The GEM Report preparation process

The GEM Report preparation cycle lasts about 18 months and each cycle consists roughly of the following stages:


  • A concept note sets out the scope of the report, usually supported by one or more think pieces, and is used as a basis for consultation (months 1-2).
  • The team develops a chapter outline and identifies the main research gaps (months 3-5).
  • About 30 background papers are externally commissioned to fill some of these gaps and to advance the research and policy discussion in the field (months 5-10). The selection of areas of focus and of authors for the background papers is central to the GEM Report research team’s efforts.  
  • The team develops successive drafts of the chapters based on its own research and slots in material from the background papers as they are finalized. In the middle of this period, an expert group reviews an advanced draft and provides feedback to the team (months 5-14).
  • The report is edited, fact-checked and copy-edited (months 13-16).
  • The report is designed and printed (months 16-18).

The background papers are a key part of this process. As shown above, their time frame, from contracting to finalizing, ranges between 6 and 9 months. Over the years, they have spanned a wide range of topics, contributing to our descriptive, analytical and critical understanding of the report themes. The papers are released when the Report is launched each year.