[A2k] TWN Info: Expert Review Calls For Technical Assistance Reforms, Further Investigation

Sangeeta ssangeeta at myjaring.net
Tue Nov 15 04:40:10 PST 2011



TWN Info Service on Intellectual Property Issues (Nov11/06)
15 November 2011
Third World Network

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below a second article on the External Review of WIPO's
Technical Assistance.

Earlier, a summary of the key comments made by the External Review on the
orientation, management, coordination and cost efficiency of WIPO technical
assistance, was circulated.

The report below is a follow up piece to that article. It highlights some of
the key recommendations made by the External Review on the orientation,
management, coordination of WIPO's technical assistance.

Further the report below summarizes the key findings of the External Review
following its assessment of the 6 pillars of WIPO technical assistance
activities:(i) IPstrategies and plans; (ii) legislative and regulatory
assistance in developing countries; (iii) building of modern
state-of-the-art national IP administrative infrastructure; (iv)
support-systems for users of the intellectual property system in developing
countries; (v) training and human capacity building in developing countries;
(vi) promotion of innovation and creativity, and access to knowledge and
technologies in developing countries.

Sangeeta Shashikant
Third World Network



WIPO: Expert Review Calls For Technical Assistance Reforms, Further
Investigation

Geneva (Sangeeta Shashikant): An independent assessment of WIPO technical
assistance activities has resulted in a series of recommendations,
essentially calling for a reform of WIPO technical assistance activities,
and further scrutiny of certain areas of WIPO technical assistance.

The external review mandated by WIPO Member states provides a rare insight
into the range and scope of WIPO technical assistance (TA) activities
between 2008 and 2010, and presents an evaluation of such activities
including from a development perspective.

On the orientation, management and coordination of TA activities, the Review
found significant critical shortcomings and deficiencies. Notably, it found
WIPO staff and the activities lacked a development orientation, including a
clear understanding of the overall purposes of WIPOdevelopment cooperation
activities. The Review also highlighted the lack of detailed information,
transparency and appropriate accountability (monitoring, evaluation and
oversight) mechanisms over those technical assistance activities. [For a
more detailed summary of the analysis on the orientation, management and
coordination of TA activities, see SUNS 7259]

These findings are also supported by the External Review assessment of the 6
pillars of WIPO technical assistance activities: (i) IP strategies and
plans; (ii) legislative and regulatory assistance in developing countries;
(iii) building of modern state-of-the-art national IP administrative
infrastructure; (iv) support-systems for users of the intellectual property
system in developing countries; (v) training and human capacity building in
developing countries; (vi) promotion of innovation and creativity, and
access to knowledge and technologies in developing countries.

[The assessment draws on interviews with WIPO staff, responses to the survey
of beneficiary countries, six country visits, and a range of other specific
sources]

In each of these areas, the External Review observed a number of weaknesses,
limitations and gaps. A snapshot of the Review observations on each of the
pillars is provided below.

To addresses the various shortcomings, the Review also makes numerous
recommendations. Some of the key broad recommendations on orientation,
management, impact, coordination are listed below. [Note: Specific
recommendations made with regard to the 6 pillars of WIPO work mentioned
above is not addressed by this paper].

SOME KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

Improving Development Orientation of WIPO technical assistance activities

The Review made a number of recommendations aimed at improving the
development orientation of WIPOTA activities. This includes:

(1) Improve efforts to better tailor TA activities to meet national
development objectives and circumstances adding that a development-oriented
approach must consistently integrate and acknowledge the importance of the
social and economic context, national development goals and priorities, and
the broader regulatory and institutional environment of the country.

(2) Devise development guidelines providing more detail on how to plan and
implement more development oriented assistance both in terms of substance
and process based on the DA principles.

(3) Refine and reorient WIPO strategic goals, outcomes and outcome
indicators in the Mid Term Strategic Plan to reflect a comprehensive
conception of development orientation in particular the objectives of
reducing the knowledge gap, and reducing the costs of participation of
developing countries in the IP system.

(4) Devise clearer objectives and priorities for the TA activities, and
criteria for determining what activities fall within those priorities. To
enable this, the Review calls for more transparency in WIPO internal
processes for the prioritization of activities and the allocation of the
regular funds. The Review calls for greater attention to integrating and
streamlining development goals and priorities across WIPO activities with
priorities informed by and aligned with country needs and priorities.

