26 May 2016. Brussels. European Commission seminar. Evaluation of EU support to Research and Innovation for Development in partner countries: Lessons learned and recommendations for the future.
This evaluation examined the support the European Commission’s DG for Development and International Cooperation (DEVCO) provided to Research and Innovation (R and I) in partner countries during the last EU budget period (2007-2013).
Support to R&I was a major theme of DEVCO work, yet one that is hidden, not recognised and poorly understood. A new departure is to be found in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy signed in December 2007, which identifies support to R and I as a cross-cutting tool and one of eight pillars of co-operation.
The evaluation concluded that while DG DEVCO had achieved a lot with its support to R and I at the sector level, the lack of an overall strategy or explicit overall commitment to support R and I undermined the overall impact of its work in this important area for development.
VOLUME I: MAIN REPORT (130 pages)
2. Key methodological steps
3. Overall policy framework
4. Intervention logic analysis
5. Inventory analysis
6. Answers to the evaluation questions
7. Overall assessment
DEVCO was active in supporting R and I at different geographic levels (global, regionaland national) and with multiple actors, including not just governments and researchcommunities, but also the private sector and civil society. This support also produced results which impacted positively on development processes particularly at the local and sector levels, but very little effort was made to capitalise on research results and make them known and available to wider audiences.
DEVCO capacity dedicated to R and I, particularly in EU Delegations, has been inadequate for a sector so important for economic development. At headquarters capacity was limited though more adequate. DEVCO has rarely felt able to deploy support to national innovation systems (…) DEVCO is not perceived as an agent for R and I for development, and little effort has been made to create such an image for improved visibility.
DG DEVCO support should continue to focus on seven principal elements: (i) Support to networks, (ii) capacity development, (iii) careful selection of partner institutions, (iv) policy dialogue, (v) actual funding of research for development, (vi) capitalisation of results and (vii) the establishment and strengthening of national innovation systems. (…) A clear approach to support national and regional R and I frameworks and the establishment of national innovation systems will assist this focus. (…) There is, however, little strategic thinking on how DEVCO can support the different phases of innovation impact pathways.
A structural problem is that R and I is a long-term process – from laboratory to farmer involving about 6-8 years in the case of developing crop varieties and can take up to 20-30 years in developing livestock breeds. It is not realistic to support long-term R and I endeavors on the basis of recurrent short-term project finance. Research institutions require, in addition, core funding to finance recurrent expenditure; finance that is almost by definition excluded from EU funding instruments.
DG DEVCO should increase the attention paid to the private sector in partner countries. This will have implications for European Union Delegation capacity. (…) Support to networking among research communities and with potential users and stakeholders such as the private sector should remain another important element of DEVCO’s approach to the transfer of results. (…) The transfer of R and I results to end users has worked better in countries where national innovation systems are well developed and where advisory services, financial institutions, private companies, user organisations and government policymakers work together to drive wide-spread innovation. For instance in sectors such as agriculture the transfer of results of R and I to end users has clearly worked better because research and extension work on new technologies is very much part of a well-developed best practice organised around government or non-government extension services.
The EU Delegation to the AU appears to have adequate capacity to engage with the AUC at the Addis level on the main R and I/ S and T issues supported but capacity to cover the whole of Africa to support dialogue on R and I is severely limited. DG RTD has only one R and I/ S and T Counsellor responsible for cooperation with the whole of Africa. He is based at the EU Delegation to the AU.
Multistakeholder partnerships, policy outreach and collaborating closely with national institutions, NGOs and farmer organisations have become more central features of most CGIAR Research Programmes (CRPs) thereby, making the strategic choice of the CGIAR as a partner for the EU stronger. (…) Its research programmes (CRPs) define impact pathways and build partnerships to increase the relevance and uptake of their results. However, institutional obstacles remain, for example financial and administrative limitations with regard to building formal, longterm partnerships with national research institutes and other partners.
