P5: The evolving science and technology landscape for development in the South and the models and opportunities for science diplomacy

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 10:30am to 12:00pm
International Development Research Centre

This panel will provide an international and Canadian perspective on the Conference theme: ‘Emerging Trends in International Trade and Diplomacy: The Role of Science and Technology’. Within this theme, the panel will reinterpret one of the focus questions as follows: “What leadership is shown by the public and private sectors in select low and middle income countries and by Canada to use Science and Technology (S&T) to improve the well-being of people, and to address some of the important challenges facing our world today, both locally and globally? What could Canada be doing to contribute more strongly?” This panel draws on an ongoing International Development Research Centre (IDRC) project examining changes to the S&T landscape in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In particular, this project is exploring how new entrants, new programming directions, and new domestic and international partnerships are reshaping the participation and orientation of S&T for development. For example, countries such as Chile, Kenya and India have created new or reformed public agencies to promote science and innovation. In some countries, private funding for public research is emerging. In addition, numerous domestic funding agencies are experimenting with new programming approaches aimed at strengthening their national research capacity and directing scientific efforts to better address national priorities. Finally, public and private science funding agencies are developing new partnerships that bring together academia, industries, and the not-for-profit sector nationally and internationally. All the BRICS countries, for instance, have bilateral and international research programs addressing common challenges. S&T leadership is driving these changes and for countries seeking to collaborate in science for development, understanding this evolving context is vital to identifying meaningful opportunities. For this IDRC-led project, two of the panellists have authored reports and facilitated dialogues involving ministries of science, science granting councils and private foundations from multiple countries in Latin America and South Asia. The third international panelist brings a government S&T perspective from Kenya, a country that has recently overhauled its policy framework and launched new initiatives. Drawing from contemporary examples and their experience, the international panellists will answer the following questions: a) What countries or agencies are directing S&T policy to advance wider national development goals? What examples stand out?; b) How do Latin American, African and Asian countries frame international scientific collaboration in their national S&T policy or in their development cooperation priorities? Do external countries (e.g., Canada, OECD countries, the BRICS, or even regional neighbours) or the private sector play a significant or innovative role in supporting scientific collaboration on pressing social, environmental or health challenges in specific countries or regions? Following this, the IDRC panellist will highlight different Canadian-led models of science diplomacy. Following the presentations, the panel seeks to catalyse a discussion on what Canada might do, or do differently, and why.


Senior Program Specialist, Science and Innovation

David O’Brien develops large-scale research programs that catalyze research groups to tackle development challenges – on both a national and international level.

Before joining IDRC in 2006, O’Brien held senior management, advisory, and research positions at the University of Saskatchewan, New York University, University of Sussex, and Rights and Democracy. He has taught and published on the role of human and social capital in economic and social change, and on international cooperation, and research and innovation. He has worked in Central America, Eastern Europe and Africa.

O’Brien holds a PhD in social science from Wageningen University (Netherlands) and master’s degree in development studies from University of Sussex (United Kingdom).

National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI)

Prof. Shaukat A. Abdulrazak is the CEO, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI). The Commission is the focal point on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) in Kenya whose mandate is to advise the Government upon all matters relating to ST&I and Research issues necessary for proper co-ordination and economic development of the Republic.
He is a member of the National Economic Social Council (NESC), a standing committee comprising of eminent persons with diverse experience, knowledge and skills and are mandated to provide expert advice on economic and social matters to the President and Cabinet. Prof. Abdulrazak is the Chairman of African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Board; Chairman African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA).

He is a Board member of several organizations in Kenya including Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Radiation Protection Board (RPB), National Biosafety Authority (NBA), one of the Trustees of the National Cancer Institute and a member of the Inter-University Council of East Africa (IUCEA). Prof. Abdulrazak is also one of the Governors of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).

He is a full Professor and has taught at Egerton University since 1997. While there he also served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) Research & Extension. He has supervised postgraduate students both at the Ph. D and MSc levels.
Prof. Abdulrazak is a fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS) and a member of the Chartered Biologists UK (CBiol). He is also a member of Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) and member Kenya National Academy of Science (MKNAS) and the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Alumni, USA.
He has published over 100 papers in international journals, scientific conference and symposia proceedings and national newspapers and magazines. He is also an Editorial Board member of six International refereed journals. His Undergraduate studies were at Egerton University, Kenya, his MSc and PhD from University of Aberdeen, UK, while his Post Doctorate from Shimane University, Japan.

Executive Director
Colombian Observatory of Science and Technology Colombia

Monica Salazar is currently the Executive Director of the Colombian Observatory of Science and Technology (OCyT) where she oversees the research and information management activities of the organization. Recently, OCyT and IDRC convened a workshop that brought together 14 Latin American S&T agencies to examine emerging trends in national policy frameworks, how science is positioned to support development goals and international cooperation. Previous to this, she served in a number of positions at Colciencias (Colombian Department of Science, Technology and Innovation) including Advisor to the Director General, Deputy Director of Innovation Programmes and Chief of the Planning Office. Her work included coordinating the development of Colombia’s national research and innovation policy and contributing to the creation of Colombia’s Science Technology and Innovation law. Dr. Salazar has a number of publications on research and innovation policy, and innovation indicators. She received her PhD in Communication from Simon Fraser University and a MSc from the Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology unit at the University of Manchester.

Director of Research and Communications
Emaho Consulting

Sagarika Bose is the Director of Research and Communications at Emaho Consulting, Her expertise and responsibilities lies in research, communications, business responsibility, and social development. Currently she is leading a study commissioned by IDRC on the trends, application and scale of private sector funding for public science in South Asia. Previously she worked at the NASSCOM Foundation in positions including Vice President of Programs and Vice President of Research and Corporate Social Responsibility Advisory. She holds a MSc in Communications, Information, and Society and a MSc in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries both from the London School of Economics. She also holds a BA in Applied Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Needs Education.