Knowledge for Development

February 2014 K4D Newsletter

Date: 12/03/2014


We are pleased to forward the February 2014 issue of the CTA and S&T Knowledge for Development (K4D) e-newsletter. In this issue we shine the spotlight on the disconnect between science, policy and society. The new lead articles and related documents demonstrate that the disconnect cuts across several programmes and must be addressed if science and innovation are to contribute to the attainment of societal goals. A quote from Bob Marley’s song ‘Rat Race’ “…….In the abundance of water; the fool is thirsty. Rat race…….”, sums up the problem that we are having.


The two new feature lead articles reflect on the experiences of developing a bioenergy industry in developing countries. The first article  on “Biofuels: Are they still relevant?” by Lynn Mytelka, Professorial Fellow, UNU-MERIT encourages us to consider a multi-goal approach for the future long term development of the bio-economy. The second lead article  “Retrospective: bottlenecks to Jatropha Curcas bioenergy value-chain development in Africa - a Kenyan case”, by Miyuki Iiyama et al., ICRAF concludes that success in value chain development in one industry cannot be transposed to another country or environment without adequate investments in research and development. Both articles and the other supporting material on biofuels featured in this issue of the K4D e-newsletter support the need for adopting an innovation systems approach to agro-industry development.

The link to the article on “Point of view: making science count in government” by Ian Boyd is interesting and relevant. Boyd argues that science is an essential component of policy making, but notes that the scientific community does not always understand its role in the policy-making process. The report on “Mapping of best practice regional and multi-country cooperative STI initiatives between Africa and Europe” points to the need for-co-ownership, joint funding, strong leadership and effective governance in bilateral cooperation for improving outcomes of research collaborationThe report on The Global State of Young Scientists provides evidence for improving the state of young researchers. We encourage you to read the various articles and documents and prove Bob Marley wrong. There is an abundance of evidence but the knowledge for guiding decision-making and implementation must be grounded in the local context for improved outcomes.

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