(5) Activities supported by Funds-in-Trust (FITs) and associated resources
be reflected in WIPO regular budget, programming and reporting processes and
aligned with the development goals and priorities. Towards this end the
Review calls for greater MS oversight of the content of FITs work plans and
their evaluation.

(6) Clarification on the term demand-driven TA activities. On this the
Review notes that the Secretariat should not be passive in the face of
assistance requested that are inconsistent with national development needs
or with the WIPO DA Agenda, or that are not cost-effective or sustainable.
It stresses the need for WIPO to dialogue with the requesting country on the
needs, priorities and the appropriateness of different kinds of assistance
given a country level of development, preparedness, absorptive capacity and
risks.

(7) Greater attention to activities that enable South-South cooperation.

(8) Greater attention to ensuring the development orientation, internal and
external peer review, quality, communication strategy and availability of
WIPO research and studies

(9) Devise and deploy tools and processes to better measure the impact of TA
activities at the country, sectoral and institutional level and to review
these tools as well as WIPO Results Based Management (RBM) tools on an
iterative basis, through an expert group comprising WIPO staff and external
experts.

(10) Develop tools and processes to improve institutional learning,
monitoring, follow-up, institutional memory and staff accountability for TA
activities. This includes adopting a Code of Ethics for WIPO staff and
consultants that reflects the principles of DA and provisions on conflicts
of interests.

(11) Support efforts at the national level to gather data that would assist
evaluations of the impact of IP systems on national development goals. Such
data could also be used to inform the definition and monitoring of baselines
and performance indicators of WIPO TA activities.

(12) WIPO recruitment processes should be expanded to target candidates
beyond the traditional pool of IP experts to other fields (development
economics, law, health, agriculture)

(13) Conclude a gap analysis of WIPO staff skills and competences

(14) Adopt guidelines to ensure transparent processes for selecting external
experts and consultants.

Independent Monitoring &  Evaluation (M&E) and  Oversight by Member states

The Review also highly recommended putting in place mechanisms for M &E. It
notes that to deliver real benefits to developing countries, there must be a
comprehensive, systematic framework for M &E of  WIPO¹s TA activities. The
Review adds that these evaluations must employ a relevant and publicly
available set of qualitative and quantitative indicators and development
benchmarks. It further notes that evaluation processes should facilitate
effective decision-making about future activities and priorities.

The Review stressed that ensuring WIPO technical assistance serves
development necessitates a monitoring and evaluation mechanism that is
independent of the Secretariat and reports directly to Member States,
although it would be funded through the WIPO budget. Currently, no such
mechanism exists at WIPO although such a mechanism is common in all other
international organizations. The Review adds that such a mechanism would
also receive feedback from relevant stakeholders and take action that is
appropriate following investigation of the complaint.

It also calls for a boost in MS review and guidance on WIPO TA activities
adding that MS have an important role to play in the substantive planning,
review and evaluation of the content of TA activities over time.

The Review also observes that from a governance perspective, WIPO
organizational structure for the delivery of WIPO development assistance
deserves in-depth consideration by the Secretariat and MS, adding that
options should be explored for making capacity-building activities
organizationally distinct from WIPO other activities.

Strategic Decision-making and Planning of CDIP Projects

The Review notes that the process for reviewing, possibly extending, and/or
mainstreaming existing CDIP projects should be properly integrated into
future Program and Budget processes and aligned with strategic planning at
the organizational, program and country level. It adds that pending CDIP
review of DA implementation expected in 2012/13 biennium, there should be no
automatic extension or expansion of CDIP projects in the absence of
evaluations at the end of project periods, particularly in the case of pilot
projects and projects designed to test methodologies. The Review further
states that after such evaluations, MS must take the lead in ensuring that
successful CDIP projects, where consistent with strategic goals, and MS
interests, are properly mainstreamed into the organization.

Transparency  Reporting

On improving WIPO transparency, the Review notes that WIPO TA activities
need to be reported and communicated more effectively. Towards this end, it
proposes the development of an integrated information management system that
would facilitate access to systematic and consolidated information on the
content of WIPOTA interventions at the activity and country level as well as
enable internal and external monitoring and evaluation.

