Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

EPF Brief No. 243: Towards Gender-transformative Climate Change Adaptation Policies

Friday, December 21st, 2012

This climate policy research demonstrates that in India’s agriculture-dominated and gender-biased economy, the future of India’s adaptation strategy hinges on how well gender is integrated into agriculture-related policies and programmes. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change, which lays out India’s strategy for mitigation and adaptation, recognises that women suffer more from climate change impacts than men. However, it fails to recognise that women are also integral to climate solutions. The research concludes with a set of policy recommendations for policy-makers and other actors.

Why Should India Focus on Gender-Responsive Adaptation?

There is growing scientific and anecdotal evidence in India that climate vagaries are affecting the life and work of its people, especially the 72% of its populations that lives off climate-sensitive agriculture and related activities. An overwhelming 60% of India’s agriculture is rain-fed and prone to recurring natural disasters like floods, droughts and cyclones which, according to climate scientists, will become more frequent, intense and unpredictable. These rain fed areas are also home to majority of the poor and marginalised farmers. India’s 11th Five-year Plan (2007-2012) notes the increasing ‘feminisation’ of Indian agriculture and a dominance of women workers in livestock rearing and collection of minor products from forests.

While India is the world’s 5th largest greenhouse gasses emitter and the 6th largest carbon emitter, these constitute just 4% and 3% of the global emissions respectively; also, India’s per capita emissions are 70% below the world’s average. Following a low-carbon growth strategy is important, and India has already embarked upon one, but there is far less policy focus on adaptation. As the Stern Review (2006) notes: ‘adaptation policy is crucial for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate but it has been underemphasised in many countries. Adaptation is the only response available for the impacts that will occur over the next several decades before mitigation measures can have an effect.’

Overcoming Gender-specific Disparities

Without an effective adaptation policy, India cannot achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or its MDG-based National Development Goals as set out by the Indian Planning Commission. Climate change impacts often threaten to erode or inhibit development gains. Women are typically responsible for providing their household with climate-sensitive resources like water, food crops, fodder and firewood; they are also less likely to have the education, opportunities, authority and productive resources to adapt to climate change impacts. Without gender-specific disparities being addressed by adaptation policies, climate change will add another layer of gender inequality, especially in the farming sector.

The fourth assessment report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that gender differences affect the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of women and men. After decades of gender-blind climate negotiation texts under the UN Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), women and gender concerns were mentioned in the December 2010 Conference of Parties (COP 16) Cancun text.

Understanding Gender-specific Impacts of Climate Change

Using a gender lens, the research (a) analysed adaptation policies and programmes as laid out in the NAPCC and (b) gathered evidence from four disaster-prone rain fed agro-climatic zones in four states (India consists of 28 states and 7 Union Territories) for evidence-based policy recommendations. The four agro-climatic zones were:

  • The Himalayan eco-system in Himachal Pradesh (HP).
  • The flood plains of Eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • The Sunderbans coastal area in West Bengal (WB).
  • The drought region of Andhra Pradesh (AP).

The research objectives were:

  • Understanding some of the socio-economic impacts of climate change at the local level where gender-specific disparities are most intense.
  • Identifying some of the gender-responsive policy gaps in the national adaptation missions and in specific state-level climate change plans, and suggesting possible corrections.
  • Identifying some areas where women and men can both participate in, influence and benefit from scientific work on adaptation
  • Assessing how gender-responsive the work of grassroots NGOs working on adaptation is and how this can be up-scaled in a gender-responsive manner by the Central and State government’s climate-related policies and plans.

The research employed a range of tools and techniques. These included:

  • Literature Review
  • Participatory collection of field-data by four grassroots NGOs, each in one of the above agro-climatic zones.
  • Consultations with gender/climate experts
  • Policy analysis
  • A Delphi exercise

How Women and Men are Impacted Differently by Climate Change

There is little evidence to show the different impacts of climate change on men and women. The need to identify and study these differences is critical for making gender-responsive adaptation policies and programmes.

