IRD, inspiring change


Protecting the planet and ensuring humankind’s survival will depend on our joint capacity to invent a future that reconciles economic performance with social and environmental issues. The convergence of these sometimes contradictory interests calls governance models and the conventional ‘development methods’ into question. It overturns the prevailing analytical frameworks and forces us to come up with radically different technologies, products and lifestyles.
Against this background of profound upheaval, research for, with and by countries in the Global South has one clear responsibility: helping to understand the phenomena at work, their interactions, their implications and the levers for transformation. Academic research can play a major role in analysis and interpretation, but also in establishing new development models and the related innovation processes.
Research, technology and innovation (mentioned in SDG 91 and 172) will be crucial in honing these new production methods and new ways of living together. Now, more than ever, academic research has to draw on innovation to help open up new avenues for sustainable development. 

IRD is a driving force when it comes to managing the current changes, by:

It is vital that the findings of research are turned into solutions to achieve a sustainable future.

  1. Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. 

  2. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development 

Key figures

Flagship projects

Informing public policy and contributing to innovation

One of IRD’s main tasks is to see that the findings of research are converted into innovations and development actions. The findings of development research are promoted among policy-makers (with the aimed of informing public policy) and in the business sector. This promotional work comes in many different forms, partnerships and services. These include expert assignments, awareness-raising initiatives, the protection of inventions, technology transfer, and an array of research partnerships with private partners or foundations.

Strengthening research capacities

Capacity building is a cross-functional exercise involving all the Institute’s scientific activities. It is based on the belief that development requires stronger scientific communities in the Global South while mobilising research to the benefit of educational excellence and innovation, a belief that lies at the heart of sustainable development dynamics. The Institute has therefore set up teams of researchers who work alongside their partners to help strengthen the countries’ capacities to train students, structure research teams, and produce and disseminate knowledge and innovations that will serve development.