A key question is whether CGIAR is capable of going to ‘the last inch’ to reach smallholder farmers. Complex partnerships and participatory approaches do not combine well with ever-shorter funding cycles and high demands on impact attribution. In order to achieve long-term impact, funding cycles and reporting requirements should be longer and more flexible. More time should be made available to mobilise the multiple stakeholders needed to prepare and carry through the medium-term, multi-level, multi-stakeholder and inter-disciplinary research proposals needed to achieve such impact.
To stimulate understanding and learning from the complex multi-stakeholder work of CRPs, DG DEVCO could, for example, make sure that the experiences learned from systems/programmes that have experimented most with innovative and inter disciplinary approaches (systems analysis, participatory research, innovation platforms, farmer-led research, etc.) are capitalised upon and fed into current programs. This requires a larger and more specific investment into developing methodologies that are better able to document, report and assess the impact of the more complex CGIAR programs. Moreover, DG DEVCO should address the institutional barriers that remain to be resolved in order to ensure the full participation of (non-research) stakeholders in international research and review its funding periods to take into account the need for longer research cycles.
1. Part A – Food Security, Nutrition and Agriculture
2. Part B – Health
3. Part C – Environment and Climate Change
4. Part D – Science, Information Society and Space
VOLUME 3 –ANNEX 1 TO 8
1. Annex 1 – Terms of reference
2. Annex 2 – Inventory
3. Annex 3 – Case studies
4. Annex 4 – Survey to EU Delegations
5. Annex 5 – Final evaluation matrix
6. Annex 6 – List of persons interviewed
7. Annex 7 – Bibliography
8. Annex 8 – Methodology
On the basis of past experiences, there is a trend towards more demand-based ARD programming with a move away from the previous top-down approach to an approach of building partnerships between science institutions and public and private sectors – linking research to farmers through extension services to disseminate technical innovations with the equitable participation of smallholder farmers to maximize direct and indirect impact on food security. Besides technical innovations the new approach now encompasses non-technical innovations at institutional and organizational level, and other forms of innovation such as making more use of existing Traditional Knowledge (TK) at the smallholder farm level, to improve productivity and to mitigate risks due to climate change (droughts and floods). Regarding the latter, an important aspect of the overall approach is building towards sustainable agricultural advisory services and dissemination mechanisms that are able to:
1. Support farmer innovation and experimentation;2. Facilitate learning between farmers and researchers; and 3. Provide farmers with the information they need to make own choices regarding sustainable agricultural practices (using innovations based on TK).
ASARECA, through their Up-Scaling and Knowledge Management Program (USKM) as well as the Information and Communication Unit (ICU), has developed powerful tools for dissemination and uptake of research, involving an appropriate mix of partners and stakeholders and piloting many new methods like online learning and the application of Integrated Platforms for Technology Adoption.
Funding available for African Union Research Grants is very limited. As a consequence , the success rate for applying is low, and many potentially interesting projects do not receive funding. Nevertheless, the AUC is happy with the grant system, as one AUC official stated that the amount of funding available is ‘better than nothing’. The research grants are seen by the AUC as a good opportunity for African research organisations to invest in research capacities and conduct research relevant for Africa. At the same time, it is seen as a good preparation to be successful in FP7 calls, although it is too early to say whether AURGs will contribute to more success under FP7. Whether the AU Research Grants will remain sustainable as a funding modality remains to be seen. This will depend on the future of the Pan African Programme. The EU is pushing the AUC strongly to find other funding sources, including AU Member States, but this continues to be a struggle. Another suggestion would be to look for a Public-Private Partnership offering commercial sponsorship to beef up the budget of the AU Research Grant.
A few examples of synergy do emerge from the information available, but not on country level. First, the Platform for African-European partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) was funded under FP6 and identified research priorities that were used to shape parts of FSTP and FP7 research agendas. Indirectly it has thus contributed to the research priorities guiding DEVCO’s support to CGIAR. PAEPARD also contributed to strengthening the capacity of African researchers to bid for support from European research programmes and partnerships with CPRs and CG centres. The next expanded phase of PAEPARD is funded under FSTP (FSTP Thematic Strategy Paper 2010). Secondly, Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (JOLISAA) is a project carried out in Benin, Kenya and South Africa between 2010 and 2013 by the Prolinnova (Promoting Local Innovation in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management) network. The Prolinnova network works together with the CGIAR Systems research programmes and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) programmes to integrate participatory farmer-led approaches in these programmes.
