n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Conceptualizing and institutions facilitating ‘use’ of innovation indicators in South Africa’s science, technology and innovation policymaking - research

Volume 10 Number 4
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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This paper attempts to simplify and conceptualize the meaning of ‘use’ of innovation indicators in science, technology and innovation (STI) policymaking. The paper provides a conceptual framework that guides analysis of innovation indicators ‘use’ in STI policymaking. It maps the institutions involved in the indicators chain. In this study, a case study approach study approach is employed zeroing on South Africa. This study is a qualitative research that encompass multi-methods of data collection such as secondary literature review and interviews with mapping and tracing. The conceptual framework adopted frames innovation indicator use in terms of reception, internal application, external application and decision support. The results show that innovation indicators are variously used for STI policymaking by different institutions in South Africa. The salient factors determining use include the indicators processes; relevance; simplicity; timeliness and comparability. Conceptualizing ‘use’ clarifies meaning and facilitates wide understanding of the subject, an imperative for innovation indictor developers and users. Elaborating institutions involved gives insights on the innovation indicator chain and structures for STI. Future studies should explore the ‘influence’ of innovation indicators in policymaking. Institutions involved in the innovation indicator chain should be aware of and are encouraged to facilitate use of indicators in STI policymaking.

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