useable and accessible           change and ecosystems. Similar patterns              of policy dialogue are needed.
knowledge for governance.                          have been observed in the transformations

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                            11
     Research themes

     B   ased on a broad consultation among
         SEI staff and stakeholders around the
     world, we have decided to re-organise our
                                                      them, we also explore novel research
                                                      ideas and frontiers, and respond rapidly
                                                      to knowledge gaps and rapidly arising
                                                                                                       •	 providing	 the	 technical	 tools	 needed	
                                                                                                          to	advance	problem-solving	capacities	
                                                                                                          in	different	societies,	
     research activities. This will strengthen the    policy demands, by establishing a
     scientific integration and policy relevance      flexible resource for emerging issues. For       •	 developing	 capacity	 and	 networks	
     of our work, and fill some of the new critical   the second half of the strategy period              to	 support	 policy	 making	 and	
     knowledge gaps that we have identified           (2012-2014), our aim is to invest further           implementation.	
     in the strategic process. Our previous           in the themes by making them the prime
     cross-centre research programmes are             vehicles for strategic research initiatives.     Each theme works across North and
     transformed into four themes of inter-and        Common to all themes, we have                    South contexts, across science, policy
     multidisciplinary research. Key legacies         identified four linked fields of activity        engagement and capacity building,
     of SEI’s past programmes, such as our            that are central to meeting these global         and across social and natural-science
     work on energy and bioresources, and             challenges:                                      disciplines. We will deploy a new theme
     policy and institutional analysis, are being                                                      management structure involving a cross-
     mainstreamed into all themes. Others,            •	 analysing	 pathways	 of	 biophysical	         centre leadership “trojka” for each
     such as land, water and atmospheric                 and	 behavioural	 transformation	 by	         theme, and new internal communication
     issues are combined and integrated in               understanding	 the	 technical,	 social	       mechanisms that enable research staff
     new ways.                                           and	 ecological	 processes	 underlying	       across the institute to provide their
                                                         systems	change,	                              expertise to thematic research projects
     The themes function as coordination                                                               and programmes. The themes and
     platforms for our knowledge generation           •	 understanding	 the	 governance	 of	           their activities are included in our new
     and as units for reporting, monitoring              change	 and	 the	 ways	 in	 which	 states	    planning, monitoring and evaluation
     and evaluation of our achievements. The             and	 civil	 society	 interact	 and	 deploy	   system.
     themes have a clear long-term strategy              processes	 and	 instruments	 to	 steer	
     (outlined below) but within and across              change,	

12                                                                                                                    SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
ManaGInG EnvIROnMEntal SyStEMS

G    rowing human populations and levels of
     consumption, combined with resource-
intensive production methods, rapid
                                                  and uncoordinated manner, although their
                                                  connections and interdependence, particularly
                                                  between ecosystem management, socio-
                                                                                                      What we will do
                                                                                                      1.1	 Support	 sustainable	 urbanisation	
                                                                                                            through	 systemic	 analyses	 of	 urban	
                                                                                                                                                           1.4		 Develop	 and	 support	 the	 application	
                                                                                                                                                                 of	 tools	 to	 analyse	 the	 co-benefits	 of	
                                                                                                                                                                 addressing	 both	 climate	 change	 and	
urbanisation and huge increases in energy         economic development and human health,                    infrastructures	 and	 their	 service	                air	 pollution	 mitigation	 in	 relation	
and transport have put unprecedented              suggest that a more integrated approach                   delivery	 capacity	 and	 consequences	 for	          to	 ecosystem	 services	 with	 a	 focus	
pressure on land, water and atmospheric           would bring significant benefits.                         communities	in	relation	to	land-use,	air	            on	 human	 health,	 food	 security	 and	
resources. This is undermining the ability of                                                               quality,	 water	 resources,	 sanitation	 and	        biodiversity.
environmental systems to provide functions        Goal                                                      solid	waste.
and services that provide the basis for social    Our goal is to enhance food security for an                                                              1.5	 Develop	 our	 understanding	 of	
and economic development. There is a threat       expected global population of nine billion people   1.2	 Support	 sustainable	 bioresource	 and	               biogeochemical	 cycling	 (particularly	
to human health, ecosystems and economic          by 2050, to reduce the health impacts caused by           bioenergy	strategies	and	their	governance	           water,	 carbon	 and	 nutrient	 cycles)	 to	
development from the pollution of air and         air pollution and lack of sustainable sanitation          processes	 towards	 securing	 both	 food	            advise	policy	at	global	to	regional	scales	
water, the rapidly growing demand for water       and to ensure management of land and water                and	 energy	 access	 by	 collaboratively	            through	 an	 enhanced	 understanding	 of	
resources and the lack of appropriate and         resources to protect ecosystem services.                  developing	 integrated	 energy	 and	 land-           the	role	the	terrestrial	biosphere	plays	in	
sustainable sanitation service systems that are                                                             use	 planning	 approaches	 to	 assess	 the	          controlling	climate	feedbacks.
ecosystem-based and return safe nutrients to      Strategic objectives                                      future	implications	for	atmospheric,	land	
soils. International and national governance      To advance new insights on the interaction                and	water	resources.                           1.6		 Turn	 our	 experience	 of	 building	 natural	
processes for developing bioresource- and         between land, air and water resources                                                                          resource	 management	 models	 that	 can	
energy systems remain largely uninformed          and the management of these resources,              1.3		 Support	 the	 implementation	 of	 good	              deal	 with	 land,	 air	 and	 water	 resources	
about implications on resources and people.       and support policy change taking into                     governance	 and	 management	 in	                     such	as	WEAP,	into	the	next	generation	
Agricultural productivity can be considerably     consideration social issues such as gender                sustainable	 agriculture,	 water	 security	          of	integrated	assessment	tools	to	advise	
improved to ensure worldwide food security        and equity. Our efforts are targeted at the               and	 sanitation	 in	 the	 face	 of	 water	           and	 support	 policy	 development	 and	
by combining conservation agriculture, water      scales where managers seek to protect                     scarcity,	 land-use	 pressures	 and	                 implementation.	
harvesting and other water management             and improve the provision of ecosystem                    environmental	 degradation,	 especially	
innovations, and productive sanitation.           services and are designed to support policy               in	 sub-Saharan	 Africa,	 North	 Africa,	 the	
Currently, however, poor management               change for enhanced food security, human                  Middle	East,	Latin	America	and	Asia.
of soil and water resources contributes           health and biodiversity.
to global environmental change, and
undermines the resilience needed to deal
with social and environmental shocks. These
linked environmental systems are currently
analysed and managed in a fragmented