The EU has strongly supported the Innovation Platform (IP) or Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) approach. FARA has implemented the IP approach on a large scale in its Sub-Saharan Challenge Programme. The System programmes (Dryland Systems, Humid tropics and Aquatic Agricultural Systems) and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Programme are experimenting with IAR4D approaches such as farmer-led approaches to agricultural research and innovation. The 2011 study on Practical application of CGIAR research results by smallholder farmers has indicated that projects adopting IP of IAR4D approaches are more successful in building partnerships and achieve more impact on value chains at the local level. Evidence suggests that these approaches are slowly being adopted throughout the CGIAR system, but that there are still many difficulties in the design and implementation of the programme strategies to involve stakeholders sufficiently. This is acknowledged throughout the CG system, by GFAR and partners of CGIAR. There are still institutional barriers (culturally, financially) to address these issues.
A big challenge in agricultural research and innovation systems GFAR highlights is the reconciliation and linking of two types of knowledge and innovation; one coming from science and the other that of farmers own innovation. GFAR initiates activities that are key to AR4D capacity development like access to information, strengthening advisory services and strengthening the involvement of universities in the agricultural research system.
Evidence suggests that EU DEVCO and RTD financing modalities appear to lack systematic thought on how they can support the interlocking research, innovation and development processes that go beyond the research project itself, aiming to influence policy, institutional and practical change; and how they can be adaptive and flexible in supporting the technological, commercial, institutional and policy innovation processes that by their very nature have to adjust regularly in response to the lessons they learn. As a result, there exists a mismatch between the long impact pathway of support to R and I to development processes and the expected widespread, practical, commercial, policy and institutional impact. There is also a lack of continuity of the projects supported. The different phases of innovation impact pathways – research, development, testing, adaptation and the social (commercial, organisational, institutional, policy and practice) innovations that need to accompany the adoption of the innovation and its scaling up generally takes many more years than one project cycle allows for. As a result projects lower their ambitions for impact due to the shorter time horizons (and shorter periods of time available to prepare the proposals). Complex interventions with many partnerships become more difficult to plan for because of these shorter periods to prepare the proposals.
The 2009-2010 Global Programme on Agricultural Research for Development (GPARD) was based on the results of a consultation exercise (workshop in 2008) with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD), while discussing the EC’s agricultural research programming for the Framework Programme 7 – Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology Theme (FP7-FAFB). Further inputs were provided by the Southern Advisory Group (SAG). EU member states have also been consulted through the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD), whereby some have expressed their interest to join the GPARD. This implies that the ongoing interventions of the EC under the GPARD are in accordance with the views of the agricultural research institutes in the developing countries and likely with those of the EU member states. (…) EIARD. This implies that the expected outcomes of GPARD are to be in line with the views of these main ARD players. (…) The six applications placed on the reserve list were awarded a Grant Contract under the GPARD for a total grant value of EUR 14.8 million. (…) Most partners are national universities and research centres or institutes; in some cases international organizations (e.g. FAO) and local NGOs. (…) Most Grant Contracts will end sometime in 2016-2017. (…) To date the sources of evidence available are rather limited for almost all Grant Contracts. (…) For none of the Grant Contracts, project progress or annual reports are available.
1. Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is involved in a structured policy dialogue with RTD through its Ministry of Research. Recently, the Burkina Faso Government itself has established a competitive National Fund for Research.
