United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Partnership in Action on Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs Roadmaps - draft

BACKGROUND

1. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, unanimously adopted by all member states, established a Technology Facilitation Mechanism to support the application of science, technology and innovation - or STI – for the SDGs. Goal 17 (17.6) aims to “enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism.” STI roadmaps and action plans that help to realize the SDGs are part of this effort and have been among the central topics addressed in the first four annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on STI for the SDGs.

2. The UN Inter-agency Task Team (IATT) established a sub-working group for taking forward the work on STI Roadmaps as policy and planning tools leading to action on STI in support of SDGs. It has developed a joint guidebook and had several expert consultations (New York, Tokyo, Brussels, Nairobi, Guilin, Vienna, and a series of online meetings) to prepare the guidebook and organize support to a selected set of countries to develop national STI for SDGs Roadmaps. In parallel, the UN-IATT is working towards strengthening countries' capacities in using STI for the SDGs through joint UN courses delivered in different regions of the World.

3. The initiative to develop national STI for SDGs roadmaps is being carried out by UN-IATT members including UN-DESA, UNESCO, UNCTAD, the World Bank, UNIDO, UN-ESCAP, ESCWA, WIPO and FAO, among others. It is co-led by UN DESA, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and UNESCO. Additional substantive support has been provided by international stakeholders, including the Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Conference Series, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Government of Japan. The African Union Commission, ESCWA and ESCAP have expressed support for the implementation of roadmaps in African and Asian countries.

4. IATT launched in July 2019 the first phase of the Global Pilot Programme on Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs Roadmaps with an initial group of five pilot countries during the UN High Level Political Forum. Under this first phase, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya and Serbia began preparing roadmaps. Ukraine has joined the Programme in July 2021. In addition, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC/JRC) and Japan have provided support to the Global Pilot Programme to strengthen international partnerships on STI for SDGs roadmaps.

5. A seed fund has been established through the Government of Japan and the World Bank for the preparatory stage of this work. It has served a starting point for initiating the work, demonstrating preliminary results and reaching out to potential donors for further cooperation.

6. This work has been appreciated in the Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development resolution (A/RES/76/213 ) that welcomes the ongoing work of the United Nations inter-agency task team on science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals, including the Global Pilot Programme on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals Road Maps (STI4SDGs Roadmaps).

PROPOSAL TO ESTABLISH A NEW PARTNERSHIP ON STI FOR SDGS ROADMAPS

6. A Partnership in Action on STI for SDGs Roadmaps (PiA) is proposed to be established to demonstrate the global leadership in advocacy and action required to create the political momentum, adopt and further refine the joint guidebook, drive practical solutions, and mobilize support and multi-stakeholder engagements on STI for SDGs roadmaps. Focus will be on translating the political ambitions into needed changes in policy and practice, including through the recovery period from COVID-19.

7. The Partnership in Action is a multi-stakeholder, informal technical group to generate support and advocate the implementation of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism, in particular the work related to the STI4SDGs Roadmaps. The Partnership will serve as a communication tool to connect dots such as STI finance and investment, and to incubate and scale-up international cooperation on STI for the SDGs. Above all, it supports the translation of TFM initiatives into impacts at country level in the following three aspects:

I. Building up national STI capabilities for the SDGs, including through COVID-19 recovery and the SDGs.

                - facilitate a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach to bring together efforts supporting STI roadmaps at national and sub-national levels and related capacity building;

                - promote a common approach and develop coherent frameworks to examine gaps, evaluate synergies and trade-offs, prioritize actions in order to strengthen national STI systems, promote cross-sectoral collaborations and Goal-specific “deep dives” for the SDGs and bridging all-government national planning process and subnational, localized and/multi-stakeholder initiatives;

II. Boosting international knowledge and technology flows for the SDGs

                - support the development and use of the online technology platform under the Technology Facilitation Mechanism;

