Focus of research

Seven different images of people and landscapes within a circle
Research supported by public development cooperation funds focuses on finding solutions to global problems. © r4d/DEZA/SNF

Switzerland's international cooperation focuses on the global challenges and works in areas that are particularly relevant to the reduction of poverty and global risks. Research supported by ODA increasingly targets solutions for global problems and the provision of global public goods.

Main thematic priorities include climate change and environment, agriculture and food security, water and health as well as employment and conflict prevention.

Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d Programme)

Together with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the SDC developed and launched in 2012 a programme for researching global problems: the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d). The r4d programme targets researchers in Switzerland and in developing and emerging countries.

The following five topics take centre stage:

These five thematic modules are supplemented by a an open call module for three-year research projects:
Non-topic-specific research, Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development

A total of CHF 97.6 million over 10 years (2012-2022) is available for research partnerships with Africa, Asia and Latin America. Of this amount, CHF 72 million is contributed by the SDC and CHF 25.6 million by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Subscribe to the r4d newsletter and stay up to date on calls for project proposals, grant approvals and research findings:

Information on the main objectives of the joint SDC-SNSF research programme, its organisation, six research modules and calls for project proposals are published on the website of the r4d

Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (4rd Programme)  

International agricultural research

In the area of agricultural research, most of the funding provided by the SDC goes to international agricultural research. As part of its multilateral engagement, the SDC supports CGIAR, the global agricultural research partnership uniting 15 international research centres.

The agricultural research partnership CGIAR aims to reduce poverty, enhance food security, improve human health and nutrition, and promote the sustainable management of natural resources.

CGIAR and the SDC's commitment