Brussels, 01 Jul 2005
The UK has launched a consultation on how it should support science and innovation as part of its international aid programme. The views of the scientific community in developing countries are particularly welcomed by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).
'DFID recognises that science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) have a crucial role to play in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and in supporting sustainable development beyond 2015,' reads a statement from the department.
The DFID is currently developing a broad science and innovation strategy that is to provide a 'scientific lens' for the department's thinking and future policy development. The strategy is also intended to help guide the DFID's continued engagement in scientific areas with its partners in developing countries and elsewhere. The result will be a high level document that will inform and influence resource allocation processes.
'I am keen to seek views on the strategy, and learn from the wealth of knowledge, experience and new and exciting thinking that exists, not only in the international community - and in the DFID itself - but particularly among our partners in developing countries,' said Gordon Conway, chief scientists at the DFID.
The DFID highlights a number of areas in which guidance would be particularly appreciated. For example: How can the insights of the natural and social sciences be better combined in order to support development? And what should the DFID's role be, both in terms of supporting these processes and influencing the international community? How should SETI-intensive sectors be represented in poverty reduction strategies?
The consultation questions are listed under four headings: Millennium Development Goals; capacity development; innovation; engaging the private sector; policy and practice; and other.
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Remarks: Contributions should be submitted by 19 September.