IHDP Knowledge Transfer Database

About IHDP

IHDP was founded in 1990 by the International Social Science Council (ISSC) under the name Human Dimensions Programme (HDP). Together with the International Council for Science (ICSU) the ISSC established it under its permanent name International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) in 1996. Ten years later, the United Nations University joined as an institutional sponsor and host, and the Secretariat subsequently moved from the University of Bonn to the UN Campus where it had its offices at the "Langer Eugen" office building, the former home of the "Abgeordnetenhaus" of the German Bundestag, until its closure in June 2014.

IHDP was an interdisciplinary science programme that worked toward a better understanding of human interaction with and within their natural environment. The programme facilitated dialogue between science and policy to ensure that research results fed into policy-planning and law-making processes, and offered education and training to, what were, future leaders in the field.

IHDP pursued its mission through activities in three core areas:

1. Mobilizing the social sciences:
To successfully address this challenge, IHDP maintained a balanced portfolio of research projects, supported by the Secretariat, as well as collaborative research projects conducted under the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).

2. Bridging science and policy:
The IHDP Secretariat sought to further develop its competency in this field and create opportunities for its projects to present scientific findings to decision-makers. The programme's value added toward addressing global needs in both policy and research resided in its power to convene, mobilize and catalyze research and dialogue. The IHDP Secretariat had access to intergovernmental processes and long-standing experience with multidisciplinary approaches, while serving a diverse clientele as a dialogue facilitator and matchmaker.

3. Education and training:
By offering education and training initiatives to early and mid-career scholars who will be future leaders in science, policy and the media, IHDP provided them with the knowledge and skills needed to address the social challenges of Global Environmental Change (GEC) within their regions. Our approach included training, networking, research, and career opportunities with an inter- and multidisciplinary focus, and aimed to establish a broad science-policy-public learning process that could increase the shared understanding of complex issue areas of GEC.

The IHDP network was broad and lively, and contributed to the fulfillment of IHDP's mission to conduct first-class research, nurture future leaders in the field and facilitate dialogue between science and policy. The Scientific Committee (SC) guided IHDP's work agenda, approving scientific projects, electing their steering committees and taking strategic decisions that impact the Programme as a whole. The IHDP Secretariat advised, coordinated and supported IHDP's research projects and National Committees. It played a central role in the development, implementation and evaluation of the programme's goals and collaborated closely with IHDP's partner global change programmes (DIVERSITAS, IGBP and WCRP) and the broader research network. IHDP's international project offices (IPOs) were located in different parts of the world. The IPOs run the various projects that were conceptualized and supported by IHDP, sometimes in partnerships with other programmes in order to identify and generate new, cutting-edge research activities and priorities, promote international cooperation and build linkages between policymakers and researchers.