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New Knowledge
Published: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 10:59:09 GMT   Updated: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:02:39 GMT
The generation of new knowledge in areas of relevance to the fight againt poverty is a key objective of Swedish research support. The Unit for Research Cooperation has a wide mandate in research support, encompassing everything from the basic sciences such as math and chemistry, to research on good governance and democracy.


The creation of new and objective knowledge is vital for development, not only because it provides policy makers and governments with evidence and advice on how to adress pressing developmental issues, but also because it generates public debate and allows people in developing countries to use new information to demand accountability.

Through research cooperation, Sida aims to build a critical mass of independent researchers in developing countries, who can take responsibility for local and regional research programmes of high scientific standard, for example PhD programmes. By supporting national, regional and global research institutions, Sida hopes to support developing country researchers in planning and carrying out research of relevance to the fight against poverty.

The Unit for Research Cooperation supports a wide range of programmes with the goal of generating new knowledge. These programmes are distinguished by Sida as belonging to four different themes:

  • Health sciences
  • Environment and natural resources
  • Natural sciences and technology
  • Social sciences and humanities

These themes have been selected because they represent key areas of concern in the fight against poverty in developing countries. The priority has been to support well-established institutions that have the capacity to effectively use Sida resources, that demonstrate capacity to conduct research, and/or can channel funds effectively to national and regional research networks. Within each theme there are either regional or international programs.

In line with the Swedish Government's Policy for Global Development (PGU) and Sida's own research policy, climate change has further been identified as an overarching theme with relevance to all policy areas. Poor people are particularly vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters and deterioration of ecosystem services, and as climate change accelerates developing countries are likely to be adversely affected. Strengthening research capacity in areas such as natural disaster prevention, sustainable agriculture, governance capacity and natural resource management is a key task of Swedish research cooperation.

Sida offers research support to a broad range of environment and climate change programmes and organizations in each of the four focus areas.

Health Sciences

Sweden's support for research in the Health Sciences is focused on the close relationship between health and poverty. While global health has improved in recent decades, many developing countries are still struggling with problems such as high child mortality, malaria, and a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which hamper their economic and social development. Sida's research support within the area of health includes research on tropical diseases, vaccine research, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, child health and health systems research.

Achievements in the Health Sciences

Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding - Kesho Bora study results
New evidence published in Lancet Infectious Diseases shows safety and efficacy for a new combination of antiretroviral (ARVs) to prevent Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) and supports the 2010 revised WHO guidelines. The Kesho Bora study ("A better future", Swahili) found that giving HIV positive mothers a combination of three ARVs during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding cuts HIV infections in infants by 43% by the age of 1 year and reduces transmissions during breastfeeding by 54% compared with the previously recommended ARV drug regimen that stopped at delivery. The balance of risks and benefits of continuing ARVs during breastfeeding was not known prior to this study which was conducted in five sites in Burkina Faso, Kenya, and South Africa and coordinated by WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research (supported by Sida). This approach offers new hope for mothers with HIV infection who cannot safely feed their babies with infant formula. It also improves the chances of infants remaining healthy and free of HIV infection as breast milk provides optimal nutrition and protects against other fatal childhood diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea.

Giving HIV-positive pregnant women (and those planning pregnancy) priority access to ARVs will help eliminate MTCT of HIV.

Two of the world's leading research institutions on Cholera have had longstanding support from Sida
Cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, has been in the news due to a much-publicized outbreak in Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in 2010. WHO estimates that there are three to five million cases of cholera a year and that it causes 100,000-120,000 annual deaths. According to a Science Watch report published by Thomson Reuters, a world leading source of intelligent information, two of the research institutions supported by Sida for a long time ranked among the world's top 20 institutions for Cholera research.  Following analysis of the literature on cholera over the past decade and over the past two years, the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) ranked as number four, and the group of Professor Jan Holmgren at Gothenburg University ranked as number five.  Prof. Holmgren has been a member of Sida's government appointed Research Council.

 

Health Sciences and Climate Change
Support to the health sciences has focused on the health effects of climate change and environmental degradation. For example, Sida provides research support to African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe), an organisation which conducts research on insects and insect-borne diseases and pests. Icipe works to develop tools and strategies for controlling and managing pests and disease vectors and ensuring food security. The organisation supports capacity building in several African universities through PhD and MSc programmes. The purpose of Sida's support is to increase the ability of icipe to produce research results and improve research education, as well as to communicate research results to stakeholders. Sida's Action Plan for Environment and Climate Change Research emphasizes that further research into health system infrastructure, pest control, health effects of air pollution, and the effect of climate change on disease patterns can help reduce health vulnerability to climate change.

