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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development THE ROLE OF PROGRAM MANAGEMENT Summary of a Workshop Report to the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability WILLIAM CLARK AND LAURA HOLLIDAY Rapporteurs Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability Policy and Global Affairs NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This workshop was supported by the George and Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainability Science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Global Programs, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This report is funded in part by contract number 50-DGNA-1-90024 task order 23 from NOAA and by purchase order NNH04PR34P from NASA. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its subagencies. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-10185-9 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop ROUNDTABLE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY1 PAMELA MATSON (Co-Chair), Dean of the School of Earth Sciences and Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University JAMES MAHONEY (Co-Chair), Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce, and Deputy Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ex-officio GHASSEM ASRAR, Associate Administrator for Earth Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, ex-officio PATRICK ATKINS, Director of Environmental Affairs, Alcoa GEORGE ATKINSON, Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State, ex-officio ARDEN BEMENT, Acting Director, National Science Foundation, ex-officio NANCY BIRDSALL, President, Center for Global Development WILLIAM CLARK, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University JAMES CONNAUGHTON, Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality, ex-officio DAVID GARMAN, Acting Under Secretary for Energy, Science and Environment, U.S. Department of Energy, ex-officio PAUL GILMAN, Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ex-officio THOMAS GRAEDEL, Professor of Industrial Ecology, Yale University CHARLES GROAT, Director, U.S. Geological Survey, ex-officio STUART HART, Professor of Strategic Management and Director of the Sustainable Enterprise Initiative, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill GEORGE HORNBERGER, Ernest H. Ern Professor of Environmental Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia SHARON HRYNKOW, Director, Fogarty International Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ex-officio JOSEPH JEN, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture, ex-officio CALESTOUS JUMA, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University JONATHAN LASH, President, World Resources Institute JOHN MARBURGER, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, ex-officio TODD MITCHELL, President, Houston Advanced Research Center PETER RAVEN, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden VERNON RUTTAN, Regents’ Professor Emeritus, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota JEFFREY SACHS, Director, Columbia Earth Institute, and Professor of Economics, International and Public Affairs, and Health Policy and Management, Columbia University EMMY SIMMONS, Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, U.S. Agency for International Development, ex-officio 1 Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability membership at the time of the workshop (May 24-25, 2004).
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop ROUNDTABLE STAFF GREGORY SYMMES, Director PATRICIA KOSHEL, Senior Program Officer LAURA HOLLIDAY, Senior Program Associate STACEY SPEER, Senior Project Assistant DEREK VOLLMER, Project Assistant
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop PREFACE The Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability was established by the National Academies in 2002 to provide a forum for sharing views, information, and analyses related to the challenges of harnessing science and technology (S&T) for sustainability. The roundtable is co-chaired by Pamela Matson, Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, and James Mahoney, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Members of the roundtable include senior decision-makers from the U.S. government, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations who deal with issues of sustainable development, and who are in a position to mobilize new strategies for sustainability. Through their deliberations, roundtable members identify pathways through which individuals and institutions can mobilize science and technology for sustainability. Each year, the roundtable seeks to make significant headway on two or more issues that are of central importance to advancing the transition toward a sustainable world (see the National Academies’ 1999 book Our Common Journey [http://www.nap.edu/catalog/9690.html], for more information about the transition to sustainability). In recognition of the wide range of activities worldwide that focus on sustainable development, the roundtable focuses its activities on those to which it can most effectively contribute, especially those with the following attributes: Are cross-cutting in nature, requiring expertise from multiple disciplines; Are of importance both in the United States and internationally; Can most effectively be addressed via cooperation among multiple sectors, including academia, government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations; and Have science and technology at their core and/or would benefit substantially from more effective applications of science and technology. The roundtable’s approach to these issues is pragmatic and results oriented, with particular attention paid to identifying paths forward and catalyzing subsequent action. During the roundtable’s 2003 annual meeting, roundtable members reaffirmed the centrality of science and technology to sustainable development. They also noted, however, that much of what is generated by existing research and development (R&D) systems is not used effectively, while much of the R&D most needed by managers and decision makers is not performed. To explore how the potential contribution of science and technology to sustainable development could be more effectively exploited, the roundtable established a task force charged with exploring mechanisms for effectively connecting research with the needs of policy makers and practitioners. The task force was asked to report back to the roundtable with suggestions for activities that might be pursued by the roundtable, its members, or members’ institutions, to better link knowledge with action in support of sustainable development. The task force, which included roundtable members and invited outside experts, was also instructed to collaborate with and build on other ongoing initiatives related to the subject, both within and outside the National Academies. The roundtable named the following individuals to its Task Force on Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: William Clark (Harvard University, co-
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop chair), James Mahoney (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, co-chair), Robert Frosch [Harvard University (retired)], Gerald Keusch (Boston University), Pamela Matson (Stanford University), James McGroddy [IBM (retired)], Vernon Ruttan (University of Minnesota), and Emmy Simmons (U.S. Agency for International Development). In conducting their work, the task force members organized, participated in, or drew from a series of workshops designed to document and evaluate experiences around the world in harnessing S&T to the service of societal goals. These workshops included: International Perspectives on the State of the Art: This workshop was carried out with task force member participation under the auspices of the International Council for Science (ICSU), Third World Academy of Sciences, and the Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability. The workshop brought together leaders of, and participants in, more than a dozen fact-finding studies, discussions, conferences, and workshops conducted by the international scientific and technology community over the two years leading up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). It reviewed past and potential future contributions of the S&T community to sustainable development, as well as failures to link S&T effectively with user needs. It identified several specific steps and institutional innovations required to improve linkages in the future. (ICSU et al., 2002). International Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development: In this workshop, hosted by Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, an international group of scholars, including task force members, sought to advance understanding of the effectiveness of alternative institutional arrangements for harnessing science and technology to support development around the world. To do so, they compared studies of the effectiveness of efforts to link knowledge with action in a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, health, energy, environment, and manufacturing (WCFIA, 2004). Decision-Support Systems for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasts: This workshop was hosted by the National Academies and explored in detail the institutional and process linkages of decision-support systems that are employed for seasonal to interannual climate forecasts. The workshop brought together producers, managers, and users of decision-support systems from Brazil, Australia, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, Colombia, and the Pacific Northwest (Cash and Buizer, 2005). Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management: This workshop, summarized in the present report, was hosted by the National Academies. It brought together a group of program managers who were identified as having been exceptionally innovative or successful in linking knowledge with action. The program managers had experiences in very different fields, such as technology, health, the environment, and engineering. Participants gave presentations on lessons they have learned and discussed commonalities in their experiences (Clark and Holliday, 2006). The Role of Universities: This workshop was hosted by Arizona State University, and was organized by a planning committee included several task force members. It brought together an international group of leaders who were identified as having been particularly successful in restructuring university-based programs to better harness science and technology for sustainability. Participants identified what works, common challenges, and needs (Buizer and Dickson, 2004).
