UMSA Bolivia
Photo: Teresa Soop
Meet some of our partners
Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:24:42 GMT   Updated: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:14:31 GMT
Sida works with a number of partner organisations within the research cooperation. We have asked some of them to describe their mission.

 

International Association of Universities (IAU)

The International Association of Universities (IAU) is a non-governmental membership organisation made up mainly by institutions of higher education from around the world.  The secretariat of IAU is based at UNESCO in Paris. The organisation has a Board consisting of 20 chancellors from twenty different countries, four vice presidents, who together with the president holding a four-year mandate, represent all global regions. The overall aim of the Association is to serve the interests of the higher education institutions and shape the change of higher education and research around the world. Furthermore, it aims to build an inclusive, diverse, mutually supportive collaborative higher education network.

We are grateful to Sida, says IAU Secretary General Eva Egron-Polak, their assistance allows the IAU to concentrate its activities on partner institutions in low-income countries.
IAU

 

Hilligje Van't Land and Eva Egron-Polak, IAU

When asking about IAU's latest achievements she starts saying that 2012 was a very positive year for the organisation. "We received an award for equitable access and success in the quality of higher education. The efforts of the IAU also gained recognition from some policy statements by some international policy actors, notably for work related to the relevant Millennium Development Goals, and the Education for All programme. We also held a very successful IAU General Conference - this type of conference is held every four years - on the role of higher education and research in addressing global challenges."

Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS)

The ACSS is a new organisation legally established in 2011. The ACSS is an autonomous, regional organisation headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, working across the Arab region as well as globally. ACSS functions as a network of networks to augment existing institutions by forging partnerships and collaborations. It is dedicated to strengthening social science research and knowledge production among individuals and academic/research institutions in the Arab region.

ACSS

Professor Rahma Bourqia and Professor Seteney Shami, ACSS

Seteney, could you please tell us some current news from your organisation?

2012 is the year when plans will be translated into actions for ACSS. An office is opening up in Beirut, Lebanon and two research programmes are about to start in the coming weeks. The first programme called "Producing the Public in Arab Societies: Participation, Spaces, Media" is focusing on the aspect of the public sphere in the Arab region and ways such spheres can be transformed through social and political movements and upheavals in the region. The second one is called "Inequality, migration and development ". Supporting research and knowledge generation is an important core function of the organisation. To mobilise the research community around research problems and to bundle up new ideas the ACSS will be using modalities such as working groups, small research grants programmes scholar exchange visits and an electronic platform.

The first ACSS General Assembly meeting and biennial conference will be held in November 2012.

Forskning & Framsteg, Swedish popular science magazine

Forskning & Framsteg is a popular scientific magazine that brings information about Swedish and international research to the Swedish population at large. The editors make an effort to highlight research that gets little or no publicity in other media. This includes development issues and other research areas of great importance to the society with influence over how the world works. The journal is published by a trust fund equipped with a council in which 15 stakeholders including Sida and the Swedish Research Council are represented. However, the largest share of the generated funds come from the subscribers which is an important detail that helps the editors keep the readers in focus.

Patrik Hadenius, editor in chief, tell us about more about the magazine and Sida's support:

The magazine covers a wide range of development-related information including articles about maternal health, corruption and a comprehensive HIV test in Africa with connection to Swedish research.

Half of Forskning & Framsteg's name means 'progress' and the journal also wants to convey news about the positive results when it comes to, for instance, poverty reduction. Readers are often surprised when they learn about such progress in developing countries as other media tend to portray a more negative picture. By so doing, the general attitude that development cooperation is expensive and without results may well change for the better.

Sida's contribution plays a decisive role as total fund margins are small. Moreover, despite the fact that the journal's contents are independent of funders' interests, the editors become aware of a wider range of subjects when the board of trustees come together. The result is a magazine covering an array of research and increased awareness among Swedes about development issues.

The Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building System (Globelics)

Globelics is a worldwide network, initiated 2001, for researchers seeing innovation and capacity building as central in the development process. The overall objective of the network is to promote the understanding of how innovation processes contribute to economic development in the poorer parts of the world and to constitute a platform for South-South collaboration and knowledge sharing. The network organises an annual conference and an annual academy offering research training for Ph.D. students. Sida is supporting the joint programme "Globelics Research Capacity Building initiative on Innovation Systems & Economic Development for Africa 2011-2015" aiming at building research capacity, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to contribute to the use of well-grounded innovation research in the formulation of plans and policies by policy makers and donors. Sida has funded travel expenses for researchers from developing countries to attend Globelics Conferences since 2006.

Globelics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rasmus Lema and Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Globelics

Rasmus, could you please tell us some current news from your organisation?

This is a busy year for Globelics. This month we are organising a "Globelics Seminar on Innovation and Economic Development" in Dar es-Salaam together with the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), Tanzania.  We are bringing together around 50 researchers and stakeholders for an intensive two-day seminar. Most of the attendants will be academics from Africa, but also from our Latin American and Asian Networks and there will be attendants from Sida, IDRC, the World Bank Institute and ILO.  The major objective of the Seminar is to prepare the ground for the formation of AfricaLics - an African network of scholars doing research on innovation and competence-building and on how it contributes to economic development and social inclusion. This network should host research training, regular conferences and serve as an incubator of research and as inspiration for knowledge based public policy aiming at innovation and competence building.

We are also preparing our regular on-going annual events. The eighth addition of the Ph.D. Academy will be held in Brazil 20-31 August. Traditionally these academies have been located in Europe (Portugal and Finland), but this year we will start alternating between Europe and Developing countries.  This year's Academy where Ph.D. students and innovation researchers are brought together to help them strengthen their work will take place in Rio de Janeiro in August. The Tenth Globelics Conference will be held in Hangzhou, China, 9-11 November. This year's theme is "Innovation and Development: Opportunities and Challenges" and there will be parallel tracks on "Inclusive innovation systems" and "Innovation and Low-carbon Development".

The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP)

INASP is a charity based in Oxford (UK). They work with partners to support global research communication through innovation, networking and capacity strengthening, focusing on the needs of developing and emerging countries. A primary area of focus in their current work supported by Sida is to help build effective access, use and production of scientific publications and supporting information. This is done through the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERii); an international initiative with 24 partner countries and over 40 network countries from around the world.

INASP_3

Martin Belcher and Julie Brittain, INASP

Martin, could you please tell us some current news from you organisation?

One interesting thing is the increased use of southern published research journals that we have helped get online and improve their online presence, visibility and quality. The access and usage logs of these journals show that there is a massive level of interest in these research outputs published in the developing world. Across the board, all of the journals that we support through our Journals Online initiative receive high levels of access and full text downloads. Over the last few years this has been growing impressively so that cumulatively we are seeing many millions of full text downloads of southern research papers. The interesting thing is that the geographic patterns of this usage are concentrated on the countries and regions from where the research originates. Of course there are also high levels of access from more developed regions but the very high levels of usage from within the developing world show, to us, that there is a real demand and value in ensuring that southern research is visible and available. We publish regular  newsletters and reportsthat examine these issues.

Another interesting thing is that INASP will be hosting a conference on Evidence-Informed Policy Making in Nigeria in February, together with the Nigerian National Council for Technology Management (NACETEM) and the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST), with support from the Wellcome Trust. The conference will highlight research into the demand for evidence from policy makers, for example; investigating the incentives and abilities of policy makers to use research evidence and what implications that has for evidence informed policy making.  More details of the conference (including papers and presentations which will be available after the event) are available online.

International Social Science Council (ISSC)

ISSC is an international non-profit-making scientific organisation representing social, economic and behavioral science institutions and interests from across the world. ISSC's overall objective is to increase the use of social science knowledge in policies and programs at all levels to solve priority international problems. Sida supports the ISSC goal to advance the practice and use of the social and behavioral sciences in all parts of the world, and to ensure their global representation. ISSC

Francoise Caillods, ISSC

Francoise, could you please tell us some current news from your organisation?

Sida funds are now helping us to start up a project of research panels to bring together some of the best emerging social scientists to be working on climate change. At the same time we are developing designed projects focusing on how social science could be used to address the problem with climate change, which is normally addressed through natural sciences.

This is a big project, whenever you ask people what they think of climate change everybody are expecting magic solutions from new technology. Perhaps we will have new marvelous solutions coming out of technology, yet we will need to be changing our behavior. We feel that both natural sciences and social sciences are required if we really want to address this global challenge as we need to change people's behavior. We have to consume electricity less and we have to share more. We also need to understand how various interest groups with specific agendas act in international negotiations, for example in Durban. All this is important because we need to be taking decisions at global level, at the intermediate level and at the very local level. Every one of us can contribute to something by the way we behave, consume electricity and share resources.

Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)

Sida supports OWSD (formerly TWOWS) in its objective to strengthen the advancement of women in the basic sciences (i.e. biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics) in developing countries through support to female PhD students and promotion of women in sciences. Increased focus on the question of gender and science among international research organisations and universities in the South.

Leena Mungapen and Sara DalafiLeena Mungapen and Sara Dalafi, OWSD

Leena and Sara, could you please tell us some current news from you organisation?

We have the post graduate fellowship program that Sida has contributed to since 1998. The funds have been channeled to host and home institutions through the awarding of fellowships to young women in Sub Saharan Africa. The post graduate fellowship program started off as a relatively small program but now we are trying to gain funds to expand that. In the request for the new funding we are expanding the range of activities; the support would be channeled not only to the programs but also to other activities aimed to promoting the participation and leadership of women scientists in science and technology and also in the development process of the countries. The funds will be utilised in a wider range of activities, however they are all interconnected to the extent that they deal with support of women scientists at a global level.

We have been doing post graduate fellowships for so long and we are excited about moving on. Particularly towards doing workshops on skills and scientific writing as well as opening up an e-portal so that women can interact. We have a resource of 5000 women scientists from developing countries that are members of the organisation and we look forward to have the facilities and resources to interact with them properly. We are in the beginning of this process but our goal is to increase the participation through PhD training, to ensure access to scientific research, increase visibility and awareness of what women scientists achieve. This would be done through awarding of prizes and highlighting study cases of outstanding women scientists. We want to ensure greater representation in international organisations and in policy making.