This research gathered data from the four agro-climatic zones and used a gender lens to show how the same climate change impact affected women and men differently. The research revealed that men’s primary way to adapt was to migrate from farms which meant that women were left behind to both till the unproductive land and to continue their care roles. This put an additional burden on women because they had to till the unproductive land or labour in other fields, while continuing to shoulder their care-giver responsibilities with no support from the spouse. The table below captures this gender difference from the four zones.

Gendered Impacts of Climate Change
Climate Change Impacts on women Impacts on Men
Lower food production Least to eat; sleep on an empty stomach

Need to take on additional work as wage labour which also led to more feminisation of agricultural labour (WB, UP, AP)

They get first priority to available food in the family
More natural disasters – cyclones, floods, water-logging and droughts; infrequent rains; intense rains Longer distances to walk to get water and fuel-wood

Loss of fodder and livestock

Drought/infrequent spells of rains – harder ground to do agricultural work on

Intense rains – more weeds and weeding is a woman’s job

Distress migration
Higher summer temperatures; longer summers Lower milk production among animals

More tiring work in fields even in April (HP)

Longer waking hours to work in the field early morning and late evening to beat the heat (AP, HP, UP)

Lesser tasks in the field.

Distress migration

Effect on regeneration of species and upward shift of the forest tree-line Medicinal herbs and fodder unavailable in forests now (HP) No effect
Social impacts

 

 

Higher indebtedness – women go to take loans and have the responsibility to pay off loans!

Increased male migration results in more women and child trafficking and HIV/AIDS spread

Greater poverty and frustration among men leads to increase in domestic abuse/violence

Distress migration

 

Adaptation Interventions Involve Women more but also Affect them Differently

Most grassroots development organisation working on farm-based livelihoods with rural men and women have willy-nilly adopted techniques that help small and marginalised farmers adapt to climate vagaries. Adaptation can be understood to be ‘development-plus;’ or development measures that take into account climate-proofing; or climate change adaptation interventions that help in also achieving development gains. According to a World Resources Institute study (2007), ‘adaptation uses the same toolbox as development measures, is more integrated than development interventions and factors in the dimension of ‘additionality’ on account of climate variability.’

Most NGOs this research study examined have similar approaches to integrating adaptation measures into farming practices. They build on traditional knowledge, adopt a diversified livelihoods basket, and add value through applied scientific and technological interventions. All this is done by first mobilising groups of farmers – both men and women but more women farmers. The reason for making women active players is because NGOs acknowledge that women farmers are more responsive than men farmers and achieve greater success. So women, more than men, are the main mobilizers of peer groups, recipients of knowledge and skills and risk-takers. Yet, these roles are hardly acknowledged by NGOs in documents, meetings and advocacy initiatives.

Working with women also does not usually translate into women owning more productive assets or accessing more government schemes or participating more in government or community-level decision-making bodies. While women do reap some benefits and are also more empowered than earlier in some respects, many adaptive interventions put more time and labour burden on women as compared to men. The table below illustrates a few of the differential impacts of on-the-ground adaptation interventions on men and women and some of the policy gaps that need to be addressed.

Gender Analysis of Adaptation Interventions
Adaptive Interventions Gender Analysis Policy & Programme Imperatives
Organic/low chemical input agriculture with diversified products Improved food security for both women and men

Women put in more labour and time to prepare bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticide

Higher fodder and fuel-wood yields for women

Less information/ knowledge/ inputs accessed by women

Less participation in decision-making bodies

Incentives to promote availability of bio-inputs

Incentives to promote joint farm land titles to spouses and leasing public land to women farmers groups.

Development of women-friendly technology to reduce drudgery

Availability of local weather-related information to women farmers.

Increased use of traditional saline/ drought/ flood resistant seeds and local livestock varieties More food security for both women and men

Gives women fodder/ fuel-wood

Enables women to store and exchange seed, not buy from seed markets

Opportunity for women to reclaim traditional knowledge

Promote farm-to-lab, in addition to the current lab-to-farm approach

Make local varieties available

Popularize seed banks, grain banks and fodder banks

Recruit women and men farmer trainers in extension work

Rain-water harvesting Benefits women more because it ensures improved food security and availability of water for livestock and homes Promote water harvesting structures for kitchen gardens, roof rainwater harvesting and for small farms;

Revive traditional ponds and wells.

