IPAG’s Agenda 10 for the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world with millions of confirmed cases and thousands of deaths across the world. What has been termed as a once-in-a-100-year event, the pandemic has sent global economies in a tumble as even the most developed nations struggle to contain the spread of this deadly disease. The disease has already plunged the world into recession as its impact is expected to last for years to come. Almost all organizations – global, regional, national – have come forward in their own capacities to tackle the crisis and ameliorate the fallout from this pandemic.

As part of the international think tank community, The Institute for Policy Advocacy, and Governance (IPAG) has undertaken a 10-point agenda to serve better the global community in dealing with a crisis as its effects continue to unfold in the months and years to come.

IPAG’s Agenda 10 for responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19):

  1. collecting quality data & reliable information to facilitate effective policymaking.
  2. keeping people well informed on issues important to their overall wellbeing.
  3. research & analysis on subjects affecting lives of people – short, medium, & long term.
  4. advocating actions making a positive difference to people affected – nationally & globally.
  5. connecting stakeholders in pursuit of a common strategy & response mechanism to the crisis.
  6. formulating country specific policy measures to tackle the crisis.
  7. multi-sector expertise – health, economic, social, environmental, security, & geopolitical.
  8. using technology, social media, & digital connectivity to enhance knowledge dissemination.
  9. post-crisis scenario simulation & sector analysis for better adaptation strategy.
  10. developing a learning & knowledge kiosk, both online and offline, for global COVID-19 by leveraging country specific lessons & best practices as part of global intellectual resource pooling & sharing strategy.

 

SDG, Economy, Trade, & Investment

The UN adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) has been the driving force behind the global agenda on important areas like poverty alleviation & elimination of hunger, access to quality education & healthcare, environment & climate change, equity & social justice, women’s empowerment & inclusivity and so on and so forth. IPAG organized an international seminar in New York, US on October 10, 2017 on ‘Towards Sustainable Development: Lessons from MDGs & Pathway for SDGs’, participated by leading policy makers, development partners, think tanks, development economists, academics, researchers to have threadbare discussions on the lessons learned from the MDGs and the way forward to achieve SDG Agenda 2030.  The event saw thought- provoking discourses and animated discussions on the opportunities and challenges of SDGs and how the SDG 17 i.e. the multi-stakeholder platform can be synergized to pool global resources at a time when there is severe funding shortfall in achieving the SDGs.

IPAG has been invited to be a member of the SDGs Global Council launched during the World Government Summit 2018, in Dubai in collaboration with the UN, World Bank, OECD and supported by the Dubai Government. It is an interdisciplinary network of decision makers from governments, international organizations, academia, and private-sector across different countries sharing innovative practices and the creative implementation of the SDGs at the national and global levels. IPAG is on a fast track to have earned the confidence of important global stakeholders within such a short time.

In South Asia, IPAG works closely with important regional partners like the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in promoting regional trade and investment. At a global level, IPAG is one of the most active members of the Global Trade & Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA) and has been making positive contributions on formulating policies for promotion of global trade.

 

Environment & Climate Change, Energy & Natural Resources

IPAG has published four books on diverse areas related to the power and energy sector. IPAG also has co-organized and participated in numerous international conferences and seminars on issues related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, regional energy cooperation, energy security, and energy tariff & pricing.

IPAG and ADBI organized two regional capacity building & training workshops in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Thimphu, Bhutan for senior officials and experts from the eight South Asian countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

IPAG’s knowledge partners among other include Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), McKinsey & Co. Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Stanford University, Oxford Energy Institute, Energy Studies Institute of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

 

International Relations, Strategic Affairs, & Security

The world is undergoing unprecedented changes through economic transformation, information and communication technologies, emergence of non-state security threats, and realignments in international relations. IPAG produces timely and relevant research and insights on important international and strategic issues in collaboration with its global partners.

IPAG organizes high profile international events in participation of leading experts and policymakers from around the world. In collaboration with The Institute for Defence & Security Analysis (IDSA), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, IPAG co-organized a conference in New Delhi, India on, “The Digital Age, Cyber Space, and Social Media: The Challenges of Security & Radicalization.”In partnership with the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India, IPAG organized an international conference on “Non-Traditional Economic and Security Risks in a Globalized World” in New Delhi, India.

To communicate its research findings to relevant policymakers and change mobilizers, IPAG attends high level strategic and security forums like the IISS Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore and the Xiangshan Forum in China – the two flagship and seminal security gatherings in Asia. At the Shangri a Dialogue, IPAG participated in the session on ‘New Patterns of Security Cooperation.” At the Xiangshan Forum, IPAG spoke on ‘Latest Developments in Terrorism and Creative Approaches to Cooperation.” During the Australian Cyber Security Conference 2018 organized by the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), IPAG participated in the session on “Building a Cyber Security Strategy that Works”. IPAG also participated at the India Conference on Cyber Security and Internet Governance at the session “Countering Violent Extremism in Cyberspace”.

