» Science, technology and innovation to forge partnerships in and for least developed countries
09.06.2016 - Natural Sciences Sector

Science, technology and innovation to forge partnerships in and for least developed countries

Flickr /Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries

During the conference on the Midterm Review of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA), a UN conference to assess the progress of the world’s least developed countries (LCDs) in social and economic development, UNESCO in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosted an event to strengthen partnerships for institutional and technical capacity building to contribute towards science, technology and innovation (STI) driven sustainable development and growth in the LDCs.

The call for the need to build new and transformative partnerships and synergies, particularly in the field of STI, was made by the international community notably in the IPoA and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By promoting cooperative efforts, such as sharing STI information and knowledge, drawing on expertise, best practices and available resources, LDCs can increase the number innovation learners, improve their use of scientific and technical information and knowledge, and develop their innovative and technical productive capacities.

The objective of the event Science, Technology and Innovation Inspired Development: Building Capacity in the LDCs was to support multi-stakeholder processes aimed at developing STI policies that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as realization of the IPoA, and on building national institutional capacities to facilitate access to, and use of, global STI systems. Exchanges on the available tools for monitoring STI, information on the trends and developments in STI policy and governance, on the concept of appropriate technology and innovation and a needs analysis on patent information were at the core of the discussions, along with an explorative talk on how UNESCO and WIPO programmes can better provide capacity building support to LDCs’ development challenges.

UNESCO’s critical areas for cooperation with governments and partners involved in science policy in LDCs includes building human and institutional capacities, supporting participatory policy review to improve the management of STI at the national levels, improving and upgrading science education, integrating science in national culture, strengthening South - South cooperation, local sustainable development approaches and elaborating science policy indicators, statistics, databases and studies At the midpoint of the decade-long Istanbul Programme (IPoA), the conference on the brought together high-level representatives and over two thousand stakeholders from governments, international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector, foundations, think tanks and the media to undertake an assessment of its implementation and to plan concrete measures, initiatives and partnerships that have the potential to further progress the IPoA.

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