Hala Sabri, a woman scientist and member of the international office at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Pakistan, discusses the post-2015 development agenda and reflects on the role international collaboration could play in developing the 'new' MDGs. According to Sabri, meaningful international partnerships should bring together governments, institutions, aid agencies and industries to rally around specific local development issues, and work on an even footing introduce change locally by building on existing structures and community initiatives. Multinational partnerships are drivers of change: they permit the transfer of knowledge and with, for example, regional centre of expertise, they facilitate the adaptation of knowledge and technologies to local challenges. Sabri believes international partnerships are especially relevant in sharing successful technological developments across regions, given that the relationship is based on equal footing, i.e. the partnerships' beneficiaries have the liberty to reflect upon and transform successful technologies to their reality. http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20140309163033388 (University World News, 09/03/2014)
The Future Earth Transition Team, representing a wide range of disciplines and countries, and the main partners of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability, released the Future Earth Initial Design Report early December 2013, at the International Council for Science (ICSU). The report sets out the initial design of Future Earth, a 10-year international research programme launched in June 2012, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), comprising a research framework and governance structure; preliminary reflections on communication and engagement, capacity-building and education strategies; and implementation guidelines. The research agenda is structured around three central themes: dynamic planet, global development, and transformations towards sustainability. The report details the key research questions that will be addressed in each area. In the agricultural sub-sector, regarding the issue of climate change for example, important gaps in geographic and temporal observations, understanding of system processes, and confidence in observations and projections must be tackled by better and more coordinated research. http://www.icsu.org/news-centre/news/top-news/final-report-of-the-future-earth-transition-team-published(ICSU, 04/11/2013)
The Africa-EU High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on STI commissioned this study to assess existing bi-regional STI cooperation initiatives and to identify successful, best practice models of Africa and Europe cooperation. This study also identified gaps and effective financial mechanisms that could have a positive impact cooperative initiatives. In terms of collaboration, financing, and private sector participation, the report notes that the current funding landscape is rather dependent on European and on international instruments, weakening the potential of genuine co-ownership. Promising co-financing models for common research priorities are being piloted (notably by the ERAfrica consortium, www.erafrica.eu). The report argues that joint funding, strong leadership and effective governance; clarity and understanding of joint objectives; strong interpersonal relations, equitable resource and benefits sharing, full transparency and open communication all build create mutual trust and foster co-ownership as necessary conditions for optimal efficiency. Other topics addressed by the study include: impact, success criteria, gaps, barriers and challenges. http://hrst.au.int/en/sites/default/files/STI%20study%20final%20report%20-%20revision%20October%202013.pdf (via CAAST-Net Plus, 19/12/2013)
Led by the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences, more than 50 nutrition experts from six continents, along with leading NGOs/IGOs, universities, and the World Health Organisation, collaborated for two years to produce the report ‘A Global Research Agenda for Nutrition Science’. In order to develop innovative interventions to the challenges of nutrition science, the agenda has identified research gaps in three focus areas: 1) Environmental and Societal Trends Affecting Food and Nutrition Among Vulnerable Groups, 2) Unresolved Issues of Nutrition in the Lifecycle, and 3) Delivery of Intervention and Operational Gaps. http://goo.gl/kJnV9S(NYAS, 19/09/2013)
Sustainable improvement of human well-being depends crucially on knowledge, its production, organisation, distribution, appropriation and wise use. Access to information, the capacity to generate and use scientific and technological knowledge and human innovation give institutions and countries an edge. For ACP countries, past development efforts that ignored local circumstances, technologies and systems of knowledge wasted enormous amounts of time and resources and have failed to achieve the desired result: "sustainable development".
This report by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) presents findings from a bibliometric analysis of the 26 most productive African countries in Scopus (the world's largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature) between 1996 and 2009. Changes in the scientific research output and comparisons with global patterns across 27 scientific knowledge domains (8 of which can be directly related to the agricultural research) are illustrated. It details publication patterns over ten years, the number of research papers produced per year per country, the nature of international collaboration in multi-author publications, etc. Strengths and weakness are identified which can be used to inform future decision-making processes.(INASP, 20/06/2013)
Big Data present particularly significant challenges and notable opportunities for transdisciplinary, international research programmes as well as for scientific data services and infrastructure providers. The delegates of an international workshop made a series of recommendations for the sponsors of international research programmes so that beneficiaries can take better advantage of the Big Data age. These are: (i) respond to the importance of Big Data; (ii) exploit the benefits of Big Data for society; (iii) improve understanding of Big Data through international collaboration; (iv) promote universal access to Big Data through global research infrastructures; (v) explore and address the challenges of Big Data stewardship, Encourage capacity building and skills development in Big Data science and (vi) foster development of policies to maximise exploitation of Big Data. CODATA, an interdisciplinary body of the International Council for Science (ICSU) organized the workshop. (CODATA, 16/06/2014)