Tag: development policy

Call for applications: Co-operative Research Programme

Are you organising an international conference or workshop on state-of-the-art research issues in agriculture, food, fisheries or forests in 2023?

Or would you like to spend time working with researchers in another country to help your research project, maybe as part of a sabbatical?

Apply for funding from the OECD CRP (Co-operative Research Programme: Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems).

Application

The deadline to apply is Saturday 10 September 2022, midnight (Paris time).

Please note the guidelines and conditions, selection criteria and research themes for funding for fellowship award and conference sponsorship. Applications must be submitted through the appropriate online application forms. PDF forms are provided to help prepare applications before going to the online forms.

Applicants must be residents in one of the countries participating in the Programme. Please consult the files which give general information on the country’s research institutes and universities.

Applications relevant to the work of the OECD Committee for Agriculture and other bodies are particularly welcome:

  • Sustainable productivity growth and food security and nutrition;
  • New technologies and practices for food production; Food loss and waste;
  • Antimicrobial resistance; One Health approach to agriculture and food systems;
  • Innovations in the transfer and development of agricultural knowledge, including Indigenous and traditional knowledge
  • Digital technologies and digitalisation;
  • Climate change, including pathways to net zero, carbon sequestration in agriculture, forestry and land use, water use;
  • Plant and animal breeding to enhance sustainable productivity growth and resilience to climatic events; Diversity of crop production;
  • Fisheries and aquaculture productivity, sustainability and resilience.

What is the Co-operative Research Programme: Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems (CRP)? 

The OECD’s Co-operative Research Programme: Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems (CRP) exists to strengthen scientific knowledge and provide relevant scientific information and advice that will inform future policy decisions related to the sustainable use of natural resources in the areas of agriculture, food, fisheries and forests.

SweDev researchers selected to the Swedish delegation

Group of young adults, representing the new generation and development.

The Government of Sweden have selected four associated SweDev researchers to join the Swedish delegation at the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development taking place 25th – 28th of April.

Jesper Sundewall at Lund University, George Marbuah, Research Fellow at SEI, Sana Rouis Skandrani, Researcher at Karlstad University and Janet Vähämäki, Director of SweDev and Team Lead at SEI, will all be joining the Swedish delegation and contribute with their research expertise to the Forum on Financing for Development. 

“I am really happy that researchers representing academia were invited to the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development. This shows that the SweDev network can play a role in coordinating representation to these types of High-Level Conferences on Global Development and thus bridge science and policy.”

Janet Vähämäki

The opportunity was offered to SweDev members after a request from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to coordinate participation from researchers at the Forum. Future opportunities are offered only to SweDev members – sign up below to become a member.

Read more about the 2022 ECOSOC Forum

Become a SweDev member


News text written by Ylva Rylander, Communications Officer at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) for SweDev.

DevRes 2022 – Transforming Development Research for Sustainability

The upcoming DevRes conference will be held on August 22-24, 2022 and will be hosted by GlobeLife, a joint initiative of Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet. The conference will offer both onsite participation as well as digital live-streaming and chat functions. The 1st day of the conference will be at Uppsala University, the 2nd day fully online and the 3rd day at Karolinska Institutet.

SweDev at DevRes2022

More details will follow.

  • ‘Bridging research and policymaking in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda’: 13:30-14:30 on 22 August in Uppsala. Onsite participation only.
  • ‘Planetary health: the role of coastal ecosystems’: 11:00-12:00 on 22 August in Uppsala. Hybrid: onsite and online participation.
  • SweDev annual assembly: 16:45-18:45 on 23 August. Learn more about SweDev, influence the workplan and meet SweDev’s secretariat and Steering Committee. The SweDev assembly is open to all. Join us online or in Uppsala. Registration is required. We invite all participants to a mingle after the event.

Transforming Development Research for Sustainability

The theme for the upcoming conference is ‘Transforming development research for sustainability, as It is becoming increasingly clear that sustainability is the key to our planet and the future of humanity. We must make haste at achieving this before 2030, estimated as the climate’s ‘tipping point’, which could lead to unpredictable consequences.

A major part of the conference will focus on how we can achieve sustainability in health for both humans and our planet. This requires that we look at transforming large parts of our society and restructuring systems within our society such as food and energy production, urban planning, digitization, education, preventive health work as well as health and social care.

In order to achieve this globally for all people and not just individual countries, we need to explore both new forms of cooperation and the generation of new knowledge. Here, research is absolutely essential if we are to discover novel systems that will ensure the longevity of our society.

About DevRes

The Development Research Conference (DevRes) was founded in 2016 as a multi-disciplinary forum for researchers working in fields linked to development and sustainability.

