The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) aims to provide scientific insight and guidance to policymakers worldwide by finding solutions to global problems through applied systems analysis.

IIASA has a long and successful history of developing systems-based, integrated solutions and policy advice for some of the world’s most pressing problems. These include energy resource issues, climate change, environmental pollution, land use, risk and resilience, and population growth. These multiple dimensions require a unique approach that can link diverse complex systems.

Through its research programs and initiatives, the institute conducts policy-oriented research into issues that are too large or complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. This includes pressing concerns that affect the future of all of humanity, such as climate change, energy security, population ageing, and sustainable development.

The results of IIASA research and the expertise of its researchers are made available to policymakers in countries around the world to help them produce effective, science-based policies that will enable them to face these challenges.

The previous IIASA research framework was divided into problem areas (e.g., energy and climate), their drivers (e.g., economic and population growth), and impacts (e.g., environmental degradation). However, problems, drivers, and impacts are closely related elements of systems analysis, and advances in scientific understanding have shown that integrating drivers and impacts can give insights into innovative new solutions.

Within this general framework, IIASA has strategic research themes. The Institute achieves its impact primarily by:

  • Undertaking large-scale, multi-year integrated projects to analyze the major global transformations.
  • Undertaking world-class research, through its research programs, cross-cutting activities, and international networks.
  • Undertaking small-scale, exploratory projects around emerging issues.
  • Developing new methods in systems approaches, not only in research but also in how that research is delivered to policymakers and other stakeholders.
  • Working in partnership with policy and decision makers, globally, regionally, and nationally, to translate this research into robust policy options.
  • Building global capacity in systems analysis and IIASA methods and tools.

In addition, IIASA hosts and maintains a number of databases and models used by scientists and policymakers. The institute also plays an important role in science diplomacy, using science to build bridges across increasingly complex political divides.

Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

IIASA Ecosystem Services and Management (ESM) Program has built integrated knowledge and data systems to provide a science base for land management policy processes in many global regions. These aim at improved human well-being and sustainable management of the Earth’s natural resources. Guiding production and consumption choices that are consistent across scales and compatible with maintaining equitable access to multiple ecosystem services is a scientific challenge that ESM is uniquely positioned to address.

Center for Earth Observation and Citizen Science (EOCS) of the ESM Program seeks the benefits of combining citizen science, earth observation and other non-traditional data approaches (e.g., mobile data, sensors, social media, etc.) with traditional data methods (e.g. surveys, administrative records, etc.) to respond to this challenge.


This Partner Works to Achieve These SDGs