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Doing Research in Venezuela

Image: Antolin Sanchez

Name of the Asset | Doing Research in Venezuela: Science, Technology and Innovation Capabilities to Overcome the Crisis in Venezuela

Type of Asset | Research report

Date | October 2020


For a little more than five years, Venezuela has been going through a serious structural crisis, which is mainly, though not exclusively, the result of politics, which manifests itself in all areas (economic, educational, social, health, etcetera) and which maintains the population in extremely precarious living conditions, as has been seen in various studies. In the last five years (2015-2020) Venezuela has lost almost three decades of its demographic bonus. Currently, the number of people under 15 and over 65 exceeds the number of the economically active citizens, which means great challenges from the economic and social policy point of view for the coming decades. 

The 'Doing Research in Venezuela' report is a preliminary study of the state of the country's research system that draws on interviews and desk research. It is the first structured attempt to empirically document the ongoing de-institutionalization of research in Venezuela. Through a hard look at the health, food security, and engineering sectors, it brings to light a picture that is representative of the larger research systems and its relations with industry.

This study outlines both the serious loss of research capabilities and the new institutional arrangements that must kick in to help restore active participation in social science research from across civil society: research centers, NGOs foundations, international organizations and more to advance the consolidation of collaborative research, and better governance of science and technology. It proposes two solutions: one of political change, and the other in which state participation is not elicited, but instead which starts with the design of strategies that maximizes research capabilities outside the government system.  


  • Ignacio Ávalos
  • María Antonia Cervilla 
  • Alexis Mercado
  • Isabelle Sánchez-Rose
  • María Sonsiré López 
  • Hebe Vessuri  

Country and/or Region | Venezuela

Name of the Program | GDN’s Doing Research for Measuring the Production, Diffusion, and Use of Social Science Research

Funder(s) | The current phase of the Doing Research program is being funded by GDN’s core funds. The Doing Research pilot phase was generously supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Agence Française de Développement, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation for US$785,000 from 2014-2016.


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