Endorsed in March 2021

Article 1. Name of the Network

The name of the network shall be the Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) Policy Asia and the Pacific Network hereinafter called “STEPAN”. STEPAN is an expert network supported by appropriate nomination mechanism through UNESCO National Commissions in Asia and the Pacific.

Article 2. Primary Objectives

STEPAN has the following primary objectives:

● To support the more effective application of science engineering technology and innovation (SETI) to planned development throughout Asia and the Pacific including South-South cooperation.

● To promote a conducive climate for understanding, acceptance and review of SETI policy at the national and regional capabilities throughout the region.

● To promote targeted SETI policy upgrading activities to meet the specific needs of member countries.

● To support the upgrading of resources critical to SETI and innovation policy-makers, enhance the development of management information systems and other related services.

● The network to become an effective communication mechanism for engagement with UNESCO National Commissions, UNESCO Field Offices and Science related bodies in the region.

● The constitution to be reviewed regularly every 4 years.

Article 3. Principles

Towards meeting these objectives, STEPAN will be guided by the following principles:

● STEPAN is a network based on the principles of self-help and mutual cooperation which operates under the auspices of UNESCO and is pro-active and designed to upgrade SETI policies and the capabilities of member countries.

● The STEPAN Regional Centre shall initiate and coordinate SETI programs which shall promote the capabilities of SETI policy formulation, implementation and evaluation of member countries.

● STEPAN is open to individuals, groups and institutions from all nations in Asia-Pacific region.

Article 4. Programmes

STEPAN shall undertake programs relating to SETI policy development, implementation and evaluation through conferences, symposia, seminars, workshops, training courses, meetings, exchange of experts, visits, assistance in the development of SETI and innovation-related proposals by member countries, publication of reports, journals, proceedings and other related services.

Article 5. Membership

1. Admission to membership in STEPAN is made by the appointment of National Focal Point institutions in countries of the region.

2. The nomination of any National Focal Point, hereinafter referred to as the “NFP” shall normally be made by the national government through UNESCO’s National Commission of the said NFP’s country.

3. Each country shall be represented by only one National Focal Point.

4. The NFP shall appoint a person who shall be known as a National Focal Point Representative (NFPR) to represent it in the Coordination Board of STEPAN.

5. The term of a NFP shall continue until the NFP’s national government nominates an alternative institution or the NFP has remained inactive in STEPAN activities for a period of four years.

6. If a NFP remains inactive for a period of three years, despite prior notice to endeavour to participate in and contribute to STEPAN undertakings, then the Coordination Board of STEPAN can request the NFP’s member government to nominate an alternative NFP.

7. Any NFP may withdraw from membership by giving written notice to the chair of STEPAN or, in absence of a current Chair, to the Director at UNESCO-Jakarta Office. In such events, a new nomination shall be made according to Article 5, Clause 2.

Article 6. National Focal Points

1. At a national level, the organisation of the National Focal Point’s participation in the network may vary according to existing, organisational structures and practices in each country, which may be consistent with the following principles:

● Responsibility for NFP functions shall be located within an institution that can act as a source of mobilisation of national SETI and innovation policy resources or which can influence the mobilisation of SETI and innovation policy resources. To best serve the purposes of the network, the NFP shall preferably be a decision-making organisation on SETI and innovation policy issues or a national centre directly involved with the government in policy analysis and advice.

● As an NFP, the nominated institution shall from a national network group that links practical SETI and innovation policy making interests with active SETI and innovation policy research and training, groups, individuals and other appropriate institutions.

2. Whilst the integration of NFPs into STEPAN shall be based formally on institutional contact, effort shall be made to operate through consistently participating particular personnel (termed in Clause 5. 4 “National Focal Point Representatives” NFPRs). Such NFPRs would normally be active in SETI and innovation policy and policy analysis or research.

● NFPs generally shall be involved in the overall development of SETI and innovation policy and policy research within their own countries.

NFPs shall be responsible for the following functions:

● Coordination and regular reporting of STEPAN activities held in their own countries.

● Dissemination of information concerning STEPAN and its activities to appropriate institutions and people in their own country.

● Maintaining contact with the Regional Network Resource Centre of STEPAN and promotion of the general purposes of STEPAN.

● Identification of research and training needs of the country that arise from SETI and innovation policy making needs, participation in the implementation or coordination of such activities conducted at a national level.