African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe)

Sida assists icipe in generating new knowledge and building capacity for control and management of human, animal and plant pests and insect-borne diseases for improved food security and health among humans and animals. Postgraduate training at PhD and MSc levels is undertaken through two main programs: The African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science (ARPPIS) and the Dissertation Research Internship Programme (DRIP). Icipe has recently entered into a partnership with the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS). Support to iciperesponds to the Swedish government's strategic action plan for the Swedish contribution to the global fight against communicable diseases.

Annah Njui

Annah Njui, icipe

Annah, could you please tell us some current news from you organisation?

One of our flagship programs is the ADOPT push-pull program where we are working with communities in the western part of Kenya. We have developed integrated pest management packages in a push-pull program that involves the use of legume crop and bio control that is beneficial to the soil and have led to an increase in food, mainly maize, production. The legume crops are used as fodder for the animals and so at the end of the day the farmer has increased incomes, better nutrition and improved soil fertility. We have realized that the program has a great impact on the communities. Currently we have about 50000 farmers who now participate in the push pull program.

Another program that we have is on the animal health side. We have developed a tsetse repellent technology which we are evaluating with pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. One challenge that the pastoralist had was that their cattle would fall sick very often because of the tsetse fly. We had to find a solution that took the nomadic lifestyle of the farmers, the fact that the animals were moving around a lot, into consideration. We developed the tsetse repellant collar that has repellents whichicipe has identified from waterbuck - animals which tsetse do not like to feed upon. The livestock farmers whose cattle have been protected with these repellant collars are reported back to us that animals are able to feed calmly and that this allows them to graze out longer in the field. Before they could only take them out certain periods of the day when the tsetse flies were not active.  With the collars they can take them earlier and return them later. Now the animals are better fed and are producing more milk. Since the farmers mainly use bulls for plowing another important aspect are their increased traction power. This is some of the feedback that we have received from the communities that we are working with.

International Science Programme (ISP)

Sida targets ISP for support in order for the organisation to strengthen research capacity in the basic sciences (i.e. chemistry, mathematics and physics) in developing countries through support to MSc and PhD students, support to research infrastructure, to regional thematic networks and to support of exchange of scientists.ernst

Ernst van Groningen, ISP

Ernst, could you please tell us some current news from you organisation?

African Spectral Imaging Network (AFSIN) is a very active network working with a new technique developed at Lund University. This technique can be implemented across a range of areas. For instance, it allows for quick parasite detection in blood cells in addition to the determination of the optimal moment for harvesting crops, already in use in the mango industry of Mali. The technique is based on light-emitting diode (LED) technology and, due to the dramatic decrease in expenses, equipment today costs 1 percent compared with 10 years ago.

Science and Development Network (SciDevNet)

SciDevNet is an online science and development network which has become the world's leading source of online news and information about science and international development with between 70 and 80% of its material sourced from or written by journalists in the global south. In addition to the news and opinion pieces, it offers practical guides that provide technical support to scientists and science communicators about subjects ranging from how to write a funding application to online publishing. The site also has a noticeboard with bulletins about jobs, grant opportunities and events which might be of interest to the networks audience. On the subject of SciDevNet's cooperation with Sida, director Nick Ishmael Perkins had this to say "they have also been an extremely important partner for us intellectually, in terms of helping us to think about our ambitions, challenging us to realize these ambitions, and being really supportive about the stuff that we would like to do and where we would like to go."

scidevnet

Nick Perkins, SciDevNet

Nick, could you please tell us a bit more about your organisation?

We publish a range of types of content on our website including news articles around science and technology that is policy relevant or of popular interest for communities of development interest. We also do features and opinion pieces. We also have a series that we call spotlight where we identify topics which are particular cutting edge or of particular resonance for the developing world.

Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM)

Sida's research cooperation with Mozambique is mainly focused on Eduardo Mondlane University. The overall objective to the long-term support to UEM is to create a national research system, strengthen research capacity, enhance knowledge production and improve technological innovation.

UEMCarlos Lucas  and Anibal Vitorino, UEM

Carlos, could you please tell us some current news from you organisation?

The Sida funds are distributed across 12 programs and all are exciting. The majority of them manage to interact, drawing on resources across the university which increases the effectiveness of funding as opposed to a situation in which projects are funded individually.

One interesting project is the use of cassava flour as a substitute for wheat which has been disseminated from 2008 and onwards. Commercial bakeries are now able to replace 25% of the wheat flour with cassava flour. Sida-funded multidisciplinary research at the UEM resulted in the development of technological solutions throughout the whole chain of production from soil to flour and other products. The introduction of this process has increased the consumption as well as refining effectiveness of the cassava plant.

At a political level, UEM advisors have participated in the shaping of government policies and strategies in different areas, such as energy and environment. A lot of UEM research is taken into consideration in Mozambican policymaking.

 
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