The number of researchers, on the rise world-wide, jumped by 56% in developing countries between 2002 and 2007, according to a new study published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). In comparison, their number increased by only 8.6% in developed countries during the same period*.
In five years, the number of researchers in the world rose significantly, from 5.8 to 7.1 million. The greatest gain was made in developing countries: 2.7 million researchers were counted in 2007, versus 1.8 million five years earlier. These countries increased their global share of researchers from 30.3% in 2002 to 38.4%.
The biggest increase was seen in Asia, whose share went up from 35.7% in 2002 to 41.4%. China is mainly responsible for the gain, having gone from 14 to 20% in five years. The increase in Asia occurred at the expense of Europe and the Americas, whose shares went down respectively from 31.9 to 28.4% and from 28.1 to 25.8%.
“The increase in the number of researchers, notably in developing countries, is good news. UNESCO welcomes this development, although the participation of women in science, which UNESCO promotes notably through the l'OREAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science, is still too limited,” said Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO.
According to the new UIS study, women represent slightly more than one quarter (29%) of the researchers in the world,** although the average hides numerous regional disparities. The proportion is much larger in Latin America, where 46% of researchers are women. Gender parity has been achieved in five countries: Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela.
In Asia, women represent only 18% of the number of researchers, with considerable heterogeneity: 18% in South Asia while South East Asian countries reported 40% and most countries in Central Asia around 50%. In Europe, only five countries have attained gender parity: the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Moldova and Serbia. In the Community of Independent States, women’s participation in research is 43%. In Africa, it is estimated at 33%.
At the same time, expenditure on research and development (R&D) is increasing. Globally, the percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) devoted to R&D has gone up significantly in most countries.
In 2007, 1.74% of the world’s GDP was devoted to R&D (1.71% in 2002). While most developing countries invest less than 1% of their GDP in R&D, there are certain exceptions such as China (1.5%) and Tunisia (1%).
The average rate of expenditure in Asia reached 1.6% in 2007, influenced by the top investors: Japan (3.4%), the Republic of Korea (3.5%) and Singapore (2.6%). In contrast, India invested only 0.8% of its GDP in R&D in 2007.
In Europe, the percentage varies from 0.2% in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to 3.5% in Finland and 3.7% in Sweden. In Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland and Switzerland, it is around 2 to 3%.
In Latin America, Brazil is in first place (1%), followed by Chile, Argentina and Mexico.
Expenditure in R&D remains concentrated in industrialized countries: the European Union, the United States and Japan represented almost 70% of global R&D expenditure.
It is also noteworthy that in most developed countries, R&D activities are largely financed by the private sector. In North America, it finances more than 60% of all R&D activities. In Europe, the percentage is 50%. In Latin America and the Caribbean, it is generally between 25 and 50%. In Africa, however, research is financed mostly by the public sector.
These results indicate that many countries are now recognizing the importance of innovation, in the broader sense. “Policy makers seem to realize more and more that innovation is key for economic growth, to the point of setting R&D investment targets,” notes Martin Schaaper, programme specialist at the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, one of the authors of the study. “China is the foremost example of a country setting a target - 2% by 2010 and 2.5% or more by 2020 - and being well on its way to reaching it. Another example is given by the African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), which sets a target of 1% of GDP devoted to R&D. At the same time the European Union’s target of 3% by 2010 seems unattainable, considering the insignificant growth - from 1.76% to 1.78% - in five years.”
* These percentages are expressed in absolute terms. In relative terms, expressed in number of researchers per 1000 inhabitants, the percentages are 45% in developing countries and 6.8% in developed countries.
** The data on women come from 121 countries on which data are available. Data are lacking from countries where the number of women researchers is high, such as Australia, Canada, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Transforming agricultural knowledge into development impact
European regional electronic consultation that will contribute to the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development GCARD, Montpellier, France, 28-31 March 2010.
Background The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) is organizing the Global Conferences on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARDs) every two years, starting in 2010. The Conferences will be an open and inclusive process for consultation and change to reshape agricultural research and innovation, to improve resources for research and increase its impact on development.
