UNESCO Headquarters are hosting, from March 14 to 16, the 10th Session of the MOST Intergovernmental Council to decide upon its strategic direction.
The Programme, launched in March 1994, is part of the Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS) of UNESCO. It was designed as a research programme to produce reliable and relevant knowledge for policy makers. The original mandate established a strong commitment to the promotion of research that was comparative, international, interdisciplinary and policy relevant. The programme was also designed to organize and promote international research networks, to give attention to capacity building and to establish a clearing house of knowledge in the social science field.
During its first phase (1994-2003), it operated under three thematic foci: Multi-cultural societies; Cities as arenas of rapid social transformations, and Globalization. After a mid-term evaluation, MOST-Phase 2 focussed on “Building efficient bridges between research, policy and action”.
The current Intergovernmental Committee meeting aims at setting the future orientation of the programme based on a new mid-term review carried out in 2010 in line with the aim of positioning "the organisation to address the challenges of the 21st century and make the most of prospective opportunities" and grounded on the findings of the World Social Science Report 2010. The strategic focus for the short and mid terms will be social inclusion, in particular, in
the following dimensions: social development, education, labour, science and technology and environment. It will concentrate in themes such as employment, youth, and “social investment”. The core strategic theme for the longer term should be social transformations arising
from global environmental change.