UN System advances strategies in ST&I for 2030 Agenda at International Consultation

Photo credit: Fiocruz/Peter Ilicciev

By Brenda Hada

On the last 06, 07 and 08 November, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); the UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) promoted an international consultation on the role of Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) for the implementation of 2030 Agenda and its Health related goals.

Experts and representatives on the theme from private sector, government, non-governmental organizations and research institutions focused on opportunities for health advancement through SDG’s implementation, contributions of ST&I mechanisms to 2030 Agenda targets and indicators, and shared experiences of online platforms for engagement and exchanging information.

Among the main concerns addressed during the consultation, participants highlighted:

  • Ways of mapping mechanisms and policy progress;
  • The effectiveness of integrating health and innovation and, thereby, ways of prioritizing them;
  • Initiatives to strengthen health as a reference for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and their targets;
  • The importance of recognition of specific attributes in health innovation to be taken into account when developing ST&I/Health related platforms;
  • The establishment of better strategies for developing roadmaps that connect ST&I/Health platforms to the future UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism Online Platform;
  • Ways of finding value to ensure credibility among potential users to the UN TFM Online Platform.

According to Romulo Paes-Sousa, director of the UNDP RIO+ Centre, "the consultation conducted by the UN system on technology, science and innovation in health is fundamental since it is directly linked to development. Health is the second largest consumer of ST&I and with the 2030 Agenda, the sector will need to be updated with content towards inclusion, preservation of natural resources and integration with public policies. The great experience accumulated by the health sector within the theme of ST&I must now reach a new level; a more inclusive one, a fairer level for the planet and for all."

During the roundtables on the third day, which provided the exchange of experiences in the field of social technologies, innovation, civic participation and SDGs, several statements pointed out to the mobilizing capacity of ST&I and that investments on it must go beyond consultations and research. ST&I can ensure new and participatory mechanisms for "leaving no one behind" within development efforts as well as for the integration of more effective policies. The event also shed light on impactful social technologies that might help institutions to fill development gaps. The launch of two digital platforms that aim to advance collaborative and participatory sustainable development, the Ágora 2030, by Fiocruz, and the We App Heroes, envisioned by the UNDP RIO+ Centre in partnership with Sunscious Ltd, are prime examples of attempts to fill those gaps.

As subjacent messages, discussions have also addressed the importance of creating virtual platforms for more accessible media and inclusion of marginalized groups; the importance of accountability mechanisms for greater civil society engagement and reliable implementation; the relevance of stakeholders’ and business’ plans for successful and value-added innovation; and the effectiveness of replicable and large-scale projects.

To wrap-up the contributions for the global follow-up and review of the implementation of 2030 Agenda, the members of the International Consultation agreed upon recommendations to be sent to the 2018 Science, Technology and Innovation Forum and the next High Level Political Forum. By doing so, the participants intended to strengthen capacity building initiatives to create a new technology facilitation mechanisms to fulfill the SDGs at local, national and regional levels.

Photo: At roundtables in the field of social technologies, innovation, civic participation and the SDGs on 8 November 2017. Two social technologies were launch with the participation of high representatives of the UN System and FioCruz Foundation. Photos by UNDP/Brenda Hada.