Capacity to generate social impacts, such as enhanced delivery of education and health, among many others, by mobilizing new technologies has been both a celebrated success and an enduring challenge in Africa, and particularly in South Africa, continent’s leader in terms of scientific and technological capabilities. At the face of persistent African poverty, social inequality, deteriorating health and living-age expectations, and many other central development challenges, several African governments are turning towards new policy strategies and implementation tactics in order to achieve improved results on these challenges. Employment of new technologies, particularly ICTs, and new implementation strategies, are at the heart of the new wave of building inclusive innovation systems and pro-poor innovation practices.
Research organizations CSIR-Meraka (South Africa) and VTT – Technical Research Centre of Finland are undertaking this collaborative capacity building project to accelerate and augment the use of new technologies to address South Africa’s social and health challenges. At the core of the work, CSIR-Meraka and VTT are engaged to strengthen CSIR-Meraka’s capacity to plan, manage and implement society wide technology strategies that address effectively country’s most daunting challenges, its deteriorating health record. As our research context relies on integrated pro-poor and inclusive innovation foresight and roadmapping approaches we also want to address the possibilities that the project may have on understanding inclusive innovation in more profound way.
The project is funded by The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project was launched in February 2014 and it will last for two years.