The changing approach towards developing countries in international STI cooperation
MetadataShow full item record
Most international Science Technology and Innovation (STI) cooperation takes place among actors with equivalent capacities. Research cooperation between researchers from developing and developed countries is less common and used to be regarded as a knowledge flow from North to South. However, the scale and scope of the co-authorship network is changing. More players are involved, the network is more decentralised and more links occur between players. These patterns of increasing international cooperation can have implications for the role of developing countries. Authors in the research field of international cooperation have suggested that researchers from developing countries could be involved in more equal research relationships and developed countries should learn more from developing country researchers. This study examined the change in the Dutch researcher and policy approach to STI cooperation with developing countries and how this change could be characterised. A literature review provided the input for a framework that contained the dimensions of a changing approach and the possible outcomes of STI cooperation. The framework was guiding in the case studies on Indonesia, China and Africa. The findings from the case studies provided the input for an enhanced framework to study a changing approach to STI cooperation. Furthermore, the study characterised the differences in approach between the case study objects, Indonesia, China and Africa. It is concluded that in all cases the approach is changing to some extent. At the Dutch policy level there is a clear tendency towards Top Sector policy, which implies an increased focus on the Dutch benefits of the cooperation and private party participation. At the researcher level the changes in approach are more dependent on the development of the partner country. Over the years 2000-2012, it seems that Indonesia and China have gone through significant economical and scientific developments. For researchers this has made capacity building less relevant and flows of funding more even. Also, cooperation was perceived as more equal by the Dutch researchers. In Africa the major developments are still to come. Cooperation with African partners is still characterised by inequalities in capacities, resources and funding.