Sign up

ISC publishes review of Urban Health and Wellbeing programme

The report documents the independent mid-term formative review of the International Science Council (ISC) Urban Health and Wellbeing programme.

The Urban Health and Wellbeing (UHWB) programme was established in 2014 and is currently co-sponsored by the United Nations University International Institute of Global Health (UNU-IIGH) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), with significant financial support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Xiamen, China.

The review was carried out by an independent panel of five experts. As the review is intended to inform the next phase of the ten-year programme, the review panel purposefully focused its work on identifying critical areas for growth and direction.

Key findings

The review panel’s overall assessment is that the International Programme Office (IPO) has developed an ambitious ‘science plan’ and an impressive steering committee, as well as local hosts.

In the first three or so years, the IPO has experienced several challenges in meeting its goals and objectives as set out in the plan. These challenges, expected with any new IPO, range from issues related to language and staffing to clarity of expectations. The review panel is of the opinion that the core idea for the programme – to produce policy-relevant research – was ambitious, and that given limited resources, it requires careful re-thinking on how to go forward.


The review panel recommends that:

  • The leadership of the IPO should work in partnership with the CAS and the steering committee to revise the science plan in order to render goals and objectives relevant, feasible and attainable.
  • The IPO is strongly encouraged to establish a logic model and/or metrics of measurement (e. g. key performance indicators) that would serve both as a rudder for day-to-day operations and as a framework for evaluation.

The review panel also strongly believes that the programme possesses sufficient strength to enable scaled-down, targeted impact in its next and final phase, once appropriate staffing measures have been implemented.

Skip to content