It also calls for MS to clarify and broaden the purpose and nature of WIPO
Technical Assistance Database, established to implement DA Rec. 5, to enable
it to serve as a vehicle for critical review of WIPOTA activities for
relevance and effectiveness; and structured evaluation to ensure compliance
with DA Rec. 1 (i.e. that TA should be development oriented). Specifically,
the Review proposes that the Database should be redesigned to facilitate
internal and public searching of activities according to the WIPO Program,
region, country, expected results, type of activity, time-frame, categories
of beneficiary and modes of delivery with associated information about
resource-allocation and expenditures with the results of internal and
external independent evaluations of activities made publicly available.

The Review also calls for WIPO website to be upgraded to improve
accessibility and searchability of information, research, and statistics to
enable it to be more accurate and effective in communicating on WIPO TA
activities development cooperation activities.

The Review also recommends that each WIPO Program produce a breakdown of
partners and providers used across its TA activities.

Non-government stakeholder collaborations

The Review recommends that WIPO should expand the range of non-government
stakeholders with which it collaborates and consults to diversify the
perspectives on the IP system and development that inform its work.

It also calls for an organization-wide policy and strategy on outreach,
engagement and partnerships with IGOs and non-government stakeholders
including guidelines on private sector involvement in WIPO activities and
dealing with conflicts of interest.

Coordination

On the issue of coordination, the Review made a number of recommendations.

The Review noting that there was no compelling cost-benefit case for
establishing greater WIPO presence in any country or region in the form of
External Offices for the provision of TA activities and thus recommended a
review and strategic guidance on the role of such Offices

The Review also recommended that WIPO improve the quality of its
collaboration with the UN family adding that a key goal would be for WIPO to
learn and integrate into its activities a broader view on IP and development
and that such collaboration should be approached from a development oriented
and not an IP-centric perspective. It also stressed that such collaboration
should not be to coordinate a uniform view on IP-related development
cooperation within the UN family or to establish WIPO as the UN voice on IP.

Calls for Further Investigation

The Review also calls for the establishment of expert groups for further
inquiry. This includes:
*  to establish an expert group to review the evolution of the tools used to
inform IP strategies, their suitably for purpose, their link to the work of
other IGOs and of NGOs, the quality and development orientation of the
strategies produced, and the degree of their use by the organization and MS

* to establish a team of external legal experts to evaluate WIPO legislative
assistance (including draft laws and comments on draft laws provided by
WIPO, as well as of the content of seminars) particularly its attention to
the expressed request of countries, development priorities, country
circumstances and to the full range of flexibilities and options available
to countries. 

*  to establish an independent panel of leading academic authorities to
review all WIPO training materials and curricula to ascertain and ensure
their development-orientation.

*  WIPO MS undertaking an organization-wide review of WIPO current
activities and future priorities in terms of support for users of the IP
system with the aim of mapping WIPOuser-related services and developing user
support priorities that would yield greatest benefits for development.

EXPERT ASSESSMENT OF PILLARS OF WIPO TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

IP STRATEGIES  PLANS

The Review noted that WIPO offered a number of tools and activities to
support developing countries to establish national IP strategies, policies
and plans. In fact, the Experts country visits and analysis of internal
documents revealed a high demand for IP strategies and needs assessments.
According to WIPO records, 22 MS have requested assistance for formulating
national IP strategies.

However in its assessment WIPO assistance in this area, the Review
identifies a number shortcomings:

(1) Considerable confusion within the Secretariat and MS as to what
constitutes an IP strategy policy or plan, and the purposes of the various
strategy and needs assessment tools.

(2) Confusion within the Secretariat about whether WIPO purpose is to
support strategies, policies or plans on IP, or on IP and innovation. The
Review noted that the terms IP strategy, and IP and innovation strategy were
often used interchangeably even though a strategy that focused
comprehensively on innovation should address broader issues related to
technology transfer and innovation promotion that extend far beyond the
realm of IP policymaking, administration or enforcement. It also noted an
absence and/or weakness of attention to creativity (a core part of WIPO
mandate) across the organization Program and Budget documents.