The recent AGRA assessment (2014) identified a number of legal and regulatory constraints limit progress by the private sector in agriculture in Burkina Faso. These include weak institutional capacity, poorly trained human resources in the public as well as the private sector, and a risk-averse banking sector that does not willingly invest in agriculture; all conditions that severely hamper innovation in the sector. According to the same report, the country is trying to tackle these constraints, with the active involvement of a number of development partners including the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Agence Française de Développement (AfD) and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
Much agricultural extension work is currently done by non-governmental organisations, sometimes in collaboration with private initiatives and/or government research institutes, such as the Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (CNRST) and the Centre International de Recherche – Développement sur l’Elevage en zone subhumide (CIRDES). Sources interviewed indicate that often, donors put more trust in non-governmental organisations than in public institutes for delivering on research and innovation projects. As a result of all of the above, the institutional landscape for R and I for rural and agricultural development is described as extremely fragmented and does not reflect the implementation of a clear vision or strategy for rural and agricultural development.
Research teams generally do work closely together with NGO’s, national extension services and small businesses on innovation. This leads oftentimes to ‘deep’ innovation – research partners collaborate successfully with other stakeholders including practitioners to achieve changes in (farming, health, conservation) practices. Yet these impacts remain limited in scale; only those practitioners participating directly in the project learn and may adopt the new practices developed. All partners report difficulties with scaling up innovations to practitioners not having been involved directly in the project. (…) In general, the innovation system’s downstream organizationsand institutions (extension services, business advisors, input and services suppliers, farmcredit and risk insurance systems, NGO’s and other organizations that are needed to enable large numbers of farmers to apply validated innovations in practice) generally seem too weak to play their role effectively.
Recent participatory evaluations of the [Fertipartenaires] project results confirm the widespread improvement of farmers’ knowledge on soil fertility management, in particular composting techniques, yet wide-spread adoption lags behind. Lack of monitoring data hinders further investigation into current adoption rates and their causes.
An observation that is repeatedly made is that the EU is too much focused on monitoring during the research project – with rigid reporting procedures and due payments to project partners made only if the report has been approved, which can take considerable time – and not enough on capitalising on the results for outcomes and impact. Many interviewees suggest that a larger share of R and I project budgets needs to be reserved – in fact, demanded – for ensuring that results are documented and shared widely, and that the research process is extended to include the verification and documentation of development outcomes and impact.
Agriculture is among the most important sectors for research in the country and there are various research institutes specifically working in these two areas. These research institutes often link with external donors to fund their research activities. One of the most crucial problems for R and I in Ethiopia is the weak linkage between universities / research institutes and industry, which greatly hinders research outputs from making a meaningful impact on the country’s development. The STI policy argues that the linkages should focus on improving the productivity of manufacturing and service providing enterprises. The other major challenge identified is brain drain due in part to the low salaries paid by the government. There are many qualified Ethiopians doing research in their field of specializations. However, most of them live abroad, as one interviewee pointed out during the mission.
The Ministry of Science and Technology grants National Science, Technology and Innovation awards to individuals on a competitive basis on different grounds, including research and innovation achievement.
Coffee is the main export product of Ethiopia, and the EU has a long track record of support to the Coffee Sector. It is the only donor at scale, and (as confirmed by several Ethiopian officials during interviews) is well known for its support to the sector, including in rural communities. The continuity of the EU’s commitment and its tailored approach are highly appreciated by stakeholders. Support through the Coffee Improvement Programme (CIP) led to the development of eleven new varieties with increased resistance, which according to various officials contributed greatly to the productivity of the sector over the whole period of CIP, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and food security objectives. The varieties created through the programme are widely known and used among farmers (to the extent that are commonly referred to as ‘CIP coffee’). The integrated approach, combining applied research on the one hand and extension activities and training courses offered at the National Coffee Improvement Research Programme at Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) on the other, was also widely acknowledged as a major strength of the programme, as it enhanced its impact.
Applied research under the CIP has contributed to the development of 11 new seed varieties with increased resistance. This has caused significant increases in productivity, and has helped avoiding the devastation of the Ethiopian coffee industry, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and food security objectives. The CIP is thus fully in line with EU development objectives.
