IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Strategic approaches to science and technology in development


  • Watson, Robert
  • Crawford, Michael
  • Farley, Sara


Watson, Crawford, and Farley examine the ways in which science and technology (S&T) support poverty alleviation and economic development and how these themes have been given emphasis or short shrift in various areas of the World Bank's work. Central to their thesis is the now well-established argument that development will increasingly depend on a country's ability to understand, interpret, select, adapt, use, transmit, diffuse, produce, and commercialize scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations, and level of development. The authors go beyond this tenet, analyzing the importance of S&T for development within specific sectors. They present policy options for enhancing the effectiveness of S&T systems in developing countries, review previous experience of the World Bank and other donors in supporting S&T, and suggest changes that the World Bank and its partners can adopt to increase the impact of the work currently undertaken in S&T. The authors'main messages are: 1) S&T has always been important for development, but the unprecedented pace of advancement of scientific knowledge is rapidly creating new opportunities for and threats to development. 2) Most developing countries are largely unprepared to deal with the changes that S&T advancement will bring. 3) The World Bank's numerous actions in various domains of S&T could be more effective in producing the needed capacity improvements in client countries. 4) The World Bank could have a greater impact if it paid increased attention to S&T in education, health, rural development, private sector development, and the environment. The strategy emphasizes four S&T policy areas: education and human resources development, the private sector, the public sector, and information communications technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Watson, Robert & Crawford, Michael & Farley, Sara, 2003. "Strategic approaches to science and technology in development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3026, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3026

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paarlberg, Robert L., 2000. "Governing the GM crop revolution," 2020 vision briefs 68, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    3. Braga, C.A.P. & Fink, C. & Sepulveda, C.P., 2000. "Intellectual Property Rights and Economic Development," World Bank - Discussion Papers 412, World Bank.
    4. Paul M. Romer, 2001. "Should the Government Subsidize Supply or Demand in the Market for Scientists and Engineers?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 221-252 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pardey, Philip G. & Alston, Julian M. & Christian, Jason E. & Fan, Shenggen., 1996. "Hidden harvest," Food policy reports 6, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Paarlberg, Robert L., 2000. "Governing the GM crop revolution: policy choices for developing countries," 2020 vision discussion papers 33, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ibrahim Akoum, 2016. "Research, Development and Innovation in Malaysia: Elements of an Effective Growth Model," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 6(7), pages 390-403, July.
    2. World Bank, 2007. "Building Knowledge Economies : Advanced Strategies for Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6853, April.
    3. Ceausescu Ionut, 2013. "Theoretical And Practical Considerations Regarding The Importance Of Investment In Technology And Information In The Process Of Economic Growth," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 124-127, February.
    4. Alfred Watkins & Michael Ehst, 2008. "Science, Technology, and Innovation : Capacity Building for Sustainable Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6418, April.
    5. Wight, Daniel & Ahikire, Josephine & Kwesiga, Joy C., 2014. "Consultancy research as a barrier to strengthening social science research capacity in Uganda," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 32-40.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3026. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.