Research and science for development

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

Research plays 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 to help speed up implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

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, and various research centres 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, enhancing the effectiveness of international cooperation.

Switzerland invests around CHF 45 million of its official development assistance (ODA) budget annually in research projects that have a transformative impact on development. 

Research objectives

SDC-backed research helps reduce poverty and global risks, promotes sustainable development around the world and support slow- and middle-income countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Focus of research

Research funded by the SDC is guided by the objectives defined in Switzerland's International Cooperation Strategy.

Research promotion

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

Basic principles

The promotion of scientific research in the field of development cooperation is governed by the Federal Act on International Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Aid and the applicable implementing ordinance.

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 works with a range of Swiss partners, including universities, universities of applied sciences, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).