Science, Engineering & Medicine - Working Toward a Better World
International Activities of the U.S. National Academies

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Capacity Building
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Advising the U.S. Government

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Home - Capacity Building

Capacity Building

A strong science and technology base facilitates progress and creates a promising future for a nation and its people. The Academies work with associations of academies worldwide to strengthen the science, technology, and health initiatives of developing countries. We help science academies create awareness among their policy makers and provide science-based advice to their governments. We also enlist talented scientists and engineers to work with their foreign counterparts to solve pervasive problems and support educational programs.

U.S. - Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund
The U.S. - Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund was established under an agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt to strengthen scientific and technological capabilities between both countries. To support activities of the Joint Fund, each country jointly matches funds provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Scientific Research (MOSR). The program is implemented in the U.S. by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and in Egypt by the Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF). The objectives of this cooperation are to help Egypt and the U.S. expand relations between the two scientific and technological communities, utilize science and apply technology by providing opportunities to exchange ideas, information, skills, and techniques, and to collaborate on scientific and technological endeavors of mutual interest to promote economic development.

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER)
Managed by DSC since 2011 and funded by USAID, Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) is designed to build capacity and engage developing country researchers to address key global development challenges, while leveraging U.S. scientific expertise and investment and building long-term scientific relationships. The grantees work in a wide range of development-related fields, including sustainable agroforestry systems, groundwater purification, biodiversity conservation, disaster risk reduction, drought and climate change mitigation, and pollution remediation. A total of 204 grants have been awarded in the first four annual cycles of PEER plus the two separate PEER Health cycles held before the programs merged in 2014.

Cooperative Program with Pakistan
The jointly funded Pakistan–U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program is a true collaboration that has strengthened ties between the two countries. The program has improved education and research at Pakistan’s higher-learning institutions, allowed both public and private science to support industry competitiveness, and improved the quality of life for the Pakistani people.

Strengthening African Science Academies
The 10-year African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) has supported eight African science academies in their transformation from largely honorific societies to organizations that provide independent, evidence-based advice to their governments. With ASADI support, the science academies of Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa have produced peer–reviewed reports on such critical health issues as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and nutrition, and have conducted symposia on a broad range of national topics, including health systems, malaria, blood safety, and biosecurity.

Visiting Math Lecturer Program in Cambodia
Mathematics is the international language of science and technology, yet many universities in developing nations such as Cambodia lack the capacity to educate their students fully. The Academies, in cooperation with partners in France and Japan, help build capacity in mathematics and mathematics education through its Visiting Lecturer Program. The program provides advanced undergraduate-level courses and fosters productive interaction between the mathematics community of the developed world and the vast, often untapped, talent in the developing world.

Science Academies' Promotion of Human Rights
Created in 1993 by the Academies’ Committee on Human Rights, the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN) is a coalition of more than 80 national academies that assist colleagues worldwide who suffer severe repression solely for exercising their fundamental human rights. The IHRN has stood in solidarity with sister national academies to support their independence and autonomy and has promoted institutional consciousness-raising through its biennial human rights symposia and workshops.

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