Doing Research

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The implementation of the global agenda for sustainable development requires local research capacities to ensure that national systems are equipped with critical analyses of development and policy challenges. The production, diffusion and use of locally-grounded social science research is key to democratic debate and planning for sustainable development. This vision has been underpinning international support to research capacity building locally for decades. Yet, barriers to production, diffusion and uptake of social science research remain elusive, and so does sustainable and systemic change in the social sciences in the global South. Read program fact sheet | Find out how the Doing Research program evolved | See program results at a glance.



With this focus in mind, GDN launched in 2014 an innovative, Doing Research program that aims to assess systematically how the features of national research system impact the capacity to produce, diffuse and use quality social science research to the benefit of social and economic development. By contributing to a better objective assessment of research systems for social sciences in developing countries, the Doing Research program, in a network of close partnerships with national research institutions, aims to expose weaknesses and shortcomings that can be addressed through better-informed national research policy, and what might be levers of change. Building on the current discourse on knowledge systems, the program puts forward a full-fledged definition of what a research system is, and operationalizes it to investigate the national environment for social science research, based on the best possible evidence, in three main dimensions: context, actors, and systemic features. Download Doing Research Assessment Framework and Indicators.



The program produces knowledge on the performance of research systems, releases original data on research systems and organizes discussions and outreach about strengthening research systems to enable social progress. Interested in implementing the Doing Research Assessment? See the call for Expressions of Interest

Through a range of outputs (reports, academic articles, blog posts), and dissemination channels (international webinars, national events, the GDN website) the program generates knowledge on the systemic determinants of research in the global South that can be strategic to both international and national reforms.


Published papers

July 20, 2022 [Article] | Use of research evidence in the policy domain: A best-evidence synthesis of social science research in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by Daniel Sidney Fussy | International Social Science Journal 


To support this work, please contact Daniel Fussy.


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