 

European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
Sida has provided targeted research support to the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership since 2006. The objective of Sida's support to EDCTP has been to accelerate the development of new and improved drugs, vaccines and microbicides against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with a focus on phase II and phase III clinical trials in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sida contributes to a number of EDCTP calls and grants, and also supports the biennial EDCTP forum. To date EDCTP has funded 191 projects, worth more than 269 million Euro and involving some 136 institutions. These projects include 57 clinical trials and have provided training to more than 200 African scientists and medical doctors. Sida support has been instrumental in the HIV Vaccine Immunogenicity Studies (HIVIS) Programme. This Programme currently represents one of the most promising and possibly most advanced candidates for an HIV vaccine. Other key EDCTP achievements include the approval of a new fixed-drug combination formulation for treatment of HIV in children, today used extensively in Uganda, Zambia and other Sub-Saharan countries, the development of several regional Networks of Excellence for clinical trials, aimed at improving clinical trial capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2011 Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) field was reached as one of the EDCTP-funded MiP studies completed recruitment. By January 2012, the study had enrolled a total of 4,734 pregnant women in January 2012, after screening 17,947 women in Benin, Gabon, Mozambique and Tanzania.

EDCTP completed three studies in 2012 aimed at the development of clinical, laboratory and field facilities and at training staff to conduct trials of vaginal microbicides. While consecutive microbicide trials have yielded disappointing results, the achievements of these projects in terms of establishing cohorts and research capacity,  have increased the capacity to conduct HIV research/trials in sub-Saharan Africa. The  results have been instrumental for the Rwandan Ministry of Health to develop a new HIV prevention policy focusing on female sex workers. Results from the human papilloma virus (HPV) study will be used in the evaluation of the newly implemented national cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination program

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Control, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)
From a modest cholera research laboratory in East Pakistan, ICDDR,B has become a leading public health research institution. During 2010 ICDDR,B was nominated among the five world leading institution in cholera research and sent emergency response teams to Haiti and Pakistan. ICDDR,B researchers, together with the Gov. of Bangladesh, finalized the maternal mortality and health care survey 2010 and developed standard operating procedures for newborn care in referral facilities. Maternal mortality has declined by 40% in the last nine years to 194 maternal deaths/105 live births. In 2010 ICDDR,B launched the Centre for Control of Chronic Diseases, a pilot study revealed that one third of the urban, and one sixth of the rural population respectively has pre-diabetes. Ground-breaking research conducted by ICDDR,B provided essential information to policy makers and human rights groups that led to the Parliament of Bangladesh to pass the Domestic Violence (Protection and Prevention) Act, 2010. A scientist from the centre was awarded a Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Exploration grant to develop a simple, lifesaving diagnostic technique to prevent deaths from post-partum bleeding.

International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Developing Countries (INDEPTH)
INDEPTH is a global network of members who conduct longitudinal health and demographic evaluation of populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICS). In 2010/2011 INDEPTH developed a well-articulated scientific vision to guide the network in the conduct of its scientific research and with Sida support developed the Result Based Management framework. In helping to monitor the Millennium Development Goals three publications are to be mentioned: i) a specific supplement with 11 papers on clustering of mortality published by the Global Health Action Journal; ii) a publication on experiences in using biometric technology to link health and demographic surveillance data with health facility data; and iii) a publication articulating the strategic role of the INDEPTHs Heath and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS).  Outstanding publications online worth mentioning include: One evaluated historical databases from health insurance companies for the design and validation of epidemiological surveillance in LMICS (to find out more click here). Other explores the use of HDSS to investigate the impacts of climate change on malaria transmission (to find out more click here). Another publication in WHO Bulletin June 2012 highlights the need of social autopsy to establish reliable estimates of maternal, neonatal and child health in LICs. WHO is seconding the use of social autopsy as a tool. (Click here to read more). INDEPTH provided technical assistance to new health and demographic surveillance centres being established in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Angola, Zambia and Mozambique.