(3) Inconsistency in the way WIPO supported the development of national IP
strategies. The Review noted that each Regional Bureau followed a different
approach, adding that there was a lack of clarity about WIPO role in the
formulation of different strategies. The Review also noted that the final
document often produced with the engagement of an international consultant
may or may not have been discussed with national stakeholders in an open
forum or workshop, adding also that there was no evidence of any internal or
external evaluation of the quality of the work conducted.

(4) Most of the strategies and plans available in WIPO compilation lacked a
sufficient statement of their development purpose and that there was an
inadequate effort to situate the strategy in the context of national
development documents and goals and to ensure that stated priorities and
plans addressed specific development goals. The Review is particularly
critical over the focus of such strategies/plans. It notes that the
strategies/plans were mainly focused on the use of IP for development, and
how protect and enlarge the benefits that might accrue to national IP right
holders; with significant emphasis on the value of acceding to WIPO
treaties.

On the other hand, the strategies/plans were deficient in ensuring a
development-oriented IP system in terms of the overarching legal,
institutional and regulatory framework, highlighting public policy
considerations; incorporating explicitly actions for reducing the knowledge
gap between developed and developing countries (such as those related to
technology transfer and access to knowledge) including flexibilities that a
country should explore or on reducing the costs for developing countries.

In fact the Review found some strategies/plans pushing countries to
implement IP provisions in bilateral free trade agreements, although such
TRIPS-plus provisions are widely criticized for failing to properly balance
the development interests of countries. The Experts found the lack of
specific attention and advice on the implementation of obligations in ways
that would maximize available policy space or use of flexibilities,
disappointing

(5) In some cases, the IP strategies reviewed related more to the strategy
of an IP office than to the IP-related strategy of a country more broadly.
The Review found considerable confusion about how an IP strategy should seek
to address, link to, or be embedded within, broader public policy strategies
in areas such as science and technology, public health, agricultural
development, access to culture, business development.

The Review also noted that in 2008, the CDIP approved a project on
Improvement of National, Sub-Regional and Regional IP Institutional and User
Capacity (DA_10_05) with the aim to harmonize all of WIPO pre-existing tools
into a tool that is flexible enough to be used in different contexts.
Further in 2010, the DG advanced a project entitled WIPO Framework for
Developing National IP Strategies for Innovation to develop a conceptual
framework, guide or tool that countries can use for assessing, analyzing and
developing national IP strategies. The Review noted a lack of clarity as to
how these different instruments will relate with each other as well as the
Secretariat other activities on IP strategies/plans

The Review also noted a number of shortcomings with regard to key tools used
in the CDIP project. One particular critique was the emphasis given to
ensuring protection and enforcement of the rights of the IP holders.

LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY ASSISTANCE

The Review faced significant constraints in reviewing the details of WIPO
legislative assistance and regulatory assistance because it is provided on a
bilateral and confidential basis. Further none of the sources it
investigated provided a comprehensive overview of what is offered and to
which countries.

In any case based on the information available, the Review found WIPO
assistance in this area lacking a development orientation. Through its
survey and interviews, the Review found that WIPO was not proactive in
providing advice on flexibilities and that some countries do not perceive
that they can rely on WIPO for tailored or pro-development advice, with some
countries perceiving that it would not be appropriate to request WIPO for
advice on flexibilities or that such request would be refused.

The Review identified several factors contributing to the weaknesses in the
development-orientation of WIPO legislative assistance.

(1) Lack of transparency about the content of WIPO legislative assistance
hampering the ability to verify WIPO claims that its assistance is oriented
to national development interests.

(2) Lack of framework instruments to guide the details of advice on the
substantive issues that arise in the course of providing legislative
assistance. Interviews with WIPO staff revealed that development-orientation
of advice varied by topic, the sector or program providing the advice, and
the predilections and motivation of individual staff. The Review noted that
WIPO staff had a significant duty of care since national expertise on the
technicalities of IP was low. The Review found no evidence that showed that
WIPO had integrated into its legislative assistance, lessons and insights
from studies presented to the various Committees (e.g. Study on Limitations
and Exceptions presented to the SCCR, CDIP study on the national
implementation of patent-related flexibilities).

