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Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE)

20.04. 2021


News and General Information


KFPE & SUDAC Conference 7 May - online only


We decided that the conference will be online onlyThe conference will be hosted on an innovative online platform to facilitate an interactive participation. The new programme is from 14.00-16.15. During the conference we will learn more about transformative research, innovative research approaches, SDC's research programmes, and Christian Frutiger (SDC), Maria Peyro Voeffray (SERI), Jürg Utzinger (SwissTPH) and Hanspeter Egler (South Pole) will discuss about the future of transformative research and its funding. Please register for the conference before 30 April



KFPE Annual Report 2020

The report on the activities of the KFPE in the year 2020 is now online. Looking back at an eventful year, the report presents last year's activities and achievements. The report is in German only, but a summary in English can be found at our website. 


Equitable Partnerships Resoruce Hub


UKCDR and ESSENCE launched a new Equitable Partnerships Resource Hub, which brings together guidance, tools and principles on equitable partnerships from across the world. The KFPE Guide for Transboundary Research Partnerships is prominently cited. The blog: “No impact without equity” highlights the importance of equity to achieve research and development impact. 





Federal bilateral programmes for research cooperation 


The Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation 2021–2024 provides for a continuation of the bilateral cooperation programs with non-European partner countries. Joint Research Projects (JRPs) in cooperation with funding agencies in Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam and the Leading House model (LH) for North Africa and Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, and South Asia and Iran provide interesting funding opportunities for research collaborations with LMICs.  



Simplified selection process for the SPIRIT programme


The SPIRIT programme no longer requires a pre-proposal. Researchers can submit their project proposals directly. SPIRIT grants have facilitated collaboration with countries of the global South since 2019. In the first two years, the SNSF selected 13 research projects, awarding them approximately 6 million francs in total. 




The SERI and Swissnex launched the new platform The  platform aims to facilitate collaboration in research and innovation by providing a unique overview of the most important funding instruments, calls for joint research projects, and mobility programmes. 


Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience (SoLAR) Innovation Fund Grant

The Leading House South Asia and Iran launched the SoLAR Innovation Fund (IF) second round of call for proposals. The IF aims to support the development and testing of technological, financial and institutional innovations to address the constraints and challenges of scaling solar irrigation, with a special focus on the problems faced by small-scale, marginal, and women farmers in South Asia (specifically Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan). Apply before 30 April 2021. 


MIRAHI - Making Innovation a Reality – African Health Initiative

MIRAHI is a new start-up acceleration program, run by the University of Basel and the SwissTPH, that supports the validation and scale-up of novel, equitable and sustainable solutions to health systems challenges in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Apply before 21 May 2021. 


SFIAR Award 2021

The Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research (SFIAR) offers an annual Award for graduates and scientists of a Swiss institution who work in agricultural research for development. The best Post Doc or team project wins CHF 10’000.- and the best Master thesis project CHF 1’000.-. Application deadline: 15 July 2021. 


11th CSRS 2021 Prize - Eremitage Fund for Scientific Research in Partnership

The prize aims at honoring researchers for the excellence of their contribution to scientific research pursued in partnership between scientific institutions in the North and in Côte d'Ivoire and/or in other countries of West Africa. Deadline for submission of nominations: June 15, 2021. 


Check out the KFPE webseite for further news on funding and scholarships. 




COVID-19 Forum: Bekämpfung von Infektionskrankheiten in der Schweiz und in Afrika - Was können wir lernen?     

20. April 2021, 18:15-19:15


Referent: Prof. Jakob Zinsstag, Head of Research Unit, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (TPH) und Dr. Marcel Stöckle, Universitätsspital Basel Anmeldung für Teilnahme:


TakingActionNow– how does applied research address the food and climate emergency?

15 June 2021, 14:00-18:00 


The HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute for International Cooperation and Development event will focus on two pressing and closely interlinked challenges – the food and climate emergency. It will explore how the activities and applied research of the Cecchini Institute and its partners address this global emergency.


Global Health in the 21st Century 

28-30 June, 2021 


Though much progress has been made in improving global health, many new obstacles have emerged. Join the discussion on the challenges and opportunities ahead, what cutting-edge research has to offer, and case studies from around the world.


More events via KFPE




International Bachelor & Master Summer School (online): The future is sustainable – it's in our hands! 23 – 27 August 2021


The CDE Summer School is designed to enable students to build system- and transformative knowledge, and to develop their capacity to act in the face of complex challenges through trade-offs (especially between individual sustainability goals and dimensions), allowing them to actively engage in shaping a sustainable future. 


