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Suggested Citation:"Epilogue." National Research Council. 2006. The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development: An Imperative for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11583.
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Epilogue

S&T are integral components of most development activities. The better the S&T base for these activities, the greater the likelihood for social and economic progress in the developing countries. Judging from the field visits of the committee and from discussions by committee members with a large number of foreign assistance practitioners, many developing country governments realize that long-term progress depends in significant measure on their ability to use S&T effectively.

This report sets forth a number of recommendations and suggestions for enhancing the capabilities of USAID to contribute to building appropriate S&T capacity in the countries where it has programs. It highlights the overriding importance of increasing the S&T capabilities of USAID’s foreign service and civil service employees. It emphasizes that while its partners provide important S&T capabilities, strengthened internal staffs are essential to guide the programs of the agency that rely on S&T expertise.

All of the recommendations set forth in this report could be implemented at the direction of the USAID Administrator and his senior staff, with the exception of the recommendation to establish an S&T advisory committee which would require approval by the Office of Management and Budget. But it will not be an easy task to convince the USAID leadership to embrace S&T more fully when there are so many competing demands for personnel slots and financial resources. To this end, this report can provide a basis for follow-up discussions by the S&T proponents, within and outside USAID, with the Agency and Congressional leaderships.

Suggested Citation:"Epilogue." National Research Council. 2006. The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development: An Imperative for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11583.
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If there are decisions within USAID to move forward in the S&T arena on a significant scale, the implementation of programs that are developed will require tenacity and determination by the S&T proponents over a period of years. Indeed, sustaining the effort for the indefinite future should there be a decline in the foreign assistance budget will be a difficult task. But the development payoff from better access to S&T achievements by populations of developing countries and the rewards for the security of the United States from new international partnerships in critical technological areas are potentially very great. Therefore, even though the outcome a decade into the future from this proposed S&T initiative cannot be predicted with certainty, the stakes are so great that a decision by the USAID Administrator to provide significant resources for S&T-related activities at this time is fully warranted.

Suggested Citation:"Epilogue." National Research Council. 2006. The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development: An Imperative for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11583.
×
Page 103
Suggested Citation:"Epilogue." National Research Council. 2006. The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development: An Imperative for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11583.
×
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In October 2003 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Research Council (NRC) entered into a cooperative agreement. The agreement called for the NRC to examine selected aspects of U.S. foreign assistance activities—primarily the programs of the USAID—that have benefited or could benefit from access to strong science, technology, and medical capabilities in the United States or elsewhere. After considering the many aspects of the role of science and technology (S&T) in foreign assistance, the study led to the publication of The Fundamental Role of Science and Technology in International Development. In the book special attention is devoted to partnerships that involve the USAID together with international, regional, U.S. governmental, and private sector organizations in fields such as heath care, agriculture and nutrition, education and job creation, and energy and the environment. This book explores specific programmatic, organizational, and personnel reforms that would increase the effective use of S&T to meet the USAID's goals while supporting larger U.S. foreign policy objectives.

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