(3) WIPO bundles legislative assistance on the many categories of IP and
enforcement in one draft Act, motivated by the objective of putting in place
a full spectrum of IP laws. For instance a draft law prepared by WIPO for an
LDC viewed by the Experts covered more than 9 categories of IP (i.e.
patents, utility model, industrial designs, layout-designs of integrated
circuits; traditional knowledge and handicraft; trademarks, service marks,
collective marks, certification signs and trade name; geographical
indications; protection against unfair competition). This approach obscures
the complex legal issues and development and sectoral implications of the
proposed provisions, many of which warrant serious national debate and
in-depth consideration prior to adoption.

The Review also noted that limited resources and capacity meant that
governments are unlikely to have the capacity to ensure adequate reflection
on or implementation of all categories of IP law simultaneously. Thus the
risk is that countries adopt the law without proper understanding of the
content of the proposed law or its development implications. For LDCs, such
an approach obfuscates the ability of countries to take advantage of LDC
transition periods under TRIPS, the Review observed.

(4) WIPO assistance on certain other IP-related regulatory issues (e.g.
control of anti-competitive abuse of IP, advise on patentability guidelines)
was generally rated poorly by the survey results

(5) The Review found no evidence of systematic attention within WIPO to the
practical challenges developing countries face in enforcing their rights. It
noted for instance that there is currently no practical advice or mechanisms
to support developing countries to legally challenge instances of
misappropriation of their intellectual property.

(6) WIPO is less engaged in the provision of legislative advice on the
negotiation and implementation of treaties with IP provisions that are
negotiated or under discussion outside WIPO and where such advice was given,
the advice was generally considered to be poor.

(7) The Review noted based on the limited evidence made available that: (i)
information i.e. agendas and/or content of national seminar and trainings on
legislative issues were generally not available online, (ii) except for
participant satisfaction surveys, there have been no evaluations of the
relevance of such workshops/seminars to development goals; and while WIPO
staff do increasingly make note of the flexibilities available in
international agreements, it is not necessarily conveyed, nor is information
presented in a manner likely to facilitate an understanding of the
flexibilities or how they can be used at the national level. It added that
only a small segment of several day WIPO seminars and trainings is devoted
to flexibilities, options and public interest considerations.

The Review also noted that more effective processes and systems need to be
established to ensure that WIPO seminars incorporate greater development
orientation and to guide WIPO engagement with a diversity of stakeholders
holding varying opinions and expertise on IP legislative and regulatory
issues.

(8) WIPO received high ratings on its support to countries to ratify and
implement WIPO treaties, but poorer ratings on efforts to advice on the use
of flexibilities in international treaties and tailoring of advice to
national priorities.

For instance in the area of copyright, the Experts found WIPO supported IP
strategies/plans focused on getting countries to comply with WIPO Internet
Treaties than how such countries might tailor laws for the digital
environment to the particular priorities and needs of the country at hand
particularly since developing countries have no obligations to join the WIPO
Internet Treaties. It further noted that WIPO-supported strategies/plans
recommended consideration of flexibilities but provided no guidance on what
this might mean concretely, adding that such strategies/plans could better
assist countries on exceptions and limitations to facilitate educational
activities in the electronic learning environment in developing countries
(e.g. electronic course packs and virtual learning environments,
inter-library document supply, orphan works and translations).

(9) Neither WIPO nor the beneficiary countries systematically gather or
analyse data on the implications of different legislative options on
development goals, thus it was unclear to the Experts on what grounds WIPO
staff recommended certain legal options over others. It also found that
countries do not necessarily receive any explanation from WIPO as to the
development impacts of its proposals and that development assessments are
not conducted by WIPO or by the Member State.

In addition, the Review noted that WIPO Secretariat does not seek specialist
advice on legislative issues or the overall orientation of its legislative
advice from a diversity of international stakeholders (e.g., libraries,
consumers organizations, public health advocates, and educators) and there
were no transparent mechanisms for such stakeholders to convey their views.
The Review further noted that WIPO has not made strong efforts to engage
stakeholders at the national level in processes related to legislative
reform and where involvement occurs it is often ad hoc, on short notice,
with no funding provided. The Review encourages WIPO to be more transparent
and open to other stakeholders.

