Sunday, October 31, 2004

IDRC- UNESCO Workshop: Future Direction of National Innovation and Science Policy Reviews: International Development Research Centre

IDRC- UNESCO Workshop: Future Direction of National Innovation and Science Policy Reviews: International Development Research Centre:

"A joint IDRC/ UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) workshop entitled 'Future Directions of National Innovation and Science Policy Reviews' brought together about 50 clients and users of science and technology (S&T) reviews in Paris, 23-24 April 2003. "

There are several other resources described and linked from this page on national innovation systems.

Monday, October 11, 2004

A Pause in Postings

I will be traveling in Africa and Europe for the next few weeks. As a result, I may not post much if anything.

National Innovation Systems, Knowledge Systems and Higher Education

Case Study Materials available on the Web. These were collected in preparation for two presentations to be made in Uganda. I will mount the presentations on my website.

Strengthening Science and Technology at the National Level

Title: "Science, Technology, and Innovation in Chile"
Description: In 1997 Canada's IDRC and the Chilean National Council for Science and Technology (CONICYT) agreed to collaborate in a review of Chile's policies and programs in science and technology. This book presents the results of that review. It provides a view of Chilean policies of science and technology, using the "national system of innovation" as its point of departure. The book proposes mechanisms for better public-sector coordination, reforms of public-sector technology institutes, and policies for training scientists and engineers. By James Mullin, Robert M. Adam, Janet E. Halliwell, and Larry P. Milligan, IDRC, 1999

Title: "On the Determinants of Chilean Economic Growth"
Abstract: This paper presents several methodologies for understanding the Chilean growth process. Growth accounting exercises show that the mild growth rates of the sixties are mainly due to the accumulation of human and physical capital, while the booms of the mid seventies and the one from 1985 to 1998 are mainly due to TFP growth. We also find that among the most important determinants of the evolution
of TFP are the evolution of terms of trade, improvements on the quality of capital, and the presence of distortions. A dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that explicitly incorporates the relative price of investment with respect to consumption goods, terms of trade, and distortionary taxes is able to successfully replicate the impulse-response functions found on the data. This exercise suggests that distortions play a key role in explaining the growth dynamics of the Chilean experience. By Rómulo A. Chumacero and J. Rodrigo Fuentes, Global Development Network, July 2003.

Title: "Reform, Growth And Slowdown: Lessons From Chile"
Description: Rodrigo Vergara, Paper prepared for presentation at the Fourth International Conference of TIGER, “Globalization and Catching-up in Emerging Market Economies,” May 16-17, 2002.

Title "National Innovation Systems and Entrepreneurship"
Description Abstract: "Porter (1990) argues that the future battles for competitiveness will not be fought just between organisations but also between nations. Looking at the nation as the unit of analysis, one way to become more competitive is to be innovative. Nelson (1993) directly addresses the innovativeness of nations using the concept of National Systems of Innovation (NSI). These are defined as “a set of institutions whose interactions determine the innovative performance…….of national firms” (Nelson, 1993). The main premise of this concept is that innovation is central to competitiveness, and the key driver of innovation is knowledge, “the most fundamental resource in the modern economy” (Lundvall, 1992). NSI serve to stimulate the creation of knowledge. In the process they also stimulate economies, essentially taking on the role of a modern national production system. In tandem with NSI is the concept of entrepreneurship, which “involves identifying and exploiting opportunities in the external environment” (Hitt et al. 2000), such as the opportunity to commercialise innovation. Given that National Systems of Innovation seek to foster innovation, and entrepreneurship has innovation as a central component, this paper proposes that the existence of a NSI should promote entrepreneurship within an economy. To date, academic research to support this conclusion has been lacking. As a result, this paper offers a preliminary investigation into the relationship between the strength of the national system of innovation within an economy and the level of entrepreneurship occurring within that economy." By Willie Golden, Eoin Higgins and Soo Hee Lee, CISC Working Paper No.8, National University of Ireland, Galway, October 2003. (PDF, 25 pages.)

