Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Program

The MOST Program's primary purpose is to transfer relevant Social Sciences research policy and decision-makers who need and can use those results. MOST focuses on building efficient bridges between research, policy and practice. The program seeks to promote a culture of evidence-based policy-making – nationally, regionally and internationally. As the only UNESCO program that fosters and promotes social science research, it is placed in a pivotal position in the overall promotion of UNESCO's goals. It is managed as part of the Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS) of UNESCO.

Developing nations, with their complex cultures, institutions and economies, and little tradition in evidence based policy-making have a great need for models and assistance in the utilization of research results. However, the MOST program objectives should resonate in any nation, including the United States.

The MOST Program encourages Member States to establish National Liaison Committees (NLCs) to spur co-operation between researchers, decision-makers and the Program Secretariat.
Member States are free to establish the structure and composition of a MOST National Liaison Committee according to their own priorities. Liaison Committees are generally constituted with the support of UNESCO National Commissions......

The composition of NLCs may include social science researchers based in universities or other research institutions and representatives of bodies co-ordinating research funding and of research-user groups such as governments, the private sector, trade unions, professional associations, NGOs or community based 0rganisations.
By 2000, 61 countries had set up NLCs. However, to the best of my knowledge, although the United States leads the world in social science, a National Liaison Committee has not yet been created here. Were such a committee to be created, it might well provide invaluable leadership to the UNESCO MOST program, while bringing back the best thinking in other countries to help us domestically to utilize research from economics, sociology, organizational sciences, and political science to improve our own society.

Read an evaluation of the National Liaison Committees.

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