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Monday, 14 November 2011

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

VIENNA, 14 November 2011 – A report presented today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) establishes a new Connectedness Index, the first attempt to measure knowledge networks for private sector policy.

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

Titled Networks for prosperity: achieving development goals through knowledge sharing, the report 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.

Networks for Prosperity 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.

Spain’s Secretary of State for International Development Cooperation, Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, recalled that in 2006, the U.N. and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation signed a landmark agreement to programme EUR 528 million towards key development goals and related development goals in select sectors and countries.

“With this support, the Government of Spain is demonstrating its commitment to international development and to a strengthened multilateral system, and U.N. in particular. Knowledge management and knowledge networks are crucial elements in order to exchange information and experiences that consolidates good practices that are generated through MDG-F joint programme implementation which can then be used for future initiatives,” said Ramos.

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 publication will also be presented in Brussels, Busan and New York.

Go here to download or read online the full report and executive summary and for more information

To download the statement of Miroslava Beham, Ambassador of Serbia, click here

To download the statement of Carmen Buján Freire, Ambassador of Spain, click here

To download the statement of Jan Wouters, University of Leuven click here

For further information, please contact:

Kazuki Kitaoka
UNIDO Programme Management Officer
E-mail