KFPE Annual Report 1999 - Excerpt
In February 1999 KFPE became a regular member of the commission of CASS (Conference of the Swiss Scientific Academies) and its new by-laws were accepted. KFPE has built up a new network of Swiss institutions that have long experience with research partnerships in developing countries. KFPE supports the members of this network in expanding, strengthening, and implementing research partnerships. In addition, it has approached other interested parties in the interest of promoting research partnerships with developing countries on a broader basis (new members, new associated institutions)
Professor Dr T.A. Freyvogel of the Swiss Tropical Institute (STI) in Basel retired as president of KFPE at the end of March 1999. Professor Freyvogel, the president of KFPE since its founding, was one of the major driving forces in the organisation in recent years. KFPE is especially grateful to him for his outstanding commitment to the organisation and his persistence in advancing its goals. His dedication certainly has much to do with the fact that KFPE is more widely and readily acknowledged by other organisations than it was just a few years ago.
Professor Dr Hans Hurni, Co-Director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Institute of Geography, University of Berne, assumes the presidency of KFPE from 1 April 1999. Professor Hurni intends to mainly pursue the following aims during his presidency:
- further developing the idea and conceptual framework of research partnerships aiming to solve pressing global development problems;
- working to ensure that such partnerships are anchored within Universities and other institutions that promote research
- achieving better co-ordination of partnerships at the national and international levels so that they will have noticeable impacts on sustainable development in both the North and the South.
In 1999 the KFPE Guidelines became available in Spanish and Portuguese. In view of the World Conference of Science in Budapest in June 1999 (see below), a Russian version was produced (on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, SDC). By the end of the year some 6500 copies in six languages had been distributed all over the world, with additional orders still coming in.
The 11 principles in the KFPE Guidelines must be followed in writing certain types of proposals for several new research programmes and for other programmes supported by SDC. One example is the new programme known as "Research Partnerships with Developing Countries" (section "International"). This programme is supported by SDC and the Swiss National Science Foundation.
Important conferences and workshops attended or organised by KFPE
- The executive secretary was invited to a workshop in Brussels in May 1999 on the topic "European University Co-operation with Developing Countries", organised by the Committee on University Co-operation for Development (CUD). The aim of this workshop was to share experience and information about forms and methods of university development co-operation in Europe (trends, motivation, strengths, strategies, weaknesses, etc.) and about various identified partners. A further aim was to establish contact with representatives of the European Community.
- EADI (European Association of Development Institutes) Conference in Paris in September 1999. The theme of this conference was "Europe and the South in the 21st Century: Challenges for Renewed Co-operation".
- 7th General Conference of TWAS (Third World Academy of Sciences) in Dakar, Senegal, November 20-26, 1999. The theme of this conference was "Science & Technology for Sustainable Development in Africa". "Brain drain" is one of the major problems of the South. At this conference it was proposed that centres of competence be created in the South to concentrate mainly on regional priorities and foster South-South collaboration.
- KFPE Symposium in Lucerne, October 1999. This symposium was devoted to the topic "Research Partnerships for Improved Management of Natural Resources in Developing Countries" (see the summaries of the lectures)
- A seminar entitled "Construire des Partenariats scientifiques Nord-Sud" took place at the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) in December 1999. It was concerned with reflections on North-South research partnerships and the KFPE Guidelines.
- A workshop entitled "Exchange between Research and Development Co-operation" was held in December 1999 to bring stakeholders in research and development co-operation together.
A special edition of Panorama, produced by the Swiss Priority Programme Environment, was released in December 1999, entitled "Development through research? An Evaluation of Module 7" (abstracts of projects). Several members of KFPE were co-authors of this special edition or participated in the supervisory group concerned with the evaluation.
"NCCR North-South: Research Partnerships for Mitigating Syndromes of Global Change"
For the first time, all relevant Swiss research institutes that have long experience in research partnerships with the South worked out a common programme in collaboration with KFPE. In March 2000 they submitted a joint proposal for a National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) under the leadership of CDE to the Swiss National Science Foundation. This programme would be realised in the NCCR framework through research partnerships between Swiss institutions and institutions in the South and East. It would synergise the multifaceted experience of research institutions in Switzerland and their partner countries for the first time. The research proposed in the programme is designed to address the most pressing problems of global change experienced by developing and transition countries. Finally, the research concept also proposes the development of disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methodologies to respond to the world-wide need for practical solutions and more participatory i.e. partnership approaches.
World Conference on Science in Budapest
At this conference the Swiss State Secretary for Science, Charles Kleiber, presented research partnerships with developing countries as one of Switzerlands major concerns in the future. Among other things, the KFPE Guidelines were presented at the conference and more than 1000 copies were distributed.
Forschungsbotschaft des Bundesrates (2000-2003)
For the first time KFPE was mentioned in the Forschungsbotschaft des Bundesrates (Research Report of the Swiss Federal Council).