CIP IV ended in 2010, after which there was a break for five years as the EU felt institutional changes to the coffee sector hampered progress. However, following high level exchanges the EU is now taking a renewed interest in supporting the sector under the 11th EDF and this is widely welcomed among stakeholders. The establishment of a new Tea and Coffee Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture, which would create a new body that would serve as focal point for programme implementation within the Ministry, responds to one of the key concerns and preconditions of the EU to restart support.
Sustaining partnerships with other research organisations – whether European or African – remains a challenge. Due to the competitive nature of FP7/Horizon 2020, securing funding for a follow-up project is difficult so it is not always possible to continue successful collaborations from one project to another. Cooperation between African research institutions themselves is rather limited, according to an Ethiopian academic interviewed. The reason is that international funding usually comes from the US or the EU, and therefore it is considered better to cooperate with European or American institutes. Thus, partnerships with African institutes are usually developed through European partners.
Kenya was selected because it was a major recipient of DG DEVCO support for R and I (one of the top 15 in the inventory). DEVCO R&I bilateral support in Kenya was heavily slanted towards food security and rural livelihoods, with considerable attention given to adaptation to climate change and environmental sustainability. End users of research results emerging from DEVCO-supported R&I in Kenya are essentially farmers and rural households and communities. Time limitations prevented field visits outside Nairobi, but in all interviews, the issue of concrete impact at the household and community levels was solicited.
DEVCO support was aligned with government priorities. However, these priorities are not convincingly presented – or, to put it differently, the Government has outcome and sector result priorities, but nor R and I priorities. Multiple stakeholders interviewed expressed the view that during the evaluation period, there was no real government R and I strategy. Government capacity remains low and, despite commitments, it is likely that R&I will continue to be largely donor supported for the foreseeable future.
Kenyan participation in FP7 has been relatively high, but there is no evidence that DEVCO support enhanced or facilitated this. Senior officials at the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology expressed the view that FP7 ran essentially independent of EUD support, a view generally in line with discussions at the EUD. There is no evidence at country level that there is any strategy for cooperation between DEVCO and RTD or for promoting complementarity of DEVCO projects and FP7 grants.
Thanks to the growing orientation of the CGIAR system towards stakeholder involvement and translating research results into development processes and outcomes, there has been increasing emphasis on integration into regional and international networks including all stakeholders, from the farm and community level up to government, the private sector, and other research organisations. (…) CGIAR scientists at both ILRI and ICRAF have been FP7 participants but this is separate from the funding they receive from Brussels through IFAD and there is not necessarily any coordination between the activities.
The EUD is unable to exercise any coordination over global activities such as CGIAR because funding comes directly to these programmes from Brussels (via IFAD in the case of CGIAR). As a result the EUD is not aware of what is going on and, it is reported, neither is Government. By contrast, most AU-IBAR regional projects are managed by the EUD and staffers interviewed were very knowledgeable on, e.g., the AU-IBAR bee health project. Better communication and coordination, such as annual meetings to compare notes and share experiences, would be desirable.
Field interviews with experts outside KALRO left the impression of some progress, but limitations nonetheless. Some experts expressed the view that KALRO is still slow to bring in the right partners and share results; others cited a persistent institutional culture of pure research; others cited institutional difficulties in delivering on-time results as part of a larger multipartner work plan.
While KALRO has research capacity, it is not responsible for extension activities, which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture. As a result, outside of pointed efforts like the Kenyan Arid and Semi-Arid Land Research Programme (KASAL), research results are not effectively communicated to those who could innovate. The situation is much the same at KEFRI, where it is the Kenya Forestry Service that has the extension capability.
In the FP7 Joint Learning in and about Innovation Programmes in African Agriculture project (JOLISAA), research institutions in four European and three African countries (KALRO in Kenya among them) studied innovation processes in smallholder farms. They developed an insightful conceptual framework as well as an international innovation research network that continues to function. The main insight from the project, that innovation continues long after the project has ceased and merits close follow-up and monitoring, has affected KALRO’s overall approach to R&I projects.
A structural problem, as reported at ILRI, is that capacity building efforts tend, both at the institute and individual levels, to disproportionately benefit those whose capacity is already reasonably high. For example, in response to this problem ASARECA has adopted a form of “affirmative action” to ensure that weak countries like Burundi benefit from calls for proposals as well as the traditional strong performers such as Kenya.
