Developing countries are increasingly recognising the importance of science in developing their economies, and the challenges that entails.
Publications and information services
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This UN Development Programme initiative helps drought-prone countries prepare for extreme weather events and reduce anticipated negative impacts. The website includes succinct overviews of drought-risk in individual African countries, as well as a comprehensive links section pointing to relevant networks, research centres, regional organisations and other sources of information, often in developing countries.
AJOL is an online database that hosts more than 400 peer-reviewed, African-published research journals. Over a quarter of these journals are open access. The website provides access to tables of contents, abstracts and links to full-text articles in PDF format, as well as author guidelines and contact details for each journal. It also provides useful resources for researchers and publishers.
AMCOST provides a forum for formulating and implementing policies for science, technology and innovation issues that have an impact on African development. It was established by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the African Union in November 2003, and has since developed and adopted Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action.
AMCOST's website outlines ongoing projects in biodiversity, energy, water, material sciences, mathematics and space science technologies, among others. It also offers information on the activities and rationale behind both the African Panel on Biotechnology and the African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Initiative.
AfroAIDSinfo is a web-based project of the South African Medical Research Council, which disseminates information about HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa to the media, researchers, health professionals, the public, educators and policy makers. The site has news and resources including research briefings, policy reports and health information, with a particular emphasis on access to antiretroviral drugs.
AEGiS, a non-profit organization that is a web-based reference for HIV/AIDS information. AEGiS is a virtual HIV/AIDS library containing reference materials and late-breaking information from HIV/AIDS-specific publications and news sources from around the world. The site disseminates and archives information daily, offers e-communication lines, such as an Ask the Doc forum and documents pandemics via global historical database.
AIDSchannel is a multimedia web portal - hosted by OneWorld.net
- for the exchange and sharing of news and information about HIV/AIDS. In particular it aims to promote sustainable development, social justice and human rights around the world. Resources include news, analysis, guest editorials, a weekly email digest and radio exchange. The site links to a searchable database of 1,500 member organisations, including NGOs, governments, research institutions and media.
This HIV/AIDS web portal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (publisher of Science) ceased operating in December 2003, but remains an important archive of documents relating to AIDS prevention, treatment and vaccine development. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
has taken over the role of reviewing and highlighting recently published scientific literature.
A well-organised service from the US Department of Health and Human Services, AIDSinfo provides news and up-to-date information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. This educational resource is conveniently divided into sections aimed at different levels of technical expertise: patients and the general public, health care professionals, and researchers. The site includes information on all federally approved treatments, HIV/AIDS research, links and an extensive glossary of scientific and medical HIV/AIDS terms (in both English and Spanish). The site also contains a database of international clinical trials
for HIV vaccines and treatments, including in Africa and Asia.
This online resource centre, run by the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer and Technology, aims to raise policymakers' awareness of the importance of innovation for sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The website features a directory of grassroots innovations and traditional knowledge. It also publishes information on discussion forums, workshops and seminars, as well as detailed case studies of innovation systems and policy measures in several countries. It provides inks to useful resources and relevant organisations by country.
The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) is an independent centre in the Asia and Pacific Region, working towards disaster risk reduction (DRR) and sustainable development.
It promotes disaster awareness, the development of local capabilities, and institutionalised disaster management and mitigation policies.
Specific areas of work include risk assessment, mainstreaming DRR into development processes, urban risk management, and climate change risk management. The ADPC conducts regular regional, national, and local training courses for governments, scientists, and humanitarian policymakers alike.
The website hosts details on the centre's thematic focus and core programmes, as well as information on training and information and knowledge management.
BioethicsWeb, an initiative of the Wellcome Trust, was launched in July 2003 and contains annotated links to hundreds of sites related to biomedical ethics. In addition to research ethics, topics covered include cloning, animal research, genetically modified foods, biotechnology, scientific misconduct and genetic testing. Categories of particular relevance to research ethics include "ethics: theory and concepts" and "research conduct". Much of the material on this extensive and useful site comes from Europe and North America, but material from developing countries is also linked to where available.
BioMed Central is an independent publishing house committed to providing immediate free access to peer reviewed biomedical research. This site provides links to BMC's articles on medical ethics, some of which relate to developing countries (prospective authors can submit their articles for peer review and publication). Other relevant journals on the site include BMC International Health and Human Rights and the International Journal for Equity in Health. One linked site
, provided by the West African Doctor's network, allows researchers in developing countries to conduct searches of PUBMED via email.
A service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), BINAS monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology. The website contains up-to-date news information and a searchable database giving details of regulations, field trials and commercialisation of GM crops in different countries.
The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre examines how human rights-based approaches can be brought to bear on the operations of international corporations and businesses, particularly with regard to environmental, social, and health-related impacts. As international companies can be the drivers of advances in science and technology, the centre aims to encourage companies to respect human rights by providing relevant information and facilitating constructive discussion.
The website provides resources including guidance on human rights grouped by country, issue and sector; information on principles and standards; and useful tools for monitoring performance. It publishes news and weekly alerts on human rights issues related to business.
CABI is a not-for-profit, intergovernmental organisation specialising in agricultural and environmental research, publishing and communication. With over 40 different member countries, its scientific projects include finding ways to lower production costs while using ecological practices. CABI studies environmental impacts of invasive species and pests, and searches for natural ways of controlling them. CABI also finds solutions to agricultural problems caused by climate change, provides microbial services and advises on trade policy.
CCKN brings together expertise, experience and perspectives from more than a dozen organisations from developing, transitional and developed countries. Limited resources, knowledge and capacity in developing countries, and lack of dialogue and understanding between industrialised and developing countries, obstruct progress toward international efforts to address climate change. CCKN aims to help address these gaps by facilitating focused research and capacity building in developing and developed countries, with sustainable development as the overall goal. Its 'Climate Compendium' has a comprehensive section on international negotiations
This website provides guidance on financing options available for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the developing world. It publishes information on where to access funds available from multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as public and private sources. This includes information on how the funds are governed, and how to assess project eligibility. The websites invites users to offer feedback and comment on ongoing projects, and share their experiences with projects that were funded successfully.
This US-based consumer project was started in 1995 and currently focuses on intellectual property rights and health care, as well as electronic commerce (broadly defined) and competition policy. The CPTech website provides a comprehensive archive of developments in these topics as well as various listservs including IP-Health (see below).
The Development Gateway is a portal that provides access to information on key issues with relevance to development, including science and technology and the role of knowledge in economic development. The Development Gateway is an independent not-for-profit organisation and it was conceived by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn and initially developed within the World Bank.
The US Department of Energy's genome site provides information about US involvement in the Human Genome Project (HGP). The website includes basic information about the HGP
, educational resources
and a section on Ethical, Legal and Social Issues
(ELSI), There is also information about the GTL
(formerly Genomes To Life) programme, which will explore practial applications of genomic information.