DFID Research Strategy Launch

DFID will spend around £1 billion over five years on development research. The Secretary of State for International Development Rt. Hon Douglas Alexander MP revealed details of priorities at the London launch on April 22nd 2008.

This is DFID’s first substantive five-year strategy for research. It broadens the portfolio of research from four to six major topics, putting research on climate change and growth centre-stage. The strategy also creates a new home for research on future challenges and opportunities, and continues to support research into governance in challenging environments.

As aid for development research rises, DFID will continue to be at the forefront of a more concerted approach among funders, working with UK Research Councils as well as international funders such as Canada’s IDRC, the Gates Foundation and the European Commission.

The time is right for a step-change in global ‘public good’ research. The world is changing rapidly in ways that often affect poor countries most. For example, in the future both climate and population changes are likely to have an important influence on poverty levels. They will threaten access to food and water, increase migration pressures and possibly increase the chances of conflict.

Decision-makers across the world need to base their decision on information from reliable sources. They need to learn from the best knowledge and experience available. And they need to know what kinds of research could help them to make the right choices – and where research has already got results.

The Minister spoke about the importance of exploiting to the full existing research, and making it “newly relevant” to the problems thrown up by a rapidly changing world. And he spoke about the importance of policymakers such as DFID drawing on research evidence to make informed decisions. “My commitment is that DFID’s research funding … will have as its objective the joining of research with policy and practice – to make a difference. And that means not only commissioning new research, but looking at what knowledge already exists, and making it newly relevant.”

To read the Research Strategy, view the Output Record on R4D, or download the Low Resolution Version (1.41 MB) or the High Resolution Version (2.50 MB). There are 10 working papers which support the Research Strategy.

Read the Minister’s Speech and the Press Release.

To see commentaries on the strategy and to give your own comments, go to the R4D blog.