ATPS Thematic Priorities
The following are the strategic priorities of the ATPS:
- Research and Capacity Building
- International Cooperation and Partnerships
- Youth and Gender Empowernment
- Training and Sensitization
- Communications Stakeholders Dialogue
- Outreach, Knowledge Brokerage and Policy Advocacy
- Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation
These can be represented graphically as shown below:
Introduction to ATPS STI Capacity Building (RCB) Programmes:
The African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) strives to strengthen Africa's institutional capacity for managing and creating scientific and technological innovation through selective research in contemporary STI policy issues that address cross-cutting questions of importance to development in the region.
All ATPS thematic research programs focus on facilitating innovation capacity development at individual and institutional levels. Each research program is therefore expected to include the "make" or "design" perspective, i.e. translation of the research outputs into "institutional" and/or "social engineering" designs, and/or cost effective "technical designs/technologies" that are necessary to the specific development and/or policy gaps addressed. To enhance the process, each research team is expected to include (or proactively engage) trans-disciplinary science experts; relevant policymakers and practitioners at all stages of the project cycle: from conception to implementation and dissemination of results.
The selected priority sectors for thematic research and research capacity building during the ATPS Phase VI Strategic Plan, 2008 – 2012 include: sustainable agriculture and food security, sustainable health delivery, and sustainable management of environmental infrastructure including integrated management of water, biodiversity and rural livelihoods. In each of the priority sectors, the research programs would focus on building national innovation systems capacities for poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation, and knowledge management and appropriation strategies. Other strategic priorities of the ATPS including international cooperation and partnership; youth and gender empowerment; training and sensitization; science communications and stakeholder dialogue; outreach, knowledge brokerage and policy advocacy, forms integral parts of all thematic research capacity building programs.
The ATPS Secretariat takes leadership to identifying, prioritizing and developing region-wide programmes, while national chapters are responsible for country-specific initiatives in liaison with the Secretariat. The essence of this type of thematic research is to seek results that can be widely applied to solve problems in the region, share country experiences, foster networking among researchers, and provide quality advice based on robust science evidence globally.
Region-wide activities are organized in four inter-related functional domains: knowledge generation, knowledge brokerage, knowledge dissemination and outreach, and knowledge valorization. Research programmes are developed on broad themes including emerging technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, information and communication technologies (ICTs), agricultural innovation, globalization and international trade, health innovation systems and technologies, intellectual Property Rights/ knowledge management and knowledge appropriation policies, Climate change adaptation, and the environmental sustainability. For each of these programmes, detailed concept papers and proposals are prepared based on identified STI priorities of the national governments in Africa and discussed, synthesized, and prioritized during the Network's annual conferences and workshops.
Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PME) is a cross-cutting activity for all ATPS programs. Field, regional and continental activities are monitored by the national chapter coordinators, regional council, and the regional Secretariat respectively. In addition, the ATPS Responsible STI council provides an independent peer review and direction to all ATPS Programs while the ATPS Board and Board committees meet regularly to review and approve activity plan, budgets as well as the program outputs.
Climate Sense Program, (CSP)
The Climate Sense Program (CSP) is designed for purposes of creating a common platform for Africa to be able to translate complex climate change issues in ways that promote dialogue at all levels of African society and globally.Read more
|2009 – 2012|
WWF/ATPS/ACTS Collaborative Project on Climate Change Adaptation in East Africa
The purpose of the WWF/ATPS/ACTS Collaborative Project was to build on the experiences of the inception phase of the project Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into freshwater programmes in Eastern Africa so as to enhance the resilience of local riparian communities to climate change and variations. Read more
|Jan – Dec, 2008|
International Conference on Science, technology and Innovation for Climate Change Adaptation in Africa
The African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) in conjunction with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) held a three-day conference and workshop to identify and prioritize Science, Technology and Innovation responses to Climate Change Adaptation in Africa. Read more
Science Ethics and Technological Responsibility for Developing and Emerging Countries (SET-DEV)
ATPS is the leading African partner in the collaborative SET-DEV project involving 11 key partners in Africa, India and Europe. The European Commission (DG Research) is funding the Coordination Action Science, Ethics and Technological Responsibility in Developing and Emerging Countries within the context of the Seventh Framework Programme for technology research and development. Read more
|2008 – 2011|
Strengthening National IP Policy and legal framework in Eastern and Southern Africa: Traditional Knowledge (TK) Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and Effective IP Systems
ATPS in collaboration with Biotechnology Trust Africa, (BTA) has launched a program on Strengthening National IP Policy and legal framework in Eastern and Southern Africa: Traditional Knowledge (TK) Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and effective IP systems. This project is funded under the auspices of the ATPS Phase VI strategic Plan 2008 – 2012. Read more
|2009 – 2012|
Regional Brainstorming Workshop on Intellectual Property for Conservation and Management of Genetic Resources, April 2007
African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) in collaboration with the Biotechnology Trust Africa (BTA) and the African Women Leaders in Agriculture and the Environment (AWLAE) held a key stakeholder workshop on 23 – 24 April 2007 in Nairobi. The main objective of the workshop was to collectively develop and elaborate a vision and strategy for an IPR programme for East and Southern Africa. The worskhop saw the conceptualization and prioritization of the ATPS IP program, 2009 – 2012. Read more
|Jan – April 2007|
Nanotechnologies for Development in India, Kenya and the Netherlands: Towards a Framework for Democratic Governance of Risks in Developing Countries.
