Displaying 1-17 of 17 key documents
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: 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: 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: Africa Progress Panel
This policy brief, prepared by the Africa Progress Panel, African Development Bank and UN, outlines the implications of climate change for Africa, emphasising the need for a strong and cohesive negotiating position at the December 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen.
The authors argue that African governments must define practical steps for the international community to address the climate crisis. Three areas require urgent action: clear emissions targets and an adaptation fund; energy-saving technologies through additional financing and technology transfer; and improving long-term frameworks such as the Clean Development Mechanism and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
To achieve this, argue the authors, African heads of state and ministers of finance, planning and environment must collaborate on a practical strategy position to generate maximum buy-in from the rest of the world. This must be achieved in time for high-level meetings in the second half of 2009.
Source: World Health Organization
In 2005, the World Health Assembly called on WHO member states to tackle their growing rates of cancer by developing rigorous cancer control programmes. To help guide the process, the WHO developed a series of six modules that provide practical advice for programme managers and policy-makers on how to advocate, plan and implement effective cancer control programmes, particularly in developing countries.
Individual modules focus on planning; prevention; early detection; diagnosis and treatment; palliative care; and policy and advocacy. As of May 2008, all but the one on policy and advocacy have been published.
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: Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTU) | July 2007
This draft policy brief says African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries can use local natural resources — such as sugarcane and jatropha — to meet energy requirements through biofuels, curtailing dependence on fossil fuels.
But the authors warn of challenges for developing countries, including economic and trade issues, and suggest practical steps for meeting these. They also present various bioenergy options for households, such as BioGel — a solid wood-substitute made from low-grade ethanol mixed with a gelling agent.
The brief makes a number of policy recommendations, including national strategies for promoting and sustaining local demand, and more funding for local and regional ACP research.
Source: African Union | April 2001
The African Union (AU) developed the African Model Law on Safety in Biotechnology to help countries across the continent fulfil their obligations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and manage related issues.
The AU encourages the development of a common position on biosafety regulation (see AU Biosafety Project) across the continent. It does not have the authority to legislate on behalf of its members — but it promotes the Model Law as a framework for individual countries to use in creating their own laws and institutions.
The Model Law is being revised through an ongoing consultation process before submission to AU governments for possible adoption at national level.
Source: African Technology Policy Studies Network | 2002
This study examines technology transfer in the Nigerian oil industry, focusing on how the Nigerian National Petroleum Company acquires technologies and accumulates technological capabilities. It examines the training efforts used to master imported technologies and looks at how technical change affects the company's production and financial performance.
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute | June 2006
This collection of seven policy briefs summarises recent research on the potential for transgenic improvement of banana and maize crops in East Africa. It is part of a series of briefings produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute and two other centres.
The collection provides a helpful overview of practical and inter-disciplinary research relevant to the two crops, and highlights key issues for evaluating the potential application of genetically modified technology.
The first article introduces the collection and highlights key issues. Subsequent articles assess the systems for disseminating new planting material and gauge the potential demand for transgenic banana and maize varieties in the region.
The last three articles look at biosafety risks and crop biodiversity.
Source: IFPRI | January 2006
In this discussion paper, Gregory Jaffe of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) evaluates the biosafety frameworks of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda against a set of nine basic principles that should characterise a "functional and protective" biosafety system. His analysis also takes into account the obligations laid down by international agreements such as the Biosafety Protocol, World Trade Organisation rules and the Codex Alimentarius.
The report recommends a number of specific improvements for each of the three countries' biosafety systems. The author also evaluates the scope for standardisation among the three countries, with a view to streamlining decisions and making best use of limited scientific and regulatory capacity.
The report will be particularly useful to policy-analysts, scientists, business-people and journalists in East Africa who want to know about the biosafety systems in the three countries, and to anyone who wishes to understand more about the basic principles of biosafety regulation in general.
Source: World Health Organization | 2005
This risk assessment for Africa, published last year, covers influenza outbreaks in poultry and their significance for human health, human cases of H5N1, vaccine research and development, the role of antivirals during a pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO) support for pandemic preparedness in Africa, and recommended priority actions for African nations. The priority actions are fourfold. First, that African nations collaborate with one another, forming close links between various health sectors. Second, that existing coordinating bodies expand their role to include pandemic influenza. Third, that the surveillance and response systems are improved with the support of the WHO Regional Office. Fourth, that mechanisms be put in place to communicate messages to the public and media.
Source: International Environmental Law Research Center | 2001
This article analyses the ways in which African states might implement plant variety protection as part of their obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.
The report summarises the legal and institutional framework of intellectual property rights, examines the possibility of developing alternative regional and domestic systems, argues the case for sui generis plant variety protection systems, and highlights lessons from India concerning the development of such systems. The author recommends that African — and should avoid the introduction of patents or plant breeders' rights.
The report summarises the legal and institutional framework of intellectual property rights, examines the possibility of developing alternative regional and domestic systems, argues the case for sui generis plant variety protection systems, and highlights lessons from India concerning the development of such systems.
The author recommends that African — and should avoid the introduction of patents or plant breeders' rights.