The 2003 OIC Summit adopted a sensible yardstick to measure development in the domain of science and technology to which people can relate; namely Vision 1441.
Vision 1441 is a set of goals, a number of targets, and performance indicators relating to the state of science and technology that OIC countries are aiming to achieve by the year 2020. They include:
(1) Raising the expenditure on R&D to 1.4% of GNP by the year 2020 (1441 Hijri);
(2) Raising the number of SREs (scientists, researchers, and engineers) to 1441 per million population by 2020; and
(3) Raising the scientific output of the Islamic world to 14% of the world total.
The impact of Vision 1441 lies in two main dimensions:
(a) By incorporating quantitative and time-bound targets, the Vision demands specificity in development actions and emphasize systematic measurement; and
(b) By defining the goals in terms of outcomes – as distinct from inputs and outputs – it draws attention to the multi-sectoral determinants of outcomes.
These new elements may warrant changes in some practices and programs adopted by countries.
Vision 1441 serves as a visionary challenge to help galvanize new energies and resources for the S&T development agenda, with a focus on outcomes. Since it is clear that many countries and regions will not achieve the parameters of the Vision by 2020, the risk of disappointment and cynicism must be mitigated. And there are other challenges: customizing the Vision to local conditions, harnessing contributions from sectors without an explicit interest in its goals or targets, focusing on outcomes among poor countries and population groups rather than on average outcomes, and addressing incentives for both achieving and monitoring outcomes.
Vision 1441 manifests a commitment by OIC-Member countries – rich and poor – to doing all they can to achieve a reasonable level of S&T advancement.
The IAS has been promoting Vision 1441 actively, and has organized a number of meetings on the subject that have been designed particularly to encourage the various OIC countries to implement policies to achieve the parameters set out in Vision 1441, and is also actively involved in the OIC Task Force on Vision 1441.