13.06.2019 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Expert meeting held in Nairobi to advance Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmaps for the Sustainable Development Goals

Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Roadmaps for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contributed to advancing the piloting phase of the roadmaps and making recommendations for the finalization of the Guidebook on Development of STI roadmaps. The meeting was held in Nairobi from 1-3 April 2019 with the participation of a range of stakeholders and STI policy practitioners and experts.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, unanimously adopted by developing and developed countries, reaffirmed STI as key means of implementation and launched the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The TFM is composed of the collaborative Multi-Stakeholder Forum on STI for the SDGs (STI Forum), Online Platform, and the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Team on STI for the SDGs (IATT- STI) together with a group of 10 high-level representatives from civil society, the private sector and the scientific community (10-Member Group).

STI roadmaps and action plans to help realise the SDGs have been among the central topics through the first three STI Fora. With the purpose of producing action-oriented outputs and outcomes reporting during the STI Forums, the UN- IATT-STI established a sub-working group dedicated to engaging and supporting Member States in the development and implementation of STI roadmaps for SDGs. The IATT group is collaborating towards providing advice, guidance and technical assistance to countries that have volunteered to engage in this process, by pooling expertise and collaborations among the members of the IATT group. 

To advance on this initiative, the group has launched a series of Expert Group Meetings (EGM) on STI roadmaps led by the United Nations IATT-STI, attended by both the members of the IATT-STI and the 10-Member Group, as well as experts and/or practitioners from Member States. Three EGMs were successfully concluded, in New York (March 2018), Tokyo (May 2018), and Brussels (November 2018). One of the main outputs that resulted from the collective work and consultations during the EGMs, is the Guidebook on Development of Science, Technology and Innovation roadmaps. Furthermore, the IATT sub-group has formulated a “Global Pilot Programme on STI for SDGs roadmaps” engaging countries in piloting the approach and methodology, as elaborated in the Guidebook. 

Building on the results and success stories of the three previously held EGMs, a fourth EGM was organized in Nairobi, Kenya from 1-3 April 201 with specific focus on engaging African stakeholders. The meeting was organized by WB, UN-DESA, UNCTAD and UNESCO, in collaboration with the Government of Japan and European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC) and co-hosted by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) and the National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation (NACOSTI), Kenya.  The near-term primary focus of the fourth EGM was to engage Sub-Saharan countries that expressed interests in participation to the Global Pilot Programme. In addition, in preparation to the STI Forum, the EGM will discuss topics related to the guidebook’s chapter on international partnership.

 The overarching objective of the 4th EGM on STI roadmaps was to cultivate peer-learning environment, strengthen the capacities and shape consensus/partnerships among member states and the UN System on STI roadmaps, action plans, and strategies. In this regard, the 4th EGM focused mainly on the African perspective and held as:

 (1)         An opportunity to update on the current status of the Guidebook for the Development of STI Roadmaps, include inputs from African key STI stakeholders, and describe how relevant initiatives and actions by UN agencies can fit into the piloting of the STI for SDGs Roadmaps;

(2)          An occasion to inform on the implementation process of the Global Pilot programme, discuss national contexts in pilot candidates, including ongoing initiatives in collaboration with UN agencies, and discuss about expectations and objectives to be achieved with the Global Pilot Programme;

(3)          A preparatory event for pilot candidates that will be participating in the 2019 STI Forum;

(4)          bilateral discussions with pilot candidates on the implementation of activities (IATT agencies coordination, step by step process, budget, timeline etc.);

(5)          An opportunity for IATT members to shape the next steps of the work on STI for SDGs roadmaps, schedule joint initiatives with countries, define a timeline for the finalization of the Guidebook. 

 The two and half day meeting was structured into four sections:

             The first section of the meeting included an opening session and introduction, updates on the work done by the IATT sub-group on STI for SDGs roadmaps, current version of the Guidebook on Development of Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmaps, next high-level events, such as STI Forum, HLPF, and UNGA.

             The second section gave an overview of international collaborations in place/in pipeline and of existing methodologies and approaches by UN agencies, EU/JRC, etc., and how they fit into the roadmaps approach. 

             The third section focused on the candidate pilot countries, who presented their contexts, current status of development of national STI roadmaps, expectations from the Global Pilot programme

             The fourth section was earmarked for bilateral discussions between countries and IATT members on the next steps of the piloting programme.

 




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