Displaying 1-20 of 37 key documents
Source: Millennium Project | January, 2005
This report outlines the role that science, technology and innovation can play in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It draws from lessons learned over the past five decades, and describes actions needed to help achieve the MDGs through technological innovation, including building scientific infrastructure, investing in education and promoting business activities in science and technology.
The report acknowledges three main actors in technological innovation: governments, academic institutions and private enterprise. It argues that they must work together to improve the policy environment, technological infrastructure and capacity-building in developing nations. It suggests that global partnerships, advising policymakers and good governance should be encouraged, and points out that the diversity of political environments and resources means that countries should not have a one-size-fits-all approach to policy development.
This paper gives an overview of the history of science technology and innovation (STI) institutions and policies in the Latin American region, and the challenge of using STI to meet development needs.
The paper gives examples of public, private and civil society initiatives illustrating regional efforts to develop a 3D innovation agenda — one that concentrates on direction, distribution and diversity of innovations. It outlines areas for action to advance STI in Latin America, which include agenda setting, funding, capacity building, organising and monitoring, evaluation and accountability. Limitations and failings of STI are considered, and recommendations of further research are offered; they include persistent social and economic inequalities, institutional and political resistance to change, and the role of power relations in determining directions of STI policy in the future.
Source: UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) | January, 2009
This report — summarising a UNESCO innovation for development workshop — examines the role of innovation in development, and the contribution of knowledge, research and development to innovation. It focuses on knowledge in science, engineering and technology.
The report outlines analytical and theoretical frameworks as well as current innovation efforts and innovation policy. Major issues discussed at the workshop are highlighted in an action agenda, which suggests the need for more research and statistical indicators, dissemination of projects, human and institutional capacity building, better policy design and the need to increase awareness of innovation.
A separate report, which is included in the document, consolidates several themes that emerged from the talks, including the need to improve policy coherence, the difficulties of comparing innovation across countries or different points in time, the importance of capacity building, and the role of technology transfer in generating new knowledge. It also identifies challenges facing policymakers, the research community and international donors in achieving these goals. The report includes keynote speeches and links to Powerpoint presentations given at the conference.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) | December 2011
This report examines how agricultural research, and practices can promote gender equality, and why the distinct role of women in achieving food security must be recognised.
It gives an overview of how gender should be integrated throughout the research, development, and extension system. It explores ways of integrating gender in conducting research; designing, implementing, and adopting extension services; setting agricultural agendas; and evaluating the impact of gender equity initiatives.
The authors review evidence on the significance of gender issues, and present a conceptual framework that links different contributors to the agricultural innovation cycle. They discuss the data needed to inform gender-sensitive decisions and priority-setting, and argue that agricultural researchers must be attuned to gender issues in how technologies are developed and adopted. Each chapter provides a summary of findings and recommendations.
Source: European Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate (MedSeA) | November 2011
This report explains how acidification, warming and de-oxygenation are affecting the oceans, and encourages policymakers to mitigate these stressors and prepare appropriate policy statements ahead of Rio+20. It was written with the aim of raising awareness of ocean issues at the COP17 in Durban, South Africa.
The report provides definitions of ocean acidification, warming and de-oxygenation. It includes a guide to ocean impacts predicted to occur this century unless greenhouse gas emissions are substantially reduced, and how these impacts will, in turn, affect the climate via feedback mechanisms. It also outlines recommendations for mitigation, adaptation and research to improve understanding of these stressors.
Source: Working Group on Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways | November 2011
This report provides policy recommendations to help deliver safer and cheaper medical products to people suffering from neglected diseases in developing countries, where they are needed the most.
Although more drugs and vaccines are reaching late-stage clinical development, says the report, they are held back by a lack of funding to support clinical trials, as well as clinical research and regulatory capacity in settings where neglected diseases are endemic. This undermines safety and the validity of clinical data.
The report recommends a two-pronged approach to improving the quality and regulation of clinical trials in the developing world: establishing regional regulatory pathways for the oversight of clinical trials, and building quality and cost-efficiency into trial design and implementation. It also recommends practical steps that can be taken by donors, drug and vaccine developers, and regulatory authorities to begin implementing the changes.
Source: UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UKCDS) | August 2011
This report assesses the relevance and applications of 'complexity science' — a term that encompasses inter-relationships between different disciplines and objectives in international development projects. It provides a definition, gives examples of actual and potential applications, and identifies future possibilities and challenges.