Empowerment of Women

Women need to be at the core of planning and implementation of adaptation interventions. This includes collection of gender-disaggregated data at all levels, gender-based monitoring and evaluation and gender-budgeting. The four-C framework given below sums up the main policy recommendations.

  • Counting women in at planning, designing, implementing, resourcing and evaluating stages of all programmes and schemes. Currently, there is a huge deficit on gender-disaggregated data for policy making.
  • Converging programmes and schemes at the planning and design stage through multi-sectoral and multi-ministerial bodies and at the implementation stage through local government agencies and local elected bodies. A specific need is to mandate gender-responsive ‘Local Action Plans on Adaptation,’ (or LAPAs) integrated with the Village Development Plans made by local elected bodies.
  • Capacity building and empowering women and men at the level of local elected bodies, local government agencies, within scientific institutions working on adaptation and within relevant NGOs and community-based organizations. Gender-responsive decision-making institutions are basic building blocks for egalitarian adaptation policies.
  • Collaborating with key stakeholders – adaptation science researchers, government agencies and departments, local elected bodies, user groups, civil society groups and legislators – to build resilience among the most vulnerable people through participatory innovation, utilization of traditional and local knowledge, adding value through scientific and technological interventions and converging all resources.

Within this framework, the research identifies policy-level recommendations for specific actors – legislators, government planning bodies, government officers, local elected bodies, adaptation research scientists, civil society organizations and community-based groups.

These policy recommendations form a blueprint of what India’s approach and policies must be in the coming decades to ensure that both men and women are able to reap the benefits of a climate-resilient path to development.

Authors: Aditi Kapoor, Alternative Futures    email address: aditikapoor2@gmail.com  
Sponsors: Heinrich Böll Foundation, Germany and Christian Aid, U.K.  
Type: National foresight and policy advocacy research  
Organizer: Alternative Futures (Rakesh Kapoor) afmailbox@gmail.com  
Duration: 08/2010 – 05/2011 Budget: 20,000 € Time Horizon: 2030-2050 Date of Brief: July 2012

Download EPF Brief No. 243_Gender-transformative Climate Change Adaptation.

 

Sources and References

Ministry of Environment and Forests (November 2010), Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA) Report 2, Government of India, New Delhi

Stern, N. (2006). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Adger, W. N., et al. (2007). Assessment of adaptation practices, options, constraints and capacity. In Parry, M. L., et al. (Eds). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,   Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 717-743.

Agarwal, Bina. (1994). A Field of One’s Own: Gender and land rights in South Asia. Cambridge University Press, New York.

——- (2010). Gender and Green Governance: The political economy of women’s presence within and beyond community forestry. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Dankelman, I. (2002). Climate Change: Learning from gender analysis and women’s experience of organising for sustainable development. Gender and Development 10(2), 21–29.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (2003). Gender: Key to Sustainability and Food Security; Gender and Development Plan of Action (2002-07).

Government of India. (2008). Eleventh Five Year Plan Vol I-III (2007-2012). Planning Commission. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

IWRAW Asia Pacific. (2009). Occasional Papers Series No. 14, Equity or Equality for Women? Understanding CEDAW’s Equality Principles, International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, Malaysia.

Krishna, Sumi, ed. (2004). Livelihood and Gender: Equity in Community Resource Management. Centre for Women’s Development Studies. Sage Publications, New Delhi.

EFP Brief No. 229: Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

This was the first time that Taiwan conducted a large-scale expert opinion survey using the Delphi approach. The goal was to identify research topics relevant to shaping the future of agriculture in Taiwan. Applying roadmapping, the project presented policy suggestions at the end of 2011. The suggestions have been incorporated into the Taiwanese govern-ment’s Council of Agriculture (COA) research agenda as evidenced by COA’s call-for-projects announcement.

