International Association of
IAU is a global association of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
and university associations. The overall objective of the
association is: to provide higher education institutions,
particularly in developing countries, with services that help
improve their teaching, research and outreach as well as their
governance and management, thus enabling them to address global,
national and local problems.
IAU has a substantial publications program which Sida supports.
In this context, one important objective for Sida is to ensure that
research and analysis of higher education and research trends and
policy developments produced and circulated by IAU, includes
perspectives from developing countries. In the Sida 2010
years funding the activities included the release of Guide to
Higher Education in Africa, the World Higher Education Database
CD-ROM, the International Handbook of Universities, the Guide to
African Higher Education, the Higher Education Policy Quarterly
Journaland and the 3rd
Global Survey on Internationalisation of Higher Education.
Information on/about IAU included publications like the IAU
Horizon and the IAU e-Bulletin. The publications
program has increased the availability, use and quality of basic
information and intelligence for the academic community to improve
the collaboration and networking between higher education
institutions from developing and industrialised countries, with
particular emphasis on Africa.
IAU is proactive with mobilizing research efforts on new or
emerging issues affecting higher education and research. Sida funds
such an effort: 'Changing Nature of Doctoral Programs in
sub-Saharan Africa'. A unique institutional self-assessment
instrument has been developed for easy use by institutions to
examine the way in which doctoral programs are managed. A
comparative research report produced has been widely disseminated,
and three seminars (Nigeria, Cameroon) has taken place focusing on
research, data collection and management of/on the change of PhD
programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
Foundation of Science (IFS)
Sida supports IFS in its mission to strengthen scientific capacity
in developing countries through support (grants and capacity
building activities) to promising young researchers in biological
and water resource management, so that they can contribute to
development in their own countries. Support includes research
grants and capacity enhancing activities such as feedback on
research proposals, scientific counselling, hands-on training in
thematic workshops, research skills courses, mentorship, training
visits to advanced laboratories, training courses in service and
maintenance of equipment as well as assistance in purchasing
scientific equipment and supplies. In 2010 IFS provided
support to 1,700 young scientists in developing countries in the
form of research grants, feedback on research proposals including
the failed applications, assistance in the purchasing of equipment
and supplies, arrangement of workshops and training courses, and
network support. One hundred and seventeen new research grants were
awarded and 12 grantees have obtained their PhD, 17 grantees were
promoted and 18 received national or international awards and have
succeeded in getting funding from other resources. 435 young
scientists were trained in 13 skill-building workshops that were
conducted in 2010. During 2010, IFS arranged one thematic
conference and two workshops in collaboration with partners. The
new IFS "hub" for eastern Africa has provided 225 scientists
information about IFS granting schemes through seminars and has
trained 22 young women scientist in scientific data management.
International Science Programme
ISP was founded by Uppsala University in 1961 and is a unit within
the faculty of technology and natural sciences. The objective of
ISP is to contribute to the development of active and sustainable
environments for higher education and scientific research in
developing countries, within the basic sciences chemistry,
mathematics and physics. Assistance is given to development of
research groups, regional cooperation and research networks.
The current support through ISP is directed towards research
groups, networks and resource centres and is used for degree
training (MSc and PhD), equipment, consumables, literature, travels
and seminars etc involving co-operation with Sciences faculties in
Sweden. In 2010, 28 research groups were supported in 10
African and 4 Asian countries and in addition 15 regional
scientific networks were supported, 12 in Africa, 2 in Asia, and 1
in Latin America. The supported activities in Africa accounted for
78% of the expenditures, in Asia 21%, and in Latin America less
than 2%. The total expenditures by ISP-supported research groups
and scientific networks in 2010 were 14 MSEK.
A total of 117 PhD students (12% of which were female) were
active in ISP-supported research groups and scientific networks in
2010. During the year, 25 students graduated on the PhD level. The
number master students were 232, of which 26% were female, and 83
students graduated during the year.
Regarding dissemination of scientific findings in 2010 it can be
noted that two thirds of the 83 publications in international
scientific journals were in high ranking journals listed with ISI
impact factors. International publications clearly dominated over
publication in regional (15) and national (2) journals. In
addition, 18 contributions were made in the form of books,
chapters, popular publications and technical reports. In addition,
230 contributions were made to scientific conferences, 46% at the
international, 33% at the regional, and 21% at the national level,
and 28 scientific events were arranged.
Examples of research results:
- The potential of using certain clay materials to remove heavy
metals in water was studied by an ISP-supported research group in
Burkina Faso and the conditions and mechanisms for chelation,
absorption and precipitation of chromium, copper, and lead were
- A study by a group in Malawi of the quality of water in the
plant species Cissus integrifolia and Ademia
gummifera, used for drinking purposes under draught
conditions, showed that it complied with WHO drinking water
standards with regard to most essential parameters.
