Research and science

Two elderly ladies, a hilly landscape and a big city
R4d: Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development. ©r4d

Research, as well as technological, social and political innovation, play an essential role in reducing poverty and global risks. Science creates the basis for a process of transformation towards sustainable development in all parts of the world. In doing so, it contributes to the resolution of development issues, and to progress towards solutions for the future. It questions, analyses, and delivers new findings and science-based recommendations.

International scientific cooperation has a long tradition in Switzerland. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has worked for decades with Swiss universities and higher education institutions, as well as many research institutes in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The SDC primarily supports research initiatives that focus on global challenges such as poverty and hunger, inequality, resource scarcity and environmental changes in low and middle income countries.

The findings and practical approaches generated by research are incorporated into the preparation and implementation of development programmes and projects. They contribute to the effectiveness of international cooperation.

Around CHF 50 million of Switzerland's official development assistance (ODA) budget is invested in development-related research every year.

Research objective

The main objective of research within the context of Swiss international cooperation is to produce new findings and innovative approaches as well as to enable the use and dissemination of scientific knowledge to the benefit of the people in poverty-stricken and developing regions.

Focus of research

Research supported by ODA increasingly focuses on finding solutions for global problems.

Research promotion

A number of programmes support research on global issues and global research cooperation.

Basic principles

Research financed by public development cooperation funds is guided by the long-term goals and priorities of global sustainable development for all.

Research and Science: Exchange and Programmes

The objective is not only to generate useful research findings, but also to integrate and use these in policy and practice.

Research databases

The research programmes and development projects with a research component supported by the SDC are recorded in the federal administration's ARAMIS information system.

Research partners in Switzerland

In the field of research, the SDC mainly works together with universities and institutions of higher education, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).