The Role of Agriculture in Taiwan

Taiwan was one of the leading countries in subtropical agriculture several decades ago, but now agriculture has lost its importance in job creation, domestic production and international trade. However, agriculture is still at the root of the economy and has many functions beyond production – it provides the food we eat, conserves the environment we live in, and is a force for social stability.

Taiwan, with nominal GDP $427 billion US dollars and GDP (PPP) per capita $35 thousand US dollars in 2010, is known for its manufacturing capabilities today, but it used to be exporting a lot of agricultural products and technologies to many countries long time ago. Since 1959, more than 100 agricultural missions have been dispatched to more than 60 countries, among which about half missions are currently at work in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific.

In fact, Taiwan’s total land area is about 36,000 square kilometers, most of which is mountainous or sloped. Therefore, agriculture is practiced mainly in the plains, which comprise 29 percent of the country. As a subtropical island characterized by high temperatures and heavy rainfall, Taiwan offers bio-diversities for agriculture, but also lends itself to the breeding of insects and disease. Particularly, there are frequently typhoons causing natural disasters in the summer and autumn every year.

There have been significant changes in Taiwan’s agricultural exports over the years however. Years ago, Taiwan exported sugar cane, rice, and canned mushrooms or asparagus. Now Taiwan’s main exports are aquaculture products (e.g. tuna, eel, tilapia), leather and feathers, and its main agricultural imports include corn, soybeans, wine, tobacco, cotton, lumber, beef and wheat. In 1953, the average value of agricultural production increased 7.3 percent annually and exports increased at a rate of 9.3 percent, but beginning in 1970, agricultural exports fell behind agricultural imports. In 2010, imports were USD 12.8 billion and exports were USD 4 billion. The production value based on agriculture is estimated approximately 11.2 percent of GDP, while primary production accounts for only 1.5 percent of GDP in Taiwan.

The Revitalization of Agriculture in Taiwan

In order to revitalize the agriculture sector to meet the challenges of trade liberalization, globalization, the knowledge- based economy and particularly, climate change, the Taiwanese Government’s Council of Agriculture (COA) commissioned a project- Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025 – to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER). This four-year project (2008–2011), with an annual budget of USD 350 000, conducted foresight-related activities including demand surveys, trend and policy analyses, horizon scanning, visioning, essay contests, training workshops, two-round Delphi surveys, road mapping and development of policy suggestions (short-, mid- and long-term development plans and priorities) (see Figure 1).

The project aimed to identify R&D priorities to meet the long-term objectives for agriculture in Taiwan such as to improve farmers’ productivity and livelihoods, to develop resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to do farming, and to ensure food safety by instituting a traceability system, which were embedded in a vision of making a better living in Taiwan in terms of industrial development, environmental protection and life quality respectively.

Environmentally-Freindly Farming for Taiwan’s Future

In 2008, TIER set up a task force with six researchers and two assistants to learn the foresight techniques, mainly from Japan. It built up a data-base of social needs, technological trends, research resources, critical issues and agricultural policies nationwide and worldwide.

Under the support and approval of COA, the project set up the Planning Committee, including government officers, agricultural experts, senior research fellows, social scientists and an economist. The Planning Committee decided that the project’s target year was 2025, and that the purpose of the foresight was to identify R&D priorities to meet the long-term objectives for agriculture in Taiwan such as to improve farmers’ productivity and livelihoods, to develop resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to do farming, and to ensure food safety by instituting a traceability system, which were embedded in a vision of making a better living in Taiwan in terms of industrial development, environmental protection and life quality respectively.

Visioning for Research Topics

In order to link the foresight and policy, the project set up the Strategy Formation Committee, with ten subcommittees corresponding to the ten research areas of COA, each of which was comprised of agricultural experts and senior scientists. The members of the Strategy Formation Committee were nominated by the Planning Committee and then approved by COA. The duty of the Strategy Formation Committee was to depict 2025 visioning in each research area and to figure out the research topics to meet the needs for shaping the future agriculture in Taiwan identified by the Planning Committee.

