Research and Science: Exchange and Programmes

people visiting the research fair at the building of SDC
Research fair at the SDC. © J. A. Lys

Research findings are usually published by partner institutions on their websites and through research-based-channels. Regular exchanges between researchers, policymakers and professionals support the adaptation and implementation of research findings that benefit initial target groups.

Research findings are exchanged, discussed and jointly assessed at conferences and symposia and through dialogue with the scientific community.

Research fairs and exchange platforms

The umbrella theme of the International Conference on Research and Development (ICRD Conference) 2017 was “Evidence. Engagement. Policies”.

The research fairs organised in 2013 and 2016 by the SDC together with the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE) provided a platform for the exchange of experiences and ideas between international cooperation representatives and the research community.

International Conference on Research for Development 2017

Research Fair 2016

Research Fair 2013

Research programmes

r4d – Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (2012–2022)

The joint research for development (r4d) programme launched by the SDC and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in 2012 supports inter- and transdisciplinary research in and with developing and emerging countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The primary communication platform is the r4d website, which consists of sections highlighting the five thematic modules and the one open-call module. Important information and results are published on its official website:

r4d Swiss programme

r4d programme, modules and projects 2017 (PDF, 2.4 MB)

CGIAR – the Global Agricultural Research Partnership

The Global Agricultural Research Partnership (CGIAR) is supported by the SDC as part of Switzerland's multilateral engagement. Research is carried out by 15 centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium, in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organisations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organisations, academia and the private sector. The 15 research centres generate and disseminate knowledge, technologies and policies for agricultural development through the CGIAR research programmes. CGIAR Roundup highlights recent research and discoveries by CGIAR centres in different areas.


PERFORM – Performing and Responsive Social Sciences (2015–2018)

PERFORM is a project implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and the University of Fribourg. The overall goal of the project is to focus on strengthening the relevance of social sciences for social and political reforms. The first phase of the project started with a nine-month inception period in January 2015 and will end in December 2018. In the current phase, PERFORM is collaborating closely with national research systems in Albania and Serbia.

Closed research programmes

RRPP – Regional Research Promotion Programme in the Western Balkans (2007–2017)

The RRPP was implemented over a period of ten years in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The programme promoted and enabled research-based cooperation among the new generation of social scientists and policymakers across the ethnically divided, post-conflict region. It focused on fostering and promoting social science research capacities relevant to social, economic and institutional reforms in each of the targeted countries. Its main objective was to boost research capacities at the individual, institutional and systemic levels, while promoting research rigor, regional and international visibility and networking, as well as bridging the gap between research and policymaking.

RRPP – final report

 SCOPES – Scientific Cooperation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland (2013–2016)

The SCOPES programme was launched in 1990 by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the SDC to promote scientific cooperation between research groups and institutes in Switzerland and Eastern Europe as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS):


NCCR  – National Centre of Competence in Research North-South (2001–2013)

The National Centre of Competence in Research North-South, better known as the NCCR North-South, was finalised successfully in 2013. Six Swiss research institutes and 140 partner organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America participated in this programme. Between 2001 and 2013, around 1,250 researchers worldwide worked on finding solutions for problems related to poverty, conflict, migration, health, waste water, natural resources, regional development and governance. They authored more than 2,300 publications, including more than 65 policy briefs. All publications are available free of charge on the NCCR's website:


NCCR Final Publication (PDF, Number of pages 20, 4.7 MB)

Scientific Cooperation Fund of EPFL (1998–2012)

In 1998, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) with the support of the SDC set up a scientific cooperation fund to promote EPFL research projects in partnership with an institution from an emerging or developing country. Fourteen projects were carried out. In total, the SDC invested CHF 5 million.

Scientific Cooperation Fund

RFPP–Research Fellow Partnership Programme (1996–2015) 

The Research Fellow Partnership Programme for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources (RFPP) managed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) promoted the human resource base for research in the fields of agriculture, forestry and natural resource management in international development. In total the SDC invested CHF 12.5 million. Since 1996, 57 RFPP fellowships have been approved. The RFPP produced two types of outputs: research results and human capacities. The project sheets available on the website demonstrate the scope of research results:

RFPP Final Publication

KFH – Programme on Applied Research in development and Cooperation (2000–2012)

The programme of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (KFH) supported universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education in carrying out research in cooperation with developing and transition countries.

KFH final report