 

International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
Sida supports the IVI in its mission to develop safe, effective and affordable vaccines against diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections. The results focus of IVI has improved significantly and the reports Sida receive are now results oriented. The major outcome during 2010 was that IVI advanced the use of a new low-cost oral cholera vaccine targeted for the developing world. The vaccine provides 70% protection against cholera for three years in children and adults which sets a new benchmark in protection for an oral cholera vaccine! It is sold in India under the name Shanchol and will hopefully soon be part of a global cholera vaccine stockpile for emergency situations.

Environment and natural resources

It is the view of Sida that it is impossible to combat poverty without taking into account the natural resources and environment that people are dependent on and on which they build their livelihoods. Support for research on the environment and natural resources is thus focused on the problematic ecological conditions and environmental degradation that are closely linked to poverty. Themes covered include marine sciences and aquatic ecosystems, forestry research and sustainable production systems in arid areas.

Achievements in Environment and Natural Resources

Climate Change 
In the area of environment and natural resources, the focus on climate change has naturally grown in recent years. Many of those organisations that receive Swedish research support have added climate change to their portfolios through specific programmes and projects on environment and climate research. One example is the African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe), that is focusing their climate change work in different types of disease distribution and transmission measures. Climate change will dramatically change human and livestock disease distribution in Africa due to changed vector behavior and human migration and changes in infectious disease transmission patterns are a likely major consequence of climate change. Another example is the work of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) especially their "Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security" challenge programme with the aim to improve food security in high risk areas. Researchers in several CGIAR research centres have studied and mapped the expected consequences of climate change on local populations. Through the Climate Challenge Programme, CGIAR is further increasing its focus on the effects of climate change on agriculture, essential to ensure future food security in developing countries.

African Insect Science for Food and Health (icipe) icipe is a unique research institutions in Africa that focuses on relevant research on insect management in four areas: human health; agriculture; livestock development; and environmental management. In practice this translates into R&D support to issues of continental importance such as the control of malaria vectors, tsetse fly management and reducing pesticide use in agriculture through promotion of integrated pest management (IPM). The icipe "push-pull" pest control technique has been developed and used in East Africa to protect crops from insect pests that destroy crops such as maize. Since 1997, this low-cost, environmentally friendly technology has helped nearly 40,000 farmers in East Africa by the end of December 2010.  Maize yields have increased by up to 3.5 tonnes per hectare, bringing 300,000 people out of hunger and poverty. The use of different technologies in integrated vector management (IVM) in different ecological zones in Kenya and in Ethiopia to decrease malaria transmission has been successful in reducing malaria prevalence.  icipe has developed a ground breaking tsetse fly control innovation which will be accessed by livestock keepers in Africa, particularly pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in 2010.

Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR)
CGIAR is an international research organization with a vision to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership. Key achievements by CGIAR include the development of new varieties of drought resistant maize and flood resistant rice. Since the start in 2010 of the CGIAR Fund, several large research programs have been funded aimed at improving food security and the sustainable management of the water, soils, and biodiversity that underpin agriculture in the world's poorest countries. Together, the funded research programs are expected to deliver better natural resource management for such diverse areas as wheat, livestock, fish, roots, tubers, bananas and contribute to nutrition improvement and sound policy development.  Included in these collaborative research programs for development are components that are directed at poverty reduction and gender-equitable options and climate change measures. Specific research is also aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and at reducing the vulnerability to climate change in drylands by diversify and sustainably intensify crop and livestock production.

During 2012 CGIAR has performed 498,818 research studies on agriculture-related and natural resources management (NRM)-related technologies and innovations. That includes those addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation in the field of agriculture of relevance for low-income countries. The goal is to deliver impacts on food security, nutrition, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. These research studies has resulted in 1,276 publications in peer-reviewed journals as well as that 15,976,570 farmers and others have applied the new technologies (e.g. new crop varieties) and/or the new management practices on a range of farming systems. Additionally, as a result of this work, 10,406,648 hectares of land are now under improved technologies or management practices.

CGIAR has a variety of training programs for capacity building, partly for building scientific capacity (long-term programs) and partly for extension of new technologies and improved management practices (short-term programs). In 2012, 201,811 male and 98,046 females entered into short term programs (workshops and courses) facilitated by CGIAR's 15 different research programs (CRPs) and 1,276 male 1,043 females  entered into long-term programs (MsC and PhD) facilitated by CRP. CGIAR has also produced 535 significant decision-support tools (e.g. Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), guidelines, and/or training manuals) that partly has supported capacity building.