In 2009, the Strategy Formation Committee proposed more than 100 research topics for the project. The TIER task force tried to consolidate some of them and organize them in a uniform format. Then, the Planning Committee identified the final 74 research topics and the related key questions for the Delphi questionnaire.

In 2010, the TIER task force built up an on-line survey platform and carried out two rounds of Delphi survey. There were 675 experts and scientists on the list of the first round, 546 of which participated in Delphi survey (response rate of 80 percent), and 512 of which questionnaire were effective. Then there were 546 experts and scientists on the list of the second round, 413 of which participated in Delphi survey (response rate of 76 percent), and 407 of which questionnaire were effective.

Based on the survey responses to 74 research topics, the project compiled the indices of industrial development, environmental protection, life quality, national priority and government support respectively to measure the research topics in different aspects. The standard deviations of all indices at the second round became smaller than those at the first round, so it implies that the Delphi survey of the project did converge for reaching consensus.

The survey shows that the government should support those research topics with higher ratings in environmental protection as well as in life quality particularly due to agricultural multi-function (externality). It is, however, slightly correlated between industrial development and government support to be needed for those research topics because some of them could be developed by the private sector. These research topics have been incorporated into COA’s research agenda as evidenced by COA’s R&D system call-for-projects announcement.

Attracting the Young Generation

Besides, in order to attract the young generation to think about the future of agriculture, the project invited young people to participate in the Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025 contest (see Figure 2).

Foresight for Policy and as Policy

This was the first time that Taiwan conducted a large-scale expert opinion survey using the Delphi approach, in order to identify the research topics to meet the needs for shaping the future agriculture in Taiwan. The project made policy suggestions by road mapping at the end of 2011, and these have been incorporated into COA’s research agenda as evidenced by COA’s R&D system call-for-projects announcement.

The major contribution of the project has been the government’s support for the research topics of ‘national priority’ in terms of industrial development, environmental protection and life quality, with equal weights embedded in the vision of making a better living in Taiwan. The project is expected to improve farmers’ productivity and livelihoods, particularly for smallholders; to develop resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly ways to do farming in Taiwan’s limited land area; to reinforce the links between production and consumption of agricultural products by implementing a traceability system.

Authors: Julie C. L. Sun           juliesun@tier.org.tw

 

Sponsors: Council of Agriculture, Taiwan

 

Type: National foresight exercise
Organizer: Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, Julie C. L. Sun      juliesun@tier.org.tw
Duration: 2008–2011 Budget: 1 Mill USD Time Horizon: 2025 Date of Brief: July 2012  

Download: EFP Brief No. 229_Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025.

References

The website of Taiwan Agricultural Technology Foresight 2025, http://agritech-foresight.coa.gov.tw

COA R&D project management system, http://project.coa.gov.tw

EFP Brief No. 201: Towards Professionalising ‘International S&T Cooperation Foresight’: Epistemological and Methodological Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The purpose of the SEA-EU-NET foresight process is to open up and structure the discussion on the potential future cooperation(s) between the EU and Southeast Asia in the field of S&T. We assess potential “futures” of organising S&T relations between the EU and Southeast Asia in 2020 and discuss their current implications and geopolitical consequences.

Combining Asian and European Research Dialogues

The SEA-EU-NET project started in 2008 with the mandate to facilitate the bi-regional EU-ASEAN science and technology dialogue and to expand scientific collaboration between Europe and Southeast Asia in a more strategic and coherent way. Among many other things, SEA-EU-NET participated in the official EC-ASEAN COST (Committee on Science and Technology) meetings in Manila and Bali and presented project outcomes and recommendations. Complementary to the official EC-ASEAN dialogue, the SEA-EU-NET project organised stakeholder conferences in 2008 in Paris/France, 2009 in Bogor/Indonesia and 2010 in Budapest/Hungary, which served as platforms to discuss opportunities and pitfalls for stronger S&T collaboration between the two regions. The next stakeholder conference is scheduled to take place in Hanoi/Vietnam in November 2011.

