Category 06 November 2018

Making innovation policy fit for sustainability challenges - STIR approach

Are you curious about the role of public policy in enabling transformative innovation? Are you interested in exploring how innovation policies supporting sustainability transitions can be appraised and compared between countries?

The Inno4SD Sustainability Transition and Innovation Review (STIR) gathers evidence and expert views on the role of public policy in supporting innovation towards sustainability. The framework combines fact finding, critical reflection and constructive lesson drawing on “what works” and “what could be improved” in design and implementation of public policy.

STIR comprises a comprehensive mapping, analysis and appraisal of public policy based on quantitative indicators and a qualitative expert appraisal of a country’s performance. It can be conducted in countries at different points in their sustainability transition and facing diverse environmental and societal challenges. The reviews feature a comprehensive policy appraisal framework based on 12 criteria specifically designed to capture key attributes of public policies providing robust support for innovation and sustainability transitions. For more information on STIR contact:

The STIR framework is may be used to accompany various policy processes:

  • Policy evaluation – STIR may be used as a policy evaluation tool based on a mix of self-assessment and exert appraisal focused on individual countries.
  • Policy learning – STIR can contribute to a policy learning process providing a comprehensive policy appraisal framework for national debates and policy reflection on concrete steps to improve current policies.
  • International collaboration – STIR can stimulate international debate and collaboration on the current and future role of public policy in enabling systemic changes in economies and societies towards sustainability.

The STIR guidance document outlines the overall approach to STIR, provides methodological suggestions on how to scope and prepare the review, and introduces detailed guidelines on the structure and contents of the STIR report.

Five STIR reports have been prepared as a part of the Innovation for Sustainable Development pilot policy programme, including reviews of the UK, Sweden, Turkey, South Africa and China.