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Development Account Projects

Strengthening science, technology and innovation policies for development in Latin America


Science, technology and innovation are critical elements for supporting sustainable development and the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In recognition of this, many developing countries are drafting science, technology and innovation policies, establishing Ministries of Science and technologies, and investing more resources into targeted science development programmes. In tandem with these national efforts, Governments are looking for assistance from the international community in building their national science, technology and innovation capacity. The proposed project on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) reviews for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is designed to respond to these requests.  It aims to ensure that national science, technology and innovation programmes become an instrument for supporting relevant components of the national development agenda, helping local industry compete in a knowledge-based, global economy, generating better paying jobs, increasing standards of living, reducing poverty, and promoting the Government’s growth and export diversification strategy.

Therefore, policy makers in Latin American countries need to have the opportunity to review their current S&T policies in the context of globalization, to benefit from lessons learn in other regions and other countries within the region, to reinforce the linkages between STI policies and other economic policies and to enhance networking and coordination between the public sector and industry players.

The proposed demand-driven project will support the efforts of three Latin American countries in designing and implementing their science, technology and innovation policies.  It will support the identification of policies and practices favouring technological capacity-building, strengthening technological and innovation capabilities and supporting their overall development policy, especially in achieving the MDGs. UNCTAD has already received requests from three Latin American countries (namely, the Dominican Republic, Peru and El Salvador) to support building their policy making capacities in the area of science, technology and innovation. The research and analysis conducted during the project as well as the outcome of the project will feed into other substantive and intergovernmental activities in the area of science, technology and innovation that UNCTAD and UN ECLAC carry out and support. In particular, it will feed into the work of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development.


To improve the formulation of national science, technology and innovation policies in Latin-American countries to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and national development strategies.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Strengthened capacity to support policymaking in the area of science, technology and innovation with a view to achieving impact on specific economic sectors, with due regard to local concerns.

  • Increased access by policymakers to expertise to better integrate their science and technology policy strategies into national development policies.

Implementation Status:

In Peru, where the process is in its most advanced stages, the STIP review is expected to be an input for the drafting of the National Strategy for Industrial Innovation.

The three national counterparts (Vice-Minister of Industry, National Commission of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) are actively participating in the STIP review, comments on the first draft were received and 6 sets of recommendations to stimulate the development of science, technology and innovation have been identified.

In Dominican Republic and El Salvador, the fact-finding missions and consultation processes have made the different stakeholders aware and appreciative of government’s efforts to improve national STI capacity and of the importance of their inputs for the formulation of the STI strategy.

A network of Latin American specialists on science, technology and innovation policies is being developed among participants of the different exercises.