These meetings involved a large group of policy makers, scientists and science administrators. The close links between the official EC-ASEAN dialogue and the SEA-EU-NET project stakeholder dialogue has led to an enhanced level of S&T cooperation between the two regions.

The SEA-EU-NET S&T International Cooperation Foresight

The SEA-EU-NET foresight exercise was launched during the Bogor/Indonesia 2nd SEA-EU-NET Stakeholder Conference in 2009 and has been designed to fit into and support these interlinked policy dialogues aimed at further increasing S&T cooperation levels. With this foresight exercise, the project aims at supporting the building of and commitment to shared visions of the future of S&T cooperation.

Given the current stage of science and technology cooperation between ASEAN and EU, the process was mostly expert-driven. Regarding a specific and very central stakeholder group, however, it was participatory: All scientists with recent cooperation experience (ASEAN-EU co-publications since 2005 have been used as a proxy for cooperation) have been invited to participate.

The format of “International Cooperation Foresight” (ICF) should be discussed separately from national technology foresight activities. Theoretical and methodological backgrounds have been provided by the work of the members of the former Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology Institute (PREST) and current Manchester Institute of Innovation Research as well as by the UNIDO Foresight Manual.

Our experience with the exercise has shown that ICF needs to take into account a large number of “soft” drivers of future scenarios and related forecasts, basically all of which can be influenced to some extent by one of the two major stakeholder groups (S&T and other policy makers; scientists). For instance, ICF needs to take into consideration the financial resources available for cooperation (a driver directly influenced by S&T policy making) and trust among the research communities of the cooperating countries/regions (a driver reflecting the scientists’ attitudes).

Thus, for international S&T cooperation foresight involving high-level policy making and research communities, most parts of the external context are in fact contingent variables internal to the process. Parts of what might be external variables in a technology foresight for an enterprise (e.g., the existence of certain policies or regulatory obstacles or the availability of natural resources) are internal variables for the ICF process (policies and regulations can be shaped by the policy-making stakeholders; decisions can be made to protect natural resources or make them available; etc.). This fact has to be taken into account when designing the foresight methodology.

These considerations also partly motivated our decision to look at a ten year perspective, i.e. the 2020 future of S&T Cooperation between ASEAN and the EU. While the horizon of the Europe 2020 strategy also played a role, we have looked for a time horizon that can be considered without having to take into account possible major system changes, which would again add complexity.

Scenario Building, Delphi Surveys and Backcasting

This foresight exercise applied a combination of (singular success) scenario building, Delphi surveys and backcasting. Concretely, the stakeholder discussions regarding the 2020 future S&T cooperation were kicked off in a success scenario oriented driver identification workshop. High-level policy makers from Southeast Asia and Europe were asked to identify ‘drivers’ and ‘shapers’ of a future basic success scenario of bi-regional S&T cooperation based on drivers presented in the literature and to comment on and rate the relevance of the various drivers identified. We discriminated the regional focus of the answers: participants could rate the perceived relevance for either Southeast Asia or Europe. Given the interactive atmosphere in the workshop, this combining of scenario building with backcasting elements proved to be a successful strategy.

We continued the driver identification with the second major stakeholder group, namely the scientists, selecting those who had recent ASEAN-EU co-publication experience. With the help of an open e-mail consultation asking respondents for the factors that they believe might influence what future S&T cooperation between the two regions might look like, the individual responses of about 1,200 scientists were collected, analysed and synthesised into a set of around 40 drivers. The drivers then were validated in a two-stage Delphi survey, presented as directional variables (pointing towards increasing cooperation)and formulated as concrete recommendations in the original wording of the scientists (which we correctly believed would make it easier for their peers to follow their reasoning). We distinguished between answers given from a Southeast Asian perspective and a European perspective (irrespective of the current region of residence).

