The brief was to prepare a backgrounder policy document and recommended outcomes on innovation policy for an intergovernmental Arab States Ministerial Summit in Doha, Qatar. The objective included helping Arab leaders better understand international best practices in developing a national innovation agenda and recommending a set of national and regional policy interventions to be debated during the Summit preparatory process and included in the Summit results.
How it went down
A backgrounder policy briefing was prepared that explored the concepts of innovation and what stakeholders in Arab States could do to further encourage it. It made reference to existing national initiatives and success stories in the region. The paper proposed a number of possible policy interventions that would support building innovation at national and regional levels using a framework approach. This framework included the following elements:
Empowering people to innovate;
Unleashing innovation in firms;
Creating and applying knowledge;
Applying innovation to address global and social challenges;
Improving the governance and measurement of policies for innovation;
Promoting regional and international Arab co-operation and partnerships.
The paper articulated a set of pillars that advance an innovation agenda at national and regional levels across multiple sectors performed by a broad group of actors — including governments, institutions, firms and, increasingly, ICT-enabled users. The recommendations were reflected in the outcome of the Summit where leaders agreed to design and coordinate an Arab regional approach to innovation.