Displaying 1-20 of 21 key documents
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) | June 2012
This report gives an overview of the last 40 years of work carried out by HRP, the Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, which was established in 1972, following a World Health Assembly resolution.
HRP aims to advance sexual and reproductive health. The organisation is the central mechanism within the United Nations system for research into human reproduction — bringing together policymakers, scientists, healthcare providers and community representatives to identify and address priorities for the sexual and reproductive health agenda.
The report highlights key achievements, including helping to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; promoting human rights and gender equality in sexual and reproductive health; and widening access to family planning.
Source: DFID | July 2012
This report presents the results of a project that aimed to harmonise approaches to the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of climate change adaptation in Africa. The project also aimed to test ways of improving training materials on selected methodologies, and to develop a strategy for outreach. It was implemented by a core group of representatives from regional and sub-regional organisations, climate change adaptation initiatives and funding agencies.
The authors conclude that the project successfully facilitated an increased understanding of M&E practices, methods and tools in the context of climate change adaptation, and encouraged improvements to stakeholder organisations. The report recommends that the resulting M&E toolkit should be disseminated in Africa.
Source: World Agroforestry Centre | June 2012
This book compiles the findings of over a decade of ecoregional research and methodological innovation by the Africa Highlands Initiative, drawing on case studies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. It describes the experiences of stakeholders involved in integrated natural resource management (INRM) activities in the eastern Africa highlands.
The book showcases innovative tools and practical methods for putting INRM into action, and tangible results from these efforts in five countries. It shows the importance of an integrated approach to managing agro-ecosystems, and includes lessons learned on what works, where and why. It also shows that achieving sustainable agricultural development in the region is a complex task, and requires combined efforts and commitment by individuals and institutions with complementary roles.
Source: Forest and Climate Change Programme of FAO | May 2012
This report presents the results of the survey of forest stakeholders, soliciting their views, opinions and observations on issues that influence the ability of forest managers to respond to climate change. It is aimed at forest managers, policymakers, researchers, communications specialists and those interested in forests and climate change.
The survey was conducted to develop guidelines to help forest managers respond effectively to climate change challenges through actions consistent with sustainable forest management. Survey questions covered a range of areas including climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation measures, laws and regulations, and relevance of existing guidelines. The respondents indicated how much support they receive, and how much they need, in order to implement adaptation and mitigation measures. A complete set of the results are available on the FAO Forests and Climate Change Programme website.
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: Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change (CSACC) | March 2012
This report lays out a set of policy recommendations for the sustainable intensification of agriculture and reduction of food waste to create a resilient global food system. Based on a review of scientific evidence, it pinpoints seven actions that policymakers — including those attending the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) — should adopt to foster sustainable agriculture and efficient food supply chains.
Recommendations include integrating food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies;
intensifying agricultural production while reducing negative environmental impacts; and creating comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems.
This policy roadmap will require the reshaping of food production, distribution and consumption patterns, and empowering vulnerable populations to build a sustainable global food system.
Source: UNESCO | March 2012
The report provides a global overview of water resources and their importance for development. It also outlines how major global changes, risks and uncertainties interact with water resources.
The report aims to encourage all stakeholders including water managers, government, civil society and businesses to engage early in decision-making about managing water to ensure successful implementation.
It consists of three volumes covering issues around managing water under uncertainty and risk; the state of knowledge about water; and facing the challenge of coping with pressures on resources. The chapters cover a range of issues including water management; regional differences and demands; and approaches for managing water under changing conditions. The report highlights the need for political, social, economic and technical changes to promote more responsible action by water users.
Source: UNEP | February 2012
This report, which is part of the UN Foresight Initiative, describes the 21 most pressing emerging global environmental issues — those recognised as very important to well-being by the scientific community, but are not yet receiving enough attention from the policymakers. These cover a range of themes, from food security to biodiversity, energy and technology.
One of the most important cross-cutting issues identified in the report is the need to rethink international environmental governance. Other areas in need of improvement include the science–policy interface, and coping with incremental damage to the environment.
Improving food security in light of changing climate is also high on the list of priorities, with the report suggesting a need for more comprehensive early warning systems, support for smallholder farmers, efforts to reduce food waste and increasing agricultural efficiency. Other issues highlighted include managing the impacts of glacial retreat; improving ocean governance; accelerating the implementation of renewable energy systems; and considering the environmental implications of nuclear reactor decommissioning.
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: Japan Council for Science and Technology Policy | May 2008
This report, written by Japan's Council for Science and Technology Policy, provides recommendations to Japanese ministries for promoting science and technology diplomacy. Suggestions include pursuing research collaborations with developing countries and boosting capacity building efforts in these nations, fostering young researchers and engaging with global collaborative science projects.
