The idea for an MSI may come from any of a number of sources: members of a country's scientific community, a government ministry, a World Bank representative, a SIG board member, or a combination of these. Experience has shown that in order for an initiative to succeed, most or all of these groups need to be actively engaged in the planning process.
Representatives of the scientific community, ideally with a single strong and dynamic leader, must drive the scientific design process, with a keen eye to excellence, linkages, and the potential for long-term benefits to the country. One ministry, typically Science & Technology or Higher Education, takes the lead in promoting the MSI within the government. The lead ministry works closely with the Ministry of Finance or a comparable entity to ensure that the MSI will be designated a priority item within the country's overall development strategy.
In many countries, the World Bank's country director also has an essential role to play, working with the Ministry of Finance in helping to incorporate the MSI into the country's development strategy and to design the most effective financing mechanism. Some initiatives also benefit from the involvement of foundations, which provide the seed money needed to plan and implement a project while longer-term financing is being negotiated.
Other participants in MSI planning may include TWAS and US government agencies. The SIG board and staff coordinate the efforts of the many players and provide ongoing scientific oversight.
For more information on the implementation of the MSI in Chile, please click here.