Title: "Innovation Networks"
Description: A review of Innovation Networks in Ireland. Five case studies are included in appendices: Supply Network Shannon, NETWIN, Irish Photonics Association, M50 Enterprise Platform Programme and Atlantic University Alliance. Tom Martin & Associates/TMA, in association with Vision Consulting in Belfast and Claire Nauwelaers in Belgium, carried out the research. Forfás, June 2004. (PDF, 92 pages.) The report may be of interest to those interested in introducing comparable innovation systems in developing nations.

Title” Explaining the Celtic Tiger's Success: Lessons for other Small Open Economies (not the original title)
Description: The Irish economy, after notably lagging in the convergence experience of other developed nations in the 1950-1987 period, grew very rapidly from 1987-2000. This paper seeks to explain why. Most of the rapid growth in the later period came from a very high rate of increase in total factor productivity, and the technology underlying that growth came largely from direct foreign investment. Much of that FDI came from U.S. ICT firms, and the authors suggest that part of Ireland’s technological success may be a reflection of US success in the ICT in this period. The authors also suggest that social partnership deals and the Single Market program of the EU may have been most responsible for drawing that FDI (although low tax rates played a role). Ireland instituted free higher education for all in 1968, but was unable to retain its graduates for the workforce while it had high unemployment; with the Celtic Tiger period, unemployment fell, and it not only retained its skilled workers, but drew them back from abroad to work in the new factories. Good government fiscal policies preceeded large catch-up funding from the EU, making those funds work better. The authors warn that in the future, many of the factors leading to this success may change and growth will surely slow. They suggest that other small, open economies may learn from a proper appreciation of both economic growth theory (summarized in the early part of the paper) and the Irish experience. By Cormac Ó Gráda and Kevin H. O’Rourke, University College, Dublin, April 2000. (PDF, 42 pages.)

Title: Israel's Economic Development: The Role of Institutionalized Technology Transfer
Description: Abstract: "Until 1948, the year Israel gained independence from Britain, its land was mostly barren, underpopulated, and its agriculture performed by small communes of inexperienced farmers. Its manufacturing was cottage industry in format. Just eight years after independence, the first University/Institute technology transfer (TT) unit (YEDA) was established by the Weitzmann Institute of Science. This organization is still operational and has amassed a long track record of successful TT to the private sector. Over the years, Israeli universities and institutes have researched various aspects of agriculture and agricultural engineering needs for arid and semi arid zones of the globe. Like in the US, such developments were immediately transferred to the agricultural communes and to private farmers on a gratis basis. As a matter of government policy, it has shared much of its agricultural knowledge with developing countries. Israel's per capita exports in 2002 were 16.58 (times)greater than in 1970 despite the fact that its population has more than doubled during that period. Today, Israel is an R&D pioneer in software, telecommunications, biotechnology and the life sciences. It is an undeclared nuclear power, and the world's 5th largest exporter of advanced weapons systems. More than a third of the Fortune 100 companies are established in Israel - as a wholly owned subsidiary; as part of a joint venture; in partnership with, or in technology exchange with Israeli companies. And, just after the United States and Canada, Israel heads the world's nations in NASDAQ listings. Much of that was accomplished through institutionalized TT from abroad and from indigenous innovations at its government and university laboratories using the US model as reviewed in Reisman and Cytraus, (2004)." By ARNOLD REISMAN, Reisman and Associates.

Title: "VIET NAM AT THE CROSSROADS: The Role of Science and Technology"
Description: In January 1997 Canada's IDRC and CIDA assembled a team of experts to help Viet Nam to develop a new science and technology strategy. This books presents the presents the findings of the team's mission, and was used to shape policy in Viet Nam. By K. Bezanson, J. Annerstedt, K. Chung, D. Hopper, G. Oldham, and F. Sagasti, IDRC, 1999.

Title: “Strengthening Cooperation on Innovation in the Nordic-Baltic Sea Region”
Description: Here Emily Hansson, from the International Organization for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development outlines the case for regional cooperation on innovation policy in the Nordic-Baltic Sea Region, a region comprised of Russia, Poland, Northern Germany, the Baltic states and Scandinavia. The webpage includes links to a selected set of resources on innovation in the region.