The ATPS in collaboration with University of Maastricht, the Netherlands and University of Hyderabad India are implementing an Integrated Program (IP) on “Nanotechnologies for Development in India, Kenya and the Netherlands: Towards a Framework for Democratic Governance of Risks in Developing Countries. Read more
|2010 – 2014|
Innovative strategies to Enhance Capacity to apply Research Evidence in Policy making
ATPS is collaborating with the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (UK-POST) on a new project on Innovative strategies to Enhance Capacity to apply Research Evidence in Policy making. The program has received support for the preparatory phase. It seeks to enhance the capacity of African legislators to use health policy and health systems research in evidence-informed scrutiny of government by conducting activities to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of legislative staff (who have a key role to play in providing legislators with objective information and advice).Read more
|2009 – 2010|
Strengthening Health Technology Policy in Africa (HTP)
The overall objective of the HTP program was to contribute to improved health care access and delivery in Africa by improving the quality of S&T policy through the generation and dissemination of contextually relevant knowledge.Read more
|2005 – 2008|
International Conference on Science & Technology, and Health Innovation Systems in Africa
The 2005 ATPS Annual Conference and Workshop was a joint conference by the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) secretariat to deliberate on how African countries can tap the existing science and technology potential as well as build the necessary skills, competence and expertise to address the ever increasing disease burden and other related health challenges in the continent. The conference saw the conceptualization and prioritization of the ATPS HTP program, 2005 – 2008. Read more
Water and Environmental Sustainability Program (ATPS WESP)
The ATPS carried out STI research capacity building activities under the auspices of its Water and Environmental Sustainability Program (WESP). The main objective of the program was to enhance the generation, use and communication of knowledge in driving environmentally sustainable use of water resources in Africa. Read more
|2004 – 2008|
Integrated Trans-boundary River Management Policy Development in Semi-Arid River Basins (INTREPID)
ATPS collaborated with the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, UK and the Tanzanian National Parks Authority (TANAPA) in an EU Framework VI Specific Support Action Project: Integrated Transboundary River management Policy Development – INCO-CT-2007-04378-INTREPID”. INTREPID is an EU Framework 6 Specific Support Action, Contract Number INCO-CT-2006-043784. Read more
|2007 – 2008|
International Conference on Science, Technology, Water and Environment in Africa
ATPS in collaboration with EIIPD organized a two-day conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 29 to December 1, 2004. This conference brought together scholars from at least 23 African countries and Europe, and policymakers and water administrators from Africa. The conference saw the conceptualization and prioritization of the ATPS WESP program, 2004 – 2008. Read more
Strengthening National ICT Policy in Africa: Governance, Equity and Institutional Issues Program
ATPS carried out a program on Read more
|2002 - 2005|
ATPS Biotechnology in Africa Program - Knowledge Generation, Knowledge Exchange and Training for Improved Policymaking
ATPS was involved in a program on Biotechnology in Africa: Knowledge generation, knowledge exchange and training for improved policymaking . The two-year program on biotechnology brought together a wide range of stakeholders – including from government, intergovernmental organizations, civil society groups, academia, industry and the media – from across Africa…Read more
|2002 - 2004|
African Youth Forum for Science & Technology (AYFST)
The AYFST was initiated by the ATPS in 2005 in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation - CTA, the Netherlands to provide a platform for African Young Professionals to build capacity in STI policy research, policy dialogue and policy practice. Read More
African Women Forum for Science & Technology (AWFST)
The aim of the AWFST is to provide a vehicle through which African women can express their ideas, contribute their expertise and participate in policy and decision-making processes in Africa. Read more
Youth Innovation Challenge (Y I CAN) Program
“The Youth Innovation Challenge” (Y I CAN) program, read as “Why I Can” program is designed to build a culture of innovation amongst young people in Africa by promoting innovation through targeted collaboration/partnerships with the quadruple helix…Read more
Women Innovation Challenge (WE CAN) Program
Women Innovation Challenge Program (WE CAN) is an Innovation Network for Transformational Change for women in STI. It is centered on an innovative Mentoring Program…Read more
ATPS in collaboration with Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Network for Agro-forestry Education (ANAFE) and Pan African AgriBusiness Consortium (PanAAC) is currently in the inception design phase for an Africa Commission project on: Linking university education, research and business in sustainable agriculture.Read more