CGIAR research has during 2012 resulted in 318 different technologies /natural resources management (NRM) practices released by public and private sector partners globally and 14 policies/regulations that have been officially approved and  for which implementation has begun.

Lake Victoria Research Intiative (VicRes)
VicRes aims at; i) promoting sustainable livelihoods and natural resource management in the Lake Victoria Basin, ii) breath new life into research and to stimulate discussions on issues affecting humans and the enviroment iii) justify actions relevant to poverty reduction and enviromental restoration iv) promote access to research findings within and outside the East African region for more efficient decision-making on matters related to management of natual resources.

Sida supports VicRes in its mission to become a leading regional research council in East Africa, with a competitive grant giving mechanism and peer-reviewing of project proposals by a scientific committee involving experts from within as well as outside the EAC. Focus remains on support to research projects of high scientific quality with a multi-country and regional approach in two major areas: natural resources governance and fisheries/aquaculture. VicRes also works to support and strengthen the capacity of the Inter University Council of East Africa to coordinate research within the EAC.

VicRes established a scientific committee in November 2010 for review of scientific reports and publications. This has led to increased quality of research reports pubished by VicRes. Revision of VicRes strategic plan and administrative handbook has resulted in improvement of research management. An initial announcement has been made of research on "Climate Change Adoptation into Lake Victoria Basin" and six projects received funding. This process has increased transparency in the call and award of research grants.

Natural sciences and technology

Support in this area is focused on building capacities in the engineering, medical, and agricultural sciences and technologies, as well as in their scientific foundations, including mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Contributions in this area are channelled through regional entities, international organizations, and also through Swedish institutions that are actively engaged with developing countries.

Achievements in Natural Sciences and Technology

Natural Science and Climate Change
Areas within the natural sciences such as biotechnology, energy research, mining and geosciences are closely connected to climate change. The Bio-Innovate Programme, a four year programme with the goal to effectively use and integrate modern biotechnology in agriculture, industry and environmental management, is a clear example of this. Bio-Innovate is an East African regional initiative that builds on the long-standing and successful BIO-EARN programme, also funded in part by Sida. Its focus is on climate change adaptability, food and freshwater security, bio-energy, innovation and analysis. The programme is a joint initiative by Sida, the International Livestock Institute (ILRI) and the African Union New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). The Unit for Research Cooperation has agreed to support Bio-Innovate with the sum of SEK 60 million for the period of 2009-2014, to assist in the building of the new programme and to fund competitive calls.

The first Bio-Innovate competitive call, entitiled Adapting to Climate Change in Agriculture and the Environment in Eastern Africa was launced in June 2010. This call is for research projects that will use bioscience innovation systems in practice to improve crop productivity and to improve resilience to climate change in small-scale farming systems and/or improve the efficiency of the agro-processing industry so as to add value to local bioresources in a sustainable manner. A system for management, peer-review of regional competitive grant scheme (CGS) has been established in 2010. In connection with the launch of the Bio-Innovative-Program a scientific seminar was arranged in March 2011.

SPLASH
SPLASH is the European Union Water Initiative Research Area Network (EUWI ERA-NET) setup to coordinate European water research for poverty reduction. The organisation aims at promoting coordinated and effective research and research capacity building for development in the water sector and funds research projects in, for example, safe water supplies and improved sanitation in sub Saharan Africa.

The SPLASH sanitation research programme, aiming to improve understanding and delivery of sanitation services along the entire sanitation service chain, has had a good start. Understanding of the programme has been established and relationships between projects have been developed through coordination activates such as well attended kick off workshops and teleconferences. A number of dissemination activities have taken place like a sanitation research tab on the SPLASH home page leading to project details and proposals, a SPLASH intranet facility enabling easy and transparent information sharing, development of a project flyer template, SPLASH workshops in both Maputo and Kuala Lumpur and a newsletter with 600 subscribers. Strengths of the programme include geographic representation in countries in sub Saharan Africa like Rwanda, Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Dakar, Senegal, Mozambique and Uganda, and activities along the entire sanitation service chain, with projects focusing on various aspects.

Social sciences and humanities

Sida's support for the social sciences and humanities is centred on those social processes and conditions which lead to long-term, sustainable growth and development.  This includes in-depth study of issues such as democracy, good governance, gender and peace and conflict studies. Most of Sida's research support in this area is channelled through regional cooperation bodies that cover a broad spectrum of the social sciences and humanities, and that foster the consolidation of large regional research networks. Roughly 40 % of all research support to regional organizations goes toward social science organizations.