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                                                                                   13

A     mong the wide range of environmental and
      development challenges, climate change is
one of the most urgent and difficult to address. It is
                                                         human rights; the geopolitics, economics
                                                         and governance aspects of adaptation and
                                                         mitigation; and cross-scale links between
                                                                                                                 What we will do
                                                                                                                 2.1		 Conduct	 research	 on	 key	 areas	 of	
                                                                                                                       adaptation	 and	 mitigation,	 based	 on	 a	
                                                                                                                                                                               social	learning,	and	(iii)	supporting	national	
                                                                                                                                                                               and	 regional	 networks,	 in	 particular	 in	
                                                                                                                                                                               Africa,	Asia	and	Latin	America.	For	example,	
urgent because of the calamitous consequences            climate change and development.                               rigorous	scientific	understanding	of	climate	           we	 contribute	 to	 regional	 knowledge	
climate change can have if left unchecked. It                                                                          change	and	relevant	policy	regimes,	and	of	             platforms	 for	 climate	 adaptation,	 and	
could make some countries uninhabitable,                 Goal                                                          the	 increasing	 role	 of	 climate	 change	 in	         organise	 ‘writeshops’	 aimed	 at	 training	
cause costly damage to infrastructure, increase          Our goal is to contribute to a safer climate for all.         regional	and	global	politics.	                          and	 empowering	 developing-country	
mortality and prevalence of disease, and make            The theme supports the design, development                                                                            academics	 to	 publish	 in	 peer-reviewed	
it more difficult to eradicate poverty. In fact,         and implementation of effective and equitable           2.2.	 Provide	 timely,	 authoritative	 and	                   journals.
impacts of climate change are already costly             strategies for adaptation and mitigation in                   pertinent	      analysis	     to	   support	
for some people and places, and the costs will           developing and developed countries, taking                    policymakers	 and	 negotiators,	 finance	         2.4		 Pioneer	 and	 apply	 innovative	 analytical	
increase rapidly. It is difficult because the main       into account the broader challenges and policy                institutions,	 development	 planners,	 the	             tools	 and	 collaborative	 platforms	 to	
drivers of climate change are built into our socio-      objectives of sustainable human development.                  private	 sector,	 civil	 society	 and	 other	           support	 action	 on	 climate	 change,	
economic systems: greenhouse gas emissions                                                                             stakeholders.	 For	 example,	 we	 advise	               including	 the	 integrated	 energy	 planning	
result from many activities that support                 Strategic objectives                                          on	 equitable	 effort-sharing	 through	                 tool	 LEAP	 and	 the	 weADAPT	 platform	
livelihoods and economies.                               To develop and advance new knowledge                          the	 Greenhouse	 Development	 Rights	                   for	 sharing	 knowledge	 on	 adaptation.	 As	
                                                         and insights into climate risk reduction, in                  initiative,	and	together	with	local	experts	            well	as	supporting	analysts	and	decision-
Still, investments in adaptation and mitigation will     support of adaptation and mitigation action                   we	 analyse	 the	 economics	 of	 climate	               makers,	 these	 tools	 serve	 to	 build	
yield human and economic benefits around the             in developing and developed countries. We                     change	 in	 China	 and	 several	 African	               flourishing	communities	of	practice.
world, if made in a timely and efficient manner          address the need to incorporate measures to                   countries.	 We	 examine	 the	 emergence	
and based on the best available knowledge.               reduce climate risk into policy and practice, in              of	 a	 new	 institutional	 architecture	 for	     2.5	 Work	 with	 local,	 national,	 regional	 and	
Action on climate change must also be considered         particular the management of energy systems,                  climate	 finance,	 assess	 the	 technical	              international	 organisations	 and	 networks	
along with responses to other pressing issues            bio-resources and water resources. We do this                 and	 economic	 potential	 for	 greenhouse	              to	explore	and	promote	pathways	towards	
such as water and food security, public health,          by concentrating on governance, economics,                    gas	 emission	 reductions	 in	 Europe	 and	             effective	and	equitable	climate	policy.	Our	
desertification and biodiversity loss.                   vulnerability and equity. Recognising that the                North	America,	and	analyse	the	possible	                partners	 include	 renowned	 universities	
                                                         effective reduction of climate risk requires                  consequences	 of	 biofuel	 strategies	 on	              and	academic	institutes	around	the	world,	
To effectively and fairly reduce climate risk,           multi-sectoral action across all scales, the theme            food	security	and	ecosystems.                           international	policymakers	such	as	the	UN	
better knowledge is vital. SEI is uniquely placed        covers local, national, regional and international                                                                    Climate	 Change	 Secretariat,	 civil	 society	
to address issues at the interface of science            policy, as well as initiatives taken by private firms   2.3	 Address	 knowledge	 and	 capacity	 deficits	             organisations	 and	 networks,	 and	 the	
and policy, including equitable effort-sharing           and civil society. We also address knowledge                  that	hinder	effective	action	on	adaptation	             private	sector.	An	example	of	the	latter	is	
in climate policy; energy policy and planning;           and capacity-building needs of stakeholders -                 and	 mitigation,	 through	 (i)	 developing	             our	partnership	with	3C,	a	global	initiative	
sustainable use and development of bio-                  especially policy actors.                                     collaborative	    information,	    training	            of	 business	 leaders,	 to	 produce	 in-depth	
resources and water resources; options for                                                                             and	 awareness	 raising,	 (ii)	 promoting	              research	 at	 the	 intersection	 of	 climate	
climate finance (including carbon markets);                                                                            knowledge	 sharing	 aimed	 at	 stimulating	             policy	and	business.

