Laboratory in Hanoi where tests on Avian Flu are being conducted. 2006-09-25
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank
What we support
Published: Thu, 17 Jun 2010 07:24:08 GMT   Updated: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:22:32 GMT
The research cooperation at Sida has a wide mandate in research support, encompassing bilateral research, regional cooperation, global programmes and research in Sweden. The aim is to create new knowledge and strengthen research capacity through the various programmes and projects.

The research cooperation is guided by the Swedish government's Policy and Strategy for Research Cooperation 2010-2014. The overall objective of Sida's support to research cooperation partners is "to strengthen and develop research of relevance to the fight against poverty in developing countries".

Low income countries have weak national research communities and therefore have fewer opportunities to identify, adapt to and make use of new knowledge. Investments for building proper research foundations, including skills in research management in the basic natural and social sciences remain problematic. This is not only due to the lack of resources, but also because the use of funding for higher education and research is inefficient. Therefore, low-income countries need strategic investments in higher education, research and innovation to break the vicious circle of underdevelopment.

Research support can be instrumental in breaking this cycle. Through a system of support for PhD and master programmes in developing countries, combined with core support to universities and research institutes, research capacity is built up on the national and regional level. Rather than giving grants to researchers to study at PhD programmes abroad, this model allows for development of viable national research institutions. Students who complete their PhDs at home move on to become lecturers and professors, and improved management and facilities improve the quality of research. By "teaching the teacher" research support allows national and regional research institutions to grow in a sustainable manner. It also has the potential to create a "critical mass" of highly educated individuals who can use their skills for the benefit of their communities.

Research of relevance to low-income countries is another priority of the Strategy for Research, aiming at the increased production by the research community of research of relevance in the fight against poverty in developing countries.

In the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness 2005, enhanced by the Accra Agenda for Action in 2008, and in Busan in 2011, Sweden and other countries agreed to make development cooperation more effective with increased consideration for partner countries' priorities, systems and procedures. Accordingly, Swedish research cooperation aspires to align with national plans and structures for research, and to coordinate research support in collaboration with other donors. In line with this, Sida will direct resources to national and university/institutional capacity in partner countries for the negotiation of conditions for support from Sida as well as from other funders and development agencies.

The Paris Declaration has furthermore accelerated efforts among partner countries and donors to work together to improve management for results. A focus on results is important for ownership, credibility, accountability to internal and external actors, internal learning by all parties involved in a programme and for use as information for decision makers. On request from the Swedish Government, Sida has developed a strategy for increased results orientation within research cooperation. This states that, as a donor organisation, Sida must be clear about the results that its contributions are intended to achieve. Intended results should be unambiguously formulated in agreements, and continuously reviewed in dialogue with partners. The cooperation partner and Sida should know if intended results are actually achieved, and reporting on results should be clearly described and transparent.


Bilateral cooperation
The overall objective of Sida's support to national research systems is that partner countries should be able to independently identify research problems of relevance for development, prioritise areas for research, carry out research and secure the necessary financial resources and human capacity to enable the research system to deliver. Sida currently has bilateral cooperation with Bolivia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda.

Regional cooperation
Through regional assistance Sida aims at creating new knowledge and building research capacity in regions where particular areas of research are often overlooked or where certain forms of research capacity are lacking in strength due to various factors. The idea is that through pooling researchers, decision makers and networks together, sustainable research communities can be created and regional cooperation can generate valuable research results, constructive dialogues and sound policies. Sida has regional research cooperation in Africa and Asia.

Global organisations
Sida contributes to global development through its support to global organisations. These organisations operate on many different levels and cooperate with a whole range of different actors. Thus, support is directed to a multifaceted research system which contributes to knowledge-driven development on various research themes and in several places around the globe.

Swedish research cooperation
Swedish research is a cornerstone of the Swedish development research support system. Swedish development oriented research improves research links between Sweden and developing countries, it generates dynamic research network, creates valuable research results, and provides Sida and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs with important information in the fight against poverty.

An overview of the support to research is also available on

Collaboration with Uganda
Received Letters of Intent for partnerships between Makerere University in Uganda and Swedish universities aimed at research capacity strengthening are now being evaluated. Invitation to submit full proposals will be sent out to successful applicants on May 19th 2014. Guidelines for full proposal are available online now.
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!
Call open – Seed funding from ISSC
ISSC with support from Sida’s unit for research cooperation is now announcing a call for seed funding for 30 grants of €30,000 each. The call aims 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. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2014.
32 Million SEK for sustainable development research
Seven research projects focusing on sustainable development in low income countries have received funds from a joint call between Sida and Formas. The projects are funded 2014-2017.
Result of the Day!
Plenty of results are produced within the research cooperation and as we are counting down towards the end of 2013 Sida is presenting one result here every day during December, up until the holidays.
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.
Results from CGIAR research
Thanks to research performed by Sida supported CGIAR, over 15 million farmers and others have applied new technologies such as newly developed crop varieties or new management practices on a range of farming systems. As a result of this work over 10 million hectares of land are now under improved technologies or management practices.
Research Training Partnership Programme - complementary call Bolivia
Those invited to submit a full proposal for Sida's “Research Training Partnership Programme as an integral part of Institutional Research Capacity Strengthening” have now been contacted. The program as a whole focuses on collaboration between Sida target country universities in Bolivia and Swedish universities.
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.
Think Tank Rankings 2012
Several Sida supported Think Tanks are listed in the 2012 “Think Tank Index” from the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at University of Pennsylvania.
U-forsk and Swedish Research Links: The call for proposals 2013 is now closed.
Read more on Vetenskapsrådet's website:
First TASENE awardees announced
The unique collaborative research programme TASENE has awarded four projects for Tanzanian, Dutch and Swedish post docs with the goal to learn from each other’s approaches to research management and funding.
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.