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Virtual Policy Discussion: Promoting Investments In Science Technology And Innovation For Sustainable Development Goals. What Works?

A series of virtual policy forums were organized by African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in collaboration with DFID-East Africa Research to deliberate on the key findings from the assessment of the Science Technology and Innovation (STI) in Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania using the transformative knowledge systems framework based on literature review, case study analysis, in country stakeholder consultations and an economic analysis for investing in STI. 

The policy discussions were held separately for each country to enable maximum engagement of stakeholders from these three countries under study. The stakeholders encompassed representatives from the government, academia, civil society, and small businesses. Virtual policy dialogue for Rwanda was held on 29th April 2020 via WebEx. Kenya’s virtual policy discussion was held on 4th May 2020 via zoom. 

The aim of the forums was to: 1. Discuss and explain why STI investments are delivering or not delivering for balanced growth and the SDGs; 2. Individualise current STI pathways in target countries (Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania); 3. Ascertain opportunities for informal knowledge and innovation activity relevant to the SDGs; 4. Measure feasibility of existing metrics in relation to inclusive development and SDGs; 5. Design process for stakeholder-led re-visioning of STI investments

The discussions were guided by the findings of research undertaken from 2018-2020, as part of a DFID-East Africa Research Hub funded pilot research project “Understanding Knowledge Systems and what Works to promote Science Technology and Innovation”. Using the combined analysis, the project aimed to characterize the current STI trajectories and explain why the STI investments are delivering or not for SDGS including increasing our understanding of the links between STI investments and socio-economic targets.

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