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Joint Workshops on Institutions for linking Science &Technology to Sustainable Development Mohamed Hassan Third World Academy of Sciences : 

Joint Workshops on Institutions for linking Science &Technology to Sustainable Development Mohamed Hassan Third World Academy of Sciences


The International Workshop on Science, Technology and Sustainability: Harnessing Institutional Synergies February, 2002 Third World Academy of Sciences, Italy (TWAS) Goal: Distill lessons from field experience on what institutional mechanisms are effective in harnessing science and technology to sustainability. Participants: Through a nominations process, 50 individuals were invited from around the world who have been actively engaged in successful efforts to bring science and technology to bear on practical development initiatives. The TWAS Workshop

TWAS Workshop Participants/Countries : 

TWAS Workshop Participants/Countries Europe Austria Belgium Denmark Germany Italy Netherlands Sweden UK Latin America Argentina Brazil Chile Costa Rica Cuba Mexico   Africa Kenya Nigeria South Africa Swaziland Zimbabwe   East Asia/Pacific Australia China Japan Malaysia Thailand    North America Canada USA South Asia Bangladesh India Pakistan  


Cases Dam management in Nigeria Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies A rural portal for India Honey Bee Network Improving climate services for society in Costa Rica Mainstreaming indigenous knowledge for sustainable livelihoods: Gujarat, India Interactions between science and policy: Human stem cells in the UK World Commission on Dams The Latin American World Model The Flood Action Plan in Bangladesh The National Environment Management Action Plan, Bangladesh The Science and Technology Diplomacy Initiative, UN Conference on Trade and Development Development of Fish Base: Global encyclopedia of all finfish Enhancing development policy in Nigeria Oil spill sensitivity mapping in Greenland University initiatives: professional studies in education International cooperation in mathematics education: African mathematics programme International Foundation for Science Capacity building in air quality management/air pollution sector in Thailand Information and communication technologies in capacity development: the case of India Sustainable health and education: the case of Cuba Caribbean Ocean Reserves Estimation (CORE) Inter-American Institute: A successful international network Wageningen University Sandwich Program: Capacity building for developing country PhD students Sustainable uses of medicinal plants: Institut Malgache de Reserches Appliques, Madagascar Climate OptiOns for the Long Term, the Netherlands Azraq Oasis Conservation, Jordan Tree Growing in Northern Nigeria Water Management in the U.S. Great Plains Controlling transboundary air pollution in Europe Alternatives to Slash and Burn Program and CGIAR Dissemination of solar panels: Shell Solar El Nino forecasting and southern Africa The SPIDER program in Argentina International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, USA Leadership for Environment and Development Medicinal plants in southern Africa Pacific ENSO Applications Center International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Autonomous Funds as Intermediaries for Social and Economic Development in Africa


Workshop on Mobilizing Science & Technology for Sustainable Development April, 2002 Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, USA (CFIA) Goal: To outline a strategy for mobilizing resources and building institutional capabilities needed to strengthen the use of science and technology in sustainable development. This strategy will include the prioritization of the most fertile targets for capacity investment as well as the most promising courses for institutional reform. Participants: Approximately 20 senior civil servants, foundation officers, business executives, natural scientists and development scholars engaged in the design, financing, operation, and evaluation of research systems involved in linking knowledge production to sustainable development. The CFIA Workshop


While different themes were specific to each workshop, several broad questions guided the exploration at both workshops: Mobilizing S&T How do we mobilize the most appropriate knowledge and technology to address a specific problem in a specific place? Balancing Flexibility and Stability How do we build and fund research systems that are flexible and responsive to evolving problems yet durable and committed to problems that require cumulative research efforts and long-term learning before producing viable outcomes? Solving Challenges of Integration How do we solve challenges of integration (disciplinary, functional, spatial/temporal, and knowledges) in S&T systems? Addressing Resource and Capacity Constraints Given the pressing resource constraints for public sector goods, how do we stimulate new investment in S&T for sustainable development and create institutions to better channel existing funds and resources?


  Focus on nature-society interactions S&T systems that explicitly address nature and society as coupled and interactive are more effective than systems that assume that one component or the other can be treated as a static boundary condition.   Problem-driven, people-centered S&T systems that are problem-driven are more effective than systems that are science, technology or funder driven. Problem-driven research and technological development requires central authority and responsibility of the stakeholders/potential users/decision makers in setting agendas, guiding the structure and process of S&T activities, and evaluating success.     Findings/propositions


Boundary organizations Effective S&T systems employ “boundary organizations” – institutional mechanisms that facilitate communication and coordination across organizational, disciplinary, functional, and scalar boundaries.   Self-reflection and learning Effective S&T systems have mechanisms for critical self-reflection and learning. Such learning is facilitated by long-term commitments and organizational structures. There are also advantages to ad-hoc, flexible, and quick-to-respond S&T efforts as well, but these require legitimacy and support from established institutional networks (e.g., universities, international research organizations, intergovernmental organizations, national organizations, private firms, etc.).   Resources and capacity S&T systems that leverage existing capacities and coordinate complementary capacities within a system will be more effective than an institution that does not. There is a critical need to establish new and innovative funding mechanisms to make available more resources for S&T activities for sustainable development. Findings/propositions, cont’d

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