● Engagement in the raising and disbursement of funds for training, research and information exchange under the auspices of the STEPAN program.

Article 7. The STEPAN Chair and Vice Chair – STEPAN Coordination Board

The STEPAN Chair shall fulfil the following functions:

● To provide leadership of the Network and guidance to the Secretariat;

● To propose and submit the agenda for meetings of the Coordination Board;

● To propose a work programme;

● To chair meetings of the STEPAN Coordination Board; and

● To report on progress of implementation of the STEPAN work programme.

● The office of the STEPAN Chair shall be rotated among the STEPAN members.

● Transfer of the STEPAN Chair shall normally occur every 4 years, unless decided otherwise as stated in Article 8, Clause 2, with the possibility of such transfer being notified to Members one year in advance in order for transfer nominations, arrangements and timing to be completed within an adequate time frame.

The STEPAN Vice-Chair shall fulfil the following functions:

● Under the leadership and guidance of STEPAN chair, the Vice-Chair (s) to lead with the support of the Secretariat the implementation of a specific theme at the regional level. This can include the proposal of specific activities and their implementation.

● Vice-chair shall report on the progress of activities undertaken under their theme.

● Vice-chair shall be rotated every 4 years with the chair.

● The Chair and the Vice-Chairs will constitute the STEPAN Coordination Board.

● The Coordination board should meet online twice a year.

Article 8. Functions and Location of the Secretariat

The permanent STEPAN Secretariat shall be the UNESCO Jakarta Office and the Secretariat shall fulfill the following functions:

● Provide support for both the network and for NFP research training and information needs and identify needs for science and technology and innovation policy development with guidance from the STEPAN Chair.

● Coordinate conferences, meetings, programmes on policy studies.

● Provide assistance to member countries in sourcing funds for SETI and innovation policy programmes.

● Perform such other functions as may be necessary to carry out STEPAN’s primary objectives, and

● Provide support for the communication and promotion of STEPAN (digital platform maintenance).

Article 9. STEPAN Regional Board

1. There shall be a STEPAN Regional Board hereinafter called “The Regional Board” comprising the NFPR’s of all participating countries. The members shall select from among themselves a Chairman who shall have a term of office of four years.

2. Unless otherwise decided by the Regional Board, the term of the Chairman may be extended for another four years. UNESCO shall have a representative on the Board in an ex-oficio capacity.

3. The Board shall hold meetings periodically, but not less than once a year (virtually or in person), with the provision, however, that the Chair, in consultation with UNESCO, may convene such meetings as may be warranted by circumstances and subject to availability of adequate resources. As far as practicable, its meetings shall be held in association with Regional Seminars or meetings where members of the Board are present in their regular, official or other capacity.

4. A Quorum for Regional Board meetings shall be fifty per cent (50%) of all NFPR members.

a. In case a quorum is not present during a meeting of the Coordination Board, such meeting shall be called an Informal Coordination Board Meeting whose decisions shall only be recommendatory. All such decisions of Informal Regional Board Meetings shall be circulated by the STEPAN Secretariat to all STEPAN NFPRs for endorsement ad referendum.

b. Endorsement ad referendum by 50% of all NFPR members shall constitute approval of the decisions of the Informal Regional Board meeting

5. The Regional Board shall provide general policy directions to the STEPAN activities.

6. Regional Board shall delegate responsibility for specific STEPAN activities of the Regional Network Resource Centre – in the context of policies and principles established by the Board – to the Chair and Vice-Chairs responsible for specific themes under the work programme.

7. The Chair of the Board shall report on STEPAN activities in every Board meeting and present an overview of planned activities for in-principle’ ratification by the Board.

Article 10. Funding and Accountability

The Regional Network Resource Centre/Secretariat within the rules and standards of UNESCO will establish contracts.

At the start at every 4 years, the needed resources to implement the action plan activities with the current available resources and the gaps in funds to be raised by the Board and the Secretariat.

Regular Programme, Additional Appropriation and Extra-budget

Article 11. Approval and Amendments

The provisions of the Constitution shall be deemed ratified when approved by at least fifty per cent (50%) vote of all the National Focal Point Representatives (NFPRs). Amendments may be initiated by a NFPR and such amendments shall take effect upon approval of at least a fifty per cent (50%) vote of all the NFPRs.