The ICT Division of ESCWA organized the first phase of the Workshop on Science, Technology and Innovation Observatories (STI) in ESCWA Member Countries, in Beirut, during 11-12 November 2009. In this phase, the basic principles of STI observatories, their functions and relation to national STI systems were addressed as well as processes for the establishment of national and regional STI observatories. The workshop involved high-level decision makers and experts in STI methodologies and policies. They discussed the impact of STI on socio-economic development, highlighting the role of STI observatories and the guidelines for setting up national and regional observatories while fostering regional cooperation amongst STI policy makers in the region.
The workshop was attended by 20 participants, from Egypt, France, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan, the Sultanate of Oman, and the Syrian Arab Republic. Deliberations and discussions resulted with a number of recommendations towards the establishment of national and regional STI systems and observatories in the region, such as: Building appropriate STI capacities that enable the attainment of poverty reduction and local economic development, fostering entrepreneurship that contributes to STI development; Ensuring strong political support and stakeholders promotion as the starting step for establishing STI observatories; Establishing a well defined plan of work and implementation methodology based on the available and necessary resources; Allocating the necessary financial resources; Promoting cooperation and partnerships that enable the pooling of resources and sharing experiences amongst stakeholders; and networking between STI observatories with the corresponding regional and international structures.
The second phase of the workshop will address the implementation of STI observatories and the development and adoption of STI indicators at the national and regional levels. It will be held in January 2009 and would involve the participation of specialists and technology experts from the institutions that took part in the first phase and are involved in the establishment of STI observatories.