Displaying 1-20 of 50 key documents
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
This document presents a collection of selected papers produced for and discussed at the Second International Conference on Early Warning, in Bonn, Germany, in 2003, and four regional conferences in Africa, Asia/Pacific, America and Europe. The conferences focused on integrating early warning into sustainable development policy. The document notes the failure of scientists, policymakers, local authorities and other relevant actors to use early warning systems efficiently, and makes suggestions for improvement. It highlights challenges, lessons learnt and possible trajectories for further development of early warning systems, and outlines key steps towards strengthening frameworks, finding resources, and designating responsibilities. Key areas for action include improving data collection, ensuring that warning systems focus on people and achieve gender balance, and creating platforms for early warning dialogue.
Source: UNESCO Division of Human Rights, Philosophy and Democracy | 2011
This report offers the most up-to-date and rigorous compendium of every existing human rights-based international and regional instrument and framework.
Published annually, the report also provides key statistics and comparative international analysis of evolving human rights standards and implementation of key rights-based mechanisms. It offers data on how rights-based instruments have impacted particular social and cultural groups (including women, refugees, and children with disabilities). It also provides scope for reflection on how the vast array of rights-based instruments implicitly and explicitly engage with science, technology, and development issues.
The report is divided into three sections. The first looks at universal instruments, the second regional, and the third consists of a copy of the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Source: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) | 2010
This document examines ethical and human rights-based approaches to climate change and climate-related vulnerability. It was published by the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), an independent expert advisory committee tasked with guiding the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in its implementation of ethical frameworks in science, technology and development.
In particular, the report focuses on ethical issues brought about by climate change, and discusses both general and specific principles that could be adopted to respond to these issues.
These include protecting human rights; providing equitable access to medical, scientific and technological developments, including the rapid sharing of knowledge about such developments and the sharing of benefits, with particular attention to the needs of developing countries; holding polluters accountable for the cost of their pollution; and ensuring that development is sustainable.
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: National Innovation Foundation (NIF), India | February, 2012
This document describes the work of India's National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in supporting grassroots innovation through activities such as documentation, business development and protecting intellectual property rights, and lays out proposals for strengthening links with African nations. Suggestions for Indo-African cooperation to spread innovative technology and ideas include cross-cultural exchanges and replicating the Honey Bee Network. The remaining part of the document contains an extensive catalogue of technological, agricultural and knowledge-based innovations supported and developed by NIF. They include a solar mosquito-destroying device, a portable and smokeless stove, a tractor attachment that collects groundnuts, and a hand-operated water pump.
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: Development Policy and Practice, The Open University | December, 2009
This paper discusses the shift in technological innovation from developed to developing nations, and its link to economic growth and poverty reduction. The author writes that until the 1960s, technological innovation activities took place in wealthy environments to meet the needs of rich, industrialised nations. But a rising entrepreneurial spirit, higher incomes and favourable economic conditions in developing nations such as China and India have created a favourable environment for the development and diffusion of appropriate technologies: low cost solutions for the poor. The author suggests that these parts of the world are likely to become the centre of appropriate technology development in the future due to the size of the population in need of innovations, as well as growing technical capabilities. He argues that this geographical shift will move technological progress away from large companies to small local producers.
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.
This editorial provides an overview of a special issue of the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development (IJTLID), which contains papers first presented in a symposium organised in South Africa in 2010. It covers themes such as capacity building, inclusion, inequality, case studies and measurement within the field of innovation studies.
The author discusses major challenges facing the field, and their relevance to broader development agendas and policy. The article highlights the increasing acknowledgement of the important contribution that innovation can make in efforts to balance economic growth with better quality of life in developing countries. It outlines a research and advocacy agenda to strengthen the role and impact of innovation for development, and describes how the articles published as part of the issue tackle the issues included in this agenda. Through case-studies, the article also points to empirical evidence of innovation practices and outcomes in different sectors.
This report reviews the achievements made by the 'Promotion of Grassroots Innovation in Asia-Pacific Countries' project, which aims to build capacity for member countries to source, document and disseminate grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge as a means of economic and social development.
The first section documents the theory and practice of grassroots innovation using case-studies of existing organisations, such as the Honey Bee Network. It illustrates the diversity of approaches used to engage with this type of innovation, as well as the ethical aspects of informed consent before obtaining knowledge from local populations. The second part describes advances made during national and regional workshops on the subjects of capacity-building, promoting grassroots innovation and creating partnerships.
Source: Environmental Politics | June, 2011
This paper offers a theoretical approach to combining innovation and community action as a way to bridge the gap between grassroots activities and mainstream technological innovation. It discusses how grassroots innovation differs from mainstream business reform, and how the United Kingdom's sustainable development strategy reflects this.
