The United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) is a research and training institute of United Nations University based in Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands.
The institute, which collaborates closely with Maastricht University, carries out research and training on a range of social, political and economic factors that drive economic development in a global perspective. Special emphasis is on the process of technological change and innovation, including the governance of science and technology and on factors limiting the access to knowledge; on (public) policy analysis and evaluation; on the social aspects of growth and development, in particular the policy challenges posed by low levels of development including the limitations and possibilities for social security and other social policies; and on the relationship between global development and migration.
The Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) of Maastricht University is integrated within UNU-MERIT; MGSoG is the centre for UNU-MERIT’s double degree Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development, which aims to train public policy professionals for the global community. UNU-MERIT, including MGSoG, has been closely involved in research for a variety of UN agencies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank.
Overall the institute functions as a unique research centre and graduate school for around 100 PhD fellows and 140 Master’s students. It is also a UN think tank addressing a broad range of policy questions on science, innovation and democratic governance.
- To research how countries can catch up in the unequal global playing field of the 21st century, without increasing inequality and social exclusion;
- To analyse knowledge flows at the regional and global levels, and their impact on local development, employment and productivity;
- To train specialists who combine a high level of academic scholarship with leadership, in order to strengthen democratic governance in domestic and international organisations.
Africa’s representation on the global stage, including and especially in terms of its contribution to global policymaking in key areas that impact its development, is disproportionate to the extent to which it is affected by these policies. Therefore, in order to bolster Africa’s contribution to efforts supporting climate-related policies, public health, and economic development, this policy brief proposes that the G7 establish a ‘G7 Partnership with Africa’ analogous to that of the G20 Compact with Africa. Setting the G7 Partnership with Africa apart from the G20 is its multifaceted focus and low barriers to entry. It is envisioned as a mutually beneficial arrangement for G7 and African countries to improve cooperation on critical issues in health, climate and business related affairs, allow African countries greater agency in determining the policies that affect them the most, while developing inclusive and systematic engagement between the G7 and the African continent.