OOS 74-9
Usaid's biodiversity and development research agenda: Opportunities for policy-relevant research

Thursday, August 13, 2015: 4:20 PM
317, Baltimore Convention Center
Diane Russell, Forestry and Biodiversity Office, USAID
Sara Carlson, Forestry and Biodiversity Office, United States Agency for International Development, Washington, DC
Andres Gomez, ICF International, Washington, DC

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the world’s major conservation donors. The Agency’s recently launched Biodiversity Policy cements its commitment to conservation and articulates a vision of biodiversity as a critically important foundation for human welfare, intricately connected to other development sectors, and fundamental to meeting its development goals.  A new Research Policy commits the Agency to evidence-based programming to improve outcomes and contribute to the global knowledge base. In this context, USAID designed a systematic, strategic, operations-focused, and collaborative process to define and prioritize key questions in the area of biodiversity conservation in support of its development objectives. This agenda focuses on usable science that can contribute to 1) build the evidence base for the links between biodiversity conservation and development outcomes in key sectors; 2) improve the effectiveness of conservation programs and projects; and 3) advise on the generation and use of evidence in project design and management.


The agenda seeks to highlight specific questions that, if answered, will directly inform decision-making in biodiversity and integrated programming in the Agency and beyond. We describe the process that led to the Agenda, its conceptual framework, the main themes and priority research questions identified, and suggest avenues for future collaborative engagement by a variety of stakeholders.