Announcing new partnership with Rwanda National Commission of Science and Technology

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The Government of Rwanda has taken a bold step by inaugurating a National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST) to advise on, monitor and evaluate, and coordinate science, technology, and innovation (STI) related activities across Rwanda’s economy. The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) believes that robust, well-planned STI investments and coordination can drive sustained economic development, so it is with great excitement that we announce that GKI has been selected as a partner to assist NCST in developing its Five-Year Strategic Plan. Applying its expertise in strengthening innovation systems as well as a demonstrated commitment to Rwanda’s socio-economic development, GKI will assist NCST in developing and vetting this guiding document. To set this process in motion, GKI Program Officer Andrew Gerard traveled to Rwanda in May 2014 to assess and map STI-related programs taking place in Rwanda’s economy relevant to NCST.  Andrew conducted interviews with key stakeholders throughout the public and private sector, including experts in agriculture, energy, education, and other sectors to identify demand for STI services and to understand how to deliver on this demand. Armed with these insights, GKI will next carry out an analysis designed to guide the NCST on how to maximize strengths, overcome weaknesses, seize available opportunities, and avoid threats.  We will then work with NCST staff to develop a Five-Year Strategic Plan.  Given the strong trajectory of STI activity in Rwanda and the mutual commitment to leveraging its power for economic development, GKI anticipates a sustained, fruitful, and rewarding partnership with NCST. Contributors: Caroline Smeallie and Andrew Gerard   […]

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GKI signs Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda National Council for Science & Technology

The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) is pleased to announce the formalization of a relationship we have long enjoyed with Uganda’s National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST).  On 6 November 2013, GKI Program Officer Andrew Gerard (on behalf of Chief Operating Officer Sara Farley) and UNCST Executive Secretary Dr. Peter Ndemere signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) officially connecting the two organizations and providing a framework for future activities. GKI and UNCST have collaborated with great success in the past.  In 2009, GKI helped UNCST develop mechanisms to put their newly developed National Science, Technology and Innovation policy into action.  GKI’s “From Policy to Action” policy dialogue connected policy makers and researchers to critical resources to facilitate the implementation of the national policy.  Given the success of our past collaborations, we are thrilled to inaugurate an even closer long-term partnership with UNCST. […]

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Students, Researchers, and Community Members Initiate Water Challenge Collaboration in Air Papan, Malaysia

Settled onto the cool concrete floor of the boathouse, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) students furiously took notes as the fishermen of Air Papan, Malaysia explained their work, their challenges, and their hopes for the future.  There, between buoys and hammocks made of fishing net, with a view of the South China Sea, the UTM-GKI Southeast Asian Water Challenge began.  With 44 students and 13 researchers, UTM and GKI traveled to Air Papan, Malaysia November 15-17, 2013 to get to know the community, explore challenges faced there, and identify areas of alignment and opportunities for collaboration and solution creation. Before heading to Air Papan, GKI trained the researchers and students in methods for collaborative innovation research.  Deploying those skills with coaching from GKI, students and researchers observed Air Papan and its resources, interviewed community members to understand their perspectives on challenges, and created integrated challenge maps to illustrate how various perspectives on challenges relate to one another. This inquiry revealed pressing water challenges in Air Papan.  In the eyes of the community, solving water challenges in paddy fields, fishing, and tourism represent key paths to higher, more stable incomes for the 450+ residents of Air Papan. […]

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Rwanda STI Policy Review: Workshop to Present Findings & Suggest Next Steps

Working in conjunction with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, a Global Knowledge Initiative team presented preliminary findings from the Rwanda Science, Technology and Innovation Policy review on June 20 in Kigali, Rwanda.  In attendance were various stakeholders representing a range of interests, including university administrators, government officials, and private sector leaders. The preliminary report focused on impressions of Rwanda’s achievements in STI since the STI Policy was first introduced in 2005, and was based on interviews, surveys, and workshops with over 300 respondents and participants.  GKI adopted this approach due to the lack of a clear monitoring and evaluation plan in the original STI Policy; while not as definitive an evaluation as a Policy with strong baselines and targets would have allowed, using stakeholder input did provide a rich portrait of how Rwanda’s economy and innovation system have grown over the past eight years. After GKI presented the initial findings, attendees broke out into working groups based on the four pillars of the STI Policy: knowledge acquisition, knowledge transfer, knowledge creation, and innovation culture.  In each group, facilitators invited feedback on priorities, incentives, and targets for action.  This feedback will guide the next steps to be taken by MINEDUC and the National Science and Technology Commission, namely updating the STI Policy and developing an implementation strategy. The meeting concluded with comments from Dr. Ignace Gatare, Director General of NSTC.  Dr. Gatare thanked GKI and participants for their active engagement, and pointed out that the workshop itself was an example of “creating an environment of collaboration that has been a previous challenge of the [STI] policy.”  Moving forward, he encouraged attendees to stay engaged with each other, as their genuine spirit of cooperation will be key for Rwanda to achieve its ambition of becoming Africa’s technology hub. GKI has completed a draft review of the STI Policy Review and will submit it to the Ministry of Education for final review shortly.  We are thrilled […]

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New research collaboration with Rwanda Ministry of Education & UNECA

Happening Now: A GKI team is headed to Rwanda to work with the Rwanda Ministry of Education and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to analyze Rwanda’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Policy seven years after its publication. We will identify areas of success, challenges to the policy’s implementation, and work to build excitement around the great opportunities facing Rwanda’s STI system. Although GKI produced a brief analysis of Rwanda’s STI context for our LINK (Learning and Innovation Network for Knowledge and Solutions) Rwanda program, this analysis will go in deeper depth, and is explicitly designed to bring together Rwanda’s most important innovation system actors.  More updates forthcoming! […]

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