The VSS Academic Advisory Council will draw upon its significant research expertise in VSS to develop a ‘framework on effectiveness’ that will integrate the disparate existing research on VSS and elucidate key concepts, thereby creating a state-of-the-art framework that can be used as the foremost academic resource on VSS and as a springboard for further research.

To do so, this establishment will bring together a network of prominent international scholars and research centres to catalogue existing work and develop a common terminology for the research into and assessment of the effectiveness of VSS, ultimately bringing coherence to a currently fragmented field and allowing for a more productive academic debate. Finally, the VSS Academic Advisory Council will develop a set of recommendations for economically beneficial and inclusive policies and development programs based on best practices, taking into consideration developing countries’ individual economic, social and environmental concerns. The UNFSS and the GGS will jointly facilitate and coordinate the VSS Academic Advisory Council, fostering a direct and comprehensive exchange between academics and practitioners.

Against this background, the objectives of the VSS Academic Advisory Council includes:

  1. Establishing a network of experts on VSS, with researchers, universities and research centres

The establishment of the network of researchers, universities and research centres would substantiate the most important and cutting-edge research on VSS and effectiveness, creating a platform for the exchange of relevant data, research outcomes, and policy developments, as well as to showcase innovative research developments and share relevant data. The aim of establishing this network is to encourage and facilitate an informed exchange between and among researchers working on different aspects of VSS and effectiveness, creating space for the development of common frameworks and concepts, and provide a more comprehensive assessment along the different dimensions of VSS effectiveness.

  1. Foster pioneering research and academic debate in this field via knowledge exchange and policy dialogues

The UNFSS and the GGS will bring members of the network together in a yearly workshop for participants to share their latest research, provide feedback to other researchers, explore research synergies and potential for collaboration, and identify topics for future research. Key stakeholders (practitioners) and researchers will be invited to present their views on some of the outstanding challenges or hot topics identified within the field. These workshops aim to spark an interactive discussion among the various stakeholders involved in VSS and effectiveness, and by inviting stakeholders to take part, the workshops will give researchers the opportunity to test their results among practitioners and gain crucial feedback.

  1. Bring together for the first time the divergent strands of research on VSS while widening its engagement in the fields of sustainable development, trade policy, public governance, international political economy, etc.

By participating in the VSS Academic Advisory Council, researchers would be able to collaborate with various leading scholars in the fields of sustainable development, trade policy, public governance and international political economy, etc. Since the AAC aims to launch calls for joint academic contributions, the scope for such collaboration is significant and could considerably enhance the international profile and academic output of participating researchers, e.g. through joint publications or research stays and exchanges. In doing so, the AAC would generate additional exposure for the research into the effectiveness of VSS in pursuing sustainable development and the SDGs that is already being conducted.

  1. Provide inputs to the empirical and theoretical researches and develop a common foundation upon which further research can be conducted

Last but not least and most importantly, the careful selection of partners to participate in the VSS AAC would also benefit the works of UNFSS. The selected high calibre of expertise does not only become part of the UNFSS community but will also be credited as substantive input givers to the UNFSS research publications and dialogue/ workshops discussions.