Achievements in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Social Sciences and Climate Change
Several of the regional cooperation bodies which Sida supports are focused on the environment and climate change.  The Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP), the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) and the Economy and Environment Program for East Asia (EEPSEA) are all examples of regional collaborations with an explicit focus on applying the tools of economics research to environmental challenges in their respective regions. Their focus is on environmental concern that affects the rural and urban poor.

Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Program (LACEEP)

Sida supports LACEEP in its capacity building efforts to provide support in environmental and resource economics to Latin American and Caribbean junior researchers through competitive research grants, regional training courses and workshops. The purpose is to promote new knowledge in environmental economics.

The activities of LACEEP during 2011 have helped to consolidate the organisation as a benchmark in environmental and resource economics in the region as well as a solid capacity building program. LACEEP received 85 applications for the 12 available grants 2011. The numbers of proposals have increased from previous years as well as the quality of the applications. Since the start 2005 LACEEP has received 460 proposals, 40% being women applicants, and organised twelve workshops where 61 grants were approved out of 140 research presentations.

Examples of 2011 research topics include privatisation and nationalisation of water services, rules and norms for management of natural resources, land use competition and the effect of transactions costs on land-based mitigation activities in developing countries, co-management in marine protected areas and complexities and uncertainties of the co-evolution of leatherback turtles.

During 2011 LACEEP has organised two short courses linked to workshops, one long training course and a regional one. The long courses are given in Spanish as part of a long term strategy to create capacity in environmental economics in the region. Since the start, in total eleven short couses, five long courses and one regional course have been organised for 359 environmental economic students from the region. The courses are taught by professors and researchers from well-known universities in Sweden, Canada, US, and Latin America and include subjects such as natural resource economics, environmental policy implementation and evaluation, economic valuation and climate change.

Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

CODESRIA aim is to promote social science research in Africa as a means to eradicate poverty and to transform and develop the economies and societies of African countries.

Free distribution of CODESRIA's publications to the Universities in Africa has increased access to course literature and research materials for students and researchers. The organisation's support to multi-national social groups and networks through Africa has led to a critical mass of scientists who teach at higher levels and constitute a resource base for recruitment to government and private institutions. The capacity of social science institutions has been improved through seminars on research methods to grant recipients across Africa. This has made it possible for graduate students to undertake field studies at advanced level and to complete their studies on time. CODESRIA is considered the ninth most influential think tank in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the second most influential outside South Africa. The organization has become a focal point for in-depth debates and reflections on Africa's social-economic and political problems. Decision makers and organisations in the civil society are participating more in CODESRIAs seminars which reflects a growing interest in their research findings.

The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics

The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics is an international research institute under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The institute's major objective is to promote a deeper understanding of the interplay between ecological systems, and social and economic development. Sida supports the institute's cooperation with four regional networks on environmental economics in Africa (CEEPA/RANEESA), Asia (EEPSEA, SANDEE) and Latin America (LACEEP). Researchers affiliated with the Beijer Institute support these networks by, among other things, participating in workshops organized in the network regions, evaluating research proposals, tutoring research, and teaching short courses. In 2012 a short course "Economics of Environmental Regime Shifts" was held in Prague in conjunction with the EAERE annual conference. 25 participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America profited from lectures and discussions by world-leading researchers.

Another part of the Sida support is devoted to the Mäler Scholarship, intended for researchers from the networks. Every year the Institute receives 1-2 scholars visiting up to 6 months. Through this Beijer Institute support the networks to increase the capacity in their respective regions in using ecological economics for analyzing environment and development issues. The scholars have come from India, Benin, Argentina, China and our current Mäler Scholar is from Thailand.

Finally Sida gives support to the journal Environment and Development Economics (EDE) which was founded by the Beijer Institute. EDE is positioned at the intersection of environmental resource and development economics and aims to encourage submissions from researchers in the field in both developed and developing countries. 33 papers related to developing countries were published in 2012.

International Social Science Council (ISSC)

Rapidly changing global challenges drive the ever‐growing need for social science knowledge that can help us better understand and respond to current global hot-spots: social, cultural, political, economic and environmental. The ISSC is the primary body representing the social, economic and behavioural sciences at an international level. Established in 1952 by UNESCO, the ISSC today is an independent non‐governmental organisation, which has a growing global membership of organisations with major interests in the social sciences.

