The InterAcademy Partnership
The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) was formally launched in South Africa in March 2016, bringing together three established networks of academies of science, medicine and engineering, namely IAP, the global network of science academies, the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) and the InterAcademy Council (IAC).
Under the new InterAcademy Partnership, more than 140 national and regional member academies work together to support the special role of science and its efforts to seek solutions to address the world's most challenging problems. In particular, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world's scientific, medical and engineering leaders to advance sound policies, improve public health, promote excellence in science education, and achieve other critical development goals.
The work of the world’s academies of science, medicine and engineering has resulted in lives saved, better education, and more effective policy approaches to a range of issues. Academies are typically independent and highly committed institutions that recognize and promote excellence and achievement. By definition, they are merit-based, with members selected from among the leading scientific minds within a country or region. In addition to their honorific roles, academies are vital civil society institutions that have the credibility to inform the public and policy-makers about problems and potential solutions. Their credibility comes not only from the scientific excellence of their members, but also from the fact that they are free of vested political and commercial interests. Indeed, although many academies were established by national governments and tasked with serving their countries by, among other things, bringing scientific perspectives to bear on national and international issues, they were also constituted as independent bodies.
Just as each IAP member academy represents an authoritative voice nationally, this unified voice of academies under IAP aims to have great impact at the international level. Now, as international attention has turned to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, IAP provides a collective mechanism and voice for science academies to further strengthen their crucial roles as providers of evidence-based policy and advice. IAP will also continue to produce evidence-based statements and reports examining major priorities for sustainable development, and provide independent and authoritative advice to national governments and inter-governmental organizations, including the UN, on critical science-based issues.
Current projects being implemented by IAP are:
IAP will also use the expertise of its leading members to assist in building the capacity of its less-experienced and newest members, thus strengthening their ability to take on an advisory role in their own nations and to contribute to global discussions.
IAP is guided by a Strategic Plan, approved by members every three years.
The three pillars of the InterAcademy Partnership include the three original academy networks, namely:
More than 140 member academies, who work together in regional networks in Africa, the Americas, the Asia/Pacific region and Europe (i.e. NASAC, IANAS, AASSA and EASAC) form the intellectual core of the partnership and are responsible for electing the leadership. Elections are typically carried out at a General Assembly of member academies held every three years.
Each of the ‘three pillar’ networks has its own Executive Committee (in the case of IAP for Policy it is a ‘Board’) led by two co-chairs – one from a developed country and one from a developing country.
Together these six co-chairs make up the Steering Committee of the InterAcademy Partnership. They are joined on the 10-member Board of the InterAcademy Partnership by representatives of the four regional networks.
The secretariat of IAP for Science and IAP for Health is hosted by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) at its headquarters in Trieste, Italy, while the secretariat of IAP for Policy is hosted by the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington DC.