Source: Royal Society | January 2010
This report summarises the evidence and main conclusions from a two-day meeting on science diplomacy, hosted by the Royal Society in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in June 2009.
The report explains the 'three dimensions of science diplomacy' and explores topics such as the soft power of science and practical barriers to scientific exchange. It also presents two case studies of science diplomacy, including how large science collaborations are being used to improve relations with the Islamic world.
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: Convention on Biological Diversity
This report from the Convention on Biological Diversity presents case studies of 'ecological networks' — programmes that aim to maintain ecosystem functions while simultaneously using the landscape sustainably. The extent to which ecological networks conserve biodiversity while boosting socioeconomic development is assessed in eight cases across the world, including Asia and Latin America. The authors also discuss how ecological networks can contribute to meeting biodiversity targets, reducing poverty and addressing climate change.
Source: UN Environment Programme and Convention on Biodiversity
This report examines the relationship between biodiversity, forest resilience and ecosystem stability in the face of climate change. The authors review ecosystem resilience and stability theories, and conclude that forests' capacity to withstand disturbance depends on biodiversity at multiple scales.
Source: LEAD Africa
This report, published in English and French, looks at the unique responsibilities of African regional institutions in leading the continent on climate issues.
The report makes six recommendations for action by regional institutions: provide technical advice to African climate negotiators; help develop a coherent continental framework for action against climate change; play a 'bridging' role between pan-African organisations and national ones; improve the availability of climate data on the continent by sharing information; and compare strategies for adaptation to inform policymaking.
Source: CID-ILRI | July 2008
This report, published by the Center for International Development at Harvard University and the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya, asks which institutions and approaches are most effective in using scientific knowledge to inform development strategies.
The authors evaluate five agricultural projects in Africa and Asia and suggest that the best strategies for closing the gaps between knowledge and action include: 'boundary-spanning' efforts such as creating partnerships to improve dialogue between researchers and local communities; 'use-driven' research directed at solving particular problems for particular groups of people; engaging stakeholders from the outset of a project; providing incentives for risk-taking; and improving project management and communication skills.
Source: UK Economic and Social Sciences Research Council
This is a thorough and in-depth analysis of the link between media coverage of science stories and the public understanding of science. The 56-page document was prepared for the UK Economic and Social Sciences Research Council by British media experts Ian Hargreaves and Justin Lewis, with the support of PhD student Tammy Spears.
The study, published in 2002, was based on data collected from a seven-month media analysis of over 2,000 science stories from radio, television and the press, and two nationwide surveys. It focuses on climate change, the MMR vaccine and cloning/genetic research.
Key findings include:
This study continues the work that Hargreaves began in his 2000 report Who's Misunderstanding Whom? in which he discusses the idea of 'dialogue' with the public regarding science, and the possibility of enforcing a code of practice for science journalists.
Source: South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement | 2002
The South African press has often been criticised for its lack of science and technology coverage. This is the report of a study which aimed to determine how and to what degree science and technology were reported in a representative sample of the South African press.
The study surveyed the amount of science coverage in 15 South African publications over three months in 2002. Around 1000 science and technology articles were sampled and studied for profiles of the science reporters, tone of reporting, use of visuals, prominence of coverage and of controversies, and the nature of the reported science.
There were a number of key findings:
The report concludes with a recommendation to repeat the study at regular intervals and over longer periods.
Source: International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications | 2003
This survey, conducted by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, gives an overview of the activities and views of publishers regarding access to their information within the developing world either free or at reduced cost.
The results of a short questionnaire, which was distributed widely on ListServs and email lists, highlight a number of small publisher-specific programmes already in place, mostly associated with learned societies and society membership. Countries eligible to join the initiatives are listed.
The survey also underlines the complexity of the publishing environment, where involvement in any initiatives to promote readership are dependent on other partnerships – with other publishers, with other societies, and with membership requirements.
Source: The Wellcome Trust | January 2003
This comprehensive study of the current status of the global science publishing industry was commissioned by the UK-based Wellcome Trust and completed in September 2003.
It reviews how the current market structure functions - in terms of supply and demand - who the key players are, and how its operation affects the scientific community and progress of scientific research. It then considers how the electronic revolution has impacted the current system, and evaluates the changes it makes possible.
The report ends with a study of the future possibilities for scientific publishing, depending on how the key players react (and interact) to the new possibilities offered by information technologies. As a conclusion, the Wellcome Trust gives its endorsement to open access in science publishing.