(10) The Review through its public consultation process received two
examples, (one for developing country and one for LDC), that contained
concrete examples of TRIPS-plus advice on several key issues, such as patent
term extension, data exclusivity, exhaustion of rights and compulsory
licensing. While acknowledging that these examples may not be representative
of WIPO assistance, the Review found such practise unacceptable especially
after the adoption of the Development Agenda recommendations.

Thus it recommends an in-depth and comprehensive review of the content and
orientation of a broad spectrum of WIPO legislative advice (including advice
provided by WIPO legislative advisors as well as through its other
activities) from 2008 until present should be conducted by a team of
international experts.

(11) The Review found a lack of systematic internal processes within WIPO
that ensures careful consideration of the development needs and interests of
developing countries or to gather the information or external input to
ensure that advice provided is consistent with the levels of development.

ENGAGEMENT IN GLOBAL DIALOGUE  DECISION-MAKING ON IP ISSUES

The Review found evidence that developing countries rely heavily on WIPO
support to facilitate their engagement in the international IP system.
However a number of issues and concerns were raised, by the Review.

The Review noted that the absence of comprehensive publicly available
information on WIPO global and regional events from 2008-2010 limited its
ability to assess their development orientation. However from WIPO website,
it found listings of 57 regional or global events that had occurred in the
period under Review and observed that for none of these events was there
public information available on the nature of discussions that took place,
the results of the meeting, evaluation results, costs or expected follow up.
For more than half of these 57 events, no information about speakers or
presentations was available.

A review of events for which agendas/presentations were available revealed
that the topics of meetings has evolved to incorporate many newer, breaking
issues in the world of IP and several meetings focused specifically on
development related issues and priorities. However, the Experts also found
that although there are some exceptions, in general the details of the
agendas, composition of speakers, and content presented at global and
regional conferences do not yet fully reflect the spirit of the Development
Agenda and there were no clear internal processes for ensuring that the
design of events is filtered through that lens.

It also found that the range of partners with which WIPO collaborates in the
organization of international events was limited and that few events feature
WIPO co-organizing global or regional events, with an NGO or a development
agency. It also further found that WIPO does not have a policy to support
stakeholder participation.

A review of information on speakers at 36 global and regional events
conducted between 2008 and 2010 found that the overall diversity of
speakers/experts used at international conferences remains limited. The
Review revealed that for those events for which speaker information was
available, approximately 30% of speakers were from IGOs (with 18.5% from
WIPO) and a further 30% government (over 22% were from regional or national
IP offices), 20% were from industry, with only 5.4% from developing country
academic or research institutes, 5.4% from NGOs or user communities and 2.5%
from other stakeholder groups, such as inventors associations, creators,
musicians, artists or scientific organizations.

The Review stressed the need to ensure that a balance of perspectives is
provided, adding that it found no evidence of systematic processes for
speaker selections to ensure development orientation and appropriate
balance, while recognising that in some cases, selections were made by
program staff and in other instances with Member States input.

The Review also found that the rationale for, and follow up to, many events
held at the regional level was unclear and weakly linked to particular WIPO
Programs, adding that many appeared to be conducted on an ad hoc basis,
without clear links to broader multi-year planning or to other Program
activities and expected results.

BUILDING MODERN STATE-OF-THE ART NATIONAL IP ADMINISTRATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE

The Review also looked at WIPO activities and services to modernize IP
offices in developing countries which according to WIPO are aimed at
efficiency, online services, integration into international and regional
networks of IP offices (for members of the patent cooperation treaty, Madrid
and Hague systems).

The Review found that modernization of the IP system is an area where IP
offices rely heavily on WIPO for support.

However WIPO staff have reported to the Experts that as much as two-thirds
of developing countries did not have the groundwork conditions in place to
properly absorb WIPO assistance in the are of office modernization.

On the orientation, the Review noted the concern that activities to
modernize IP offices was most helpful to those that are already the greatest
users of the IP systems, which for the vast majority of developing countries
means foreign companies, universities or research institutes acquire and
maintain their IP rights more efficiently.

The Review, noted that several WIPO modernization services can be used by
developing country governments. However it also revealed that the focus of
modernization activities is not necessarily on those areas of particular
priority for developing countries. In particular the survey respondents
rated WIPO attention to regional and South-South cooperation among IP
offices poorly.

It also noted that WIPO provides little assistance to countries to assist 
with the challenges of assessing the compliance of patent cooperation treaty 
applications with national laws.