Another structural problem is that capacity at national level is severely skewed towards downstream implementation rather than upstream fundamental research. This is an unintended but unavoidable consequence of the increase emphasis on translating research results into tangible development impacts. tangible development. “Hard” scientists are poorly equipped to communicate to Government why their work is important and to justify the high infrastructure requirements and long-term time frame that are required. A challenge for sustainability is that there is virtually no donor support in the form of core funds.
A structural problem is that R and I is a long-term process – from laboratory to farmer involving about 6-8 years in the case of developing crop varieties and can take up to 20-30 years in developing livestock breeds. It is not realistic to support long-term R and I endeavours on the basis of recurrent short-term project finance. Research institutions require, in addition, core funding to finance recurrent expenditure; finance that is almost by definition excluded from EU funding instruments.
Research organisations can only take products to the prototype stage; real commercialisation requires involvement of the private sector. In semi-arid regions under the Kenyan Arid and Semi-Arid Land Research Programme (KASAL ) project, a partnership was established with East Africa Malting Limited, a subsidiary of East Africa Breweries Limited, Breweries Limited, to produce sorghum beer. This resulted in KeSh 105 million of sorghum being delivered to the brewers — a substantial income gain for the farmer producers. KASAL popularised new varieties of cassava developed by KALRO, benefiting an estimated 9,000 farmers. Amarenth cultivation was promoted in semi-arid regions, substituting for imports from India and Uganda and improving the nutrition of vulnerable groups and promoting food security. KASAL also contributed to improvements related to cowpeas. In the area of livestock, KASAL contributed to improved range reseeding and pasture management and chicken vaccination. All activities saw research results disseminated, supported, and commercialised.
Based on interviews with relevant staff, Kenyan research parastatals are well aware of the need to shift from a top-down, upstream-to-downstream approach to R and I to a more integrated value chain approach in which local needs and market potential are assessed first and research needs are prioritised accordingly. Similarly, the importance of involving the private sector in commercialisation has been appreciated. The same can be about CGIAR and GPARD projects. These projects all involved local communities, end-users, etc. In the case of CGIAR, donor pressure has played a role in increasing the focus on development results. While the field mission revealed government ambition to coordinate R and I to meet development needs, there is limited capacity to do so.
Sustainability is a pervasive issue and has several dimensions. The R and I pipeline is long in the two main fields covered here (FSNA and EnvCC). One dimension of sustainability arises from the fact that the increased donor focus on downstream applications-oriented R and I, with its emphasis on disseminating tangible innovative applications, is a double-edged sword. While laudable in some respects, if overdone it carries the risk that capacity built will be so heavily skewed towards downstream needs that the Kenyan scientific contribution upstream will shrink to a trickle. Not only is this unfavourable for long-term scientific contribution to national development; it also threatens to reduce Kenyan participation in international hard science, which has become irreversibly global in nature. A second dimension of the sustainability issue is that the R and I process is not well suited to financing via cascading short-term project approaches. Research institutions need core finance in order to attract talent and capitalise on the project funding available. While this problem affects all R and I institutions including global ones, it is of particular concern for Kenyan national institutions. Despite the stated ambition of massively increasing R and I’s claim on the budget, state support for R and I in Kenya has and will likely continue to be far lower than in comparator countries such as South Africa. This cannot help but be a negative factor for sustainability.
The Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI), which has been lead in a major EU-supported multi-country research programme in the sugar sector, is the 9th biggest beneficiary of DEVCO R and I funding. (…) Final beneficiaries/potential end users of the main intervention (sugar cane farmers or sugar cane factories) were not interviewed directly, as the results of the programme investigated have not yet reached the end users. (…) The original project documents were prepared eight years before funding was secured, and interviewees state that there were limited options for thoroughly adapting the project documents to the prevailing situation at the time of funding. A more thorough revision of the project documents might have led to more tangible results and impact.
