Research and data in the NWT

Knowledge Agenda

What is the Knowledge Agenda?

The Knowledge Agenda: Northern Research for Northern Priorities provides overarching guidance for science funders and researchers on the research priorities of the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and is used by the GNWT to promote and initiate collaboration with researchers for the mobilization of scientific, traditional and local knowledge. As a whole-government document, the Agenda articulates GNWT research needs across departments and focuses efforts and directs research in the northern interest. 

What are the research priorities identified in the Knowledge Agenda?

The Knowledge Agenda consists of 5 core research areas and 3 cross-cutting themes.

Core research areas:

  1. Cultural Sustainability - to improve understanding of the impacts of development and climate change on northern cultures, and to improve the preservation and use of cultural practices, traditional knowledge and languages.
  2. Environmental Stewardship - maintaining northern biodiversity, reducing cumulative effects, supporting food security and sustainable economic activity, developing innovative monitoring and research technologies and support for evidence-based decision-making.
  3. Health and Wellness - mental health and addictions, health risk from environmental contaminants and improved care and delivery of services.
  4. Natural Resource Management - improving the discovery, assessment and utilization of natural resources and the management of environmental impacts caused by natural resource development and a changing environment.
  5. Sustainable Communities - social and environmental research priorities, such as evolving land use and business strategies in a northern context, along with civil infrastructure-related research priorities, such as optimization of design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure.

Cross-cutting themes:

  1. Climate Change
  2. Innovative and Emerging Technologies
  3. Enhanced Role for Residents

What is the Knowledge Agenda Action Plan?

The Knowledge Agenda Action Plan outlines internal GNWT actions that support the Knowledge Agenda, to be completed over the next 5 years (2019-2024).

The Action Plan is organized into 3 major areas:

  1. GNWT Research Community - GNWT researchers need to be able to effectively connect, collaborate and maintain expertise in priority areas.
  2. Collaboration for Results - GNWT needs to partner with communities, external researchers and funding agencies to meet our priorities.
  3. Research Impact - Results and data need to be accessible and in a usable format for target audiences to ensure the work supports evidence-based decision-making.

The Action Plan specifies target outcomes, supporting objectives, associated tasks, timelines and leads for each of the action areas. There will be annual summaries of progress on key actions and a full review after 5 years to update the Agenda and Action Plan based on feedback, identified gaps and emerging priorities. Here is the most recent annual summary.