Sumernet’s aims were developed and articulated through initial discussions with research partners. The agreed overall objective is ‘to marshal regional and global intellectual resources for the production of policy-relevant knowledge on sustainability issues in the Mekong region.’
Such collaboration is intended to help bring together a regional ‘knowledge community’, made up of researchers and analysts committed to the over-arching goal of sustainable development in the Mekong region.
Regional Knowledge Network
Sumernet supports a regional network of research partners through logistic support for meetings, joint proposal writing and preparation of publications.
Electronic support for collaboration and coordination is provided through this website, an email discussion group, and dissemination of reports through Sumernet partners and SEI’s own distribution networks.
Sumernet is contributing to capacity enhancement in research work in the Mekong region through a series of training courses in effective communications, proposal-writing and mentoring of young researchers. Participants of training courses are limited in numbers and are selected from partner institutions of Sumernet.
Applied Policy Research
The Sumernet research programme is building a regional community of practice for applied policy research. Researchers are expected to carry out ‘sustainability assessments’ using commonly accepted analytical tools and methodologies. Important perspectives in all Sumernet research are the situation of poor and vulnerable communities, and the status of vulnerable ecosystems.
Linking Scientific Research to Public Policy
Sumernet promotes the use of scientific knowledge in public policy making. Linkages between scientific research and public policy are supported through a built-in process of engagement with development actors, decision makers, and policy makers. The network identifies and makes use of existing forums for engagement between regional scientists, policy makers and international organisations. A series of policy briefs consists of summaries of research results and policy recommendations in a number of key sectors.