The ISSC's primary objective is to increase the production and use of social science knowledge in all parts of the world in order to help address global priority problems, namely (i) to increase the demand for social science knowledge by policy makers and practitioners addressing global priority problems at all levels; and (ii) to increase the production of high‐quality, interdisciplinary, comparative social science knowledge produced in all regions and internationally and addressing global priority problems.

Two major Sida-ISSC contributions are ongoing, dealing respectively with (i) international agenda-setting and (ii) social science capacity building:

(i) Since January 2011, running until 30 June 2014, the ISSC has received Sida FORSK support to design a 10‐year programme: the "Climate and Global Environmental Change Design Project (hereinafter referred to as the GEC Design Project). The initiative responds proactively to the increased demand for social science research on global environmental change and the absence of adequate funding at the international level to meet that demand. The project articulates a 10-year global climate change research funding and coordination initiative for social science research on climate change and broader GEC. This is to be achieved in collaboration with ISSC members, programmes, partners and the wider international social science research, funding, and policy communities. The outcome was published in 2012 in an ISSC report entitled The Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change.

(ii) Three "Flagship" capacity building programmes (running until June 2015):

  • The World Social Science Forum, to be convened approximately every 3 years. The first held in Bergen in 2009 on the theme "One Planet, Worlds Apart", and the next will be in Montreal in 2013 on the theme "Social Transformation in the Digital Age" while a further Forum is already scheduled and in preparation for Durban in 2015, on a theme concerning global distributive justice. Funding for the Fora is to be provided by registrations, through ISSC member contributions, and by external fundraising (e.g. by expected 34 donors).
  • The World Social Science Report, co-published with UNESCO every 3 years. The first Report appeared in 2010 under the title "Knowledge Divides" and was intentionally linked both in theme and content to the 2009 Forum in Bergen. The next Report will appear in 2013, and will focus on the issue of Global Environmental Change. Funding for the 2010 Report came from 20 sources, including Sida.
  • The World Social Science Fellows Programme is a new initiative, with first activities in 2012. It is supported via ISSC core funding provided by Sida under the contract entitled "Core Support between 2011 and 2014". This is a capacity development programme is aimed at outstanding early-career social scientists, especially from the global "south", and in which eminent senior social scientists will be utilized as teachers and motivators. Fellows in this programme are also integrated  into the above 2 ISSC Flagship Programmes, attending as a group the World Social Science Forum, and assisted towards becoming an ongoing network of cross-disciplinary early-career scientific excellence.

International Social Science Council Climate Change Design Project

Throughout 2011 the International Social Science Council Climate Change Design Project has been a key activity of ISSC. The Design Project has an overall objective to design a 10 year global fund to finance social science research on climate change, in collaboration with ISSC members, partners, programmes as well as the international social science research, funding and policy communities. The four key activities of the programme are to 1) define a knowledge agenda 2) identifying international funding modalities and mechanisms 3) making knowledge work and 4) outlining governance and support systems.

During the first 10 months significant results have been achieved towards the overall objective of the project.The first finding of the ISSC design project is a framework called "Transformative Cornerstones of Social Science Research for Global Change". The draft framework consists of six transformative cornerstones of social science, promoting the role of the global social science community in integrated climate science and is mapping the social science engagement in this field of work. The paper will be published in the journal 'Nature' during 2012. 

The ISSC Climate Change Design Project is also performing an exercise that attempts to map key elements and trends of the global GEC social science research landscape. Results of this activity so far is a bibliometric report of social science publications on climate change and environmental change. The analysis consists of articles from the online Thomson ISI Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) published between 2000 and 2010, containing the keywords climate and environmental change.

Other activities worth mentioning is the ISSC‐Belmont Forum Agenda Setting Workshop with 64 social sciences scholars from 29 countries was carried out 8-9 June 2011. The workshop aimed to define gaps and key research priorities in the existing social science research in global environmental change (GEC), and identify the main barriers to mobilize social sciences in this work. A report of the discussion with key recommendations, research topics and next steps has been produced and published. Also a workshop on "Integrated Global Change Research: Co‐designing knowledge across scientific fields, national borders and user group" took place in Berlin 7-9 March 2012. It was organised jointly by the ISSC, the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP), and the German National Committee on Global Change Research (NKGCF) and covered examples and perspectives of best practice in scientific, international and sectorial integration.