Title: The Relevance Of The National System Of Innovation Approach To Mainstreaming Science And Technology For Development In NePAD And The AU
Description: Draft Working Paper for the Preparatory meeting of the First NEPAD Conference of Ministers and Presidential Advisers responsible for Science and Technology, Nairobi, 13-15 October 2003. This paper is intended to illustrate the usefulness and attractiveness of the National System of Innovation Policy Framework. By Adi Paterson1, Rob Adam1 and Jim Mullin, Draft Working Paper for the Preparatory meeting of the First NEPAD Conference of Ministers and Presidential Advisers responsible for Science and Technology, Nairobi, 13-15 October 2003. (PDF, 31 pages.)

Building Science capacity in Higher Education

Title" "Sida's Support to NUSESA Network of Users of Scientific Equipment in Eastern and Southern Africa"
Description" Summary: "The purpose of this study is to provide Sida/SAREC with an evaluation of the organisation, structure and leadership function of NUSESA, the network's activities, mode of work and impact on the strengthening of capacities in procurement, purchase, use, repair and maintenance of scientific equipment in the member countries. The study should especially focus on universities." The recommendations from the assessment were to form input into Sida's decision about added support to NUSESA. By Eva Selin Lindgren, SIDA Evaluation # 01/27, 2001. (PDF, 94 pages.)

Title: "Sida Supported ICT Projects at Universities and Research Organizations in Sri Lanka"
Description: Summary: "Sida's Department for Research Cooperation, SAREC, provides assistance for strengthening national research capacity in developing countries. The current Sri Lanka research cooperation program covers 13 projects in universities and research institutes. Sida believes that a sound foundation in computers and access to the Internet has become essential for modern higher education and research. Encouraged by the positive results in several small projects, this present larger-scale project began in 1998." By Alan Greenberg and George Sadowsky, Sida Evaluation 02/17, 2002. (PDF, 50 pages, 266KB.)

Title: "USHEPiA: Building a Research Capacity Network in Africa"
Description: Summary: "USHEPiA, is a successful South-South capacity building network experience in the area of science, engineering and the humanities. The initiative, led by the University of Cape Town, involves a number of partner universities in East and Southern Africa. The program seeks to foster research capacity and collaboration amongst African researchers in order to build institutional and human capacities. Since its inception in 1995, the program has awarded 39 fellowships. This report examines the origins of the project, from its conception, to its operation and identifies several achievements. It provides a critical analysis of the successes, and lessons learned as an attempt to incite or encourage ways of developing African research capacities using a network of institutions." By Martin West and Lesley Shackleton, ADEA Working Group on Higher Education, 1999. (PDF, 21 pages.)

Title: "Management of University-Industry-Science Partnerships (UNISPAR): A case study of the Indian Institute of Technology"
Description: Summary: "Tells the success story of the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras; covers interaction with industry, organizational structure, governance, policies and guidelines, etc. Highlights strategic management issues and the IIT’s significant contribution to technology development and transfer. Compiled within UNESCO’s UNISPAR programme from IIT studies and reports and using information provided by faculty." UNESCO, April, 2003. (PDF, 72 pages.)

Specific Examples of Scientific Research Applied to Economic Development

Title: Assessing the Impact of the Green Revolution
Description: Robert Evenson considers the impact of improved crop varieties. Evenson is as leading agricultural economist, and perhaps the leading analyst of the impact of crop improvement research and development efforts in developing nations. The website includes his powerpoint presentation as well as supporting documents. Emphasis is on Africa in the presentation. The presentation was made in Harvard University's Knowledge for Development Research Seminar, Tuesday, 14 October 2003.

Title: Insecticide Treated Bednets and Indoor Residual Spraying
Description: This is a brief introduction to these approaches to malaria control and their history. In Saving Lives, Buying Time: Economics of Malaria Drugs in an Age of Resistance, Board on Global Health, National Institute of Medicine. (2004)

Title: Health as a Knowledge-Based and Socially-Driven Process/Product
Description: Lincoln Chen describes interplay of knowledge based technologies and social institutions in the health sector. The case of oral rehydration therapy is emphasized. In additon to a link to the Powerpoint presentation, this website provides supporting information. This was a presentation made for Harvard University's Knowledge for Development Research Seminar, Thursday, 4 March 2004.