SSPH+ Lugano online Summer School 2021


At the SSPH+ Summer School public health professionals, researchers and graduate students learn together through mutual exchange in a stimulating environment. Since 1991 practitioners and researchers from across western and eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas have come together each summer in Ticino Switzerland to focus on public health policy, economics and management. 



Swisspeace Courses


Masculinities, Marginalization, Militarism (virtual course, 6 half-days) 30 June - 09 July 2021

Learn about the role of masculinities in conflict and peacebuilding. Apply until 30 April 2021!

Summer School: Ukraine – Opportunities and Challenges for Dialogue (virtual course, 5 days) 21-25 June 2021. Learn about conflict and dialogue in the context of Ukraine. Apply until 30 April 2021!

DAS in Civilian Peacebuilding, MAS in Civilian Peacebuilding & CAS in Civilian Peacebuilding

This courses allow you to understand the causes of violent conflicts, how to promote peace and rebuild societies affected by war and to learn from research and practice for your work. 


SwissTPH Courses

MBA Short Course Foundations of International Health Management - FIHM (hybrid) tropEd accredited. On-campus phase (hybrid): 21 – 25 June 2021 

MBA Short Course Health Policy and Systems Analysis - HPSA (hybrid) tropEd accredited. On-campus phase (hybrid): 28 June – 02 July 2021 



There are still few places for registering to the second edition of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Water Sanitation and Hygiene, in blended learning. The kick-off is on 10. May, registrations close on 01.05.2021. This course is promoted by SUPSI, Eawag and Uni-Neuchâtel, it is designed to empower practitioners with an understanding of the fundamentals of the WASH sector, both in the humanitarian and development context. 


Graduate Institute Geneva 

New Specialized Track in Sustainable Finance and Development for the Master in International EconomicsThe Graduate Institute launches a new track in Sustainable Finance and Development within its Master in International Economics, starting in September 2021.

Master and Executive Certificate in Development Policies and Practices, Aug. 2021 - Feb. 2022

Master development stakes for greater impact. Programme available in English, French and Spanish. Reduced fees for participants from priority countries.




Policy Brief: Combining Research and Services for Sustainable Development


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, research can pass on best practices outside academia, and, in turn, research takes inspiration from the most acute development needs. The KFPE and SwissTPH Policy Brief by Jasmina Saric highlights the importance of bringing research and services for development closer at individual and institutional levels.


SciDevNet Blog: Research colonialism still plagues Africa


African researchers are suffering from power dynamics that favour global North collaborators. Some initiatives are helping build local capacity, others undervalue African collaborators. COVID-19 is aiding the creation of a foundation for future North-South collaborations. Read the full SciDevNet Blog by Laura Owings. An open letter in nature demands international funders of science and development in Africa to involve African researchers for research in Africa. 


Safe Spaces for Disruptive Learning in a North–South Research Partnership Context: International Mobility of Doctoral Students


This article spans issues of international student mobility, inequalities in higher education, and spaces for transformative learning for sustainable development. The authors tracked PhD alumni of an international Swiss research program in 2012 and 2017 and found that students from the global South experienced a significant, immediate career boost; most graduates decided to remain in or return to their country of origin after graduation (brain circulation).


New Global Challenges Issue: The Moving Fault Lines of Inequality


While poverty has been diminishing in absolute terms and relative income has been growing on a global scale for over two centuries, inequality has been increasing steadily since the early 1980s. With the financial crisis of 2007, the growing digitalisation of the economy and the current pandemic, global inequality has further worsened. The new Issue of Global Challenges analyses inequality from various perspectives. 


NADEL podcast on supply chains, sustainability labels and agricultural robots


In the latest episode of “1.90 pro Tag” (in German), NADEL graduate Raphael Schilling, expert in sustainable food procurement, discusses the complexity of global value chains, ecological and social challenges linked to agricultural production, and whether the sustainable farm of the future will be controlled by robots.


Pandemic, informality, and vulnerability: impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods in India


A comprehensive study across 12 states of India analysed the impact of COVID-19 pandemic containment measures (lockdown) on employment, livelihoods, and food security.  Around two-thirds of respondents reported losing employment during the lockdown, and those that continued to be employed witness a sharp decline in earning. Further, with critically low levels of social security net, the loss in employment quickly translated into food and livelihoods insecurity. 


Co-designing Digital Engagements with Cultural Heritage Sites in Africa: A Research Road Map for the Brandberg National Monument Area, Namibia


This paper outlines the design of a research that would focus on the Brandberg National Monument Area, in Namibia, Southern Africa. The project seeks to find solutions by use of co-design action research with the local communities within the vicinity of the site and in the country. 


Did you like anything in particular or did you miss anything in this newsletter? Please let me know, I am happy to receive your feedback. 

Fabian Käser

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