About this report:
This report explores the role that ‘new models’ of technology assessment can play in improving the lives of poor and vulnerable populations in the developing world.The ‘new models’ addressed here combine citizen anddecision-maker participation with technical expertise. Theyare virtual and networked rather than being based in a
single oce of technology assessment (as was the case inthe United States in the 1970s-90s). They are exible
enough to address issues across disciplines and areincreasingly transnational or global in their reach andscope. The report argues that these new models of technology assessment can make a vital contribution toinforming policies and strategies around innovation,
particularly in developing regions. They are most benecial
if they enable the broadening out of inputs to technologyassessment, and the opening up of political debate aroundpossible directions of technological change and theirinteractions with social and environmental systems.Beyond the process of technology assessment itself, thereport argues that governance systems within which theseprocesses are embedded play an important role in
determining the impact and eectiveness of technology
assessment. Finally, the report argues for training andcapacity-building in technology assessmentmethodologies in developing countries, and support forinternationally co-ordinated technology assessment
eorts to address global and regional development
A short brieng associated with this report can be
downloaded from http://www.steps-centre.org/publications/PDFs/STEPSsumTechnology.pdf. The
production of this paper and the associated brieng werepossible through nancial support from the Rockefeller
About the authors
is a Research Fellow at SPRU, University of
Sussex and a member of the STEPS Centre. Adrianconvenes the Innovation, Sustainability, Development: ANew Manifesto project. His areas of interest include theenvironmental impacts of GM crops, frameworks forbiotechnology regulation, risk and uncertainty inpolicy-making around new technologies and innovation forsustainable development.
Patrick Van Zwanenberg
is a Research Fellow at SPRU,
University of Sussex and a member of the STEPS Centre.His work has focused on the regulation and broadergovernance of science, technology and innovation,especially in the food and agricultural sectors.
is co-director of the STEPS Centre and SPRUResearch Director. He trained in natural science, then
archaeology and anthropology, later working forGreenpeace International before researching technologypolicy. He now works on the governance of science andinnovation.The authors are grateful to the interviewees, researchersand practitioners who shared their time to inform thisreport and to Ian Scoones, Evan Michelson, and Claudia Juech who provided comments on an earlier draft. We
would also like to thank Rockefeller Foundation sta whoparticipated in a brieng and feedback session based on an
earlier draft of this report. Errors and omissions are theresponsibility of the authors alone.