Biosafety regulation implementation in Kenya: Kenya's experience

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Biosafety Regulation: Opening up the debate -Lessons from Kenya and Philippines

Workshop in Kenya, 15 - 16 November 2010

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Biosafety regulation implementation in Kenya: Kenya's experience

  1. 1. Biosafety Regulations Implementation in Kenya: Kenya’s experience <ul><li>Ann Kingiri </li></ul><ul><li>Research into Use (RIU) Program </li></ul>
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Biotech innovation unique? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In several respects it involves multiple actors with diverse perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proponents….Unique </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opponents…..Risky </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The different views driven largely by mixed reactions related to benefits, fear, anxieties, uncertainties related to use of new applications like genetic engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences in perspectives reflect controversies linked to diverse social and economic/scientific rationalities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Biosafety regulation endeavours to manage controversies and embedded uncertainties </li></ul><ul><li>Why analyse biotech innov system? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biotech innovation is knowledge intensive and is largely mode 2 research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biosafety governance thro appropriate regulation adds to the complexity because of management of regulatory knowledge that is value laden </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Issues for contemporary actors involved in biotech governance…… <ul><ul><li>Increased challenges associated with globalisation-trade, informed society demanding increased accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For scientists reduced public funding for research resulting in increased collaborative research (public and private sector) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biotech research is trans-disciplinary in nature with increased integration & cooperation (engaged scholarship) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For policy scientists, inadequate capacity for putting in place regulatory systems (again collaborative & donor supported) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulatory demands & implementation challenges </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Issues for contemporary actors cont’d…… <ul><li>Consequently, the new institutional and knowledge production terrain has affected the role & practice of contemporary actors (e.g. scientists and mode 2 research) </li></ul><ul><li>Biosafety regulation as a means to manage controversies and embedded uncertainties is linked to certain complex & politically driven forms of knowledge (regulatory, policy, institutional etc); scientists inevitably get entangled in this </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adaptation of actors to deal with the dynamic & challenging institutional terrain (limited research done) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immediate setback is the management of diverse forms of knowledge emanating from this trans-disciplinary and multi actor setting </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Actors roles & engagement in biotech regulatory policy-Kenya’s context <ul><li>(Based on empirical research conducted between 2006 – 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Weak formal mechanisms for actors engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Actors roles characterised by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active distinct pro and anti policy groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proliferation of coalitions and collaborations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behind the scene actors (Biotech industry, pro-biotech and anti-biotech funding bodies) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple & conflicting roles of scientific community: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge drivers as experts (biosafety & advanced biotech science) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy targets in implementing biosafety regulations as innovators or researchers of GE science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy enforcers as regulators and policy agents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scientific community are both knowledge producers & knowledge users in the normative scientific field and regulatory process respectively </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Implications <ul><li>Politicised regulatory process & tensions !!!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy process polemic and polarised </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulation of multiple roles confounded by conflicting obligations, values and interests (individual and institutional levels) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy process skewed towards scientific expertise & marginalising other types of knowledge input </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The politicised regulatory issues masks the overall goal-food security agenda </li></ul>
  7. 7. How can a meaningful process be managed in Africa context? <ul><li>Arguably, biotech policy may address governance & actors engagement issues but can work for or against the prominent discourse for the poor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(prominent discourse is GE is good for food security…cf FAO, 2004; Nepad report “ Freedom to Innovate” by Juma, and Serageldin, 2007 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, this is complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue is biotech innovation versus broader food security issues on one hand & uncertainty/fear/controversies on the other </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proposed model must accept that values and interests energise actors to pursue diverse lines of argument & to undertake certain persuasive strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Insights from innovations systems approach, social technologies & mode 2 practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning, interaction and knowledge use must embrace system or holistic thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mode 2 thinking calls for socially desirable knowledge use-for the different types of knowledge to “speak back to science” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Prodve mgt of diverse knowledge types <ul><li>New ways of managing knowledge in biotech innovation calls for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflexivity (all actors) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building multi-layered skills capacities that cultivate new culture of learning that considers different belief systems and different values (Lyall et al. 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Realisation of the fact that knowledge accumulates and becomes usable and meaningful if it is shared, in a transparent manner </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Conclusion <ul><li>It is imp to understand how current discourses around biotech innovation are framed and with what implications for food security and safety </li></ul><ul><li>The context specific issues that confront Africa & localised needs call for context specific stakeholders’ engagement strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Rethinking role of scientific knowledge in informing policy processes and stakeholders’ engagement </li></ul>
  10. 10. Final note <ul><li>All players must dialogue & listen to each other because….. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All players have a role to play: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As knowledge suppliers or users in the knowledge production & governance continuum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>& in the recontextualised process as “experts” and as stakeholders not as “actors” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Thank you for your attention

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