The report focuses on how to apply the methodologies of complexity science — such as nonlinear dynamics, stochastic processes, agent-based models and machine learning — to study complex systems such as climate change and economic forecasts. It examines several areas of complexity science in detail, showing how they are likely to be beneficial for a range of international development scenarios, and offers an example of success in the automated use of data to improve the rate of correctly classifying soybean disease. It concludes that increasing the availability of data will make complexity science increasingly important, raising questions about how to best use this data and improve their availability and reliability.
Source: Climate Change Adaptation and Development Initiative (CC DARE), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
This paper suggests that research-based, small-scale interventions that help farming systems adapt to climate change can guide progress towards achieving food security and addressing the food crisis in the Horn of Africa.
It outlines lessons learnt from the Climate Change Adaptation and Development Programme jointly implemented by the UN Environment Programme and the UN Development Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The authors argue for a shift away from top-down, corporate approaches to agricultural research and practice, in favour of a democratic approach that involves giving more decision-making power to local people, including farmers and indigenous people. Small-scale initiatives reduce tillage, protect the soil surface and alternate cereal crops with legumes that enrich the soil.
The paper suggests that communicating food security solutions to the public can help balance vested interests and level the field in favour of small producers. Managed effectively, the current drought in the Horn of Africa offers a window of opportunity to re-establish food security as a global priority.
Source: World Agroforestry Centre | April 2011
This report synthesises the results of a review of 104 studies on gender and the adoption of agroforestry in Africa, and aims to identify strategies that challenge gender imbalances in development initiatives. It explores women's participation in agroforestry, including their ability to manage agroforestry practices, access to agroforestry information, and how they benefit from agroforestry.
The results highlight the substantial benefits that agroforestry can offer to rural women in Africa, mainly because it requires fewer resources than alternative enterprises. But women's participation is low, with limited access to information and markets, and a mixed record of successful management of agroforestry technologies.
The report provides several technological, policy and institutional recommendations for improving the efficiency of women's participation in agroforestry. They include domesticating important tree species, and ensuring that women have access to market information and microfinance. The report concludes by suggesting further research in areas such as measuring the income that women generate from agroforestry, and identifying the key ingredients of success stories across Africa.
Source: The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) The Earth Institute at Columbia University | 2011
This report highlights advances in the use of climate information to predict and prepare for climate-related natural disasters. It draws together 17 case studies that capture the current state of knowledge within the humanitarian community, and identifies research innovations. It presents the challenges and opportunities that disaster risk managers face in using climate science with a three step approach: indentifying the problem, developing tools, and taking action.
The results show that effective partnerships are crucial and can help to build the information needed for effective response. They also suggest how the use of this information can be improved — for example by focusing on immediate opportunities for action in countries and regions more likely to benefit. Recommendations also include developing realistic expectations, in order to maintain trust in the information and those who provide it, and encouraging national meteorological services to tailor their information to the problem at hand.
Source: UNESCO | 2007
This technical report provides policymakers with a framework for action to address the underlying causes for the science and technology (S&T) gender gap, and aims to promote discussion about gender in the scientific and academic communities.
The report provides an overview of S&T for development and discusses how gender can be incorporated into S&T education, research and policy. It incorporates empirical data and research contributed by institutions involved in science, technology and gender studies and policy around the world. It highlights the need to increase women's participation in S&T research, foster awareness about science, technology and gender among the general public, and collect more data for research.
The full report is available in English but Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian versions are being prepared. An executive summary is available in English, French, Arabic and Chinese. It is the first of several planned thematic reports to be produced by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Source: National Advisory Council for Innovation, South Africa (2009) | 2009
This report presents gender-differentiated statistical data on higher education student enrolments and graduations, human resources for science and technology (S&T), publication output, funding allocation, and scientific ratings given to individual researchers by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
The study finds that South African women's participation in science education has increased, and gender parity in funding for higher education and research has improved, even in the fields of engineering and applied technologies. But women are still a minority, particularly at higher postgraduate levels, and remain behind their male counterparts in access to S&T employment, scientific publications, and NRF ratings. The report recommends action such as promoting research on 'gender responsiveness' and tackling the unequal distribution of public resources.
Source: UNESCO Office Jakarta and Regional Bureau for Science in Asia and the Pacific (2004) | 2004
This study evaluates the extent to which gender perspectives have been integrated into science and technology policy in six Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It aims to assess the existing level of support for the integration of gender perspectives into national and regional policy, and to identify steps that could be taken in that direction.