The conference aims to promote networking and collaboration between researchers, public agencies, policymakers, organisations and practitioners, in order to find solutions for poverty and develop strategies for the future of sustainable development.

SweDev’s interview series 2022: Meet Cristiano Lanzano 

A flooded street in Uganda.

Cristiano Lanzano is a social anthropologist at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). Lanzano’s research focuses on mining, natural resources and conservation, and the anthropology of sustainable development. In conversation with SweDev’s Alessandro Giacardi, he describes the current Covid-19 and development challenges through an anthropology lens. 

Q: The Covid-19 pandemic has destabilized the world’s balance, worsening the situation of the most fragile countries. With this in mind, what do you think has changed and will change within development studies? 

A: Even if we are still too close to the pandemic to evaluate its long-term consequences, two main elements emerged. Firstly, travel restrictions have given more space to researchers based in the Global South to speak for their reality and witness the Covid-19 impacts on their territories. This may open opportunities for a less Eurocentric production of academic knowledge in the field of development, but the final outcomes remain to be seen.

Secondly, the pandemic places issues such as global health, associated with global inequalities back on the agenda. The pandemic highlights the role of science and technology and calls for a truly global approach and for a greater integration between social and natural sciences. 

Cristiano Lanzano. Photo: NAI

Cristiano Lanzano, Nordic Africa Institute (NAI). Photo: NAI.

Q: You are a social anthropologist focusing on anthropology of development. What does development mean in the context of anthropology and what are you teaching to your students? 

A: The relationship between anthropology and development is complex but very stimulating. James Ferguson has provokingly defined development as “the evil twin of anthropology.” Many anthropologists tend to distance themselves from development as a discipline and practice, even if historically we have a lot in common. Especially when western anthropologists conduct research in the Global South, they can often be mistaken for development workers. After all, beside our background, we often share the same interest for certain topics, and networks. When I first did my fieldwork in Senegal, my initial contact was an Italian NGO working there: this shaped the way I looked at reality during fieldwork, even if I tried to be aware of it and develop a critical stance.


Written by Cristiano Lanzano, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute and Alessandro Giacardi, Communication and Research Intern at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) for the Development and Aid Policy Team and SweDev. Edits by Ylva Rylander and Alice Castensson.

New members appointed to the SweDev Steering Committee

Board room, illustrating SweDev Steering Committee

Three new members have been appointed to the SweDev Steering Committee and a new Executive Committee has been formed at a committee meeting held in February. 

SweDev’s chair Fredrik Söderbaum warmly welcomes Muriel Côte at Lund University, Katarina Börling and Linda Engström, both at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, to the SweDev Steering Committee. Fredrik also welcomes Elisabeth Olivius at Umeå University and Jesper Sundewall at Lund University as appointed vice-chairs of the new Executive Committee. 

Representatives from all institutional members

The SweDev Steering Committee now consist of 15 members from universities and research organisations based in Sweden. 

Linda Engström holds a PhD in Rural Development and replaces Flora Hajdu as representative from the Department of Rural and Urban Development at SLU. With Katarina Börling, Research Officer at the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at SLU Global, and Muriel Côte, Associated Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies of LUMID, joining the committee, all SweDev institutional members are now represented. 

New Executive Committee of SweDev  

A new Executive Committee within the Steering Committe was formed during the same meeting, with Elisabeth Olivius, Associate Professor in political science, as a new vice-chair. The Executive Committee now consists of: 

  • Fredrik Söderbaum, SweDev chair, University of Gothenburg 
  • Jesper Sundewall, vice-chair, Lund University 
  • Elisabeth Olivius, vice-chair, Umeå University 
  • Janet Vähämäki, SweDev secretariat, Stockholm Environment Institute  
  • Alice Castensson, SweDev secretariat, Stockholm Environment Institute 

Read more about the Steering Committee members.

About the SweDev Steering Committee  

The SweDev Steering Committee is responsible for the strategic development of the network, the SweDev work plan and for reporting results to our financiers. SweDev’s Steering Committee consists of representatives from a variety of Swedish development research environments. One seat is reserved to a member of the organising committee of the forthcoming DevRes conference, and one seat is reserved to a PhD student in development studies. The committee elects a Chair amongst its members. 

Authors

News text written by Ylva Rylander, Communications Officer at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) for SweDev, and Alice Castensson, SEI Research Associate and member of the SweDev Executive Committee.

Developing countries at risk from global economic threats, says World Bank

The World Bank in Washington.

The risk of a hard landing for large parts of the global economy is rising as countries struggle to cope with the triple threat of Covid-19, inflation and higher interest rates, the World Bank has said.

