Foresight for new collaborative platforms to support LMIC science systems

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it has become clear that we require systemic change across societies. This requires knowledge that is transformative, both in terms of its focus, and how it is produced and mobilised for impact and change. Therefore, what kinds of science systems are needed to develop such knowledge?

This project will explore how new global models of resource mobilisation and new forms of collaboration between international funding agencies and science systems in low- and middle-income countries can generate the transformative knowledge required to achieve the SDGs and also respond to a range of urgent national economic and social priorities and problems.

Research approach

The project will use innovative foresight methods and knowledge system mapping to gather and articulate different visions about more sustainable and equitable futures, and about the types of science, technology and innovation systems that are required to help realise those futures.

Particular attention will be paid to innovative initiatives, practices, and ideas that that are present in the world today in some form, but are not currently widespread or dominant, and how they can be nurtured through new forms of organisation, priority setting, resource mobilisation and collaboration.

The approach to foresight will include diverse stakeholders, including those who are usually excluded from or make little demands on formal science technology and innovation systems.

Furthermore, the project will work nationally and regionally in two continents, Latin America and Africa, with Argentinean and South African partners. At the global level, the project involves the International Science Council (ISC).

The project is led by Anabel Marin at the Institute of Development Studies, with Professor Fiona Marshall, SPRU, providing technical input and expertise, building on insights from previous projects including ‘transformative knowledge systems’ and STEPS Centre pathways to sustainability. The project is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Impact and outreach

In cooperation with the Global Forum of Funders (ISC), virtual workshops will create spaces to bring stakeholders together across local, national and regional organisations with international development funders from the global south and north. The workshops aim to explore alternative futures and ways to make systemic changes to establish such transformative science systems.

The overarching aim of the project is to produce a roadmap proposing next steps to be taken by funders and policymakers working in science, technology and innovation.