The Review also found that WIPO tends to recommend that countries combine 
their offices into one IP office and to move toward some degree of autonomy 
for the office. The Review notes that such advice occurs in the absence of 
detailed analysis by the Secretariat of the various costs and benefits of 
different possible institutional approached. It further recommends that 
future activity in this area be informed by a rigorous effort to learn about 
the experiences and challenges of other developing and developed countries 
with different institutional models and approaches to the national 
governance of their IP systems, with an eye to helping countries elaborate 
models that would best advance their development objectives and respond to 
national circumstances.

TRAINING AND HUMAN CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Training activities and resources for developing countries are provided by 
many of WIPO Programs including the WIPO Academy.

The Review importantly notes that while the various trainings regularly 
request participants to complete satisfaction questionnaires, there is no 
systematic evaluations of the impact, results of individual activities or 
WIPO training portfolio collectively on developing country capacity, either 
at the level of IP institutions, in government, or among the society at 
large. In addition, the Review further notes that much of the reporting 
focuses on the total number of participants trained than on the impact.

The Review also noted that there has been no country-by-country assessment 
on the impact of the totality of WIPO training. For instance the Review 
reveals that between 2008-2010, 92 regional or national seminars and 
training courses were provided by WIPO in Indonesia, but the experts country 
visit revealed little institutional memory of the content and beneficiaries 
of various types of courses and trainings.

The Review also found, little information available on the overall 
geographical distribution of WIPO training efforts as well as the total 
number of training activities undertaken or their costs.

While the Experts did note efforts in some trainings to infuse development 
perspectives, overall the Review found that that there were no systematic 
processes of review to ensure the development orientation of trainings 
conducted by WIPO various programs or that they are appropriately tailored 
to national needs.

The Review also raises several issues for consideration i.e. what areas are 
of greatest priority for developing countries, what are the best ways to 
ensure value for money for the resources WIPO spends in this area, and how 
can WIPO approach training in ways that will maximize the potential for a 
development orientation to its efforts, in this regard it questions the 
comparative advantage of the diverse scope of activities undertaken by the 
WIPO Academy.

The Review also found weak relationship between WIPO Academy and training 
activities conducted by other Programs/sectors and questioned whether such 
activities were grounded in national needs assessments.

SUPPORT SYSTEMS FOR IP USERS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Under this heading, the Review analyses activities intended to improve 
support systems for users of the IP system in developing countries. Due to 
the diversity of activities, the Experts were unable to conduct an in-depth 
analysis of any one area of activity.

In terms of impact, the Review noted that WIPO activities to support the 
users of the IP system were ranked by the survey conducted, less favourably 
than its activities in other areas. The survey respondents indicated that 
WIPO assistance to national residents to use the IP system was poorer than 
the support WIPO activities gave to foreign applicants to the use the Patent 
Cooperation Treaty as a filing tool in their country.

The Review found that the usefulness of WIPO products and services to 
support users of the IP system varied depending on the level of development 
and the sophistication of national IP system, and related strategies/plans 
for science, innovation and technology.

It also found inadequate consideration of the full range of users of the IP 
system that could potentially benefit from WIPO activities. In particular 
that the activities focus more on actual and potential holders of IP rights 
than on consumers, libraries, scientists interested in ensuring balance in 
how the IP system is designed and used in a country.

It further noted that greater resources were devoted to the area of patents, 
than to activities related to the use of copyright mechanisms, industrial 
designs and trademarks, which may have economic opportunities for local 
stakeholders.

It also found that the support for users did not address the full range of 
constraints users may face in using the IP system, e.g. it does not offer 
activities designed to help users understand whether and how they can 
intervene in processes for granting or challenging IP rights (e.g., in pre- 
or post-grant opposition proceedings) nor does it provide advice to 
countries on practical matters such as how to negotiate an access and 
benefit sharing contract with a multinational corporation, or to assist 
stakeholders to challenge or protect their genetic resources or traditional 
knowledge from misuse or misappropriation abroad.

The Experts review of WIPO documents, (.e.g. brochures and web-site pages) 
revealed a focus on promoting the IP system, adding that they do not yet 
reflect the Development Agenda recommendations in terms of promoting greater 
balance in the global IP system or in terms of placing IP issues in the 
context of development challenges.

