In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges to North-South research, but also highlighted its strengths. Within a short time, research projects had to be adapted to the new circumstances. Instead of international meetings, field visits or conferences, various forms of digital cooperation were intensified. Relying on long-term partnerships, many research projects could be continued and also take into account the consequences of the pandemic. This shows that long-term fair research partnerships enable the continuation of research even under difficult conditions and help to deal with current and longer-term global crises.
In April 2020, after more than two decades, Jon-Andri Lys handed over the management of the KFPE to Fabian Käser. With a great deal of dedication and passion, Jon-Andri Lys has managed the KFPE as an agile and successful institution. The KFPE wishes Jon-Andri Lys all the best in his retirement and thanks him warmly for all his years of commitment.
A Short History of the KFPE 1994–2019
North–South research partnerships are recognised not only as a highly efficient approach to global sustainable development – but as a necessity. The quality and capabilities of such partnerships have therefore been promoted by the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE) for more than 25 years. This presents the history of the KFPE and the promotion of North-South Research in Switzerland.
Factsheet: Agrobiodiversity benefits, challenges, and needs
For millennia, humankind’s food security and resilience were ensured by thousands of cultivated plant species, dozens of domesticated animal species, and the wider biodiversity from which they derive. With the expansion of industrial agriculture and globalized standardized food systems, this long-running agricultural biodiversity has fallen steeply. On the basis of insights from current North-South research projects, this outlines causes and consequences of agrobiodiversity loss, areas of promise, and options for policy and research.
Factsheet: Rules for economic globalization and the role of Switzerland
Switzerland, home to many multinational companies, is under growing international and public pressure from those who wish to make the world economy “fairer” and “more sustainable” by means of transnational rules. Switzerland is highly exposed to any such regulatory changes. Yet it need not assume a passive role. Indeed, the very process of implementing rules for multinational companies provides valuable scope for action. This places the issue in a historical and legal context.
Guidelines: Fair Research Contracting
COHRED and KFPE developed the fair research contracting self-assessment tool to support institutions to engage in fair and equitable negotiation processes despite recognised imbalances in institutional contracting capacities. The provides a 10 steps approach for assessing an institution's capability to negotiate and conclude fair and equitable research agreements and contracts.
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 highlights the importance of bringing research and services for development closer at individual and institutional levels.