Using an example of communal housing, the authors show how technological innovation is intimately linked to social innovation. The paper characterises social needs and ideological commitments as key drivers of grassroots innovation, and describes the benefits and problems associated with grassroots activities. It concludes by stating that grassroots activities are neglected, and lays out a research and policy agenda to help address the problem.
Source: Springer-Verlag | June 2011
This peer-reviewed paper examines the factors that motivate people to innovate, with the authors arguing that material rewards, such as capital or patents, make up only one aspect of their motivation. Using grassroots innovation in India as a case-study, the study found that the intrinsic rewards of "getting things done" and satisfaction play just as important a role as extrinsic factors, such as increased income.
The authors developed indicators of motivation by looking at innovation as a process of three stages — idea generation, experimentation and application. They found that intrinsic motivations were particularly important in the early stages, when there are high levels of uncertainty about the innovation. They conclude by outlining implications of their findings for innovation policies, suggesting that use of funding and patents could negatively impact innovators by reducing their desire to share their ideas locally.
Source: UNEP | February 2012
This report presents important environmental events and developments of 2012, and provides an overview of the status of key environmental indicators. It highlights the benefits of carbon storage in soil and the decommissioning of nuclear power plants as issues of emerging significance, and aims to strengthen science policy in these areas.
According to UNEP's executive director, although these may seem like separate issues, they go to the heart of questions about ensuring enough food and fuel while combating climate change and handling hazardous waste.
The report points out that the draining of peatlands is producing carbon dioxide emissions that amount to around six per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions; and their degradation is occurring 20 times faster than peat is accumulated. It also suggests that the nuclear industry needs to develop safer, faster and cheaper decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
Source: UNCSD | March 2012
This document is a draft of the international agreement to safeguard the Earth's resources, which will be used to create a final declaration at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) taking place in Rio, Brazil later this year (20–22 June).
This 'zero draft' of the Rio+20 declaration, entitled 'The Future We Want', is based on more than 600 submissions from individual countries, civil society and nongovernmental organisations and other groups.
It outlines advances and setbacks on achieving sustainability since the 1992 Earth Summit, which also took place in Rio, calls for renewed political commitment and outlines a framework for progress towards the green economy. It also calls for support for scientific research and technology transfer in developing countries; strengthened global environmental governance; and sustainable development goals to replace the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The document includes an overview of the conference's vision, a framework for action, priority issues and proposals for strengthening implementation.
Source: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) | November 2011
This report provides an analysis of global innovation and intellectual property (IP) trends in 2011, and examines how innovation has changed. It also reviews how IP protection affects innovative behaviour, and what that implies for policymaking.
In four chapters, the report reviews trends in innovation and IP; the economics of IP; balancing collaboration and competition; and the role of IP in harnessing research for innovation. Each chapter concludes with recommendations for future research. The report examines questions that include the notion that innovation processes are increasingly open, international and collaborative; the drivers of increased demand for IP rights; and the rising importance of technology or knowledge markets.
It concludes by suggesting ways that IP and innovation policies can be redesigned to adapt to the growing demand for IP protection. It states that IP is playing an increasingly important role in innovation policies, and that moving beyond polarised debates will require fact-based research as well as translating economic research into accessible messages.
Source: OECD | April 2011
This report identifies good practices and potential concrete steps forward to help scientists and administrators involved in collaborative research programmes between developing and developed countries. It describes issues that must be considered when designing, implementing and managing such projects. The report distils information and analyses that emerged from the Global Science Forum project, which addresses issues such as achieving a balance between research goals and strategic development priorities, developing national capacity in science and technology, and using appropriate indicators to evaluate the outcomes of collaborative programmes. The report concludes by emphasising that international collaboration is essential to deal with global issues such as climate change because developing countries are often those most severely affected by global threats.
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: 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: Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
This paper, published by the UK-based Institute of Development Studies, examines how disaster risks associated with climate change might impact electricity generation and energy planning — which is an emerging research and development agenda. The authors argue that energy researchers and policymakers have overlooked how changing disaster risks could affect electrical power production.
The report assesses the vulnerability of nuclear power as well as several other options for energy generation — including oil, natural gas, hydropower and bioenergy — and identifies the implications for energy policy and planning. It lists recommendations as to how policymakers could take into account the link between disaster risk management and low-carbon development to improve the capacity of developing countries to build resilience. Suggestions include completing environmental impact assessments when siting new power plants, establishing better links between energy, climate, and disaster policymakers, and planning climate change adaption strategies for electricity production.