In the second Delphi round, approximately 560 scientists checked the average relevance ratings given in the first round, further commented on them and partially corrected their previous answers. This led to a series of concrete recommendations for instruments to enhance S&T cooperation and was followed by thorough desk research to identify interdependencies among the most relevant drivers.

The results up to this point have been published and made available to the European Commission, the policy and scientific community as well as the wider public as a SEA-EU-NET report (www.sea-eu.net/object/doc­ument/2469.html.

The next step was to feed the results back to the target groups, especially the policy makers in both regions. While there were no project resources for an additional workshop with European policy makers, we were able to arrange a half-day session during a major SEA-EU-NET event in Chiang Mai/Thailand in May 2011 that attracted around 20 policy makers from 8 of the 10 ASEAN member countries, which we consider a big success.

Rather than generating additional output, the goal of the workshop was to feed back the evidence produced by the SEA-EU-NET foresight and to further inspire a joint process of creating common visions of the future.

Two relevant preparatory steps realised by the foresight team were (1) a more refined 2020 success scenario of ASEAN-EU S&T cooperation that presented a desirable future in the form of a newspaper article narrative (looking back from 2020 towards 2011 outlining what has gone well in this decade) and (2) linking the SEA-EU-NET cooperation foresight with relevant regional foresight processes, namely the future ‘paradigm shifts’ identified in the ‘Krabi Initiative’ on the future of science and technology in ASEAN.

The link between both foresight processes was achieved by proposing the following two questions to the participants: How can future ASEAN-EU S&T cooperation support the Krabi Initiative paradigm shifts, and what would succession of S&T cooperation mean in this context? These overriding questions were discussed in five knowledge café panels (one for each of the five paradigm shifts in the Krabi initiative). The outcome of the discussions is currently being used by the SEA-EU-NET foresight team to refine the draft success scenario.

In a final step, the foresight report mentioned above will be amended and will form a central chapter in an upcoming SEA-EU-NET book publication to be presented to the S&T cooperation policy making and scientific community, inter alia at the next SEA-EU-NET Stakeholder Conference in November 2011 in Hanoi/Vietnam.

Successful Pilot Community Building and Open Dialogue among Stakeholders

One indicator to assess the success of the exercise is the number of stakeholder participants in the process. In terms of the members of the scientific community who we were able to engage in the process, it clearly was a success: 280 qualitative answers were collected during the open e-mail consultation. Around 1,200 scientists participated in the first Delphi survey round. This corresponds to approximately 12-14% of the invitees. About 560 scientists participated throughout the whole process and also finished the second Delphi survey round.

Regarding the participation of policy makers, we faced two limitations: our resources for conducting a face-to-face drivers workshop but also the limited pool of policy makers knowledgeable in EU-SEA S&T relations. We consider it a success that 16 participants (7 Southeast Asian and 9 European) policy and programme makers actively participated in the first driver assessment scenario workshop in November 2009 and around 20 Southeast Asian policy makers in the second success scenario workshop in May 2011.

Regarding the impact on the policy of the European Commission, as the client of the exercise, it is too early for a final assessment. We have submitted the foresight report to our project officer in February 2011. Apart from the internal discussions that might be triggered by the report (but are not visible to us), we will look for open dialogue with the EC, for instance during the upcoming SEA-EU-NET events, the most prominent one being the next SEA-EU-NET Stakeholder Conference in Hanoi/Vietnam in November 2011 where EC representatives will also participate. The impact on policy cannot be evaluated yet.

First results of the foresight exercise, most notably the results of the scientist consultations, have been presented to a wide audience of policy and programme makers and researchers during the SEA-EU-NET stakeholder conference in Budapest/Hungary in November 2010. The foresight report has been shared with the around 1,200 participants from science in the process.

Methodological reflections based on this exercise have been published in the Russian Journal “Foresight” of the Moscow Higher School of Economics. Depending on future project resources, the process can be continued in the future. Recommendations coming out of this international S&T cooperation foresight study can be found below. The recommendations have been formulated very recently. It is too early to discuss possible realisations of the recommendations.

