The Royal Society submitted its reponse to the Department for International Development White Paper on Eliminating World Poverty consultation in April 2006. The submission echoes many of the messages the Royal Society has relayed to DFID concerning the essential role of science, engineering, technology and innovation (SET&I) in poverty alleviation, sustainable development and economic growth. SET&I are crucial cross-cutting themes in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Royal Society highlights the need for DFID to ensure that this is reflected in its White Paper on poverty.
Urgent steps are needed to narrow the knowledge gap between developing and developed countries.
Developing countries will need home-grown expertise to provide scientific, evidence-based solutions and models to adapt and prepare for the possible consequences of global change.
Much more needs to be done to help revitalise and direct tertiary level educational institutions towards developing countries' national needs, poverty alleviation and economic growth.
DFID should aim to support initiatives which will help to build the critical mass of science policy advisors to developing country governments.
Messages from DFID and the international community that SET&I are integral to poverty alleviation and development will do much to highlight the importance of including SET&I as a crucial component in Poverty Reduction Strategies and in turn will improve the treatment of SET&I in Country Assistance Plans.