Science Policy and Capacity Building

© UNESCO/Participants at the UNESCO/ECOWAS workshop

Science, technology and innovation (STI) is a key driver for economic growth, human capital development and global sustainability. Many countries however face a shortage of scientists and engineers and are concerned about the effects that this will have on development. There is the need for increased education and assistance to member states in harnessing STI in finding cost effective and accessible solutions to societal challenges, economic growth and global sustainability.

The focus of UNESCO’s programme in Science Policy and Capacity building is on strengthening science, technology and innovation systems and policies for sustainable development, poverty eradication, and a culture of peace and non-violence which utilises three strategies:

i.    Technical support in developing new approaches for the formulation of science policy for sustainability. Assist member states to undertake STI system reforms and elaborate STI strategies and action plans through the strengthening of science and engineering education and capacity building, S&T applications and innovation and associated policies, planning and management for development

ii.    Support institutional capacity building and networking. This enables UNESCO to facilitate high level training and research in various fields of science and engineering and development of methodologies for teaching science and foresight planning;

iii.    Work in partnerships with regional institutions and networks of excellence in promoting science and engineering for sustainable development.
In 2012-2013 biennium UNESCO will collaborate with the African Union Commission and scientific networks in promoting STI for socio-economic growth, human capital development, youth employment and sustainable development.

Gender mainstreaming in Science and Technology

The office continues to contribute to gender mainstreaming in science education through the execution of various activities. These will include:
•    Support to institutions and centres of excellence for high-level training of women scientists
•    Support to activities of women’s scientific networks and mentoring programmes for women engineers and girl scientists.
•    Support country efforts that are aimed at mainstreaming gender into STI policy formulation, review and baseline studies.

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