Title: The role of research in changing antimalarial drug policy in Tanzania
From the Executive Summary: “Large-scale policy changes are very difficult to implement, even when available research supports them. This was precisely the case with the change in the first-line drug for the treatment of malaria from chloroquine to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (Fansidar) owing to the gradual reduction in the
effectiveness of chloroquine. Research evidence indicated that sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine should be adopted as the first-line treatment for malaria. However, many health professionals and
policy-makers were not convinced by the evidence of increasing resistance to chloroquine, and were concerned about the increasing resistance to sulfadoxinepyrimethamine and about its adverse side-effects. Some argued for a change to other drugs, e.g. artesunate, lapdap or amodiaquine, or combination therapies. By Godfrey Martin Mubyazi, Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, January 2003.

Title: "SAREC Supported Dryland Research Programmes in East Africa"
Description: Summary: "SAREC has provided support for three different programmes concerned with land use in the African Drylands. These programmes are qualitatively different and have different emphases but all are designed to improve the human resource base and the understanding of the complex problems of pastoralists and other land users in their interaction with their environment. Capacity building, promotion of problem oriented research and dissemination of results are the major objectives of the programmes." This is a report of an evaluation of those programs. By David Gibbon and Bruce Campbell, SIDA Evaluation 98/16, 1998. (PDF, 68 pages.)

Title: "Natural Science Research in Zimbabwe. An Evaluation of SAREC support for research capacity building"
Description: Summary: "Since the late 1980s SAREC has supported the following four natural science projects at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, which are considered of particular importance for sustainable economic development in the country: Protein Biotechnology, Chromite Mining and Ferrochrome Smelting, Groundwater Resources Development, and Environmental Chemistry. One main purpose of this evaluation of the impact and efficiency of the Sida/SAREC support for natural science research in Zimbabwe was to produce material for the decision regarding future support. Since individual inputs in the supported projects rarely are simply related to the individual project outputs, it has not been possible to perform a detailed cost/benefit analysis. Instead of an overall evaluation of project outcomes (research capacity building and research results) in relation to project costs has been attempted." By Erik W. Thulstrup, Daniel Jagner and Peter N. Campbell, SIDA Evaluation 97/14, 1997.

Title: "Sida's Support to the Reproductive Health and TANSWED HIV Research Programmes in Tanzania"
Description: Summary: "Sida/SAREC has been supporting the two programmes under evaluation for fifteen and eleven years respectively. The TANSWED HIV programme has been supported since 1986. It was started as a result-oriented project without the emphasis on research capacity strengthening, but this was introduced as an additional aim when it became a bilateral programme in 1990." This is an evaluation of those two programs. By Lotta Mellander, Nelson Sewankambo, and Rodolfo Pena, SIDA Evaluation 02/13, 2002.

Title" "Investing in Health and Development: Research Capacity Building in Developing Countries"
Description" The Tropical Disease Research Program (TDR) has supported individual career development and institution strengthening involving over 400 research groups and institutions in some 80 tropical disease-endemic countries. This report, based on descriptions of activities TDR has funded, illustrates the advances it has fostered in basic knowledge of tropical disease, the tools and intervention methods to which TDR has contributed, the policies based (in part) on its research, and the collaborations it has helped to form. Tropical Disease Research Program, 2003. (PDF, 38 pages.)