                - promote international linkages among innovation ecosystems, including researchers, industries, start-ups and civil society, to promote diverse forms of innovation, including pro-poor, inclusive, frugal and grass-roots and social innovation, to support design of implementation of national STI for SDGs Roadmaps;

                - expand the Global Pilot Programme on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs Roadmaps for developing and implementing roadmaps, with broader country participation and strengthened modalities of knowledge exchanges and peer-learning on relevant policy design, implementation and evaluation, as part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM)’s deliverables;

III. Brokering international STI collaborations for the SDGs

- conduct research, advocacy and political outreach to increase national commitments, public/private finance and multi-stakeholder engagements for STI roadmaps;

- explore synergies and promote system-wide leverage to support international partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives for the design and implementation of roadmaps, including with UN SG’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation as well as other ad hoc initiatives for global challenges and crisis.

PROCESS AND WORKING MECHANISM

8. The Partnership in Action aims at significantly strengthening political commitments and accelerating action on the ground, working closely with and complementing on-going efforts by all stakeholders, which will expand the network of partners and users for the online technology platform for the SDGs.

9. The Partnership in Action is convened by DESA as the Secretariat, and supported by the European Commission (Joint Research Centre), UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, FAO, the World Bank, and the Government of Japan, in collaboration with relevant governments and stakeholders.

10. A UN trust fund with voluntary contributions will be supporting the Partnership. To operationalize this, donors may contribute to the existing UN Sustainable Development Trust Fund[1] with annotation on this specific purpose (e.g. the contribution will only be used for the Partnership in Action on STI for the SDG roadmaps) and/or relevant trust funds at other agencies if donors wish so.

11. The Partnership in Action will be primarily comprised of high-level officials from governments, research organizations and private sector who are interested in STI roadmaps. It will also include leaders and technical experts from UN/international organizations and multi-stakeholders, including representatives from the engineering communities. Ghana and Serbia will act as the co-chairs to engage UN member States in the Partnership in Action supported by the Secretariat and other partners in para 9.

12. At the STI Forum 2022, the co-chairs of the PiA issued a call for expression of interest in joining the Partnership in Action to UN member States through their national authorities/representatives. Interested countries will be requested to submit an expression of interest in a written format to engage in collaboration with other members and partners.

13. The expression of interests should include the following information:

•          Name, title and institutional affiliation of a senior official responsible for the national STI for SDGs Roadmap.

•          Name, title, institutional affiliation and contact information of coordinating focal point person(s), concerning communications with the Secretariat.

•          A total of 2 pages describing both existing policy frameworks related to STI for SDGs and focus areas of the envisaged national priorities related to STI roadmapping activities.

14. Interested countries are requested to agree on making the above information public through UN website, and report periodically their STI roadmapping activities and initiatives to the Secretariat in forms of policy briefs or other background notes. Interested countries should indicate their preference in committing one or multiple levels engagement below:

  1. aligning the principles from the Partnership in Action;
  2. willing to showcase national/local experiences and support other countries at voluntary basis;
  3. joining full scale capacity building projects, such as the Global Pilot Programme.

15. All partners are encouraged to share their perspectives of potential contributions through the Secretariat.

16. UN Secretary General’s 10-Member-Group of High-level Representatives of Civil Society, Private Sector and Scientific Community to support the UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism (10 Member Group) will advise the PiA and help to mobilize the resources and support. In this context, leaders from private sector, science and engineering groups, and other key players can be invited to be as contributors to this informal group.  

17. The expected period of consultations from the call is nine months. Given limited resources, a priority list of countries and partners will be chosen to be part of this informal technical group in this first phrase, taking into account geographic diversity, developing needs, existing initiatives, and high-level political commitments, among other factors. 18. The announcement on the Partnership in Action on STI for SDGs Roadmaps will be made during a high-level UN event.

Note: prepared by the IATT Secretariat in close consultation with the TFM stakeholders.

 

[1] See https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/tfm#un , IATT work stream 7 on partnership and fund raising.