The KFPE is the information hub for global research partnerships in Switzerland. It promotes efficient, effective, and equitable research cooperation with low- and middle-income countries. By doing so, the KFPE contributes to sustainable development and to solving local and global problems.more

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Engaging with the Private Sector in North-South Collaborative Research

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) strives to increase knowledge utilisation and innovation by promoting solutions-oriented research delivered in partnership with private sector partners. Accordingly, private sector partners can take the role of (a) strategic partners and co-funders of research initiatives targeting global development challenges, and (b) a target group that benefits and/or implements the findings and results emerging from interdisciplinary and solutions-oriented research.

The apparent dearth of interdisciplinary, solutions-oriented, and practice-relevant social science research on the private sector and its role for sustainable development means that there is ample potential to strengthen this area of research. We conjecture that a possible way forward is to support the Swiss research community in (re-)framing research questions in ways that allow to reach out and gain insights from practice and to go the extra mile from stating research findings to laying out what these imply for practice. Not least, this requires improved channels of dialogue between career-focused researchers and research-affine practitioners, where the latter include not only practitioners in the development sector but also those employed by or with experience in the private sector.

A think piece systematically takes stock of the recent social science research that Swiss HEIs have conducted on the role of the private sector for sustainable development, how this research has been framed and/or reflected on this role, and if and how it has actively involved the private sector as a partner, a target group, or a sounding board.

The findings of this think piece will be discussed at a workshop, during which we also brainstorm on how KFPE could go about supporting its various members to strengthen research engagements with and the business-relevance of their social science research.

This project is implemented in collaboration with Evelyn Dietsche from swisspeace.

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Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE)
House of Academies
PO Box
3001 Bern

  • Head of the Business & Peace program at swisspeace