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NewsDevelopment Science and TechnologyThe digitalization of our world brings challenges and opportunities in the drive to achieve gender equality. This year, the primary focus of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) will be on innovation, technological change and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality.Date
NewsDevelopment Governance Information and Communication Social PolicyKIX funding announced for research to scale education innovationsIDRC has awarded CA$34.2 million to 12 projects that aim to strengthen national education systems in more than 40 low and middle-income countries.Date
PerspectivesGovernance Information and Communication Development Social PolicyA targeted response to the learning crisis: the GPE Knowledge and Innovation ExchangeSignificant progress is needed to improve education quality in developing countries.
Research in ActionNatural Resources Science and TechnologyCleaning up contaminated mines with plants and fungi
Research in ActionScience and Technology Information and CommunicationArtificial intelligence for development
IDRC awardeesNo relevant topics
ICT innovation needs solid relationships
ICT innovation needs solid relationships
“It looks obvious,” says 2017 IDRC Research Award Recipient Victor Oteku, “but the importance of personal connections is very strong in establishing partnerships for technological innovation in Kenya.” Working in IDRC’s Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa, Oteku’s research sought to uncover socio-political and economic factors that shape partnerships for technological innovation in Kenya.
Oteku chose the information and communication technology sector for his study because of its high value to innovation and its contributions to growth in other sectors. The Kenyan government is also focusing on scientific and technological innovation in its long-term development plan, he says.
“Partnerships are mutual and synergetic collaborations geared toward a common goal,” says Oteku. The online survey he conducted showed that economic factors had the biggest influence on partnerships. Interviews and focus group discussions, however, “suggested that socio-cultural factors had a stronger influence.” Personal relationships, in particular, can determine success or failure. He concluded that all those involved need to work toward formal but open and flexible partnerships.
While a research awardee, Oteku also helped develop a proposal in support of the multi-funder Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa. These councils are central to funding and catalyzing research and innovation.
Personally, “I nurtured the values of tolerance, cooperation, and hard work just by observing my colleagues do their jobs,” says Oteku. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been here.”
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