Welcome to the Swedish Development Research Network

May 12, 2021

SweDev Programme Director and Chair launches SweDev’s new official meeting place.

SweDev Programme Director Janet Vähämäki and Chair Fredrik Söderbaum. Photos: Juliana Wiklund; University of Gothenburg

We gladly welcome you to the official website of the Swedish Development Research Network. Through this website we aim to provide a wealth of news, opportunities and resources about development research in Sweden. The website also provides two registries listing active development researchers and scholars based in Sweden with the intention to facilitate dialogue and interaction in the research community as well as between research and practitioners.

The Swedish Development Research Network (SweDev) has been created for two main reasons. First, in spite of an ever-increasing debate about all dimensions of development, we are faced with a deep-seated lack of collaboration and information-sharing among researchers, teachers, and students in the field of development research. Secondly, we lack spaces of collaboration and interaction between researchers and practitioners. SweDev aims to overcome these weaknesses.

Our goal is to strengthen development research in Sweden, and to increase the relevance of research-based knowledge for efficient policymaking and practice of Swedish actors working with the 2030 Agenda.  

The Network applies a general and inclusive approach to development, and seeks to be relevant to researchers who self-identify with development research in all its forms. This includes researchers focusing on global and sustainable development, as well as researchers concerned with a specific theme or dimension of development.

SweDev has been created thanks to an engaged Steering Committee, with representatives from eleven research environments, and the support from around 600 Swedish development researchers, who have endorsed the establishment of the network. We are also grateful for the support from a growing number of institutional support members as well as a generous start-up grant from Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation (Sida).

We hope that development researchers across Sweden will find value in this network and join the community.

You can become a SweDev member by creating a profile in one of our two registries: the Research Community or the registry for Master’s students.

By providing these registries we aim to increase the visibility of Sweden-based development researchers and stimulate further collaboration within the research community, between researchers and practitioners, and make it possible for media, and the public to find relevant development experts.

Activities in the coming year

On 19 May we are hosting a Development Research Dialogue to facilitate dialogues between practitioners and researchers on a specific theme. SweDev will also be involved in a range of seminars and sessions during the Swedish Development Research Conference (DevRes), which takes place on 14-16 June. The day after DevRes ends, we will hold the SweDev Annual Assembly. Only one week later, in 21-22 June we are co-hosting the Nordic Development Research Conference. After the summer, SweDev will arrange workshops for both PhD candidates as well as separate workshops for teachers and Masters/Bachelors students.

SweDev is currently in dialogue with several partners regarding a range of other activities, with a vision of building a stronger institutional foundation. In our view, we need to continue to strengthen the Swedish development research community by building platforms for interaction and collaboration, engaging in capacity-building for both researchers and practitioners, expanding and diversifying funding opportunities, and by strengthening dialogue between scholars and practitioners.

We look forward to building this network together!

Fredrik Söderbaum, Chair of SweDev, University of Gothenburg
Janet Vähämäki, Programme Director of SweDev, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)