14                                                                                                                                                                                         SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014

R     ecent decades have seen striking progress
      in poverty reduction and the improvement
of lives and livelihood opportunities in many
                                                    social, institutional and political setting is of
                                                    critical importance to achieving improved
                                                    livelihoods, environmental sustainability and
                                                                                                        Strategic objectives
                                                                                                        To advance new insights into good
                                                                                                        governance for sustainable development
                                                                                                                                                                   of	 the	 potential	 impacts	 of	 social,	
                                                                                                                                                                   economic	 and	 environmental	 change	
                                                                                                                                                                   on	communities.
parts of the world. Hundreds of millions of         enhanced resilience. Despite considerable           in the face of social and ecological change
people now live longer, more prosperous             improvements         to    date,      prevailing    through partnerships with public sector,             3.3		 Facilitate	 multi-stakeholder	 dialogue	
and more secure lives than their parents            inefficiencies and ambiguities in the               private sector and civil society and                       in	 the	 review	 and	 analysis	 of	 the	
and grandparents. This progress is reflected        governance system have created space for            International NGOs; and to promote good                    effectiveness	of	relevant	policy	processes	
in a wider range of livelihood choices, and         stakeholder agencies which often bypasses           practice at local, regional and national levels.           to	 support	 social	 learning,	 adaptation,	
increasingly secure settings that are less          formal policy processes. Such informal              We will develop tools and knowledge to help                resilience,	 livelihoods	 development	
vulnerable to external disruption. Despite          processes of self organisation have led to          understand how these conditions can be                     and	the	transformation	of	communities	
this, persistent poverty still exists and nearly    mixed outcomes in terms of sustainable              established through improving governance                   towards	 sustainable	 development	
one billion people remain locked in hunger          livelihoods and development. By supporting          conditions. It will focus on identifying                   pathways.
and absolute poverty as we approach the             an enabling environment for policy                  solutions to complex problems and will
2015 MDG target of halving hunger and               making and implementation of sustainable            ensure that the knowledge is generated in            3.4		 Develop	 evidence	 and	 methodologies	
poverty. For these remaining poor, social           development, this Theme will contribute             forms that are accessible to both the public               to	stimulate	the	inclusion	of	stakeholder	
and environmental change (including climate         to the strengthening of community-level             and policy makers, who make decisions on                   perspectives	 and	 the	 generation	 of	
change), violent and non-violent conflicts of       institutions that are the basis of sustainable      how societies, resources and economies are                 a	 more	 complete	 understanding	 of	
interest and persistent inequities limit their      livelihoods and which provide access to             governed.                                                  the	 consequences	 of	 different	 policy	
livelihood opportunities, whilst the same           external markets and institutions. It will                                                                     choices	for	livelihoods	improvement	and	
sources of vulnerability can threaten to throw      help identify and foster more transparent           What we will do                                            sustainable	development.
millions back into poverty and insecurity. In the   and representative systems of multi-level           3.1	 Advance	 knowledge	 on	 livelihoods	
developed parts of the world, vulnerable and        governance of natural resources, as a means              improvement	 and	 social	 change	 with	         3.5	 Counteract	 perverse	 policy	 outcomes	
marginalised groups in particular are faced         to respond to change and uncertainty, take               particular	emphasis	on	governance	 and	               by	 supporting	 the	 new	 international	
with increasing challenges such as resource         advantage of opportunities as they emerge                institutional	 dynamics	 (including	 issues	          development	      architecture	    with	
degradation and health problems. Preparing          and resist negative shocks and trends.                   of	 land	 tenure,	 land	 rights,	 agrarian	           innovative	mechanisms	and	procedures.
for and managing environmental risks are            Further it will promote collective action,               policies,	 urban	 and	 rural	 development	
important to ensure a continued quality of life,    empowerment, knowledge sharing and                       and	 entrepreneurship;	 vis-à-vis	 the	 role	   3.6		 Evaluate	and	disseminate	knowledge	on	
profitability of economic sectors and security      learning across stakeholders.                            of	the	state,	the	private	sector	and	trade	           the	 impact	 of	 action	 plans,	 governance	
from natural events.                                                                                         regimes).                                             arrangements,	 and	 practices	 for	
                                                    Goal                                                                                                           sustainable	 development	 to	 key	
At its heart, sustainable development is about      Our goal is the widespread improvement              3.2	 Develop	 syntheses	 and	 scenarios	 to	               stakeholders	and	policy-makers.
giving people, wherever they are in the world       of governance for sustainable livelihoods                provide	 insights,	 tools	 and	 approaches	
but especially the poor, the opportunity to         through fostering learning and collective                that	 integrate	 livelihoods,	 adaptation,	
build resilience by providing them with more        action within civil society, markets and the             vulnerability,	 risk,	 gender,	 equity	 and	
options in their lives and livelihoods. The         public sphere.                                           economics	 for	 improved	 analysis	

