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: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:12:10 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 Strategy for research cooperation 2015-2021 (Swedish only) from the Swedish government. 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

New variety of canning bean in Kenya
Regional research cooperation has improved beans to be used for the canning industry. In collaboration with SciDev.Net, this movie presents one of the results of the Sida supported Bio-Innovate Programme in Kenya.
Sida Research Council visits Tanzania
Sida's scientific advisory group recently travelled to Tanzania to visit organisations and universities supported by Sweden. WIOMSA and Institute of Marine Sciences on Zanzibar and universities in Dar es Salaam were among the partners visited.
Research network focusing on agri-chemicals
A new research network in South East Asia and Bangladesh has been formed and will focus on agri-chemicals. Here are representatives taking part in a Results Based Management workshop.
RBM Handbook available
A handbook in Results Based Management is available for download through the link below. The purpose of the handbook is to guide organisations in using RBM for planning, monitoring, reporting and evaluation.
New strategy for research cooperation
The Swedish government has decided on a new strategy for research cooperation valid 2015-2021. The strategy has three results areas: capacity building, research of relevance for development and innovation.
Insect science on CNN
Sida supported insect science institute icipe was recently featured on cnn, in the programme African Voices.
Director for Future Earth Secretariat
As the Future Earth Globally Distributed Secretariat begins to take shape, KVA has initiated the search for the Director for the Swedish Global Hub of the Future Earth Secretariat. The recruitment announcement has already been posted – see links below. More about Future Earth can be found by exploring the web site
Watch the Makerere University video showcasing results from research cooperation with Sweden
– Swedish funds have strengthened research management and coordination, improved the research and publication at Makerere, and improved the funding levels for research and innovation, says professor Mukadasi Buyinza, Sida coordinator at Makerere University. Swedish research cooperation with Uganda was initiated in 2000. On October 6, our successful cooperation was celebrated at Sida Science Day 2014.
The SSEESS Research Links 2015
The “SSEESS Research Links 2015" call for proposals is now open! The grant is aimed at individual researchers within natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities that do research on Global Environmental Change (GEC) issues, are affiliated with a Swedish research institute and already collaborate with at least one regional scientist on the regional priorities.
Research Training Partnership Programme - Uganda
Update: The decision regarding full proposals going forward in the process and those rejected will be sent out to proposal coordinators during the second week of December 2014.
Research Training Partnership Programme - Tanzania
The deadline for submission of joint programme proposals to the Tanzanian Universities/Costech has now passed (November 14th, 2014). Information about the call is still available online through the link below.
Swebol Biotech - From Swedish support to international venture
Bolivia has products of great potential to both domestic and international markets. Research by Mauricio Peñarrieta has shown that its plants are rich on antioxidants and other nutritional values. His research led to the launch of a Swedish-Bolivian venture project called SweBol Biotech, with the purpose of facilitating trade between the countries.
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.
Grants awarded to 38 new research initiatives
ISSC has with support from Sida awarded 38 seed grants to new research initiatives in the field of social transformations. The aim is to build knowledge partnerships needed for longer-term research on the fundamental innovative processes of social transformations towards sustainable and equitable futures. The supported research networks have unique focus on social transformation needs and opportunities in specific social-ecological settings across the world.
Sustainable development research
In this short video research fellow Yonas Alem talks about the Sida supported research capacity building programme "Environment for Development initiative" which is based at Gothenburg university, as well as research related to sustainable development.
Sida supports WHO call for action
Sida supports the WHO statement on the prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth. This is a call for action, dialogue, research and advocacy to ensure the rights of women to dignified, respectful healthcare through pregnancy and childbirth. It is a matter of human rights. Sida's research cooperation supports WHO's research programmes HRP, TDR and the Alliance.
"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.
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 November 14th 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
U-forsk and Swedish Research Links
These programs are from 2013 administrated by Vetenskapsrådet (the Swedish Research Council). Read more on their website:
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.