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Research partners

Sida supports research in and by low-income countries to reduce poverty and build sustainable societies. Our partners are bilateral, regional and global research institutions and research-supporting organisations.

Research of relevance for poverty reduction

Sida supports research of relevance to poverty reduction and sustainable development. We assists in building research capacity and systems for research and research-driven innovation in low-income countries. The aim is to save lives and lay the foundation for every person’s right and opportunity to live a decent life.

Swedish research support stands on three legs:

  • We build research capacity to create sustainable, self-generating research environments.
  • We support research in natural, health and social sciences and the humanities, and we support applied science as well as basic research.
  • We promote research-driven innovation by supporting local and regional innovation systems.

Looking for funding?

Are you a researcher or research organisation looking for funding? Please have a look at our list of calls and grants. Individual research projects can only get Sida support via the work of our partner organisations.

Free online resources

Sida supports several organisations that offer ample online training and other resources for researchers, science journalists and scentific journal editors.

Scientific Advisory Board

The board provides recommendations to Sida on strategic directions as well as research related matters within Sida’s research cooperation area. It also makes recommendations in analytical work within other areas of the development cooperation.

Contact us to join forces

Are you a funder of research or an organisation that supports research? Do you share our belief in research’s role for development and want to join forces with us? Please contact Sida’s Unit for Research Cooperation at

Local ownership and systems approach

Local ownership is emphasised in all our research cooperation and research priorities are set by our partners.

Our systems approach implies that we support many features of the research system. Within a university, we support not only research training and research groups, but also other functions to create a productive research culture. Research capacity at universities is linked to research in regional and global organisations.

Global calls for researchers from low-income countries

We support research councils in low-income countries. We coordinate with other funders and mobilise resources for global research calls, promoting the participation of researchers from low-income countries. Some of our partnerships are Grand Challenges Africa, ESSENCE and AI4D.

Our objectives:

  • To build research capacity in low-income countries and regions
  • To support high-quality research and research-driven innovation of particular relevance to poverty reduction and sustainable development in low-income countries and regions
  • We work with our partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Building national research systems

Sida’s research cooperation aims to promote low-income countries’ intellectual autonomy, in order to reduce poverty and develop sustainable societies.

We currently have bilateral research cooperation with:

  • Bolivia
  • Cambodia
  • Ethiopia
  • Mozambique
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

One or several public universities work in close cooperation with primarily Swedish universities. The purpose is to strengthen research capacity in partner countries and their ability to train new generations of researchers. The cooperation often includes support to national research policy development and strengthening national research councils.

In the “sandwich model”, PhD candidates spend part of their time at a Swedish university for courses, analysis and writing, and the other part in their home country for field work and building research capacity at their institution. Swedish supervisors collaborate with supervisors from the home university. Support is also provided to institutional functions, such as ICT and labs.

Research Training Partnership Programmes

Research Training Partnership Programmes are announced for selected partner countries on Sida’s website.

Subprogrammes are chosen based on national priorities in open calls where applicants from invited institutions in the partner country and those in Sweden submit joint applications.

World-leading research and policy development

Sida strengthens research of high quality and of relevance to poverty reduction and sustainable development through our partnership with several regional and global research organisations and networks. The research spans a large number of areas, such as agriculture and fisheries, climate and environment, energy, infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the poor, water and sanitation, sexual and reproductive health and rights, economic policies, democracy and human rights. Some examples of our partners are CGIAR, EDCTP, icipe, icddr,b, AERC, TDR, CODESRIA, AfricaLics, ACSS and Shape-SEA. Several of them contribute with world-leading research and policy development and have activities to strengthen research capacity in low-income countries.

We also support science journalism, research communication and scholarly publication, through our partners SciDev.Net, INASP and AJOL.

Innovation can flourish with local innovation systems

Sida supports the development of research-driven innovation systems and clusters within the bilateral and regional cooperation programmes as well as research on innovation. Innovation is not only related to science and technology, but also include ideas, services and processes.

Sida’s support to innovation promotes the environment and conditions for innovation to take place and we have pioneered in assisting innovation systems building in low-income countries.

For sustainability, innovation systems need to be put in place, not just support to specific innovations. The structures and capacity have to be built locally and regionally. We have seen that large impact can be achieved when different stakeholders are involved at an early stage, including universities, businesses, the public sector and the civil society. All our innovation support is context-specific and based on strong local ownership.

Our method of work and examples are described in the position paper Support to innovation and innovation systems within the framework of Swedish research cooperation.

Updated: May 16, 2023