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                                                                                   15

W     hile the continuing expansion
      and connectivity of the global
economy had brought welfare and
                                             and regionally within and between East
                                             and West, North and South.
                                                                                           planetary scale down to local and on-
                                                                                           the ground solutions. We illustrate the
                                                                                           consequences of traditional development
                                                                                                                                             4.3	 Collaboratively	 develop	 and	 support	
                                                                                                                                                   the	 application	 of	 methods,	 scenario	
                                                                                                                                                   approaches,	 and	 analytical	 tools	 such	
prosperity to some, the majority of the      Exploring and articulating local, regional    and the opportunities and benefits of                   as	 REAP	 and	 LEAP	 to	 socially	 and	
world’s population still live in poverty.    and global pathways to sustainable            new trajectories. We systematically apply               environmentally	 sustainable	 pathways	
The prosperity of the few has gone hand      development and the choices made on           these assessments to transform policies,                of	development.
in hand with the depletion of natural        these pathways is becoming increasingly       institutions, and governance in a way that
resources and vital ecosystem functions      sought after.                                 promotes the integration of sustainability        4.4	 Advance	 research	 on	 governance	 and	
that are the foundation for human                                                          into mainstream policy and decision making.            economic	 transformations	 that	 could	
existence. Long-term and cumulative          Goal                                                                                                 lead	 to	 a	 transition	 to	 ecologically	
impacts on atmospheric, terrestrial and      Our goal is the widespread adoption of        To do this, we need to understand policy               sustainable,	     equitable,	     global	
oceanic systems are calling into question    new development visions and pathways          and institutional change, social and                   development.
current production and consumption           for governing the globalised economy and      cultural change, and work out how to
patterns. Social and ecological systems      environment. This requires articulation       address challenges through appropriate            4.5		 Provide	 policy	 analysis	 to	 question,	
are in flux, with slow-moving and abrupt     of sectoral and regional development          governance arrangements, institutional                  elaborate	 and	 support	 dialogue	 on	
changes and regime shifts becoming           paths within sustainable boundaries,          structures and political deliberations.                 concepts	 that	 enter	 into	 international	
apparent.                                    including more sustainable consumption        Emerging fields of study include the role               treaties,	 such	 as	 equity	 and	
                                             and production patterns, a new green          of public and private actors in managing                responsibility,	to	help	decision-makers	
However, the type of economy and             revolution, and eco-efficient economic        environment and development in a                        establish	 and	 implement	 policies	
necessary governance systems to tackle       change. It also entails an understanding      globalised polity, and the implications                 that	 will	 encourage	 and	 sustain	 more	
both the sustainable use of ecosystems       of how to put in place a new economic         of economic crises for sustainable                      equitable	societies.
and substantial global inequalities is not   paradigm for development as well as           governance.
well understood and rarely implemented.      radical change in governance, institutions                                                      4.6		 Synthesise	 SEI	 knowledge	 for	 input	 to	
In many developing countries, economic       and policies that can catalyse transitions    What we will do                                         global	 assessments	 and	 dialogues	 such	
growth fails to deliver further societal     to sustainability. As well as understanding   4.1		 Provide	 policy	 analysis	 and	 support	          as	the	Global	Environmental	Outlook,	Rio	
gains. There are extremely few signs of      global ecological limits, issues of well-           on	low	carbon	development	pathways	               plus	20	and	various	global	energy,	water,	
the developed world changing production      being and equality are key foundations of           and	 the	 green	 economy	 in	 the	 North	         air	and	climate	change	assessment.
and consumption patterns to truly            a sustainable world.                                and	South,	at	multiple	scales.
respect global limits. Furthermore, the
large scale transformations of social and    Strategic objectives                          4.2		 Provide	 policy	 analysis	 and	 support	
ecological systems are connected to rapid    To advance new insights and support                 for	 sustainable	 consumption	 and	
geopolitical change, economic change         policy change for alternative pathways              production	 in	 developed	 and	
and developments in governance globally      to sustainable futures, from the                    transitional	countries.

