Wednesday, 25 April 2012

UNIDO report offers global connectedness ranking, says knowledge networks can achieve development goals

SAN JOSÉ, 25 April 2012– On the occasion of the II Mesoamerican Forum on SMEs, which is being organized by SEGIB, today has been launched the Spanish version of the report Networks for prosperity: achieving development goals through knowledge sharing by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) at the Casa del Cuño. This report establishes a new Connectedness Index, the first attempt to measure knowledge networks for private sector policy.

Switzerland topped the global ranking, followed by Sweden, Denmark,, the United States, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland,  Austria, Singapore, Norway, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the UK, France, Australia, Iceland, Japan, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Israel, Slovenia, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand.

Networks for prosperity was funded by the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F) as part of a project that aims to establish a global knowledge system for private sector development. The report lays the basis for policy recommendations that will help developing countries acquire and adapt private sector development know-how.

The report demonstrates that the ‘connectedness’ of a country has a strong positive relationship with various measures for its economic performance, justifying the growing interest of policy-makers in knowledge networks. Specific issues related to the governance of international, inter-organizational and intra-organizational networks are discussed in separate chapters. These are illustrated with detailed examples from twelve countries: Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Turkey and Viet Nam, all of which are currently implementing MDG-F private sector development programmes.

The report has been jointly produced by UNIDO and the Centre for Global Governance Studies in Leuven, Belgium, under the overall umbrella of the MDG-F, with inputs from various public and private institutions in more than fifteen countries as well as contributions from programme managers, practitioners and experts.

“This report shows that new networks are emerging as a distinct form of governance to meet ever-changing policy challenges in international development. It establishes for the first time a Connectedness Index covering a wide range of countries and correlating strongly with indicators on government effectiveness, regularity quality, industrial development and economic development. The report provides solid recommendations on the next steps to be taken in deepening this index, and in leveraging the role of networks for private sector development,” said UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella.

The Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce of Costa Rica, Mrs. Mayi Antillón, has been among the participants as a panelist for this event, together with Mr. Enrique Castillo, Minister of External Relations and Worship of Costa Rica, as well as the Ambassador of Spain in Costa Rica, Mrs. Elena Madrazo, and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations in New York, Mr. Saul Weisleder. In addition, the UNIDO Representative to the region, Mr. Kai Bethke, also provided his inputs as a panelist.

The Director of the MDG Achievement Fund, Sophie de Caen, added: “New and innovative solutions will be needed to overcome development challenges as we approach 2015. Networks for Prosperity provides solid recommendations for such solutions in the area of Development and the Private Sector. I look forward to the implementation of these proposals in the next phase of the programme, and to the further strengthening of our global partnership for development.”

While not a new phenomenon, knowledge networking and network governance have gained importance with the rapid globalization in all spheres of our societies: economic success, social cohesion and environmental sustainability in a country depends more than ever on the performance and behaviour of its neighbours, regional leaders and global economic powers. Knowledge about these, with a focus on the driver of development, private enterprise, has therefore become of crucial importance, and knowledge management and knowledge networking are important topics for change agents and policymakers.

The English version of the publication has also been presented in Vienna, Brussels, Busan and New York.

To read the full report in English, please click here

To read the report in Spanish, please click here

For further information, please contact:

Kazuki Kitaoka
UNIDO Programme Management Officer

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