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Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments (GO-SPIN)


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Participate in GO-SPIN

GO-SPIN aims to be a standard-setter by providing a standard practice for surveys on science, technology and innovation (STI) policies and policy instruments for countries around the world. Therefore, UNESCO actively invites countries to participate in GO-SPIN by maintaining an inventory of their national research and innovation system. If your country is interested in GO-SPIN or if you would like further details, please contact us.

The steps involved in participating in GO-SPIN are the following:

Once a country has expressed interest in compiling a national inventory of its Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) system, UNESCO sends out a survey for the country to complete. A national GO-SPIN team is established with representatives of the main national STI institutions to carry out the survey and inventories.

Training workshops

As a first step, UNESCO organizes a training workshop for high-rank ministerial officials and other STI stakeholders in the country, on how to fill in the GO-SPIN survey. The training also helps national officers design and implement different types of STI policy instruments.

The GO-SPIN survey and the information generated are primarily intended for the use of specialists and governmental bodies responsible for national STI policies. It is their function to analyse the results of the survey and draw appropriate conclusions when they are required to prepare decisions by political bodies in the field of STI. The survey is also of interest to national offices of statistics and international organizations for promoting STI cooperation among their member states. Collectively, these users are:

  • The national developing planning agencies, more particularly the government bodies responsible for formulating and co-ordinating national STI policies and other national bodies involved in the application of STI to sustainable development;
  • Parliamentary groups especially concerned with STI policies;
  • STI information brokers, consulting groups and advisory bodies;
  • Teaching and research departments engaged in STI policy studies;
  • The governing bodies of R&D institutes and S&T services;
  • The boards of management of productive enterprises heavily reliant on R&D or engaged in the transfer of technology and innovation;
  • International governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with STI and their application to sustainable development;
  • Other more peripheral users, such as university departments of political science, economics and social sciences and national and international documentation and information services; and
  • The mass media.

Upon request, UNESCO helps countries follow-up and supports them in developing either new or improved STI policies, which will include a component on gender equality, and in establishing STI policy instruments and monitoring and evaluation tools.

The inventories are subsequently entered into an open access database managed by UNESCO, in order to allow broad access, international comparisons and regular updates.

Each inventory is updated on a regular basis by the country. It serves as a monitoring tool and can also be used to improve governance and for the purposes of training and research.

Upon request by the country, a country profile, representing a comprehensive study of all the country's STI policies, is developed by UNESCO based on the survey, government reports and statistical data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and other international sources. The country profile includes:

  • A long-term description of the political, economic, social, cultural and educational contextual factors;
  • A standard content analysis of the explicit STI policies, including those research and innovation policies implemented in other sectors, such as the agricultural, energy, health, industrial and mining sectors;
  • A study of R&D and innovation indicators;
  • A long-term scientometric analysis of scientific publications, patents, trademarks and utility models;
  • A description of the STI policy cycle;
  • A complete analysis of the STI organizational chart at five different levels (policy-making level; promotion level; research and innovation execution level; scientific and technological services level and evaluation level);
  • An inventory of all the STI government bodies and organizations related both to research and innovation and to science and technology services;
  • An inventory of the STI legal framework, including acts, bills, regulations and international agreements on STI issues;
  • A standard inventory with 18 different analytic dimensions of all the STI operational policy instruments in place; and
  • An analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of the country's research and innovation landscape.

The country profile is published in book form on UNESCO’s portal, within UNESCO’s series of GO-SPIN Country Profiles in STI Policy.

  • The minimum cost for a small to middle-size country is approximately $50,000.
  • Cost for large countries like Nigeria or South Africa: $200,000 - $300,000
  • The process of producing a country profile is about one year of work for the national group and the international group (or more in the case of a large country such as Nigeria). This is due to the fact that the information has never been produced before in this format in the country.