There is a new framing for Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Policy termed “Transformative Innovation Policy,” (TIP). TIP has potential to promote transformation of systems and societies in ways that foster environmental sustainability, achieve more equitable income distribution and help address other social challenges including gender, inequality, and exclusion. Hence, using the TIP to frame STI policy in Ghana would present potential for harnessing the power of STI as a driver for the achievement of not only sectoral goals, objectives, and aspirations, but also for addressing critical societal social, economic, and ecological challenges. TIP was developed by the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) that comprises innovation researchers and policymakers in policy or funding agencies from Colombia, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Finland, China, Mexico, Panama and Brazil. TIPC is coordinated by the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK, and has a long-term vision of giving substance to the new framing of STI policy. In light of this, three new entrants, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal are participating in a process to establish a transformative innovation policy hub in Sub-Sahara Africa. Since the overall aim at TIPC is the co-creation of knowledge about transformative innovation policy, each of the three countries is required to conduct a case study on a societal developmental challenge using Transformative Innovation Learning Histories (TILH)
With the Transformative Innovative Policy Consortium (TIPC), STI Policy actors and relevant stakeholders work towards a more inclusive, sustainable development agenda through transforming national policy. The transformative innovation histories methodology is useful for both research and policy reflection.
(i) Gathering multiple human accounts and documentation of a transformative innovation process and the role of policy,
(ii) Jointly constructing (within a team or group) written accounts and timelines based on recollection and documentation.
The TIPC team in Ghana chose to carry out a transformative innovative policy case study on e-waste management in Ghana. The choice was made after a careful consideration of the effective use of the key pillars of the TIP approach including directionality, societal goal, system-level impact, opportunities for learning and reflexivity, conflict/consensus building and inclusivity. Ghana has passed the hazardous and electronic Waste Control and Management Act, Act 917 (2016). We also have the hazardous, electronic and other waste control and Management Regulations (LI 2250) and the e-waste management guidelines. There is also an e-waste policy currently being developed and thus at the end of this brief project, we are hoping to indicate whether all the policy interventions on e-waste in Ghana are transformative and making the right impact, be it socially, economically and environmentally.
Planned TIPC-Ghana E-waste Workshop
The process of constructing a transformative innovation history stimulates discussion, reflection and learning and the findings can help inform the next steps for future research and transformative innovation policy experimentation. The TIPC Team in Ghana has organised a 2-day workshop from 25 – 26 April 2019 (1- day for focus group discussions with key stakeholders in a field visit setting on 25th April 2019 ahead of 1- day workshop at CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute on 26th April 2019). The purpose of the workshop included:
1) To allow participants in transformative innovation processes to recognise transformative elements in the e-waste management;
2) To record and reflect experience and to conceive of ways to improve future performance of e-waste management; and
3) To help develop an understanding of how the transformative innovation happened, identify factors that led to success, particularly the role of policymaking, and areas for improvement.
Participants of the focus group discussions and workshop were expected to: - Be part of a process that allowed for collaborative analysis, networking and joint action between a range of actors involved in the ‘transformative’ e-waste management in Ghana;
They had the opportunity to reflect on e-waste management through the lens of transformative innovation; and
The participants also had a dedicated and ‘safe’ space to explore with a range of actors involved in e-waste management and gain a better understanding of main events, and viewpoints of all actors involved in e-waste. It was anticipated that at the end of the workshop, participants (researchers, policymakers, collectors, and others in the e-waste management value chain) would have had a better understanding of barriers and enablers to the transformative innovations in the e-waste management sector.
The Workshop was opened by Dr. Mrs. Wilhemina Quaye, Director of CSIR-STEPRI and the Host of the workshop with a welcome address in which she stressed on the need for colladoration and inclusivity when it comes to research for development.