- Coir in the form of a rope was evaluated by an ISP-supported
research group in Sri Lanka for reducing damage to tomatoes by
vibrations during road transport and found to work well compared
with styrofoam for this purpose. Coir was found to be an excellent
vibration absorber which is easily manageable, environmentally
friendly and reusable without getting structurally deformed.
Examples of influence on policy:
- Ambient and indoor air quality assessment by ISP supported
research group members reached policy makers through Kenya National
Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
- One member of ISP research network node at UNZA, Zambia,
participated in a number of government committees on climate
Science for the developing World (TWAS)
Sida is supporting scientists and research groups in developing
countries in the basic sciences mathematics, physics, chemistry and
biology through TWAS. TWAS is an autonomous international
organization based in Trieste, Italy. Its principal aim is to
promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable
development in the South.
The goals of the TWAS Research Grants Programme are: to identify
and provide financial support for research units and talented young
scientists in developing countries, to promote their creativity, to
reinforce and promote research in basic sciences, to improve
networking among scientists, to counteract the brain drain and
reduce the exodus of scientific talents from the South as well as
monitoring the trends of science and technology, building and
strengthening the research capacity of universities and
institutions over a longer period to help them achieve a critical
mass of highly qualified and innovative scientists capable of
addressing real-life problems facing their countries.
The aim of the Regional Conferences for Young Scientists (RCYS)
is to provide a platform for the most talented young researchers in
each region of the developing world to share knowledge and interact
with each other and with senior colleagues, especially TWAS
members, and to help counteract the isolation caused by a
combination of lack of access to international conferences,
up-to-date scientific literature and fast and reliable internet
Sida has since 2011 had a position as observer in the annual
TWAS Steering Committee meeting. / On 10th to 12th November 2011,
some of the most renowned climate change scientists met at The
Climate Change and Food Security: The Road for Africa conference.
The conference addressed the scientific and policy options as well
as the role of governmental, public, private and non-governmental
sectors and community members in mitigating the impact of climate
change and help to ensure food security in Africa. The conference
was convened by the AAS (African Academy of Sciences), ICIPE (the
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology) and The
Academy of Sciences for the Developing World - Regional Office for
Sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA). Funding strategy developed and
contacts made with ministers in leading developing countries such
as Brazil, China, India, with proposals to give core funding.
Additional contacts, including the African Development Bank, US
National Science Foundation, South Korea, IDRC taken./ 22 grants to
young scientists were awarded (12 in biology, 7 in chemistry, 2 in
mathematics and 1 in physics). 18 grants to research units were
awarded (9 in biology, 4 in chemistry, 1 in mathematics and 4 in
Financial support for four regional meetings (workshops) for
young scientists in Africa, in Latin America, in Arab Countries and
in Asia was approved in 2010. The main aim of the workshops is to
discuss the needs, the scientific trends and the outcome of
research in basic sciences in those regions. Participants are
always selected on the basis of merit and competition.
In 2010 88 individual scientists (out of which 14 young women
scientists) applied for research grants in 2010. The research
grants committees awarded 22 grants (12 in biology, 7 in chemistry,
2 in mathematics and 1 in physics) for a total of US$209,484.98.
Out of these 22 grants, 6 have been awarded to women (27%) who
received a total of US$65,117.99. 41 % of the grants went to
Africa, 36 % to Asia and the Pacific and 23% to Latin America and
TWAS received 70 application forms (out of which 16 from women
unit leaders) for consideration in 2010. Out of these, 16 research
units (8 in biology, 3 in chemistry, 1 in mathematics and 4 in
physics) were awarded for a total of US$335,075.49. Out of these 16
awards, 5 were led by women scientists. 31% of the awards went to
Africa, 44% to Asia and the Pacific and 13% to Latin
As of the spring of 2012 a new five year agreement between Sida
and TWAS is being prepared.
Organization fo Women in Sience
fo the Developing World (OWSD)
Sida is supporting PhD-training for young female scientists in
developing countries in the basic sciences mathematics, physics,
chemistry and biology through OWSD based in Trieste, Italy. The
support is used for degree training, equipment, consumables and
literature for research at home institution as well as at
cooperation institutions in other developing countries. Regarding
OWSD, the support is focused.
In its research cooperation with OWSD Sida aims at building
research capacity in developing countries through increasing the
number of female participants in the programmes. OWSD provides
fellowships to young female students from sub-Saharan Africa and
Least Developed Countries (LDC) to carry out PhD-studies in basic
sciences as well as interdisciplinary fields such as biochemistry,
medicine etc at centres of excellence in the South. A database of
collaborating centres of excellence has been developed, consisting
of research institutes and universities in 24 countries in the
South that has agreed to accept female students from Sub-Saharan
Africa and LDC's through OWSD. A number of these centres of
excellence have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with
OWSD, waiving tuition and research fees.
