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Title: Building African Capacity in Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators
Authors: Gault, Fred
Keywords: AFRICA
Date: Mar-2012
Abstract: This Project exemplified learning by doing, using and interacting. It was about case study teams responding to a Call for Proposals, issued by UNU-MERIT, doing research on the topics of their choice and producing reports accepted at international conferences and published on the UNU-MERIT website. At every stage an expert team of trainers and mentors supported the members of the case study teams. The knowledge gained from the Project contributed to the thinking that led to the new Inclusive Innovation for Development (IID) Programme of IDRC and the case study team members are participating in an emerging network of scholars in Africa that is considering the creation of Africalics, an African part of Globelics. Both case study team members, and members of the training team, are expected to contribute to IID projects in the future. The IDRC supported UNU-MERIT Project, Building African Capacity in Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators. It started in July 2009 and was scheduled to end in July 2010 but was extended to December 31, 2011. During the two and a half years of the Project, the Project team of adjudicators and trainers issued a Call for Proposals to invite support for case study research into innovation activities in Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa. Low response to the Call led to adjustments in the work plan of the project. These included the replacement of Rwanda by Senegal and a proactive search for teams that could satisfy the eligibility criteria of the Call. In the end, four case study teams were supported, one in Mozambique, one in Senegal and two in South Africa. Training planned originally for Mozambique and South Africa was consolidated into one event in South Africa in September 2010 and training for Senegal was integrated with a Design and Evaluation of Innovation Policy in a Developing Countries (DEIP) and an Economics of Knowledge and Innovation (EKI) workshop being offered by UNU-MERIT in Dakar, also in September 2010. Training included members of the four case study teams and eight graduate students supported by another IDRC grant. With four case study teams, rather than the originally planned nine, resources were available to support a workshop in March 2011 to review the reports of the teams and to make recommendations for improvement and for dissemination of the reports. The team of trainers was re-engaged to support this improvement and to facilitate the submission of papers to appropriate conferences, especially the 2011 Globelics, and to work towards the reports appearing as UNUMERIT Working Papers. The fundamental purpose of the Project was capacity building in the teams of researchers and the raising awareness of the place of innovation indicators in public policy discussion. As the Project progressed, the sustainability of the capacity building became a priority and this has resulted in the strengthening of the networks of the researchers through conferences and access to further education. The reports, on innovation in the informal economy, in agriculture, in firms that are user innovators, and in the diffusion of telephone banking and related financial services in the Townships of South Africa have common elements of knowledge creation and different approaches to knowledge sharing that connect to global discussions. What makes the papers particularly relevant is their description of innovation activities at the grass roots level in a development context. The Project built sustainable capacity and achieved its objective.
Description: Appendices included: Appendix 1: Call for Proposals; Appendix 2: Case Study Projects, Report Guideline, and Generic Contract; Appendix 3: Rwanda; Appendix 4: Training in September 2010; Appendix 5: Review Workshop; Appendix 6: Additional Documents Related to this Technical Report
ISSN: 1871-9872 (Working Paper Series)
Project Number: 104753
Project Title: Building African Capacity in Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators
Access: Open Access
License: MGC signed post January 2008 - author/owner is recipient who signed the MGC; copyright statement required on document
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