The paper outlines each country's situation on science, technology and gender (STG) using statistical data and information about existing laws and policies related to gender, government programmes, key institutions and current STG problems.
A comparison of the findings suggests differences in the legal and policy frameworks that countries use to ensure gender equality in science and technology (S&T). The study recommends addressing regional concerns by prioritising the collection of S&T data by gender, for example, and ensuring that the scientific community is committed to gender equality.
Source: Meridian Institute | January 2005
This report, published by the Meridian Institute describes the growing interest of developing countries including Brazil, China, India and South Africa, in nanotechnology. The ways nanotechnology applications could solve health, sanitation, and pollution problems and provide faster, cheaper information and communication technology are outlined. The challenges of using and developing nanotechnology for and in developing nations including the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders are also discussed.
The Meridian Institute says nanotechnology can play a role in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. As a result, rich nations should dedicate a reasonable portion of their overseas development assistance to nanotechnology.
(To access the report, users must create a free login name and password.)
Source: Thomson Reuters | April 2010
This report, published by Thomson Reuters, uses a collection of data to provide an overview of the patterns of research activity in Africa. The authors note the drain of talent away from the continent and suggest that this is partly due to a chronic lack of investment in research.
The authors identify networks of collaboration both within and beyond the continent but conclude that it is unclear whether these networks reflect long-term research links, or current research interests.
Source: The American Academy of Microbiology
This report summarises current understanding of antibiotic resistance, the scope of the problem, and the methods available for detecting and preventing it. It highlights unique challenges faced by developing countries including poor research infrastructure and counterfeit antibiotics.
The authors highlight the need to build laboratory capacity, improve diagnostic tools, establish surveillance programs and implement tighter controls on antibiotic use in these countries.
Source: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) | September 2009
This paper, published by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, reviews proposals on using intellectual property to improve access to climate change technologies and the extent to which these may help developing countries.
The author, US lawyer Cynthia Cannady, criticises the practicality of implementing compulsory licenses, patent pools or databases, and voluntary licensing for developing countries.
Instead, she suggests a two-pronged strategy that supports research in developing countries and promotes mutually beneficial technological collaboration between developed and developing countries.
Cannady recommends implementing this strategy by managing developing countries' intellectual capital, supporting local climate change research and development, improving education and awareness, commercialising climate change technology and engaging in periodic assessment.
Source: Swiss Academy of Sciences
This report, published by the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), describes twelve projects to illustrate successful scientific partnerships between developed and developing countries.
The projects cover research into water-borne disease, natural disasters, brain drain and forest management, and include partnerships with researchers in Chad, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The report reveals how high-quality local and global scientific knowledge can lead to local development benefits. For example, collaboration between developed-country researchers and their counterparts in locations where infections are likely to arise can halt epidemics at the local level, benefiting the global sphere.
The authors suggest that future research budgets must take into account the global and cross-diciplinary nature of research and encourage scientific cooperation.
They say that approximately 85 per cent of global research and development resources are invested in countries within the Organisation for Co-operation Development (OECD), compared with just five per cent given to developing countries.
Source: WHO | 2005
This report from the WHO assesses the potential for creating early warning systems for vector-borne disease. It reviews the current state of research for several diseases such as dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria and West Nile virus.
The report includes an algorithmic framework for developing early warning systems, outlining data requirements and the different components of the system. It also contains two useful tables: one on the sensitivity of different infectious diseases to climate; and one summarising the existing research, identifying in which region the disease is most common, data availability and proposed actions.
A key problem in developing early warning systems, as highlighted by this report, is that non-climatic risk factors such as population immunity and food security strongly affect the potential for a disease outbreak. Equally challenging is the poor disease surveillance in many developing countries — the authors call on these countries to strengthen these systems, to help in the fight against climate change.
The report concludes that it will be important for researchers not to design these systems in isolation — health policymakers should be included at all stages of the design.
Source: World Bank | January 2002
This World Bank report describes the role higher education plays in building developing countries' capacity to participate in a knowledge-based world economy and outlines policy options to promote economic development. It confirms the shift in the World Bank's attitude to education support as a driver of socioeconomic growth.
The authors ask why higher education is important for development, how developing countries can best utilise their higher education systems, and how the World Bank and other donors can support local governments. They argue that knowledge is essential for development — and higher education is essential to create and apply knowledge.
They conclude that developing countries risk marginalisation because of their weak higher education systems, and stress the need for government and donor support.