GDN President


Pierre Jacquet
2012 - to date

Professor Pierre Jacquet joined GDN as its 4th President on 16 July, 2012. He is the former Chief Economist of the French Development Agency (AFD) and has been Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Department of Economics of a French ivy league graduate engineering school, Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées. Professor Jacquet brings with him vast management, think tank and scholastic experience. He received a mission from the President of the French Republic to make proposals for the G20 to help developing countries better respond to food price volatility, from February to October, 2011. 


Who is GDN?

The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in developing and transition countries to promote better lives. It supports researchers with financial resources, global networking, and access to information, training, peer review and mentoring. GDN acts on the premise that better research leads to more informed policies and better, more inclusive development. Through its global platform, GDN connects social science researchers with policymakers and development stakeholders across the world. Founded in 1999, GDN is currently headquartered in New Delhi.

Since 1999, has cooperated with 10 Regional Network Partners, international donor organizations and governments, research institutes, academic institutions, and think tanks. It has supported 315 collaborative research studies on a range of pressing development challenges, networked globally with 7,600 participants at 17 annual global development conferences (70%from developing countries), awarded prizes to 310 researchers and development practitioners as well as supported over 4,000 grantees across 139 developing and transition countries, thanks to 40 major funders.  

See GDN's new strategy, The Road Ahead | Strategy 2017-2022  


GDN’s Vision, Purpose and Beliefs 


A world in which evidence and scholarly knowledge inform and inspire development and policy decisions.


Improve development outcomes and livelihoods through high-quality, policy-oriented research in the social sciences, produced in developing countries and connected globally. 


  • Locally conducted social science research leads to a better understanding of development challenges and guides policy decision and their implementation
  • Useful and actionable knowledge cannot be exclusively imported. Local social science research is needed to transform knowledge into solutions. It is also crucial for local ownership and for informed democratic debate. 
A three-pillar strategy
  • Strengthening research in low capacity environments. Because available funding for research capacity building tends to target the highest quality research outputs, to little effort is made to raise research capacity in weaker environments. GDN proposes a specific approach to help local research institutions build their capacity.
  • Delivering high quality, global collaborative research.  Many developing country researchers lack opportunities and incentives to interact globally or engage in substantive, global collaborative work, because such opportunities and incentives require specific efforts that are currently under-rated and under-funded. GDN proposes to use its network and experience to promote research excellence through collaborative research across regions and disciplines.
  • Putting development research to better use. A patent mismatch in developing countries between the potential demand for policy research and the actual supply of academic research results in poor research-policy interaction. GDN proposes to specifically work on the process of using research by using developing various products and approaches to connect researchers and other stakeholders: governments, private sector, civil society.  

GDN offers a complete package of services

  • Research Diagnostics. This could include surveying the research environment (systems and practices) in developing countries, researching M&E capacity building instruments, methods and practices, and evaluating research capacity-building operations.
  • Research Management. This could include incubating, initiating, funding and or managing research programs and hosting services, managing prizes and awards, monitoring and implementation, monitoring quality at all stages, coordinating the production of research papers and products.
  • Research Capacity Building. This could include institutional partnerships, training on design, skills, administration, communication and use, assistance to publication, mentoring and peer reviews, quality control, global exposure and collaborative work. 
  • Research Use. This could include a web platform, international conferences, workshops, dialogues, policy labs, convening all stakeholders, research 'translation services' including blogs, briefs, summaries, videos and advisory services.

Independence. GDN has the legitimacy of an independent, public international organization. It has no institutional or political affiliation, and its only dedication is to serve its mandate.

First-class and diverse academic board of directors. GDN has a ­ first-class, diverse academic Board of Directors, coopted under strict nomination guidelines. GDN’s governance structure strengthens its independence and focus on quality. Directors are nominated by diverse global and regional constituencies and appointed by GDN’s International Assembly.

Operational experience. GDN has accumulated strong and diverse operational experience in managing global research programs and working with individuals and institutions across the developing world.

Partnerships and global network.GDN builds on a strong global network. It has ten regional network partners across all developing regions, and has established working relationships with many individuals and institutions, thus combining local and global reach.

StaffGDN has a small, competent and versatile staff . It is a nimble structure whose role is to initiate, coordinate and facilitate research-based work conducted by many other partners and organizations, and to learn from GDN’s past operations and experience.


Inclusiveness. GDN reaches out to all categories of countries and researchers. It fights all forms of discrimination in access to its programs, whether originating in gender, or in differences in the institutional, geographic, political or economic environment.

Transparency. GDN programs, processes and criteria for selection and access are all transparent. So are GDN accounts, income and expenditure. The results of GDN’s programs are public and publicly disseminated. GDN fully supports open data principles.

Effciency. GDN manages its operations in a cost efficient manner, and focuses on outcomes and impact. It gratefully recognizes the support it receives and is keen on delivering value-for-money in the pursuit of its global mission.

Research ethics and quality. Through its programs and beneficiaries, GDN upholds professional research and ethical standards, such as scientific quality standards, respect for persons and their rights, equity and transparency, legal compliance and data confidentiality and protection.

Celebrating 15 years of GDN

Research Ethics & Mentoring

Read about Research Ethics at GDN, in the context of research capacity building in economics and social sciences. Ethical Guidelines for Research.

Read about  the basic objectives and principles that govern mentoring at GDN, in the context of research capacity building in economics and social sciences, with the goal of better informed policy making and socio-economic development. Mentoring Policy & Guidelines