Programme / Aren’t we wasting time? Creating a cooperative funding framework for more responsive Research for Development

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Day 1

Wednesday / 20 NOV

14:00 - 15:30

Special session:
Aren’t we wasting time? Creating a cooperative funding framework for more responsive Research for Development
Abstract: 

In the twenty years since the “Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge” defined the new responsibilities of science as “science for peace, science for development and science in and for society”, we research funders have striven to keep these concepts central to our endeavors in science, technology and innovation (STI). Yet despite all our individual good intentions, can we say we are dealing with the problems that need most attention? As individual funders we continue to focus on our own specific targets often without full awareness or understanding of how our international counterparts are approaching the same issues. If the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, then we have no way of formulating a coordinated, powerful response to the issues we should really be caring about. We might innovate just for the sake of innovation, with a false sense of accomplishment and progress as the real problems affecting health and security in today’s most fragile societies continue to accelerate and evade us.

 

We need a new approach. A greater level of communication, openness and transparency between north and south that will make international coordination among research funders both feasible and attractive. We need inclusiveness and fair representation from all corners of the world, with an intention to ask vulnerable societies the right kind of questions and listen to their insights with unbiased ears. In this session we will invite representatives of research funders from Japan (Asia), South Africa (Africa), UK (Europe) and representatives of the global research community to reaffirm what we as active STI ‘do-tanks’ can do for sustainable development in this century. We will discuss how to break down destructive silos, unite our individual insights and strengths instead of working at cross purposes, and create more comprehensive and ultimately effective solutions to the issues which are too big for anyone of us to tackle alone.