Time to rethink the science-policy interface? From COVID-19 lessons to strengthening One Health global policies

Tuesday 3 May 14.00 – 16.30

Salle 3

En anglais


The response to the COVID-19 pandemic casts light on numerous challenges in the interactions between science, policy, and the public. Criticism has pointed to a lack of transparency in the pandemic response decision-making process, an unclear role for scientific actors involved and a need for better integration of environmental, animal and social dimensions of health (One Health, Planetary Health).

How to give shape to a credible science-policy interface for future One Health crises management, and define the roles of key stakeholders involved? How to address socio-political challenges such as combining interdisciplinarity with the competitive natures of both science and policy-making?

Interesting features may be found in existing science advice ecosystems, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). What practical problems could such forms solve and what challenges will be left unaddressed for the science-policy interface for future pandemics and One Health challenges?

This workshop aims to facilitate a discussion on both national and intergovernmental levels, in the light of the upcoming pandemic treaty, the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP), and development of pandemic preparedness and response plans of national governments. The workshop’s organisers will work collaboratively to publish the result of the discussion, with participants invited to contribute substantial inputs.
The discussion proposes to:

  1. Review mechanisms and related challenges on how scientific expertise has been produced and used to inform governmental and intergovernmental policy-making during the COVID 19 pandemic.
  2. Explore the needs and formats to strengthen the science-policy interface for preparedness and response to health crises arising from the animal-human-ecosystem interface, taking into consideration experience from environmental governance.

The workshop will gather scientists and policymakers from different regions of the world and areas of specialty.



Gian-Luca Burci
Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies


Martin Beniston
University of Geneva
Wanda Markotter
University of Pretoria
Alexandre Hobeika
CIRAD, MOOD project
Abdi Mahamud
World Health Emergencies Programme
World Health Organisation
Erika Placella
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

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