Nearly 400 participants, representing 70 countries participate in the FAO Science and Innovation Forum side event “Access to Scientific Information in the Global South: Partnering for Action”


Nearly 400 participants, representing 70 countries participated in the FAO Science and Innovation Forum side event “Access to Scientific Information in the Global South: Partnering for Action,” which took place on 12 October 2022.

The panel was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Health Organization (WHO), Elsevier Foundation, and Research4Life.

The side event successfully brought together a diversity of perspectives based on science, with the speakers including:

  • Moderator: Marcela Villarreal, Director, Partnerships and UN Division, FAO
  • Gracian Chimwaza, Chair of the Executive Council, Research4Life
  • Kimberly Parker, Programme Manager, Science Division, WHO
  • Andrew Czajkowski, Director Technology and Innovation Support, WIPO
  • Ylann Schemm, Director, The Elsevier Foundation & Vice-President for Corporate Responsibility, Elsevier
  • Caroline Sutton, CEO, The International Association for Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM)

During the session, the speakers presented different initiatives managed by UN agencies and other stakeholders including AGORA and Research4Life, a partnership between FAO, WHO, WIPO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), 200+ publishers, universities and non-profits. Even further, how these initiatives support low- and medium-income countries to strengthen evidence-based decision making, especially on research and policies related to agrifood systems transformation.

The session successfully facilitated discussions about the actions currently in place to encourage information and knowledge exchange, the benefits, and how these initiatives are contributing to analyzing options for strengthening science and evidence-based decision-making.

This side event directly contributed to the accessibility and dissemination of academia research outputs and data related to food and agriculture, with a focus on the exchange of knowledge and information as a critical step to achieving the SDGs.

At the conclusion of the event, the session moderator, Marcela Villarreal, highlighted the importance of the session with some takeaways:

“I think after listening to our panelists, we have really interesting insights, including new strategies and how to approach information and knowledge exchange in the future.

We now know about the amazing amount of resources that are available out there, including the different kinds and the importance of having these resources at a time when they are needed, very specifically during emergencies.

We also heard a lot about equity and diversity inclusion and this is where we’re going, towards a future where everybody will be able to be in a win-win situation by having more access to that localized knowledge.”

The event recording is available here: