Displaying 1-14 of 14 key documents
Source: UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) | 2009
This resolution, drafted by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), aims to mainstream global attempts to facilitate scientific innovation for sustainable development.
Its importance lies in engaging with the vast array of rights-based science and technology issues — including research systems, knowledge divides and cyber-security — and its explicit attempts to ground scientific and technological advance within the framework for achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals.
It presents a series of recommendations for consideration by national governments, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). These include mainstreaming science and technology promotion and investment in governments' national development plans; providing suitable working conditions for scientific talent, particularly women and young graduates, to prevent brain drain; identifying critical gaps in countries' innovation systems; and developing a clearing house for common development challenges that can be addressed through scientific, technological and innovation-related issues.
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.
Source: UNU-MERIT | June, 2011
This paper describes two case studies of smallholder farms in South Africa to assess the processes involved in agricultural innovation carried out jointly with farmers. It highlights the importance of experimentation and cooperation for cash crop and subsistence farmers, and reviews current policies to evaluate how grassroots innovation is being supported in South Africa.
The paper points to inadequate policy support for grassroots innovation. It outlines the characteristics of innovation systems including social contexts, learning cycles and self-reflection, and discusses intellectual property rights. The authors identify triggers for innovation, including the potential to cut down on labour, and suggest that policymakers and local communities need to engage in cooperative activities to create an enabling environment for grassroots innovation. Policy suggestions include creating links between formal and informal research and viewing collaboration as a key indicator of success.
Source: Harvard University
This policy brief, from Harvard University, explores research and development (R&D), cost and performance issues that the nuclear power sector needs to consider if the industry is to meet the growing demand for carbon-free energy. Based on surveys it offers estimates of the costs and performance of this research, and potential benefits that could be gained over the next 20 years.
A key finding is that current levels of public investment in nuclear power technologies will not lead to a major reduction of the cost of nuclear plants by 2030. Instead, many of today’s R&D programmes are focused on capabilities such as extending uranium resources or improving waste management and safety. The authors acknowledge that the Fukushima accident has highlighted the need for better preparedness and has undermined confidence in nuclear energy. The report concludes that development of nuclear power should address issues aside from R&D such as getting public acceptance and support from governments.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) | March 2011
This policy guide, published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, lays out the key requirements for developing effective and efficient smallholder seed enterprises, and how the process can be supported through policy. It argues that the best way to ensure production and distribution of quality seed in developing countries may be to support smallholder seed enterprises, but this approach can only succeed if the right policies and capacities are in place.
The report gives an overview of each stage of the evolution of the seed sector and possible interventions, as well as priority activities for policy support at each stage. These may include national policies to encourage linkages between research, quality control and financial systems that can support local smallholders in taking over seed production from the public sector. It outlines specific requirements for the establishment and sustainable operation of smallholder seed enterprises.
Source: Nanotechweb | Jan 2004
This opinion article argues that excessive concern about the risks of nanotechnology in developing countries could derail its progress and hinder the enormous health, environment and economic benefits to be gained from nanotechnology research. The authors identify the developing countries making the most advances in nanotechnology, those in the middle ground, and the "up and comers".
Source: Nature Reviews Cancer
Worldwide, cancer kills more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB put together. In developing countries where chronic diseases are now growing alongside infectious diseases, new strategies need to be developed.
This article outlines how to develop an effective cancer strategy in African countries on the basis of discussions at the recent African Cancer Reform convention. A cancer control plan clearly needs to take into account African countries' financial constraints and the authors outline six key essentials that would offer most health gain for money invested. These are: setting up cancer intelligence units to collect data on cancer incidence; controlling tobacco use; early diagnosis and prevention; offering treatment wherever possible; palliative care when treatment is no longer useful; and training and educating future generations of African oncologists.
Developed countries can offer crucial expertise and experience and collaborate on cancer information networks. Educating local communities about a disease that is relatively new but growing quickly will also be essential to stop it spiralling when many cancers are preventable or treatable when detected early enough.
In 2003, the Gates foundation infused new vigour into global health efforts by declaring that the 21st century's "grand challenges" included developing new vaccines and overcoming drug resistance. This new grand challenges initiative, launched by a collaboration of top global chronic disease experts, identifies priorities in tackling diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and explains in detail how research should be directed to meet each challenge (a challenge was defined as a critical barrier that if removed would help solve an important health problem).
To distill the range of opinions and priorities, the coordinators sought input from 155 stakeholders from different countries and disciplines. The initiative requires the participation of agencies like the WHO, individual governments, and non-governmental organisations as well as civil society and business if it is to succeed. The authors point out that the Gates initiative was linked to large funding, whereas this project will rely on multiple funding agencies to coordinate on these priorities.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine | January 2007
Global health experts have watched with increasing alarm as the waistlines of people in developing countries have started to widen with the adoption of a "Western" lifestyle. Obesity is of such concern because of its heightened risks for other diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
In developing countries, the number of people with diabetes is set to rise to 228 million by 2030 from 84 million estimated in 2000. The link between obesity and diabetes is so strong because obesity renders individuals unable to properly process glucose — about 90% of type 2 diabetes is due to being overweight. Obesity and diabetes also raise the risk for cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Diabetic nephropathy was the most common cause of end-stage renal disease in 9 out of 10 Asian countries, say the authors, which could be deadly for countries unable to cope with the health repercussions.
Source: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) | 2000
This policy brief, prepared for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), addresses the new agendas for policy in agricultural research as well as the institutional innovations that are emerging to address these agendas. The brief begins by outlining the origin of existing agricultural research systems in developing countries, and their original objectives. It then highlights the new policy agendas in agricultural research, such as poverty, environment, stakeholder participation, public-private partnerships and balanced research agendas, covering both novel research and efforts to adapt to existing technologies. It then addresses the types of policy responses and institutional innovations that have emerged in response to these new policy issues. Finally, the paper suggests how to analyse the institutional roles and relationships in agricultural research, and looks into the possible development of an Indian agricultural innovation system.
Source: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs | 2004
This discussion paper examines the impact of policy intruments to stregthen the demand of technology on technological learning and research and development investments in industry. It focuses specifically on advances in vaccines technology in India. The central argument is that national and international procurement should be reconsidered to ensure both an adequate supply and positive technological development. Its conclusion is that procurement programmes of international organisations rather than national procurement policies provides an opportunity for improvements in both the technology and institutions involved, although gaps in capability may remain.
Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | 2004
This policy brief discusses what governments of countries in the OECD are doing and can do to guarantee that science and technology continue to contribute to economic and social development, while minimising potential risks and taking into account the needs and interests of a growing number of stakeholders in government, academia, industry and civil society.
Source: United Nations University/Institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH) | 2002
The Technology Policy Brief Series is an ongoing publication from the Institute for New Technologies of the United Nations University (UNU-INTECH). The series addresses key policy issues surrounding science and technology in developing countries. Individual policy briefs focus on specific topics and provide a useful and updated overview of relevant issues and questions faced by policy-makers and other stakeholders in developing countries. Each policy brief is the result of collaborative efforts between experts working on the issues in both developing and developed countries.
The series consists of eight briefs on the following topics: the interrelationships between the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity; north-south partnerships in agricultural biotechnology; ICTs for innovation and the policy implications for developing countries; the role of transnational corporations in learning and innovation in developing countries and the implications of the Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) Agreement; energy and the environment; bio-pharmaceuticals and health; agricultural biotechnology; and technology policy issues at the World Trade Organization.
Source: African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) | 2003
The Technopolicy Brief Series is published by the African Technology Policy Studies Network and discusses issues with relevance for research, development and innovation policy.
Policy briefs address topics that include the justification of technology policy, the impact of developing intellectual property rights regimes in developing countries, and science in a context of globalisation. The briefs also address specific issues and cases studies in African countries.