IPAG contributes in the capacity building and training and has been taking course session on the topic “Cross Country Cooperation among Intelligence Agencies for combatting International Crime: SAARC Perspective” for the senior security, law enforcement, and intelligence officials from the eight South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) under the Training Workshop titled Transnational Crime: SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Perspective, organized under the Ministry of Home Affairs. IPAG also has helped the Military Institute of Science & Technology (MIST) on providing firsthand exposure & training on “Growing Cyber Threats around the World.”

 

Migration, Interfaith Relations, & Peace Building

Migration due to war, conflict, climate change, and internal displacements has been a persistent humanitarian crisis which the world is still grappling to contain. Migration is one of IPAG’s core focus areas and the organization carries rigorous, in-depth research on the issue. IPAG makes outputs of its research available to the wider audience, particularly those who are either leading the policymaking or directly engaged in the implementation. On that note, IPAG has written migration related Policy Briefs for the G20 Leadership Summits as follows:

Policy Brief on “Reforming the International Migration Governance System” for the G20 Leadership Summit, July 7-8, 2017, Hamburg, Germany.

Policy Brief on “Repatriation Challenges faced by Developing First Asylum Countries & the International Response Mechanism: The Case of Myanmar Rohingyas in Bangladesh” for the G20 Leadership Summit, Nov 30-Dec 1, 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Policy Brief on “Displaced Population of Environmental Perils: Challenges of Climate Migrants for the G20 Community” for the G20 Leadership Summit, Nov 21-22, 2020, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In addition to research & analysis and resulting publications & disseminations in the community of think tanks and academia, IPAG shapes opinions and influences public discourses on migration by writing for some of the well-respected international media outlets and other high-level policymaking networks to reach greater international audience, both regionally and globally which includes Project Syndicate, World Economic Forum, South China Morning Post, The Straits Times and Hindu. IPAG has also been invited several times by well-respected media outlets like BBC to provide its expert opinion on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis.

On interfaith issues, during the conference on “Sustainable Peace and Development in a Polarising World: Perspectives and Contributions from the Commonwealth of Nations” organized by the Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue (ICD), Griffith University on April 09-11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. IPAG actively contributed in the sessions on “Contextualising Sustainable Peace and Development in the Commonwealth”, “Reconciliation Across the Commonwealth” and “Muslims Building Peace and Security in the Commonwealth”.

IPAG, ICD and the Government of Kerala, India organized the G20 Interfaith Summit Preconference (South Asia) on July 25-27, 2016 in Kerala, India.

 

Regional Integration & Connectivity

IPAG has developed a robust regional studies program through conducting evidence based and policy driven, in-house research on emerging and established regional organizations and blocs particularly from South & South East Asia and China. Among others, China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) initiative has been one of IPAG’s areas since 2015. IPAG has presented paper on (i) Investment Cooperation in the BCIM Region (ii) Analysis of Prospects and Challenges for Cross-border Infrastructure Cooperation in the BCIM and (iii) Value Chain Integration in the BCIM Region during the Regional Interconnection Conference organized by the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

At the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, IPAG spoke on ‘Anticipating Risk in the ASEAN Region’. and shared its findings on how emerging technology and changing rule of geopolitics may pose risk for the ASEAN region. IPAG made a presentation on “Role of digital economy in facilitating inclusive trade” during the workshop organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi, India.

IPAG presented the COLD Model (Connect, Organize, Learn, and Develop) at the Conference on South-South Cooperation in New Delhi India. IPAG’s proposition of the COLD model was much appreciated and mentioned at the conference.  IPAG participated at the South Asia Economic Conclave organized by Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi, India. IPAG also organizes the Annual Dialogue Series on Bangladesh-India Relations where eminent experts from Bangladesh and India speak on bilateral issues relating to trade, connectivity and security. IPAG presented the keynote paper at the Policy Maker’s Forum for the Chief Ministers and MPs of North Eastern States of India at the 3rd North East Connectivity Summit in 2017 organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) IPAG made recommendation on boosting the connectivity with North East India and its neighboring countries.

 

Technology, Innovation, & Fourth Industrial Revolution

The digital age, cyber space, social media and the impending Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) are significantly shaping the landscape of the way we lead our lives as technology is dramatically changing our lifestyle with profound effect on important areas like education, employment, career choices, health services, social orientation and so on and so forth. Under these challenging circumstances, IPAG has been doing indepth research on important areas like empowering the SDG Agenda 2030 with the emerging technologies.

During the International Conference on Sustainable Development held in New York, US organized by the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) & the Earth Institute, led by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, University of Columbia. IPAG made a presentation on “A Fourth Industrial Revolution that Empowers SDG 2030: Exploring the Development Technology Nexus in Quest for Inclusivity”. As a Member of the SDGs Global Councils, an initiative by the UN, World Bank & OECD, IPAG made presentation on “SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” at the World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE.

For the G20 Leadership Summit 2020 to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, IPAG is writing a Policy Brief on “Impacts of AI and Technological Disruption on Employment & Workplace” under Task Force 6 on Economy, Employment, and Education in the Digital Age. During the 9th G20 Summit Innovation Forum held in Beijing, China, IPAG made a presentation on the topic, “Towards a Collaborative, Inclusive and Dynamic Global Innovation Environment”. At the Global Technology Summit organized by Carnegie India and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, IPAG spoke on “Issues of intellectual property rights and their impact on developing economies.”