The programme has not strived to expand either the north-south R and I network (opening for more internationally supported projects) or the scope of R and I in the MSIRI (opening for R&I within other sectors, inclusion of socio-economic elements etc.); such components might have been supportive of the institution’s long term sustainability.
There is evidence of South-South collaboration e.g between MSIRI and Fiji Sugar Research Institute and Jamaica Sugar Research Institute. (…) The programme has led to sparse cooperation with European institutions. However, a cooperation with CIRAD on weed identification on neighbouring Reunion Island (France) has been established and may leave to new joint efforts.
Research results generated through these projects have not benefitted the end users up to this point of time due to: an originally weak description of the ways how to achieve impact in programme and project documents; the very recent achievement of several of the key results; and one project (developing new sugarcane varieties) is characterised by a very long research time (more than years) and with insecure funding after expiration of the ACP-programme, why there is no implementation at the shorter term and perhaps not even at the longer term (if other funding is not secured).
7. South Africa
South Africa’s overall expenditure on R and D exceeds that of many developing countries but compares poorly with other BRICS countries (with the exception of India) and lags greatly in terms of investments in R and D made by developed countries. In addition, countries such as Brazil, Russia and China (as well as many other developing and developed countries) have all seen a rise in the percentage of GDP spent on R and D between 2007 and 2009, despite the negative effects of the global financial crisis. of critical areas of research and technology development. (…) The Department of Science and Technology (DST) Innovation Towards a Knowledge-Based Economy – Ten Year Plan for South Africa (2008-2018) was developed to drive South Africa’s transformation towards a knowledge-based economy in which the production and dissemination of knowledge would, over time, increase the proportion of national income derived from knowledge-based industries, the percentage of the workforce employed in knowledge-based jobs and the ratio of firms using technology to innovate.
It became clear through the desk research and preparatory field work that South Africa presented a special opportunity to address questions regarding the relationship between DEVCO support and RTD’s FP7. Two themes that were persistent in desk work were (i) that a major purpose of DEVCO support was (and should be) capacity building to enable partner countries’ scientific establishments to participate in FP7 and Horizon 2020 and (ii) that RTD framework programmes, demand-driven via the Call for Proposals approach, were not sufficiently aligned to development priorities. (…) One of the concerns of this evaluation has been the commented-on disconnect between FP7, an open calls instrument with legal basis in ensuring European scientific excellence, and EU development goals. Nothing in this field mission found evidence of a conflict.
The EU supported the Department of Science and Technolgy (DST) of South Africa from 2008 to 2012 to implement the country’s Science and Technology policy, with a particular focus on applied research that contributes to poverty alleviation through employment creation. [This included a.o.] the establishment of sustainable livelihoods through small-scale, S and T-based agro-processing and aquaculture industries in line with the bio-economy objectives of the sector.
While not yet implemented, the DST has expressed interest in using future DEVCO budget support to review FP7 results for possible application to poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods. A number of FP7 initiatives promoted African involvement in research more broadly. ERA-Africa brought together European and African researchers, The ESASTAP-PLUS project to promote FP7 (and Horizon 2020) participation by South Africa was regarded by the EUD as a great success. It also promoted South Africa in Europe. CAAST-Net sought to promote African response to the EU Strategy for Africa.
The need to better involve the private sector is recognised both by government and research institutions, as are the facts that the private sector already engages in a significant amount of R&I and is reluctant to participate in multi-partner initiatives.
Support from the RTD S and T Advisor in Addis was repeatedly cited as a factor
in the success of EU cooperation in South Africa. (…) The model of DEVCO support – in the form of a Sector Policy Support Programme (SPSP) to a strong Ministry charged with overseeing R and I policy, including setting priorities for FP7 and acting on these through co-funding – could be a model for other countries. (…) “Those that have, shall receive” is an old saying. It is clear that the high level of capacity that exists in South Africa and its economic strength have made for ideal conditions for the success of EU-South African cooperation in R and I. The country offers an excellent case study in what can be done to stimulate similarly successful results in countries less favourably endowed at the outset.