Having supported OWSD since 2007, a new five year agreement was
reached between the organisation and Sida in June 2012. Looking
back on what has been achieved during that time, 55 awardees have
successfully defended their theses, bringing the total number of
graduates to 119 since the inception of the programme in 1999.
During this period (2007-2011) there were a total of 794
applications received from 39 countries. Biological sciences
(including agriculture and medicine) amassed for 83,9% of all
application and 79,2% of the awards, while mathematics,
engineering, physics, and astronomy, space and earth sciences
combined for only 15,5% of the applications (0,6% of the
applications were in other scientific fields) and 20,8% of the
Looking at the geographic allocation there were a slight preference
for candidates from LDCs (63 awards out of 399 applications) over
candidates from Sub-Saharan Africa (43 awards out of 395
The awardees include Nwe Nwe Htwe from Myanmar, who became the
100th graduate from the programme in 2011. Her PhD thesis, called
'Genetic transformation of rice cultivars for salinity tolerance by
particle bombardment', was mostly written during her time at her
host institute, the Universiti Putra Malaysia. She now works as a
deputy supervisor at the Myanmar Agriculture Service.
Another awardee is Hannah Ajoge, who graduated from the KwaZulu
Natal, South Africa in 2011 with her thesis on the molecular
epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus among pregnant women
sampled in 2007 from North-central Nigeria. Currently a teacher at
the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, she was selected to take part
in both the 61st Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, and
the 2011STS Forum in Kyoto, where she spoke on behalf of young
It can also be reported that in an effort to make the work
of OWSD and TWAS fellowship graduates reach a wider audience, a repository of theses produced by African
scientists was created in 2010
. Here the theses are available for free download for teaching and
Swedish Secretariat for
Environmental Earth System Sciences (SSEESS)
SSEESS is a partnership originally formed between the Royal
Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and four major Swedish science
funders (FAS, FORMAS, VR and Vinnova ) with the purpose of
improving the impact of Swedish science in the international
research arena of Global Environmental Change research. The
expected result of SSEESS activities (2010-2013) is an increased
impact of Swedish science in global policy, conventions and
Sida's support to SSEESS is in form of secondment and conference
support (SEK 2 837 000 the period October 2010-September 2012).
This support was provided with the purpose of implementing Sida's
Research Strategy: to strengthen research in relevant areas for
development and to strengthen Swedish research of relevance for
developing countries and achieve goals of sustainable development.
Sida-SSEESS collaboration is also in line with the Action Plan for
Sida's Research in Environment and Climate which emphasized on: (i)
building synergy between Swedish researchers and research
programmes and researchers in developing countries, and (ii)
stimulate joint research funding and capacity building initiatives
together with other donors.
The specific objectives of the contribution were identified
- Increasing links with organizations and initiatives working
with global environmental research in developing countries
- Strengthening collaboration with the international Council for
Sciences (ICSU) regional offices with focus on the Regional Office
for Africa (ICSU-ROA), including exploring new models of
collaboration between Sida and ICSU
- Strengthening capacity by enabling participation of developing
countries in workshops, conferences and seminars organized or
supported by SSEESS
During the first phase of the agreement several results have
been achieved, namely: participation of African scientists in
several workshops, co-funding of an workshop on Planetary
stewardship organized by the International
Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), identification (by way of a
questionnaire-survey) of Swedish research strengths and weaknesses
in international development cooperation, and a new model of
cooperation with ICSU - particularly fomenting regional
activities - been explored.
SciDevNet contributes to enhancing the use of science
and technology in policies, programmes and projects that reduce
poverty and build sustainable economic growth in the developing
world. The overall objective for SciDevNet is to increase the
availability of reliable and accessible information about science,
technology and innovation to all stakeholders engaged in
decision-making and science related issues in the developing world.
Though the website www.scidev.net the organisation produces
and distributes authoritative news, opinion and analysis. In
addition SciDevNet provides information about how science and
technology can meet the needs of development cooperation.
SciDevNet also work to enhance developing countries researchers'
and science communicators' capacity to present accurate and
accessible information about science and technology with the view
to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice.
Examples of SciDev.Net achievements in 2011:
- Published 670 news articles (90% of authors came from the
- In 2011 SciDev.Net had 1,3 million visits to the
website, over 2,4 million page views. More than 50% of
all visits came from developing countries.
- The number of registered SciDev.Net users increased with
- SciDevNet published 130 original opinion articles and opinion
summaries to provide a platform for debate.
- Blogged from major events, such as World Federation of
Science Journalists conference in Qatar.
- Increased the number of freelance journalists from the
developing countries to over 250 people.
SciDevNet's annual review can be accessed from their website http://www.scidev.net/en/content/overview/.