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop These workshops used a variety of approaches, ranging from in-depth analyses of case studies to broad, cross-sectoral comparisons, and sought diverse perspectives from several sectors in order to identify broadly applicable commonalities in linking knowledge with action and to determine in which instances generalizations are not appropriate. Observations from these activities were reported to and discussed by the full roundtable at its annual meeting. The workshop featured in this report, Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management was hosted by the National Academies’ Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability in Washington, DC on May 24 and 25, 2004. The workshop focused on specific cases that illustrate the important role of program managers as “bridgers” of knowledge producers and users. Workshop discussions built on lessons learned that were developed during two earlier workshops, International Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development and Decision Support Systems for Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasting. Those lessons learned described general features of science and technology systems that tend be successful in linking knowledge with action (e.g., systems aiming for “co-production” of knowledge rather than one-direction “transfer” of knowledge; systems adopting a “problem-based” approach), as well as some common hurdles to successful implementation of such systems. One of the key lessons learned at the first workshop is that strong leadership at the program management level is a common feature of most successful efforts to link knowledge with action. To explore this more thoroughly, this third workshop Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management, focused specifically on successful cases in which project managers played an important role in linking knowledge with action. Workshop participants included members of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and program managers who work to link knowledge with action for sustainable development (see list of workshop participants in Appendix C). The workshop was designed to include many program managers who work for the federal government with strong representation from program managers who are responsible for the management of research programs. There was considerable diversity in the areas of emphasis of the programs they managed, ranging from soil science, to disease prevention, to information technology, and to climate change (see the case summaries in Appendix A for more details about the specific programs represented). The group was brought together to discuss specific cases of efforts to link knowledge with action across a diverse set of integrated observation, assessment, and decision-support systems so that workshop participants could share their insights into effective program management. Prior to the workshop, selected program managers were asked to provide a two- to four-page synopsis of a program with which they had been associated over the past 10 years that has been the most successful in linking knowledge with action. At the workshop, program managers reflected on the most significant challenges they have faced when trying to implement their programs and on the strategies that they have used to address those challenges. The identification of barriers to linking knowledge with action and some techniques to overcome those barriers complements the lessons learned during the first two workshops.
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop Additional information about the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability; the activities of the Task Force on Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development; and specifics of the workshop Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management can be found at [http://www.nationalacademies.org/sustainabilityroundtable/]. Full text of this report is available online at http://www.nap.edu. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We wish to express our sincere thanks to the many individuals who played significant roles in planning the workshop Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management. Roundtable co-chair James Mahoney (Department of Commerce/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and roundtable member William Clark (Harvard University) chaired the workshop and ensured that the workshop was well integrated into activities of the Task Force on Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development. Additional steering committee members who assisted in designing and planning the workshop were Robert Frosch (Harvard University, retired), Gerald Keusch (Boston University), Pamela Matson (Stanford University), James McGroddy (IBM, retired), and Emmy Simmons (US Agency for International Development).2 This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John Dernbach, Widener University; Herman Karl, U.S. Geological Survey and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gerald Keusch, Boston University; and Holger Meinke, Australian Agency for Food and Fibre Sciences. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution. We would like to recognize the contributions of the following National Research Council staff: Gregory Symmes, Director of the Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, who provided oversight for task force activities; Stacey Speer, who organized the logistical arrangements; and Zainep Mahmoud, who assisted with the report review process. William Clark and Laura Holliday 2 Affiliations of task force members were applicable at the time of the workshop (May 24-25, 2004).
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Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development: The Role of Program Management - Summary of a Workshop CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION 1 2 THE ROLE OF COLLABORATIVE, USER-DRIVEN DIALOGUE IN LINKING KNOWLEDGE WITH ACTION 7 The Knowledge-Action Supply Chain, 7 The Importance of Program Managers and Boundary Organizations, 8 Defining the Problem, 11 Early and Ongoing User Engagement, 13 Benefits of Collaborative, User-Driven Dialogue, 14 3 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTEXT: PERSPECTIVES ON BARRIERS TO INNOVATION 15 Agency Missions and Structure, 15 Space to Innovate, 16 Evaluation Systems and Metrics, 17 Funding Mechanisms, 19 Human Resources and Capacity, 20 Political Uncertainty, 20 REFERENCES 22 APPENDIXES A Participant Case Summaries, 24 B Workshop Agenda, 108 C Workshop Participants, 112 D Workshop Participant Biographies, 114
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