In its half-yearly forecasts, the Washington DC-based bank said it expected a “pronounced slowdown” in growth in the next two years, with the less well-off parts of the world especially hard hit.

David Malpass, the World Bank’s president, called for action to reduce the debts of poor countries and said he was “very worried” about the permanent scarring of development caused by the pandemic. He said:

“The world economy is simultaneously facing Covid-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory. Rising inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful for developing countries.”

David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group

How can the collaboration with researchers increase?

Mother and her child in the tropical forest of Sierra Leone.

Decision-makers in development policy view researchers as cumbersome and far from reality. And, when they use research results, it is usually to get a confirmation of the fact that already made decisions are correct. These are some of the conclusions drawn at a recent SweDev seminar on aid and development research, reports Global Bar Magazine.

The theme of the seminar attended by researchers, civil society, and decision-makers active in development aid included the following questions:  

  • How do we increase the use of research in Swedish development policy and practice?
  • What contributes to research being picked up in policy?
  • And what can be done to increase the relevance of research for practitioners?

“Our recent study shows that researchers would like increased collaboration with practitioners, but, until the establishment of SweDev, there has been no network in Sweden focusing on this topic.”

Anna Ioannou, former coordinator of the Swedish Development Network (SweDev).

How to increase the use of research in policymaking

The study that SweDev conducted on the contacts between research and various actors working with development, shows that decision-makers and practitioners see research as important and relevant, at the same time as they experience challenges finding relevant research. Research is often perceived as something remote with little connection to the practical reality, that often changes rapidly.

When organizations and authorities use research, it is often to back up and justify decisions that have already been made and to strengthen existing arguments. At the same time, only twelve percent in the study answered that their managers expect them to use research results to inform decision-making.

“It is evident that research that is more critical will not be used, while “mainstream research” often is used to confirm what is already being done.”

Janet Vähämäki, Programme Director of  SweDev.

Lack of time and communication is a challenge

According to the study, lack of time and budget are other factors that are limiting the use of research.

“72 percent say they do not have sufficient time to follow the most recent research. This means that if we would like to improve our collaboration, it must be encouraged, and time and resources need to be set aside,” Janet Vähämäki continued.

Another challenge is the lack of communication. While researchers primarily publish in scientific journals, practitioners and decision-makers rather use Google and seminars to gain new knowledge.

“It is true to a certain extent that research is used to confirm what is already known. My experience is that research results are used by local organizations to test different hypotheses and develop their own methodology,” said Gunnel Axelsson Nycander at Act Svenska kyrkan. “At present, organizations often use consultants because they are needed for rapid studies and evaluations, but not least the processes that are underway to decolonize development assistance should be interesting to collaborate with researchers on.”

At the same time, decision-makers often use international research rather than research produced in Sweden. One reason for this is to encourage research in the partner organizations’ own countries, but also that research networks, for example, in the United Kingdom might be more established and have a better reputation internationally than Swedish researchers. This, according to SweDev, entails a risk that Swedish research will get weakened in the long run.

Christina Hartler, Head of Sida’s unit for thematic support, pointed out that Swedish research is relatively small internationally, and that it is rather the case that we overestimated the importance of Swedish research than the other way around:

“Then I do not agree that lack of time would be a reason for the lack of contacts. Rather, it is a question of management, and that management does not prioritize collaboration with researchers,” said Christina Hartler at Sida.

Fast processes

Per Trulsson, Deputy Director at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Sweden, nevertheless said that time is an important issue for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that moves in contexts where things change very quickly, something that has been shown not least by the developments in Myanmar and Afghanistan.

“What our employees often need is a policy brief of 1-2 pages that is relevant to what they do. So, for the researchers to reach out, it is also required that they understand the processes that prevail at Sida and at the ministries.”

Per Trulsson, Deputy Director at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Magnus Walan, Senior Policy Officer at Diakonia, highlighted a different type of research than the one carried out by academic actors:

“We collaborate with local researchers and networks around the world, trying to connect them with Swedish decision-makers. We also support and encourage organizations such as Swedwatch and Fair Finance Guide who do extensive research, but experience challenges to obtaining funding, even though we know that the financial sector really needs to be examined.


Original article written by David Isaksson, Global Bar Magazine. English translation and editing by Ylva Rylander, Communications Officer at Stockholm Environment Institute for SweDev.

SweDev: How to improve the collaboration between aid workers and researchers

The SweDev study Increasing the use of research in Swedish development policy and practice provides four recommendations to increase the use of research and cooperation:

  1. Bridge the communications gap between researchers and practitioners
  2. Co-create research and development initiatives
  3. Connect development researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in Sweden
  4. Change incentives and structures for funding to improve work towards the 2030 Agenda