Friday, 15 January 2016

Article - Constantine Deus & Laurian Pima

The Southern Voice Meeting in Dar es Salaam and STIPRO Positioning in Policy Influence Discourse 

Costantine Deus
Researcher and Policy Advocacy Officer at STIPRO

Laurian Pima
Communications Officer at STIPRO

The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (STIPRO) in collaboration with the Southern Voice Network Secretariat, Tanzania Think Tanks of Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) jointly organised a three days meeting for training on Triangular Research Methodology and Strategic Planning on the future of Southern Voice Network held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from October 12-14, 2015..

The meeting was organised following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals aiming at discussing the future of the Southern Voice in the context of making close follow-up towards the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda. The Southern Voice Network commonly abbreviated as SV Network is formed by a partnership of 49 Think Tanks from Africa, Asia and Latin America, serving as an open platform to make contributions to the international discourse on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The initiative was realised at a Think Tank Initiative (TTI) awardees meeting in Cape Town, South Africa (June 18-20, 2012) with a purpose of making contributions to the international discourse on what should succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

With regard to the outcomes of the SV Dar es Salaam event, there were issues which could be worth noting for STIPRO’s positioning in policy influence context. They include strengthening of network between STIPRO and other Think Tanks locally and internationally, gaining recognition from policy makers specially on the role of STIPRO on issues related to SDG goal number nine (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure). The event also received media attention which in return profiled STIPRO in policy debate of the country. Junior researchers at STIPRO gained more knowledge on research and its role in SDG policy debate.

STIPRO organised and had invited a guest of honor from the National Planning Commission (Tanzania) who issued a statement that “all efforts to implement the post 2015 development Agenda, Government depends on research institutions such as STIPRO for smooth monitoring and implementation of the SDGs”. This is a positive sign from the government to embrace researchers in SDGs policy discourse at a national level.

The Southern Voice Dar es Salaam event created a platform for interaction and links between STIPRO researchers and international researchers and development experts from Latin America, Asia and other African countries. This professional relationship contributed in strengthening STIPRO’s capacity in policy research and policy dialogue at the national, regional and global levels.

Opportunities to undertake joint projects to monitor SDGs implementation between STIPRO and other SV members have improved following this event.
Media coverage of the event made policy stakeholders aware of the SV network and its activities.

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