The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Mahama Ayariga, has called for a model that would foster a relationship between policy makers and policy implementers to ensure the success of government policies.
The Minister was addressing a day’s policy implementation symposium in Accra on the theme: “Policy Implementation in Ghana: A case of the Science, Technology and Innovation Development Programmes (STI DEP) and Options for Enhancement.”
Organised by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), in collaboration with the MESTI, the symposium aimed at creating a platform for players in the science, technology and innovation (STI) and policy implementation agencies to share ideas on the theme.
MESTI and its agencies in 2009 developed a national STI Policy with the aim of driving the development agenda of Ghana.
A document containing the priority programmes and strategic actions for implementing the STI Policy, termed the STI DEP, was prepared spanning 2011 and 2015.
The symposium was the final under the Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) project funded by DFID.
The Minister said: “Science is the driving force in everything that a country does, “if your science is good, you get to do things better but if your science is not good you have to buy the science of others.’’
He said those countries that were using science to produce for others to import were looking to improve on the quality of their science adding that importing counties were confronted with issues of balance of payments.
Mr Ayariga said science and research institutions like the STEPRI and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology had the solution which should be tapped into.
Mr George Owusu Essegbey, the Director of CSIR-STEPRI, said in recent times evidenced based policy making had become topical.
He said the US Congress passed a legislation for institutionalising it and “I dare say that for a country like Ghana, evidenced based research policy making and implementation should be of utmost priority’’.
Mr Essegbey said; “This would enable our efforts to be directed better at areas in our development to address fundamental challenges.’’
He said even if Ghana had achieved middle-level status, “we are still at the developing country stage facing all kinds of challenges in our economy, environment and society.”
He said the symposium needed to be institutionalised and must not end with the DRUSSA programme because stakeholders in the area were still expected to meet and deliberate on crucial issues facing the country and decide on concrete steps for action.
DRUSSA seeks to strengthen research uptake capacity and participation in the international development research system in 24 Sub-Saharan African universities across 12 countries including Ghana.
Its goal is to improve the accessibility and utilisation of locally relevant research evidence to inform sub-saharan Africa and global development policy and practice.