World Federation of Science Journalists

Shape British support to Research for Development

August 10, 2007

By 2010, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) will spend more money on development research than any other organisation outside of the private sector.

You are invited to say how those funds should be allocated.

As a result of promises made in a UK government White Paper on International Development, spending will increase to £220m by 2010. How DFID spends the money will be outlined in its Research Strategy 2008-2013. DFID is asking for your help to refocus on the most pressing research challenges, work in innovative ways and make new research partnerships.

DFID has put in place a global consultation process - a mixture of face-to-face and electronic forums - that will provide opportunities for policymakers, academics, and civil society to inform the strategy. The consultations will ask what are the key challenges that need further investigation. How can DFID support better partnerships in research so that the products are useful, used and inform political and development processes? How can DFID effectively and efficiently spend around £1bn over five years in a way that leaves partner countries better positioned and able to do, access and use research?

A series of face-to-face consultations will be convened in Africa (Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda) and Asia (India, Bangladesh) over a period of three months starting in August, and another two in South Africa and China later in the year. In the UK, we will be holding two further consultation meetings. The first will be a learning event for Research Programme Consortiums on 17 and 18 September and the second a meeting in early October to discuss the emerging lines of the new Strategy.

An electronic consultation has been launched to complement the face-to-face consultations. Read the consultation documents and contribute your recommendations by going to DFID's consultation portal:

The Strategy will be finalised by the end of 2007, and take effect April 2008.

DFID hopes that communities of practice, researchers, civil society assemblies and professional groups will convene their own meetings to feed into the e-consultation. WFSJ encourages its member associations and science journalists to "spread the word" about the consultation process, -- and contribute their own ideas and recommendations --, so that DFID's Research Strategy is informed by multiple stakeholders.

For more information, subscribe to DFID's e-bulletin at