Title: "Global Science, Global Policy: Local to Global Policy Processes for Soils Management in Africa"
Description: Summary: "The creation and selling of ideas of global environmental crisis has been a core characteristic of the post-Rio decade. Global science and global policymaking processes are central to these crises. However, framings of global environmental problems – the knowledge claims and interests that underpin them, and the plans that flow from them – are often accepted without critical examination. The idea of an African soil fertility crisis is one such case. To illustrate this, the paper traces the history of the Soil Fertility Initiative (SFI) for Africa, a major multilateral programme. We look at the role of science in creating both a problem and potential solutions to that problem. Following the SFI to the present the paper documents that not as much has flowed from the Initiative as initially envisaged. While bureaucracies may easily coalesce around a problem and make a big noise, translating rhetoric into concrete action is much harder. The unravelling of the SFI, the paper suggests, can be explained as a consequence of bureaucratic politics between and within the key players, and also as a result of inadequate links between global and local scales. The implications for international activity – conventions, strategies, action plans and so on – are serious. Too often what claims to be global is really not global at all – but has barely concealed links to localities in the North. Accordingly, the challenge is to design more effective global processes allowing more meaningful inclusion of diverse local problem framings." By James Keeley and Ian Scoones, Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Working Papers # 115, 2000. (PDF, 42 pages.)

Title: "Impacts of Agricultural Research on Poverty: Findings of an Integrated Economic and Social Analysis"
Description: ABSTRACT: "The extent to which agricultural research has reduced poverty has become an increasing concern of policymakers, donors, and researchers. Until recently, poverty reduction was a secondary goal of agricultural research. The primary focus was on increasing food supplies and reducing food prices, a strategy that was successful in increasing the yields of important food staples. When increased productivity is combined with increased agricultural employment, lower food prices, and increased off-farm employment, agricultural research can be credited with significant reductions in rural poverty. However, these benefits do not necessarily materialize, and thus it is essential to understand how agricultural technologies influence and are influenced by the diverse livelihood strategies, vulnerability context, relations of gender and power, and other conditions of the poor. This paper reports findings of a CGIAR research project including seven case studies of different types of agricultural research: aggregate investments in agricultural research in China and India; rice, vegetable, and fishpond technologies in Bangladesh; soil fertility replenishment in Kenya; hybrid maize in Zimbabwe, and creolized maize in Mexico. The case studies found adoption was influenced by the technologies’ likelihood to increase or decrease vulnerability, whether the poor have the assets needed to adopt, the nature of disseminating institutions, and cultural factors such as gender roles and taste preferences. Dissemination processes have become increasingly diversified and have a significant impact on who is reached with the technology and how well they are able to take advantage of it. A wide variety of direct impacts on adopting households were identified, including those related to increased production, income, knowledge, changes in power relationships (favoring men or women; richer or poorer farmers), and increased or decreased vulnerability. Poor people often benefit from these technologies, especially if these technologies are designed to build on assets that they have, though the studies also showed that impacts on the poor were sometimes limited by asset requirements for adoption or dissemination practices. Indirect effects were also important. Poor people were helped by declining food prices, though benefits to poor farmers were dampened by falling output prices. Increased stability and even marginal improvements in agricultural production were valued by poor households for providing food security and a launching pad into other activities. Increased agricultural employment was also a major benefit, improving incomes and stability of employment. This paper identifies lessons that for future impact assessments. These included the identification of factors that should be understand at an early stage, such as the priority poor people put on managing risk; the types of social differentia-tion (gender; class; ethnicity, etc.) that will affect the uptake and impacts of technologies; the variety of traits that farmers value; and the role of agriculture in livelihood strategies. With regard to methodology, the case studies underscore the need to consider direct and indirect impacts and to avoid restricting analysis to only impacts that can be easily quantified. Mixing disciplines and research methods are essential to conducting impact assessments. Finally, the study concludes that for impact assessment to make a difference, researchers must conduct research and impact assessment in a way that facilitates institutional learning and change." By Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Michelle Adato, Lawrence Haddad, Peter Hazell, International Food Policy Research Institute (IDRC), October 2003. (PDF, 87 pages.)

Title "Preventing famine"
Description Summary: "In Uganda, 20 million poor people grow and eat cassava. The Cassava Mosaic Virus, transmitted by whitefly, emerged as a major threat in the 1990s. But now, one quarter of cassava planted in Uganda is resistant to cassava mosaic disease following DFID- supported research by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria, the UK Natural Resources Institute and other agencies." (This is the entire case.)