Each GCARD Conference will be preceded by a series of electronic and face-to-face consultations conducted at regional and global levels to capture the contributions and perspectives of all stakeholders in the agricultural research, education and development systems. This will reshape the global agricultural research for development agenda and centre it on the needs of the poor in developing countries.
In carrying out this major undertaking, GFAR is reaching out to all stakeholders in AR4D, working through its constituent agencies and networks, which include: the six Regional Research Fora (FARA, EFARD, AARINENA, FORAGRO, APAARI, CACAARI), who represent National Agricultural Research Systems; the Alliance of CGIAR centres (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research); FAO, IFAD; and representatives from: farmers associations (IFAP); civil society; the private sector; and donor agencies.
In order to provide a baseline for discussion, regional reviews have been commissioned to provide a synthesis of existing national and regional studies, policies and reports on how agricultural research priorities currently match development aims and needs. The outcome of these reviews will be used to frame questions for the e-consultations and the face-to-face meetings at regional and global levels.
The consultations will also contribute to the formulation of the new research strategy and programmes of the CGIAR and provide perspectives from intended partners, end users and beneficiaries on possible strategic themes and their operational implications. To that effect, the CGIAR is currently examining key priority areas for international research.
Objectives of the Electronic Consultation in Europe. The two week facilitated e-consultation will provide an opportunity for you to share experiences and learn from others who are involved with agricultural research for development. The consultation is open to all and starts from your own experiences and lessons learnt about what has enabled agricultural technologies to achieve development impact. The consultation will refer to the issues raised by the regional review (GCARD-Europe review) and focus on questions like:
· To what extent do the issues identified in the regional review and the CGIAR analysis capture the key regional research needs for delivering the greatest development impact?
· What are the mechanisms and partnerships that are required for turning research into development impact? · What are the key blockages, barriers and bottlenecks that prevent agricultural innovation from benefiting the poor?
· How best should these be resolved and what enabling investments, policies, and capacities are most needed?
In view of Europes role both as a donor and recipient of ARD funding, the Europe e-consultation will have two dimensions: European ARD for Europe and European ARD for the developing World. Attendees will be challenged with complementary questions to address the uniqueness of the region.
Your input will contribute to shape the future of agriculture: it will inform the regional face-to-face meeting planned for 29th September in Brussels that will contribute to action plans for agricultural research around the world and in Europe. Your input will also be acknowledged in the proceedings and might lead to an invitation to attend the GCARD Conference in Montpellier in March 2010.
Outline of the 2 Week events
· Pre-event activity we invite you to browse through the regional review key findings. Three documents are appended to this notice. An Executive Summary of the review (5pages) which should be read by all before the meeting; the complete report (ca 60 pages); and an Annex on Poverty in Europe (22pages). These are still draft documents but provide objective background material for the e-consultation; the event provides an opportunity for attendees to add value particularly of a contemporary nature to the review, and/or contradict some of the conclusions drawn by the authors.
· Week 1 Participants introduce themselves and share their experiences and views from the region, relating agricultural innovation to development impact.
· Week 2 Participants reflect on the issues raised in the preceding week and put their experiences in perspective of the regional review findings. Participants are invited to suggest and discuss reforms to make innovations help to have greater impact on major development needs of poor European farmers and rural/urban communities and those in the developing world.
· Week 3 (3 days) Participants receive a summary of the discussions and make closing remarks.
Language English and French.
Participation This event is open to all those who are interested in agricultural research for development and innovation and have a specific interest in the European region. The consultations are based on electronic dialogues with the possibility to consult and participate via a public Web site. Summaries are posted twice a week on the Web site (www.egfar.org) for comments and further discussion.
Schedule of the Regional Consultations The facilitated consultation will take place between the first and third week of September 2009. The exact dates will be communicated to you upon registration.
Registration Please go to the following site to register: Europe: http://www.egfar.org/egfar/website/gcard/regional-consultations/eu/participate
List of documents from GCARD Europe Review (these will be available soon at the following link: http://www.egfar.org/egfar/website/gcard/regional-consultations/eu)
1. Executive Summary 2. Full GCARD-Europe Report (final draft)