The Review also found a lack of systematic prior needs assessment process to 
identify the needs of a particular category of users across developing 
countries or the needs of specific groups within a given country, adding 
that the criteria used in the Program and Budget process for deciding which 
products and services WIPO will provide to support system for users is 
unclear. There is no systematic analysis of the role of other institutions 
and actors in national innovation and IP related systems in developing 
countries.

The Review found the systematic approach to understanding the constraints 
and needs of SMEs positive. It however noted WIPO activities to boost the 
awareness of IP among SME build on the experiences and lessons learned from 
developed countries, whereas the conditions and circumstances of SMEs in 
developing countries may warrant other approaches and that the constraints 
and challenges that SMEs face in many developing countries may be far more 
to do with the business environment in general than to specific IP issues.

PROMOTION OF INNOVATION, CREATIVITY AND ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGIES

The Review also analysed WIPO support to activities to promote innovation 
and creativity in developing countries, and also to address the challenges 
of boosting access to knowledge and technologies.

The Review observed that MS accorded high priority to issues related to 
innovation, creativity, and technology transfer and access to knowledge, and 
that despite a high demand, WIPO activities in these areas were limited. 
Survey respondents that offered a view on WIPO assistance ranked it 
generally as poor. The Review observed a slight improvement for 
WIPOPCT-related assistance related to access to information, although even 
in this area over 40% of countries either had not received, or could not 
comment on the usefulness of, WIPO assistance. The Review noted that WIPO 
efforts to facilitate exchange of data information on technologies that have 
fallen into the public domain were rated particularly poorly, as were its 
efforts to increase the availability of information on technologies that are 
freely available without licensing.

The Review also found that WIPO orientation on these issues do not fully 
reflect DA recommendations.

In terms of creativity and innovation, the Review noted that the focus is 
predominantly on promoting the ways in which the IP system can help achieve 
those goals adding that only within CDIP projects such as the project on 
Open Collaborative Models, are there activities related to innovative models 
and options for promoting innovation, beyond and within the IP system. It 
also found few examples of WIPO support on realizing the economic benefit of 
market commercialization.

On access to and transfer of technologies, the Review found that the focus 
in on how best to manage IP assets (licenses and collecting), than to use 
and engage with the IP system to ensure public rights and interests in 
access to knowledge and technology are properly protected. It concluded that 
there were important gaps in the scope of WIPO work on technology access and 
transfer that reflect on their degree of their overall 
development-orientation. For instance it noted no assistance to help 
countries promote a broader international legal framework that would 
facilitate easier access to technologies useful for development in general 
nor at the level of particular classes of technologies (such as medical 
products and medications) or for sectoral purposes (such as for the 
agricultural sector).

On access to knowledge, the Review found WIPO activities to be sparse for 
most of the period under Review, except for the activities related to 
several CDIP projects. It also noted little evidence that these had been 
integrated into WIPO legislative assistance, support for IP strategies or 
for national capacity building on copyright issues at the national level

The Experts also found little evidence of strategic consideration at the 
Sectoral or Organizational level of WIPO priorities and niche in areas such 
as promoting innovation and creativity, and access to 
knowledge/technologies. It noted that without a strategic framework, there 
is a risk of incomplete messages being sent to MS and the public about the 
degree to which strengthened IP policies and laws are vital for advancing 
progress on the innovation and creativity front. In some countries, for 
instance, progress in areas such as contract law, national infrastructure, 
and access to commercial credit may be more important factors to building 
such capacity, the Review noted.

For a number of activities related to this Pillar, the Review found that 
neither the roles nor responsibilities of WIPO Programs and Sectors for 
their implementation were well-defined, and nor were the mechanisms for 
coordination. Further, the relationship between activities related to new 
CDIP projects and some that had already been underway in the organization 
was unclear.

The Review found no evidence of mapping by the Secretariat of the broader 
landscape of actors involved in the promotion of innovation, creativity, 
access to technology and knowledge. This includes an absence of systematic, 
strategic efforts to build institutional partnerships or collaborations with 
agencies or stakeholders with skills, experience and resources that could be 
brought to bear on specific areas. 






More information about the A2k mailing list