Workshop Conclusions - 2nd Meeting of Informal Working Group on S&T
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CTA. 2004. Workshop Conclusions - 2nd Meeting of Informal Working Group on S&T. Knowledge for Development. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/63775
The Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for ACP Agricultural and Rural Development was launched in December 2003. CTA hosted the 2nd Meeting of the ACP Informal Working Group (IWG) on Science and Technology, November 28 - December 03, 2003 in The
The delegates deliberated on several critical issues impacting on the ACP agriculture Science, Technology and Innovation system over the five day period. Presentations by the team of ACP and European experts (see Appendix 11) were well received and there was active participation in plenary and work group sessions. Discussions were intense and the delegates achieved consensus on a range of issues. The meeting agreed as follows: 1. The CTA S&T Strategies Programme should add value to existing initiatives and focus on: Facilitating the policy dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) for Agricultural and Rural development. These dialogues should be promoted at the national, regional, ACP and ACP-EU levels. Information management and communication on ST&I for agricultural and rural development and facilitate exchange of information, experiences and technologies. Knowledge development with emphasis on building capacity for enhancing participation in ST&I policy dialogues, developing national science, technology and innovation systems and developing negotiations and lobbying skills. Website should include strategic links to other websites with relevant content and complement existing initiatives. Website should be targeted to all major stakeholders: farmers´ organizations and other actors and users in the agricultural and rural communities including representatives of ministries with responsibility for agriculture, trade, science & technology, education, finance and the research community. Information should be provided in the form of briefs and should promote technologies and best practices relevant to the needs of the actors and in support of the policy dialogues. The term ´informal´ was not appropriate for a structure of a scientific nature. The newly created group should have consultative powers and provide information to CTA which will, in turn, formulate recommendations, as needed, for the ACP member states on S&T for agricultural and rural development. The name of the group should be the Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for ACP Agricultural and Rural Development. The mandate of the group should eventually extend beyond CTA and draw its legitimacy from the ACP region/group. C CTA should establish a standard communication system to enable members to interact (conferences, electronic discussions) with each other. The name of the group will be the Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for ACP Agricultural and Rural Development. The core group will comprise of persons from the 6 ACP regions, representative of miscellaneous stakeholders, competent professionals in the relevant domains, regional institutions and the Programme Coordinator, Science and Technology Strategies, CTA. The Advisory Committee will serve as an advisory body on Science and Technology with respect to issues impacting on ACP agriculture (including marine resources and forestry) and support CTA in enhancing cooperation and dialogue and encouraging greater integration of Science and Technology strategies in support of ACP agricultural and rural development. The Advisory Committee will meet once annually and as needed at the request of CTA to dialogue on emerging issues and trends impacting on ACP agriculture (including marine resources and forestry), chart the S&T work programme / areas of emphases for the upcoming year/s and finalize any position papers which need to be presented to relevant international agencies to influence decision making in a timely manner. The Advisory Committee will from time to time during the year provide alerts and information on relevant S&T issues and contribute to developing policy guidelines / positions and S&T strategies for achieving sustainable development with respect to the attainment of food security goals, improved productivity at the farm level and national and regional /or international competitiveness. These guidelines will be circulated to member governments and institutions through the focal points on S&T to galvanize wider dialogue on the issues and strategies. The final positions will be posted on the CTA web site ?Knowledge for Development? and circulated to policy makers and other related national and regional institutions through the national nodes. The Advisory Committee will support CTA in identifying suitable institutions for building knowledge at the national, regional and international levels in support of Science and Technology policy formulation and strategic decision making for improving the performance of ACP agriculture. The Advisory Committee recognizes that policy formulation is a national responsibility and policies give a country its competitive advantage. Hence, information will be provided only as a guide to support more informed decision making. 6. There is need to enhance the Science Technology and Innovation Policy dialogue in ACP countries and that ACP countries cannot afford to not improve the STI policy framework and noted: The disconnect that exists between Ministries responsible for S&T policy making, other relevant ministries and agencies, stakeholders and actors; similarly, that a disconnect exists between what is produced and consumed and priorities of research and development and market realities. The disarticulated process with emphasis on flows from science to market and cautioned that development is not a linear process flow through a ´pipeline´. That policy decisions are usually not based on research results as there is a severe lack of data and where data exist, there is limited dissemination. There was an urgent need to revitalize agricultural research and training and design measures to strengthen the institutions of higher learning in agriculture and update the curricula. Recommended that CTA approach the ACP Group to support regional conferences to debate the issues and chart the way forward. Improved information flows among system actors to enhance research and production. Improved understanding among the actors and more informed decision making. Greater learning pathways as information gaps are closed. Externally driven development agenda with little scope for substantive contribution from local actors. Lack of suitable representatives with requisite competences for policy analysis, particularly for interpreting global governance rules Weak financial commitments. Vested interests, both local and external which often exert negative impacts on the direction of policy. 10. That the strategic priorities for enhancing the policy dialogue are: Consensus building among stakeholders. Identification of problems and constraints and determination of the solutions. Focus on poverty reduction and sustainable development. Recognized that the poor must be involved in the process and be given the necessary support and incentives to actively participate in the system of innovation while at the same time building their capacity to optimize S&T. That in Less Developed Countries (LDCs) policies are not well articulated and the infrastructure to support SI is inadequate. There is inadequate networking among ACP actors and considered this a critical difference between developed countries and LDCs. Recommended that linkages be strengthened. That there are several actors in the Innovation System and that there was need to prioritize them. That the rapid changes taking place on a global scale require that ACP countries be able to respond quickly. That ACP countries can view the innovation process through several mechanisms. 13. There is need to carry out a S.I. analysis (sectoral, national, regional - across economic zones) in the various countries but recognized that this would depend on the availability of resources. Noted that stakeholders must own the process. 14. Strengthening Science Technology and Innovation (S.T.I.) systems must be considered a priority for supporting economic development and poverty alleviation in ACP countries. 15. The objectives and the expected results of the meeting had been satisfactorily achieved.