Title: Research Provides New Tool for Sleeping Sickness Programs
Description: A diagnostic method developed by the DFID Animal Health Programme has been used in Uganda and has enabled the development of a new policy that recognises the role of human-infective parasites in cattle and now requires that before cattle are moved from sleeping sickness endemic areas they must first be treated with trypanocidal drugs to kill the parasites.

Title: Livelihoods and Diversity Directions Explored by Research
Description: In Uganda, an important policy issue raised by LADDER related to the multiple levels and types of rural tax. Dr Bahiigwa, the team’s chief coordinator, reported the concerns to the Steering Committee. This re-emerged as an issue in a donor-government body, the Sub-Committee on Local Revenue Enhancement. More detailed research was undertaken, and the results reportedly influenced key decision makers.

Title: Involving communities in rural planning processes
Description: In Uganda research on developing a methodology and guidance for enhancing community involvement in local level planning has resulted in the incorporation of many of the methodological elements of Community Based Planning (CBP) in the national Harmonised Participatory Planning Guide (HPPG).

Compilation Of Case Studies From Africa

Description Summary: "African economies need deep technological revolutions to bring about rapid structural shifts, to deepen their industry, and build up their endogenous technological capability. The case studies presented here demonstrate the need to pay greater attention to an enabling macroeconomic environmentand the ways that environment interacts with an effective technology policy. This interaction should allow for technological learning, the right technical choices, the setting up of appropriate institutions, and effective technological management for both the industrial and agricultural sectors, including those small and medium-sized enterprises that are now so vital for income and employment." Edited by Osita M. Ogbu, Banji O. Oyeyinka, and Hasa M. Mlawa, IDRC, 1995. (HTML, divided by chapters, 380 pages.)

Friday, October 08, 2004

Foreign Aid: Grants versus Loans

Foreign Aid: Grants versus Loans

"Why the proposed shift of aid from loans to grants should be accompanied by a strengthening of institutions in developing countries,"

Annual Amount Needed to Address the World's Top Global Issues

Annual Amount Needed to Address the World's Top Global Issues

Annual Amount Needed to Address the
World's Top Global Issues.
• Eliminate Starvation and Malnutrition ($19 billion)
• Provide Shelter ($21 billion)
• Remove Landmines ($4 billion)
• Eliminate Nuclear Weapons ($7 billion)
• Refugee Relief ($5 billion)
• Eliminate Illiteracy ($5 billion)
• Provide Clean, Safe Water ($10 billion)
• Provide Health Care and AIDS Control ($21 billion)
• Stabilize Population ($10.5 billion)
• Prevent Soil Erosion ($24 billion)
• Retire Developing Nations Debt ($30 billion)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Yahoo! News - Scientists Create Genetic Map of Cattle

Yahoo! News - Scientists Create Genetic Map of Cattle:

"For the first time, scientists have created a genetic map of a cow, providing researchers a new tool to reduce animal disease and improve the nutrition of beef and dairy products, the Agriculture Department announced Wednesday. "

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Iraq Index

Iraq Index:

"The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic and security data. This resource will provide updated information on various criteria, including crime, telephone and water service, troop fatalities, unemployment, Iraqi security forces, oil production, and coalition troop strength. "

The African Forum on Science and Technology for Development

The African Forum on Science and Technology for Development :

"The African Forum on Science and Technology for Development (AFSTD) was established by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to promote the application of science and technology for economic growth and poverty reduction. "

The Scientist :: Support for African science

The Scientist :: Support for African science:

"NePAD, the New Partnership for African Development, is creating five regional science and technology programs."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Foundation Center - International Philanthropy Month

The Foundation Center - International Philanthropy Month

October 2004 is International Philanthropy Month at the Foundation Center. Its Website has new content (with convenient links as items become available) designed to educate and inform nonprofits interested in international philanthropy.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Kerry Promotes Stem Cell Research (

Kerry Promotes Stem Cell Research (

"John Kerry, arguing that President Bush ignores scientific facts, is promoting his plan for expanding federal stem cell research with a television celebrity and a new campaign ad. "