Methodology for studying research networks in the developing world: Generating information for science and technology policy

Knowledge, Technology & Policy 9 (4):62-85 (1997)
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Science and technology policy in the developing world involves special problems since much of the financial support for S&T originates outside the countries where research is done. The development of information for policy and strategic planning decisions is therefore critical for national research policymakers, international organizations, and donors. However, prior attempts have been plagued by serious methodological problems. We describe a multifaceted approach for generating systematic information on scientific and technological institutions in developing countries based on the concept of the research system as a multiorganizational network. By providing an account of how this approach was implemented in a three-country study we hope to shed light on several related problems in developing information for policy. First, how can relevant actors in research systems be identified? Second, how can a national research system be systematically surveyed? Third, how can system-wide estimates of organizational linkages and performance be obtained?



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