16                                                                                                                                                            SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014   17
                                                                                        Climate and Development: new research puts developing countries in the foreground

                                                     The journal Climate and Development            ous science available from the develop-          its second volume, and is publishing a

Reaching our
                                                     was born in 2007 from the experience           ing world on which to base precise con-          wide range of high quality peer-reviewed
                                                     of SEI staff working on the IPCC’s latest      clusions.                                        articles about the developing world, and
                                                     assessment report.                               In 2008, SEI established Climate and           by authors from the developing world.

                                                       They noticed that, for the panel’s Work-     Development as a step toward filling the         This research will be available for the
                                                     ing Group on impacts, adaptation and           gap in peer-reviewed research from de-           IPCC to use in its future work.
                                                     vulnerability, there was not enough rigor-     veloping countries. The journal is now in

S   EI is active in some of the most cutting-
    edge fields of sustainability science
and policy analysis. We set our own
                                                   The impact of our research rests upon its
                                                   credibility. To fulfil our mission we need
                                                                                                    As a learning organisation, trans-
                                                                                                    disciplinarity and stakeholder engagement
                                                                                                    that engages decision makers and
                                                                                                                                                     knowledge networks
                                                                                                                                                     To understand and influence the
                                                                                                                                                     development agenda SEI will continue to
strategic agenda in close consultation             to maintain and enhance our scientific           stakeholders in a process of knowledge           extend our networks with other research
with our stakeholders and focus our                excellence. If we are to enact change we         co-production are, and will continue to          institutes, civil society organisations and
work on solving real world problems                first need to understand the dynamics            be, important principles of SEI’s research.      other agents of change. These networks,
by responding to demands related to                that shape a particular phenomenon. Such         Participatory work is crucial not least          whether with local NGOs, UN agencies or
sustainable change processes. At the               understanding depends on robust empirical        when identifying and understanding the           organised around a topic or geographical
same time we support knowledge driven              study. To become more effective we will          problems at hand and in defining the             area, will give us channels for learning and
policy change and capacity development,            continue to raise our scientific profile and     research agenda, in order to ensure that         for providing novel insights.
and keep our feet firmly on the ground by          use this as a basis to further develop SEI’s     the research is policy relevant and of
contributing to implementation related             international role as a credible convenor on     value to our stakeholders. But stakeholder       SEI has already established networks of
projects.                                          science-policy issues.                           engagement needs to permeate also the            research and development organisations
                                                                                                    latter stages of analysis, synthesis, learning   through which the capacity of knowledge
Making an impact                                   SEI will continue to place particular emphasis   and communication. Credibility also              generation and the scope of policy impacts
SEI’s brand of research lies in the intersection   on multi-and inter-disciplinary work. We         requires independence. We will maintain a        are enhanced. Among them are our eight
of academic advancement and real-world             will pursue our interest in governance,          clear demarcation between our approach           sustainable sanitation knowledge nodes
implementation. SEI is one of very few             transitions, and other manifestations of         and that of consultants and campaigners.         around the world, the COMMEND network
organisations worldwide that has been              complex systems using techniques from            We produce original and openly accessible        for energy analysts and Sumernet. The
able to perform this role with development         across the social, engineering, and natural      analytical work and retain an impartial          Sustainable Mekong Research Network
credibility and scientific excellence. Our         sciences. Disciplinary advancements are          perspective on sustainability policies           (Sumernet) was created four years ago in
approach for the following years will build        not our main purpose – our research is           and issues to be able to play the role of a      Asia. With strong regional ownership and
on this legacy.                                    always problem-driven rather than driven         credible and trustworthy source of high-         an agenda defined through a participatory
                                                   by intra-scientific considerations.              quality analysis for all actors in society.      approach, Sumernet has gained a

