Integrating Science & Technology into Development Policies

Integrating Science & Technology into Development Policies

An International Perspective You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
Publication Date :
23 May 2007
Pages :
292
ISBN :
9789264032101 (PDF) ; 9789264032095 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264032101-en

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Science and Technology is a key driver of economic growth, and it may also help provide answers for managing resources and reducing pollution, addressing climate change and preserving biodiversity, as well as  reducing disease and safeguarding health and well-being, while maintaining the general quality of life. This publication provides the proceedings of an international workshop, held in South Africa, intended to address how international co-operation in science and technology can further the three inter-related aspects (economic, social and environmental) of the development process. The workshop focused on good practices in international S&T partnerships, specifically in the areas of water and energy.

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    Foreword - Executive Summary
    On 21-22 November 2005 the OECD and the South African Department of Science and Technology organised a workshop on "International Science and Technology Cooperation for Sustainable Development", which was held at Kwa-Maritane, Pilanesberg National Park near Johannesburg, South Africa. A steering group made up of officials and experts from Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the United States and the OECD Secretariat was instrumental in developing the programme and identifying speakers.
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    Workshop Resolutions
    Global leaders, experts, policy makers and academics from the OECD countries as well as developing countries met at Kwa Maritane, Nor West Province, South Africa, to further the work of the OECD and its partners in the area of international co-operation in science and technology for sustainable development.
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    Résumé - Résolutions de l'atelier
    Cet atelier, qui s’est tenu en Afrique de Sud à l’invitation du Ministère sud-africain de la science et de la technologie, a réuni des représentants des pouvoirs publics, des entreprises, du monde de la recherche, d’organisations internationales et d’autres secteurs concernés, dans l’optique de déterminer la perspective à adopter eu égard aux problèmes qui se posent à la croisée de la science et de l’innovation, de la coopération internationale, du développement et de la durabilité.
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    Opening Statements
    It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to this South Africa-OECD workshop on International Science and Technology Co-operation for Sustainable Development. I gather from the organising committee that we have representatives from 31 countries. It is indeed a privilege for my country to host you here today.
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    International Science and Technology Co-operation for Sustainable Development: Background and Issues
    The importance of science and technology in enabling sustainable development was affirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 and especially at one of its major parallel events, the Science and Technology Forum on Sustainable Development, the conclusions of which2 were reflected in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). In this plan, the participating governments acknowledged the essential role of science and technology in generating solutions to environmental and developmental issues. Most notably, the document stressed the importance of enhancing development and transfer of technology to the developing countries, building capacities in science and technology so as to allow access to international research and development programmes, and building partnerships and networks among public and private actors in science and technology including knowledge institutions such as centres of excellence.
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    Technological Learning and Sustainability Transition: The Role of Institutions of Higher Learning in Africa
    The aim of this paper is to explore the role of science, technology and innovation in sustainable development in Africa. It argues that much of the scientific and technological knowledge needed to help Africa improve its welfare while protecting the environment is available. What is needed is to create institutional mechanisms and build human resources needed to harness the knowledge and put it to effective use. In the age of international relief, donor governments worked closely with non-governmental organisations and their influence flourished. In a new era of emphasis on competence building and enhancement of human resources, higher learning institutions must play a greater role. International support should therefore go to strengthen the capacity of institutions of higher learning (referred herein for purposes of brevity as "universities") to solve local problems. The presentation focuses on the central role that universities can make in promoting sustainable development in Africa. Placing universities at the centre of economic renewal will entail adjustments in public policy in Africa and in international aid agencies. These changes will involve long periods of learning, but the first steps must be made without delay.
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    Regionalism and Technology Development in Africa
    In the past four decades, a number of regional co-operation and integration schemes have been adopted by many African countries. There are currently more than 20 regional agreements that aim at promoting co-operation and economic integration at sub-regional and continental levels. A common feature of these agreements is their appreciation of the role that science and technology play in national and regional economic development. Indeed most regional trade, economic, political, environment and security agreements have provisions for science and technology co-operation.
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    Elements of Effective Technology Transfer and Stimulating Entrepreneurship
