University of Sussex
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Organisational capabilities for science, technology and innovation policy formulation in developing countries: the case of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Science and Technology

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posted on 2023-06-09, 01:08 authored by Chux DanielsChux Daniels
It is widely accepted that public policies have an important role in driving science, technology and innovation (STI) initiatives in order to achieve socio-economic and development objectives. Nevertheless, previous research reveals that developing countries still face difficulties in formulating policies to support and promote STI. A possible reason for this is found in the apparent lack of capabilities for policymaking. Capabilities are "a precondition for effective policy formulation in developing countries" (UNIDO, 2005, p.16). However, our knowledge and understanding of what these capabilities are, remain limited. In this thesis I examine the roles that capabilities play in formulating STI policies, the development of these capabilities and their evolution over the years. I group policy capabilities into organisational capabilities – which refers to policy processes and routines – and individual capabilities – which refers to the skills of individual policymakers (Nelson and Winter, 1982; Dosi et al., 2000; Feldman and Pentland, 2003). In order to address the identified gaps in literature, I use the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) – which in 2012 completed the formulation of a new national STI policy – as an illustrative case for the investigation of these issues. To achieve the aim of the thesis, I address three research questions: (1) What roles do capabilities play in formulating STI policies at FMST and why? (2) How did policy formulation capabilities originally emerge at FMST and why? (3) How have policy formulation capabilities evolved (i.e. changed over the years, from 1986 to 2012) at FMST and why? To collect data, I interviewed key staff at FMST and stakeholder organisations (who participated in the STI policy formulation exercise), in addition to secondary data from relevant policy documents. The data analysis was based on the “explanation-building” technique (Yin, 2009). The findings reveal the various roles that policy capabilities (processes, routines and skills) play in policy formulation; how and why policy capabilities were developed and their evolution over the years at FMST. The results address the aforementioned gaps. The findings should be useful to policymakers, decision-makers and practitioners involved in STI policymaking, research and capability management.


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  • SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • eng


University of Sussex

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