Dialogue between Policy Makers and Scientists

This foresight exercise has the mandate and has been designed accordingly to produce policy recommendations. They can be found in an abbreviated form below.

As this foresight exercise aimed at structuring and stimulating policy dialogue on future S&T cooperation between Southeast Asia and Europe, the recommendations feed into this dialogue. While it is too early to evaluate the outcome of the exercise, it will hardly be feasible to link the possible implementation in the future of measures growing out of these recommendations to the influence of the foresight process, even more so as the recommendations emanate (bottom-up) from the stakeholder communities engaged in the policy dialogue or the related scientific practice.

Another outcome might be a closer consultation practice between bi-regional S&T policy making and the scientists actually engaged in cooperation. Among possible, unintended results might be a situation where S&T policy makers recognise, in the follow-up of these discussions, that the future of S&T collaboration lies in a bilateral rather than a bi-regional setting.

We believe that the foresight exercise has benefited the participants in that it has helped them in structuring their own and their peers’ thinking about the future of S&T cooperation between Europe and Southeast Asia. This can prove relevant to policy makers when they design future policies and to scientists when they think about engaging in international cooperation. We will collect feedback on the exercise among the two major stakeholder groups, i.e. the policy makers and the scientists. With regard to the scientists, we have shared the foresight report with them recently (April 2011) and informed them about our steps for disseminating the results.

Recommendations: Enhancing Shared Responsibilities

The key recommendations for policy makers coming out of SEA-EU-NET’s international S&T cooperation foresight study can be summarized as follows:

  • Further discuss the report among the stakeholders involved in the process of policy development.
  • Keep scientists engaged in the dialogue on and planning of S&T cooperation.
  • Foster coherence between STI policy and other policy areas.
  • Consider internal diversity of both regions and their needs.

The following list gives a brief overview of the recommendations formulated by the consulted stakeholder communities:

  • The most important motivations for scientists to cooperate are a) the goal of applying state-of-the-art science to a topic of mutual interest and relevance, b) the feeling of contributing to the development of a country and c) to solving global challenges, d) gaining access to a field, expertise and equipment, and finally, e) friendship and f) reputation.
  • S&T cooperation should be sustained on a long-term basis.
  • Find a balance between a) flexibly defined bottom-up approaches and the dedicated funding of S&T cooperation with a thematic focus and b) supporting cooperation in basic and applied research.
  • Personal contacts are more relevant than institutional agreements. Therefore, supporting mobility and networking is crucial.
  • Enhance equilibrated mobility in both directions, from Europe to Southeast Asia and vice versa.
  • Existing human and network resources should be harnessed creatively. Established scientific conferences could convene in Southeast Asia; retired scientists could be offered part-time positions; senior scientists could engage in cooperation and exchange within sabbatical schemes.
  • PhD student exchange should be supported to a higher degree.
  • Southeast Asian diaspora academics in Europe as possible facilitators of S&T cooperation.
  • Return and reintegration support schemes.
  • Reward schemes for successful cooperation.
  • Quality metrics for assessing the success of international S&T cooperation projects.
  • Regional training networks, joint research centres and other joint research infrastructure.
  • Bridging institutions offering administrative, research management and partnering support.
  • Simplification of administrative burdens like visa issues, material exchange and field access clearance procedures.
  • Open access to literature and sample databases.
  • Regional availability of joint research results.
Authors: Alexander Degelsegger                  degelsegger@zsi.at

Florian Gruber                                gruber@zsi.at

Isabella Wagner                              wagner@zsi.at

Sponsors: SEA-EU-NET, co-financed by the European Commission (FP7; grant agreement number 212334)
Type: International (S&T) Cooperation Foresight
Organizer: Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Alexander Degelsegger, degelsegger@zsi.at
Duration: Nov09 – Feb11 Budget: ~ 50,000 € Time Horizon: 2020 Date of Brief: July 2011  

 

Download EFP Brief No. 201_SEA-EU-Net Foresight

Sources and References

SEA-EU-NET Project website: www.sea-eu.net

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