The objective of the Global Forum was to discuss strategies, programs, and policies for building science, technology and innovation capacity in developing countries for sustainable growth and poverty reduction.
The principal theme of the Global Forum is that in today’s increasingly competitive, global economy, STI capacity building can no longer be seen as a luxury item, suitable primarily for the economic agenda of wealthier, more economically dynamic countries. Rather, STI capacity building is an absolute necessity for poor countries that wish to become richer. The key issue is no longer whether countries should build STI capacity but what type of capacity to build, given their economic constraints, and how best to implement these capacity building action plans.
The Mission of the Forum was to:
Understand the STI capacity building processes that are already underway in different settings and circumstances
Share lessons of experience in building STI capacity
See what STI capacity building programs are working effectively and which are not generating the desired outcomes
Understand some of the reasons behind these disparate outcomes
Discuss how these lessons can be incorporated into future STI capacity building programs and projects designed by governments and supported by the Bank, bilateral donors, NGOs, and IFIs
Discuss how governments and donor organizations can work together under the auspices of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and other similar international initiatives to support effective, sustainable STI capacity building programs
Explore gender-related aspects of STI capacity building.
The Forum itself was organized around case studies of specific STI capacity building initiatives in developing countries. The speakers were, by and large, “thoughtful doers”. Each speaker was asked to explain what his/her case study accomplished, how it achieved its objectives, why it succeeded or failed, and what lessons of experience can be applied, with suitable modifications to accommodate country and cultural specifics, to future capacity building programs in other countries.
The Forum explored the lessons of experience generated by successful initiatives and the content of ongoing STI capacity building projects. The principal audience inclueded government officials, private sector executives, and staff and managers from bilateral, multilateral, and non-governmental organizations and foundations involved in STI capacity building programs.
The Forum was organized around four constellations of issues:
Reducing poverty and achieving the MDGs: the role of STI capacity building
Adding value to natural resource exports through STI capacity building
Latecomer strategies for catching up -- linkage, leverage, learning, and STI capacity building
The role of R&D in the development process
A special session devoted to “Gender Case Studies in STI Capacity Building” highlighted the linkage between the gender agenda and the development agenda.