    Innovation and technology transfer are issues which receive considerable attention from business. Technological innovation, dissemination and adaptation are essential elements of many sustainable development goals. Business and industry are a primary source of innovation and provide optimum benefits when short- and long-term enabling frameworks encourage the development, commercialisation and dissemination of technologies. Business does not do this in isolation and they form partnerships with a variety of other players and thus leverage resources and benefits. Business, also by developing and commercialising technologies, creates new markets, promotes small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) and transfers knowledge and builds capacity.
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    Effective Technology Transfer and Stimulating Entrepreneurship: Strategy and Examples
    Science and technology (S&T) can play an important role in making the economic, environmental and social dimensions of the development process more sustainable. Not only is S&T a key driver of economic growth, but it may also help provide answers for managing resources and reducing pollution, addressing climate change and preserving biodiversity, as well as  reducing disease and safeguarding health and well-being, while maintaining the general quality of life.
    <P></P>
    <P>This publication provides the proceedings of an international workshop, held in South Africa, intended to address how international co-operation in science and technology can further the three inter-related aspects (economic, social and environmental) of the development process. The workshop focused on good practices in international S&amp;T partnerships, specifically in the areas of water and energy. In terms of good practices, the workshop examined what works and what doesn’t in three areas: 1) enhancing the capacity to absorb technology; (2) transferring technology; and (3) building knowledge networks. In breakout sessions, the workshop identified specific technologies and approaches effective in improving water management and increasing energy efficiency within the varied circumstances of developing countries.
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    The Persistent Bandwidth Divide in Africa: Findings of the African Tertiary Institution Connectivity Study and Lessons for Developing Knowledge Infrastructure and Networks in Africa
    In the knowledge economy, universities around the world are being looked upon to take an increasingly greater role in producing the human resources necessary to help their countries become more competitive globally. Universities face the challenge of preparing the next generation of leaders with the requisite skills to create value and contribute to their societies. Universities also support the academics who are conducting the cutting edge research that will generate the new ideas to propel development. To facilitate this learning, universities also must provide the requisite infrastructure for their students, professors and researchers to engage in research and the development of new knowledge that will keep them at the forefront of innovation.
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    Developing Knowledge Infrastructure and Networks for Sustainable Development
    Science and technology have undoubtedly become indispensable inputs into a country’s economic, social and environmental development and are acknowledged as among the chief drivers of the fast evolving globalisation process. Advances and innovation in science, technology and knowledge gained from these have had profound impacts on the society as a whole and on individual members of the society. Knowledge is a critical input for global change, especially at the national level and has certainly played a crucial role in a country’s economic development, particularly so in developed countries.
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    Assessing International S&T Co-operation for Sustainable Development: Towards Evidence-based Policy
    This paper reviews the process of indicator development in the area of science and technology; then, examines existing and proposed means of developing indicators of sustainable development. Suggestions follow for work leading to indicators of international science and technology co-operation for sustainable development which could support evidence-based policy.
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    Assessing International Science and Technology Co-operation for Sustainable Development: "Art of the State"
    As with all other indicator schemes, indicators for international co-operation in science and technology (S&T) for sustainable development (SD), reside in a conceptual framework. A well-known framework takes into account social, technological, economic, environmental and political factors, under the mnemonic STEEP. These factors may be used in turn to examine the processes of change from a systems or other perspective. STEEP may also be supplemented with a factor for values, in which case one refers to STEEPV. Perhaps as we move into the knowledge economy one should leave STEEPV behind and introduce a framework organised under the mnemonic ‘KEEP’. KEEP is a verbal noun whose meaning includes to pay due regard to; observe; stand by as well as to celebrate; guard; protect (Box 9.1). These meanings resonate appropriately with the goals of sustainable development.
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    SESSION ON WATER
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    Session on Energy
    The session on energy was organised in two parts, both of them dealing with energy efficiency: the first dealt with technologies and best practices and the second considered partnerships and collaborations to promote the deployment of renewable sources and the implementation of energy efficiency policies and measures. In the first part, experiences in fostering energy efficiency in the United States, South Africa and Brazil were reported. The second part of the energy session was dedicated to multilateral and bilateral partnerships to promote renewable energy sources and environmentally sustainable industrial production in different regions of the world.
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