Africa / Asia / Innovation Systems / Latin America / Research

Clinton puts science at heart of US development strategy

‘Moves by the the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to put science, technology and innovation firmly at the centre of its aid efforts have been enthusiastically endorsed by a rousing speech from secretary of state Hillary Clinton, in which she described herself as “a friend of science”.

‘”Innovation, science [and] technology must again become fundamental components of how we conduct development work,” Clinton told a high-level meeting of international development and science experts in Washington DC this week (14 July).

‘The meeting, entitled ‘Transforming Development through Science Technology and Innovation’ (STI), was originally billed as a consultation to help map out a “bold new” science strategy for the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

But observers said it went beyond that, putting science and innovation firmly at the heart of USAID’s work and the administration’s development policy.

The meeting follows the recent appointment of a science and technology adviser and repeated calls for USAID to consider more focused approach to its support of science and technology in developing countries.

In an unprecedented endorsement of STI in development, Clinton said: “While talent may be distributed universally, opportunity is not. And the reality of the world we live in today is that technology and innovation are the great equalisers and can be used to create opportunity where there is very little of that commodity.”

She added: “Innovation and technology can do for human development today what the Green Revolution did for agriculture and we can generate significant yields from very modest inputs.”

Clinton also emphasised the need to collaborate with the private sector, non-governmental organisations and, particularly, local groups. “Although we won’t have all the answers, we need to act on the best answers we can come up with. We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We also need to nurture organic and locally produced solutions.”‘

More . . . (SciDevNet, Clinton puts science at heart of US development strategy, 16 Jul 2010)

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