Finland Study Tour
ATPS has used the Finnish model in its training and sensitization exercises as an example of a country that quickly transformed from a resource-based to knowledge based economy. With support by the Embassy of Finland, ATPS organised a study tour to Finland for delegates from Kenya and Uganda. The purpose of the trip was to help policymakers, government officials and academia understand the crucial role of science parks in sparking socio-economic development. Read more
|Aug – Sept 2006|
ATPS/UNESCO Self Training Manual on STI Policy Making
ATPS and UNESCO Nairobi Regional office collaborated to develop a hands-on self training manual on STI Policy Making and Policy Formulation. Read more
Training of Parliamentary Staff on Communicating Science to Parliamentarians
ATPS liaised with UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (UKPOST) and SCIDEV-Net to host a 5 day training workshop on Communicating Science to Parliamentarians…Read more
|Jan- Sept 2008|
Training of journalists, artists and policy makers, Naivasha, Kenya, July 2007
Under the auspices of the ATPS Water and Environment Program2004 – 2008, ATPS conducted a “writeshop” to train to journalists, artists, scientists and policy makers on how to maximize the impact of scientific research outputs through effective science communication and science writing. Read more
General Contact: STIResearch@atpsnet.org
How Do I get Involved in ATPS Research Programmes?
- The ATPS Small Grants Programme
ATPS supports only demand led STI activities in its member countries. The thematic research priorities of the ATPS for each five year period are articulated in the respective Strategic Plans of the ATPS for the period. The priorities are based on the synthesis of the key development challenges of the continent during the strategic plan periods developed with all stakeholder. In addition, the ATPS remains dynamic to the STI policy needs and development challenges of the African continent and hence responds to demands for activities to fill knowledge gaps in the member countries whenever the need arise.
When funding is made available by ATPS development partners, we support competitive small grants to individuals or teams in different countries within the national chapters of the Network. By aligning the research activities under this programme more closely with the strategic plan of national chapters, ATPS aims to respond more effectively to topics and agenda of national concern to researchers in the Network. Moreover, it builds within countries, the analytical skills required for quality and policy-relevant research.
So far, ATPS has funded its researchers through a selection process involving series of workshops that, cumulatively, have seen the presentation of hundreds of proposals. An additional benefit in this approach to awarding research grants is the substantial "learning by doing" in engaging researchers in developing the proposals, subjecting these proposals to peer review in a workshop setting, while offering the opportunity to share ideas. The process has supported over 225 grants in over 21 African countries and produced about 200 publications.
- The ATPS Regional Grants Programme
In addition to the small grants program that focus on addressing key STI challenges at the country levels and up scaling results regionally, the ATPS also supports regional research in occasions where a common STI development challenge is shared by many countries with a region or within regions. Such programs are built to be trans-disciplinary and trans-regional in nature and often involve a mix of senior and young scientists for mentoring and capacity building purposes.
The ATPS Secretariat calls for the national chapters in the affected region to constitute a trans-disciplinary research team including policymakers, scientists, private sector actors and the civil society, to the initiative forward. Care is always taken to ensure that there is effective engagement of the state institutions in the affected region to ensure adequate buy-in and ownership of the research process and research outputs.
- International Collaboration Research (ATPS INCO-Program):
The ATPS also participates in and facilitates African institutions to participate in international collaborative research activities such as the EC Framework programmes. The ATPS uses this platform to foster knowledge brokerage, knowledge, technologies and innovation sharing amongst African stakeholders and stakeholders from Europe, America, Asia, and elsewhere. By enhancing the learning together, ATPS hope to instill a culture of excellence in its members and also give Africa a voice at the global scene.
The ATPS is now playing key roles in the socialization of science and technological research in Africa, Europe and India; Governance of nanotechnologies in Europe, Africa and India; and also global adaptation strategies for climate change through collaboration with UN Agencies and colleagues from many IVY league Universities globally, including Harvard, Cambridge, Maastricht, Hyderabad, amongst others.