18                                                                                                                                                                  SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
reputation in Asia for engaging policy         Communication                                             strengthen	the	engagement	with	stake-              partnership	with	a	reputable	publish-
makers and stakeholders, conducting            Making an impact requires a dialogue that                 holders	 in	 the	 entire	 learning	 process	       ing	house.	
cross-country research, holding policy         gets our research to the right people,                    from	problem	to	solution.	
dialogues and building institutional and       in the right way, at the right time. The                                                             5.10		Build	 an	 online	 presence	 that	
individual research capacities. Through SEIs   communication challenge is three-fold:               5.4		 Increase	 the	 impact	 of	 our	 research	       persuasively	 communicates	 our	
credibility and long-standing knowledge        understanding who we wish to influence;                    by	 integrating	 scientific	 inquiry	 into	     research	 to	 our	 core	 audiences.	 We	
partnerships, we have played a key role in     translating    science-based     research                  syntheses,	 assessments	 and	 policy	           will	 continue	 to	 develop	 our	 global	
supporting the South-South collaboration       findings into effective messages; and                      processes.	                                     online	 presence,	 using	 creative	
and policy development on reducing air         identifying and executing opportunities                                                                    presentation	 tools	 to	 get	 our	
pollution (through the Malé Declaration),      for listening and getting our messages               5.5		 Invest	in	exploring	emerging	issues	to	         messages	across	and	new	techniques	
and in launching the global alliance for       across.                                                    remain	at	the	forefront	of	knowledge	           to	engage	directly	with	our	audiences.	
sustainable sanitation (SuSanA). SEI will                                                                 development.	                                   At	 the	 same	 time,	 we	 will	 also	 cater	
continue to facilitate these knowledge,        We will continue to engage with our four                                                                   for	 audiences	 without	 high	 speed	
policy and development networks and also       core audiences in the North and South:               5.6		 Publish	 a	 seminal,	 biennial	 global	         internet	connection.	
link them to different networks and policy     academia, public policy decision makers,                   assessment	 crystallising	 the	 results	
processes.                                     media and NGOs. Our communication                          of	 policy	 dialogues	 and	 synthesising	 5.11	 Develop	 strategic	 relationships	 with	
                                               methods will expand to take account of                     our	research	using	techniques	such	as	          communications	 partners	 and	 the	
Policy impact is also about improving the      the needs of these audiences and take                      backcasting.	                                   media	 in	 the	 North	 and	 South,	 in	
interaction and understanding between          advantage of new technologies and ways                                                                     part	 by	 expanding	 our	 training	 and	
policy making and scientific knowledge.        of interacting. In addition to our core              5.7		 Set	 up	 scientific	 partnerships	 with	        seminars	 for	 journalists.	 By	 2011	
The gap in this respect is often an issue      audiences, we will explore the potential                   knowledge	 institutions	 and	 continue	         we	 will	 recruit	 an	 experienced	 press	
of capacity. Capacity development will         to bring about change across a broader                     to	 integrate	 SEI	 centres	 with	 local	       officer	 to	 execute	 and	 coordinate	 a	
remain an indispensable component of our       spectrum by identifying opportunities                      universities.	                                  global	media	engagement	strategy.	
research and is built into our stakeholder     to reach the social agents of change,
engagement approach.                           the private sector and informed general              5.8		 Develop	 our	 publications	 portfolio,	 5.12		Exercise	 our	 convening	 power	 by	
                                               public.                                                    making	 it	 even	 more	 tailored	 and	        hosting	 science	 policy	 dialogues	 that	
                                                                                                          relevant	 to	 our	 audiences.	 This	 will	    increase	 the	 absorption	 of	 research	
  Our internal assessment project on           What we will do                                            include	 books,	 reports,	 briefings,	        findings	that	allows	both	communities	
  Getting to Policy Impact identified          5.1		 Implement	 internal	 review	 processes	              newsletters	and	academic	journals.	By	        to	 engage	 and	 provide	 a	 vehicle	 for	
  which factors contribute most sig-                 to	ensure	the	quality	and	impartiality	              2010,	 the	 portfolio	 will	 be	 supported	   disseminating.	 The	 dialogues	 will	
  nificantly to SEI success. It highlights           of	our	research.	                                    by	 professional	 editing	 and	 writing	      respond	 to	 the	 priorities	 of	 our	 host	
  the role and importance of scien-                                                                       capacity.	                                    countries	and	support	their	policies	of	
  tific credibility, policy relevance and      5.2		 Set	 annual	 targets	 for	 publication	 in	                                                        sustainable	development.	
  stakeholder legitimacy, along with                 peer	reviewed	scientific	journals.	            5.9		 Spread	the	word	by	increasing	our	vis-
  effective communication platforms.                                                                      ibility	at	conferences,	expanding	read-
                                               5.3		 Move	 further	 towards	 a	 transdiscipli-            erships	 by	 distributing	 publications	
                                                     nary	 approach	 to	 research	 in	 order	 to	         more	widely,	and	exploring	a	strategic	

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                                                                          19
leadership and
in a learning    Delivering results: mobilising our expertise

