The IRD network abroad and in the French overseas territories


« The first mission of the IRD and its network abroad and in the French overseas territories is to contribute through research to the emergence, strengthening and empowerment of scientific communities and higher education and research systems in the countries in which it operates, while striving to respond to the population’s requirements » The Strategic Direction Plan for 2016-2030 (POS).

In 2016, the project to develop the network of IRD representatives abroad and in the French overseas territories thus came to fruition. This reorganisation will make it possible to adapt our operating methods to the level of development of our partner countries and the maturity of their higher education and research set-ups, while promoting benchmark research centres in developing countries.

The project drew on a series of internal consultations (representatives from the Institute, its research units and head office departments) and on input from institutions such as AFD, Cirad, CNRS, and the ministry of foreign affairs and international development. It aims to establish:

A major step in the development of the network came in late 2016 with the recruitment and appointment of 20 delegate representatives and focal point managers.

IRD's presence in the world.
Find out more


In spite of its assets (young, educated population, little extreme poverty and available natural resources), this region suffers from increasingly significant social and ecological pressure, leading to unprecedented changes and challenging the possibilities for medium and long-term development. IRD has been working around the Mediterranean since 1957 and has five representatives there today.

West and central Africa

This region experiences certain difficulties, especially the depletion of natural resources, extreme weather conditions and problems with insecurity, although the economic outlook is positive. IRD has worked here since 1946 and has 10 representatives here. Research covers all the Institute’s priority subject areas: infectious diseases related to poverty, climate change and natural hazards, ecosystems, and so on.

East Africa and the Indian Ocean

The network’s 2016 action covered IRD’s scientific and operational topics such as marine sciences, climate change, health and environment with the challenges of South-South cooperation and the international sustainable development agenda.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Drawing on a dense and varied network of scientific partners, IRD works in a spirit of regional cooperation. The Institute benefits from long-standing presence, recognised by the national funding agencies. IRD research encompasses global changes, the sustainable management of resources and territories, mobilities and biotechnologies in Mesoamerica, urban dynamics and so on.

Asia and the Pacific

IRD has been working in Southeast Asia since 1976 and has five representatives there today. Research is conducted on a partnership basis and tackles a wide array of topics such as agriculture and environment, biodiversity, aquaculture, health, geology and so on.

And in the future ?

Further representatives and correspondents will be appointed in 2017 to complete the network. Likewise, scientific and strategic steering committees with an equal number of members from the North and South and of both genders will be set up everywhere that we have delegate representatives and focal point managers. On the basis of a fair partnership, they will contribute to the scientific leadership and planning functions, and will issue opinions to enrich IRD’s scientific policy. Through stronger international presence, IRD aims to bring on-board its French higher education, research and diplomatic partners to ensure joint, coordinated commitment in the countries in which it is present, focused on research initiatives and topics where it can bring added value.