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Research impact

The IP-NGOs project was designed to benefit NGOs, developing countries, industry and policy makers by seeking to advise them on the extent and influence of non-governmental public action and to recommend how NGOs can best play a constructive role in shaping future policy initiatives.

For participating NGOs, the study provided a framework within which strategic decisions could be taken in the future. This framework was constructed by identifying models of past practice in campaigning activities and by evaluating what degree of success was achieved in terms of influencing intellectual property issues at the multilateral institutions.

In particular, these models of past practice were intended to be valuable to 'Southern' NGOs which, while fast developing a profile in relation to the impact of intellectual property rights on public health, farmers' rights, biodiversity and the rights of indigenous peoples, often lack the same degree of experience as their 'Northern' NGO counterparts.

For developing countries, the study provided an indication of the advantages and drawbacks of building coalitions with NGOs, identifying whether coalitions matter, whether coalitions between developing countries and NGOs have been, and can in the future be, effective in relation to intellectual property issues at multilateral institutions, and whether there are benefits in pooling technical expertise in relation to the TRIPS Agreement.

The study also sought to identify whether there is evidence that technical expertise provided by experts from academia or industry has also been a significant element of coalitions between developing countries and NGOs.

In relation to policy makers, the study assessed the impact of current multilateral institutional arrangements for engagement with NGOs and considered whether new mechanisms were required to enhance the engagement of NGOs with multilateral institutions.

 
 
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by Duncan Matthews © Queen Mary, University of London
School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London, 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3JB