                 S   EI has a flat and decentralised
                     leadership and management structure
                 thanks to our distributed organisation,
                                                                and by improving the transparency and
                                                                accountability in our management systems.
                                                                We will establish two new institute-wide
                                                                                                                 (policy makers, donors, private sector and
                                                                                                                 other agents of change) on where and how
                                                                                                                 SEI can play a relevant role. Our research
                 with research centres and offices across       leadership functions: a monitoring and           centres, which are embedded in local
                 the world. Over the coming five years we       evaluation coordinator and a strategic           universities, also give us access to a pool of
                 will invest in the leadership of SEI centres   fund raising manager. We will develop            world-class research talent and a platform
                 and themes by developing leadership skills     leadership and project management                for developing research and institutional
                                                                skills among younger staff. As a learning        capacity. Through our global reach we can
                                                                organisation, we will continuously invite        respond quickly and sensitively to local
                   “Any policy on the environment is a          external peer assessments of the quality of      demands, diversify our funding sources,
                   policy only on the basis of effective        our work and management performance,             and be cost-effective.
                   forms of international cooperation           as a complement to our own internal
                   which take into account both ecologi-        regular reviews of results and operational       At the same time, in order to effectively
                   cal relationships on regional and glo-       quality control.                                 harness the full capacity of SEI and its
                   bal scales, and the interdependence                                                           networks and partnerships across the
                   of the world economy. […] Since SEI          a global, one-institute culture                  world, it is of critical importance to
                   initiates, carries out and disseminates      Each SEI centre is integrated within its local   establish an institute wide sense of identity;
                   research in the environmental field, the     administrative and institutional settings.       effective, collegial and transparent ways
                   physical presence of SEI in Africa, par-     This is one of our core strengths: a physical    of working together; excellent internal
                   ticularly in Tanzania is of paramount        presence on a day to day basis that gives        communication, and to establish common
                   importance.”                                 SEI access to information about regional         core values. We have defined this key
                   Dr. Batilda Salha Burian,                    environment and development challenges           priority for SEI’s development our “one-
                   Minister of State for Environment,           directly from local stakeholders. This           institute culture”. We will continue building
                   United Republic Of Tanzania.                 enables SEI to have a close dialogue and         our one-institute culture over the coming
                                                                exchange of ideas with our target audiences      five years, particularly focusing on institute

20                                                                                                                               SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
wide human resource issues, staff capacity      opportunities for collaborative research           of policy at all stages and at multiple
and exchange, internal communications,          and the publication and communication of           scales to try to ensure governments,
and transparency and accountability in our      new knowledge.                                     institutions, and individuals are aware
management systems.                                                                                of alternatives and determine the most
                                                Planning, monitoring and evaluation                sustainable decisions and actions).
Investing in our staff                          SEI steps up its efforts to improve learning,
The quality of SEI rests in the quality of      accountability and planning across all          4. Partnership and collaboration (Reinforce
our staff. SEI is privileged to have (at the    our activities. The Institute develops a           and      establish   new      institutional
outset of this strategic plan) approximately    new web-based platform that integrates             partnerships and collaborations with
160 highly qualified and motivated              planning, monitoring, evaluation and               agents of change to maximise our
professionals among its international staff.    communications (PMEC). PMEC will enable            ability to provide policy-relevant advice
                                                the institute and its funders to identify and      on sustainable development issues).
SEI will invest in human resource               track detailed outcomes of its activities,
development across SEI and management           such as changes in behaviour, knowledge,        5. Capacity building (Use our distributed
of SEI expertise. A key priority is to invest   beliefs and actions of key stakeholders and        structure to maximise the local and
in research capacity development among          partners. The PMEC system is organised             regional impact of our work through
our young researchers, create career            around six key performance areas that              capacity building that supports
pathways, and to strengthen our relations       are linked to our overarching institutional        implementation).
with universities as a way of establishing      goals. These are:
joint staff appointments and contribute to                                                      6. Governance and management (Improve
under-graduate and graduate training. We        1. Policy relevant, scientifically robust          the people, research and financial
will encourage our staff and SEI partners          research (Be a world leading knowledge          management systems of the institute).
to take advantage of our joint venture with        institute advancing new, credible,
Stockholm Resilience Centre, where we              policy oriented and applied inter-           Institutional partnerships
are developing a new Resilience Research           and multidisciplinary research for           To understand and influence the
School that will provide a platform for            sustainable development).                    development agenda SEI will continue to
transdisciplinary MSc and PhD training.                                                         develop our enduring relations with key
SEI is also partnering with other institutes    2. Communication and dialogue (Build            local, regional and global partners, through
and the private sector to establish a global       bridges between knowledge and                networks with other research institutes
curriculum and professional certification          decision   makers      by     continued      and agents of change. These networks,
on climate adaptation and we are exploring         development of our role as a relevant        whether with local NGOs, UN agencies or
whether this could be a template for future        and respected regional and international     organised around a topic or geographical
staff and capacity development.                    convenor of science-policy dialogues         area, are fundamental channels for our
                                                   and through continued improvements           impact and learning.
We will continue to invest in leadership,          in the communication of our research).
management and communication skills                                                             We will also aim to establish stronger
among SEI staff. A particular focus will be     3. Policy engagement and support                long-term     institutional  arrangements
to continue our staff exchange programme           (To engage with, and support, the            with partners and donors, ranging from
within the institute, which provides               development and implementation               multilateral UN agencies (such as our UNEP

