Transforming global development through North-South research partnerships

Gozde Zorlu
Freelance journalist, SciDev.Net

Global change through sustainable development is urgently needed to address many of the pressing challenges facing our world today. Stabilising the world’s population, producing sufficient food, improving health systems and managing urbanisation, migration and conflict are just a few examples of major challenges that affect all countries.

The National Centre of Competence Research (NCCR) North-South programme has put science, research and capacity building at the very heart of its drive to overcome some of these problems. The programme is hosted by the University of Bern and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

With a network of over 350 researchers in more than 40 countries, the programme works on the development of sustainable and practical solutions to global challenges through research carried out by individuals and institutions in its North-South partnerships. Research focuses on the needs of developing countries in the global south, as this region is considered the most vulnerable to risks of climate change, poverty and conflict.

Next week, I will be attending NCCR’s third and final International Conference on Research for Development in the picturesque city of Bern in Switzerland.

Bern, Switzerland. Photo credit: eGuide Travel

The conference aims to share and discuss development-oriented research carried out through its North-South partnerships, and to develop a research policy agenda for equitable and sustainable global transformation.

I’m particularly interested in finding out about the success of the programme, lessons learnt and the innovative ways in which research — especially from the South — can help to change or shape the future of how global challenges are addressed.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the discussion, leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter using the hashtag #ICRD2012.

This blog post is part of our 3rd International Conference on Research for Development: Research for Global Transformation blog that takes place in Bern, Switzerland, from 20-22 August 2012. To read news and analysis on research for development please visit our website.

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