Makerere University, Uganda
Sida has offered research support to Makerere University in Uganda since 2000. In that time, scholarships funded by Sida have provided tuition, fees and research costs for around 150 of the 600 PhD students registered at Makerere University. This is an important step toward reaching a critical mass of researchers, essential for establishing the university as one of the top research institutions in the region. A recent assessment also notes an improvement in research infrastructure (ICT, libraries, laboratory equipment etc.), administration and institutional culture at the university as a result of the cooperation with Sida. In the area of social science, several interesting research projects have been implemented with Sida support. One such project is the Emerging Disease and Social Impact Project at the Faculty of Sciences. This project examines the social impact of HIV/AIDS on local populations, indicating increased need for support to widows and child-headed households, as well as reaffirming the importance of behavioural interventions and counselling. This study has lead to several policy changes both on the level of the university, and in the Ugandan Ministry of Health. Another project within the social sciences is Safe Rural Water: Government Policy and Policymaking, a study which has lead to an increased sustainability of the rural water supply.

 

 
Call open: Research Partnership Programme - Tanzania
Sida is announcing a call for proposals for partnerships between Tanzanian and Swedish universities and institutions called “Research Partnership Programme". The programme aims at supporting the strengthening of institutional research capacities at four key research universities and institutions in Tanzania. Deadline October 31st.
"Bolivian universities serve the people"
"Inequality is decreasing and people are speaking about our economic growth across Latin America. This in part has our public universities to thank, and we are very proud of them." Bolivian vice president Álvaro García Linera at a recent conference in La Paz where twelve years of research cooperation between Sweden and Bolivia was celebrated.
Future Earth secretariat
Stockholm is one of five Global Hubs to comprise the new Future Earth secretariat. The other locations are in Canada, France, Japan and USA. Spread over three continents the secretariat will operate as one entity. Sida supports Future Earth and its research for sustainable development.
Sweden and WHO sign new framework agreement for health
Swedish Ambassador Jan Knutsson and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan have signed a contract that marks the first phase of a new six-year framework agreement. WHO’s reform initiative aims to ensure that the organization is well-equipped to address the increasingly complex health challenges of the 21st century. The reform’s objectives are three-fold: to improve health outcomes, to achieve greater coherence in global health and to foster organizational excellence.
Summary of ReCom findings
Research and Communication on Foreign Aid (ReCom) has now published a summary of their research findings. ReCom was implemented over 2011-2013 in a partnership between UNU-WIDER, Sida and Danida. The aim of the programme was to research and communicate what works and what can be achieved through development assistance.
Bill Gates’ cooperation with Sida
On the 31st of March Bill Gates held a speech on the theme “The world is getting better – how we can end extreme poverty in our lifetime”. Hannah Akuffo, the acting head of the unit for research cooperation, sat in the panel which raised important questions about how, where and why research and knowledge is needed for a sustainable development. Click the link to watch the lecture!
PhD student Stella Kioko
Sida supported International Science Programme (ISP) at Uppsala University has made a short film about PhD Student Stella Kioko from Kenya where she tells about her life and her physics research. Sida supports ISP 2014-2018 with 160 Million SEK.
Collaboration with Uganda
Received Letters of Intent for partnerships between Makerere University in Uganda and Swedish universities aimed at research capacity strengthening have now been evaluated. Invitations to submit full proposals have been sent out to successful applicants during week 22, 2014. Guidelines for full proposal are available through the link below.
Innovation for growth
Sida has supported innovation within the research cooperation for many years and the support was recently evaluated. We have now produced a short overview over the evaluation, including two case studies and the conclusions drawn.
U-forsk and Swedish Research Links
These programs are from 2013 administrated by Vetenskapsrådet (the Swedish Research Council). Read more on their website:
Seed funding from ISSC
The call for proposals from ISSC with support from Sida’s research cooperation is now closed. A total of 500 applications were received. The call was for seed funding for 30 grants of €30,000 each with the aim to prepare researchers from all parts of the world to respond meaningfully to the call for Transformative Knowledge Network proposals that will be launched in October 2014.
Meet our partners!
Sida works with a number of partner organisations within the research cooperation. We have asked some of them to describe their mission and share their current news.
Sida's Research Cooperation
has a wide mandate in research support, encompassing bilateral research, regional cooperation, global programmes and higher education in Sweden. The aim is to create new knowledge and strengthen research capacity through the various programmes and projects.
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