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                                                                                                                         21
     Collaborative centre on climate adaptation       councils and foundations to fund its             What we will do
     and the newly organised Climate Change,          independent research and ensure our              6.1		 Invest	 in	 staff	 development	 (leadership	
     Environment and Migration Alliance)              academic excellence. This bottom-                      and	 communications	 training)	 and	
     to bilateral development cooperation             up approach remains a key aspect of                    research	capacity	development.	
     agencies (such as our framework                  SEI funding and will be supported and
     agreement      with     Sida),   knowledge       facilitated through the Institute leadership.    6.2	 Create	 a	 leadership	 structure	 for	 the	
     institutions (such as our collaborative                                                                research	 themes	 described	 in	 the	
     arrangements with IIED and IISD) and civil       SEI will also take on partnership-based               Strategy	2010-2014.		
     society and development NGOs (such as            applied research funding from a range
     the Ring Alliance). The objective is to build    of foundations, governmental agencies,           6.3		 Further	 develop	 the	 SEI	 Intranet	 to	
     more strategic partnerships and create           international organisations, the European              support	our	One-institute	culture,	create	
     synergies that deliver greater impacts.          Union, multilateral development banks and,             intra-SEI	 research	 links	 and	 provide	 a	
                                                      under certain conditions, the private sector.          toolkit	for	communications.	
     Our strategy for 2010-2014 is to diversify our   Environment                                      6.4		 Install	 videoconferencing	 technologies	
     funding base, and to increase institutional      SEI has adopted an Institute-wide                      enabling	 digital	 video	 conferencing	 to	
     core funding to 40 per cent of our total         environment policy that aims to monitor and            become	the	norm	for	intra-institutional	
     turnover. We use our flexible institutional      minimise our carbon footprint and reduce               meetings	by	2011/12.	
     core support to strengthen our institutional     waste. This policy is not just a set of static
     capacities, management systems, and              rules, but a living document that guides our     6.5		 Build	research	capacity	within	SEI	by,	for	
     our ability to monitor, learn and make           own behaviour and will evolve to embrace               example,	 taking	 on	 doctoral	 students	
     an impact. Core funding also enhances            targets that, for example, aim at reducing             and	hosting	visiting	professors.	
     our independence and ability to explore          GHG emissions to 2t CO2e per capita by 2050.
     far-reaching solutions to sustainable                                                             6.6		 Establish	 an	 M&E	 framework	 in	 and	
     development challenges that are not yet          In practice our environment policy is also             across	 all	 SEI	 centres,	 using	 relevant	
     part of mainstream funding or research.          about demonstrating that we are walking                automated	 procedures	 encouraging	
     Enhanced fundraising at the institute level      the talk: letting the world know that what             reporting	 that	 seeks	 staff	 opinions	 and	
     is also crucial because funds raised at the      our research shows is doable.                          regularly	 asks	 stakeholders	 their	 views	
     core level will help unleash additional funds                                                           thus	providing	constructive	feedback	on	
     within research themes.                                                                                 project	outcomes.	

     In addition to pursuing the institutional                                                         6.7		 Appoint	 an	 M&E	 Coordinator	 to	
     agreements, SEI will continue to work                                                                   organise	the	M&E	framework	across	SEI,	
     actively with partners on competitive                                                                   gather,	handle	and	analyse	diverse	data,	
     research grant proposals to research

22                                                                                                                       SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014
      and	support	M&E	implementation	as	an	
      everyday	part	of	staff	activity.	

6.8		 Diversify	 our	 funding	 base,	 and	 to	
      increase	 the	 SEI	 institutional	 core	
      funding	 to	 40	per	cent	 of	 our	 total	

6.9		 Pursue	 and	 implement	 institutional	
      agreements	with	Sida	along	with	other	
      development	 cooperation	 agencies	
      around	the	world.	

6.10		Expand	 our	 institutional	 funding	
      partners	to	a	minimum	of	three.	

6.11		Actively		 work	 with	 partners	 on	
      competitive	 research	 grant	 proposals	
      to	 research	 councils	 and	 foundations	
      to	 fund	 its	 independent	 research	 and	
      ensure	our	academic	excellence.	

6.12	 Currently,	 SEI	 monitors	 its	 carbon	
      emissions.	 By	 2011/12,	 we	 will	 work	
      out	 innovative	 and	 effective	 solutions	
      to	 reduce	 and/or	 offset	 our	 carbon	
      footprint.	 We	 are	 looking	 to	 work	
      together	 with	 like-minded	 institutes	 to	
      produce	robust	reduction	responses.	

SEI Strategy 2010 - 2014                             23
SEI Stockholm         SEI Africa                    SEI Asia                          SEI Oxford            SEI Tallinn          SEI US               SEI York
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SE-106 91 Stockholm   Assessment                    254 Chulalongkorn University      266 Banbury Road,     Box 160              Somerville, MA       Heslington
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Tel +46 8 674 7070    Dar es Salaam                 Pathumwan
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