Based on insight generated from Swiss academic and research entities, this Policy Brief aims to highlight the importance of bringing R&S4D closer, at research entities in Switzerland and elsewhere, and how to go about doing it.
Research, taking a pro-active role in fostering synergies between research and project implementation services can help achieving the goals and targets outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By bridging the gap between Research and Services for Development (R&S4D), research can pass on best practices outside academia; in turn, research takes inspiration from the most acute development needs.
Entities that work at the interface of R&S4D – such as Swiss TPH – are efficient and high-quality implementation agents as they put science to practical use and build capacity. Moreover, they give rise to professionals with qualifications that are highly relevant in the sustainable development arena.
Autoren: Dr. Jasmina Saric
Over the past decade, considerable progress has been made by higher education institutions (HEIs) to align with sustainable development goals. Specifically, aspects of sustainable development have been integrated into the existing mandates of HEIs – education, research and operations. The main objective of the current study was to assess a sub-group of African HEIs that have an explicit mandate for imple- mentation science and pursue development assistance-type services and to describe their added value to advance sustainable development. We conducted a qualitative situational assessment, including 22 institutions from 13 countries. Interviews and surveys were done with 42 participants composed of director-level representatives and staff members engaged both in research and implementation. The data were sub- jected to qualitative content analysis. The main strengths of the participating organi- sations vis-à-vis implementation projects and wider sustainable development were the quality of implementation, local relevance of the research and uptake of research evidence into policy and practice. A major weakness was the challenge of operating such a bi-sectoral model, while maintaining high-level performance in both areas. Yet, the examined research-implementation institutions draw from and combine the competences of research, education and implementation and have a distinctive role to play in the attainment of sustainable development, especially when operating by an optimised support system and within strong research ecosystems. Based on our study, we provide a definition of research-implementation organisations that may serve institutions to enhance their standing, their operations and their significance for sustainable development.
The cooperation between researchers and practitioners during different stages of the research process has the potential to benefit both society and research supporting processes of ‘transformation’. In her recent commentary in our journal, the European Journal of Development Research (EJDR), Katja Bender from the International Center for Sustainable Development at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences reflects on Research-Practice Collaborations (RPCs) from a political economy perspective. RPCs have the potential to foster research quality in many ways, but also can produce unintended adverse effects on knowledge generation which may create distorted and biased knowledge and even help produce or exacerbate existing inequalities. Using Bender's paper as a jumping off point, the EJDR has published a series of commentaries discussing her approach from various perspectives. Join us for a virtual roundtable on 10 November 2022 at 15 00 CET to talk about the main findings of these authors.
Die Rolle von «Research and Implementation Organisations (RIO)» für nachhaltige Entwicklung.
Research and implementation organizations play an important role in bridging research and practice for sustainable development. During this session, we discuss characteristics of such organizations and how they contribute to sustainable development. Swiss TPH and KFPE host this session at the Science Summit of the UN General Assembly 77.
Currently, world leaders are convening at the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. In parallel, the Science Summit is being held, with the central theme being the role and contribution of science in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Jasmina Saric reflects on the emergence, role and future of organisations that combine research and implementation for sustainable development. New findings on this topic will be presented at the Science Summit in a session convened by Swiss TPH.
Research that takes a pro-active role in bridging science and practice holds promise to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. While passing on best practices outside of academia, inspiration can be drawn from pressing global challenges. Using Swiss research institutions that maintain partnerships with low- and middle-income countries as a case study, the purpose of this study was to identify synergies between research and services for development (R&S4D).