The world is facing acute income inequality and social disparity. In the last 10 years, world’s billionaires have increased by 250% whereas extreme poverty has dropped by only 10% during the same period. Gender disparity is widely prevalent, especially in the developing countries and LDCs, inspite the fact that closing the gender disparity in just ownership of mobile and access to internet across low- and middle-income countries could add $700 billion in GDP growth (representing an additional 0.7 per cent of GDP growth) in these countries over the next five years.Social inclusion has become a global problem especially in the countries those are hosting migrants and refugees. As IPAG moves ahead, the Inclusivity dimension in whatever form – economic, social, gender, technological – will continue to be internalized in the research and intervention design process.
Issues like SDGs, Multilateral Trade, Climate Change, Technological Disruptions, Migration and Refugee crisis are multi-dimensional in nature. It is important to explore multi dimensionality of research areas to understand the true nature of the problem which among others include political, social, economic, environmental and technological aspects. Modern era challenges are multi-functional in nature with cross-cutting research areas that often influence each other.
It is important for IPAG that research projects adequately address cross functional interventions to ensure maximum value addition from the resources being made available for such purposes.
Digitalization, social media, and the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is impacting business, societies and basic human interactions. Any initiative, whether it is research or social intervention, needs to be compatible with the changing technological landscape. Frontier shaping technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Automation, Distributed Ledger etc., are blending the boundaries among digital, physical and biological spheres. If not addressed properly, the existing digital divide and growing technological disruptions will further exacerbate the existing social and income inequality.
IPAG’s technology checklist assesses whether research program/project has interface with the emerging technologies. If so, then to what extent socio-economic and other important aspects (like climate change) needs to be integrated into the research project to ensure that the vital development-technology-safeguards nexus has been adequately addressed.
Impact Research is an innovative model for research programs based around the idea of Impact Investment. The Impact Investment industry has been growing rapidly since its inception a decade back. The idea of Impact Investment can be replicated to knowledge industry and Impact Research is the emerging new big thing. The Value-for-Money will be in the core of Impact Research ensuring maximum impacts generated from the investment in research.
As aid fund shrinks globally, for ensuring best use of resources, it is important to prioritize research that influences policy instruments and implementation mechanisms towards making positive differences to human lives. In a fast moving world where technology is outpacing regulations, connectivity is changing the rules of engagement, and knowledge is being redefined by interest & impact as opposed to availability & need, “Impact” is a critical component of IPAG’s research projects.