ICRD 2017 is the fourth in the conference series. Its umbrella theme this year was “Evidence. Engagement. Policies.”. ICRD 2017 was co-hosted by the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) and by the University of Bern’s Centre for Development and Environment (CDE).
The r4d programme is a joint funding initiative by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Swiss National Science Foundation. It supports research addressing global problems with a particular focus on least-developed, low-, and middle-income countries.
CDE is an interdisciplinary research centre of the University of Bern. CDE envisions science as engaged and transformative – as having the power to spark substantial changes towards sustainable development. For this purpose, CDE supports social learning and co-production of knowledge in several world regions, invests in long-term partnerships, and seeks to connect local realities to global debates.
The ICRD series was originally launched in 2004 by the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South; the ICRD 2017 builds on the achievements of these earlier conferences and on the r4d programme – a unique partnership to tackle global challenges.
A hallmark of the ICRD series is the space it provides for international research collaborations with a strong representation of partners from countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The conference offered a platform for researchers, policymakers, civil society, and others to come together and engage in creative dialogue and concerted action. ICRD 2017 focused on research for sustainable development, in particular on improving our understanding of how evidence can support policies for transformation in countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This includes considering how the scientific community responds to knowledge needs, how decision-makers involve researchers, how evidence-based policymaking can be realized, and how alternative, non-linear science–policy–practice interactions might look. We encouraged creative, interdisciplinary, and interactive contributions offering visionary, transformative pathways to sustainable development worldwide.
ICRD 2017 had the following specific goals: