Science and Development Network

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SciDev.Net is a not-for-profit organisation that produces news, views and analysis on information about science and technology for global development. They primarily engage with development professionals, policymakers, researchers, the media and the informed public.[1]

The organisation was founded in 2001[2] in response to the significant gap in scientific knowledge between rich and poor countries and with the understanding that “those who stand to benefit the most from modern science and technology are also those with the least access to information about it".[3] SciDev.Net seeks to redress this imbalance via its free-to-access website, regional networks and specialist workshops.

SciDev.Net aims to help individuals and organisations apply evidence and insights from science and technology to decision-making in order to have a positive impact on equitable and sustainable development and poverty reduction.

The main office is based in London but there are six regional desks based in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, South-East Asia & Pacific, Middle-East & North Africa and West Africa.

SciDev.Net is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1089590).


The SciDev.Net website is available in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Arabic. Content includes: News, Analysis, Summaries, Practical Guides, Learning Series reports and Spotlights.

News: SciDev.Net's news coverage is at the heart of its website and articles are added daily. Freelance journalists throughout the developing world write much of this material and work closely with a team of editors to ensure timely and accurate coverage of breaking news.

Analysis: Longer feature and opinion articles delve deeper into the issues and examine the ideas and projects that inform the international scientific agenda. Monthly columns look at the relationship between specific topics and impacts on the policy community. SciDev.Net monthly columns to date include:

  • Africa Analysis by African science policy, education and development journalist Linda Nordling
  • Latin America Analysis by Brazilian science journalist Carla Almeida
  • Islam Analysis by Athar Osama, science and innovation consultant
  • Asia-Pacific Analysis by Crispin Maslog, consultant for the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication[4]
  • Focus on Gender by Gender and Social Development Consultant Henrietta Miers
  • Focus on Migration by climate related migration researcher Max Martin
  • Focus on Disability by development and disability inclusion consultant Sue Coe
  • Focus on Poverty by independent consultant Roger Williamson
  • Focus on Private Sector

SciDev.Net are now starting (2014) a series of 'view on' pieces in the areas of Gender, Migration, Disability, Poverty and the Private sector written by Joshua Howgego based on interviews.

Practical guides: The website also provides practical guides for science journalists, scientists and policy-makers to improve science communication in developing countries.

Spotlights: These special collections of articles focus on a ‘hot topic’ and provide an in-depth look at the key issues facing developing countries. Spotlights published to date include:

  • The challenge of science and NGO practice joining forces
  • Improving early warning of disasters
  • Linking human rights, science and development
  • Supporting grassroots innovation
  • Ocean science for sustainable development

Topics and regions[edit]

The SciDev.Net website was restructured and relaunched in March 2008[5] to provide access to material via ‘topic gateways’, which bring together news updates and analysis on key issues. The topics covered are:

  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Governance
  • Enterprise
  • Communication

Science and technology news is also available via ‘regional editions’:

  • Afrique Sub-Saharienne
  • América Latina y el Caribe
  • الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا
  • South-Asia
  • South-East Asia and the Pacific
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Coverage is informed by regional networks consisting of an extensive number of journalists, consultants, advisors and registered users based in developing countries. They work to ensure that a developing country perspective is represented. They also support the development of professional science journalism skills via science communication workshops[6] and provide essential on-the-job training opportunities for science journalists.

Signing up[edit]

Visitors who sign-up with SciDev.Net receive a free weekly email with all the latest stories from the website. These are available in English, Spanish, Arabic and French. Those who sign-up can comment on articles and submit announcements, events, jobs and grants to SciDev.Net for free to be featured on the website and in the weekly emails.

RSS feeds and Creative Commons[edit]

The latest news can appear instantly on other websites through a free SciDev.Net global, regional or topic specific newsfeed. Each newsfeed carries the latest news stories, including a headline, introductory sentence and link to the full article.

For busy researchers or editors who need to sift through information from many sources, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) enables instantaneous delivery of SciDev.Net news stories to a 'news reader' soon as they are published.

In addition, all SciDev.Net website material is free to reproduce under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 licence. Under the terms of this licence users are permitted to copy, distribute, display and perform the content, and make derivative works so long as the original author and website are quoted as the source.[7]

Funders, supporters and partnerships[edit]

Funders of SciDev.Net include:[8]

  • UK Department for International Development (DFID)[9]
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)[10]
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)[11]
  • Australian Aid [12]

Partners SciDev.Net works with a range of organisations at global, regional and national levels to achieve shared objectives. These include:

  • Nature
  • Science
  • Guardian Environment Network
  • Guardian Development Network
  • AlertNet

SciDev.Net is also affiliated with TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, based in Trieste, Italy.[13]


  1. ^ SciDev.Net. About Us.
  2. ^ SciDev.Net. About Us: History.
  3. ^ IDRC (The International Development Research Centre). Archive: Science and Development Network.
  4. ^ Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication
  5. ^ DFID (Department for International Development). New look SciDev.Net. Research for Development.
  6. ^ The Communication Initiative Network. Workshop: Effective Science Communication in an Era of Globalisation.
  7. ^ Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales.
  8. ^ About Us – supporters/funders
  9. ^ DFID (Department for International Development). Project Record: Science in Development website (SciDev.Net). Research for Development.
  10. ^ Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
  11. ^ International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
  12. ^ Australian Aid.
  13. ^

External links[edit]