In 2014, 324 individuals from the South started a research education in Denmark (Source: Danmarks Statistik. Nyoptagne studerendes hjemlande. 2014). During previous years, the yearly number of new research students from the South was about the same. After the PhD degree, several will return to their country of origin and work in a university, a public institution or in the private sector.
The objective of the research communication project is is to communicate research results from the best PhD theses and post doc projects, which creates new knowledge about sustainable development in the South. The website of the project will communicate features on selected research results and about South researchers during their work in Denmark and subsequent job career in their country of origin, and it will build a searchable database with profiles of all participating South researchers and descriptions of their research findings.
The primary target group are users in Denmark of research based knowledge on sustainable transition in the South, i.e. practitioner actors in the Danish public and private sectors and non-governmental organisations, who are engaged in business activities, consultancy, aid interventions, twinning between institutions a.m. in developing countries.
The target group is now wider than the traditional development aid community in Denmark. Denmark’s participation in international development cooperation is giving more emphasis to trade and partnerships about private investments and strengthening of institutions to promote green growth. Several ministries are partners in capacity building, and a broader spectrum of specialized knowledge from Denmark is in demand. The emerging economies and growing middle classes in the South implies that private sector companies in Denmark engage a wider range of South countries. This shift increases the interest in research based knowledge about sustainable development in the South.
The project communicates and makes visible research, which is important for the primary target group. The need for new knowledge about transition to sustainable development in developing countries increases in tandem with priority given to the fulfilment of the UN climate and sustainable development goals. The emphasis on South driven partnerships implies that South researchers have a decisive role to play in the efforts in developing countries.
To explore significant knowledge communities in Denmark contributing to sustainable development research to be featured on the website, DDRN will perform a nation-wide mapping tour during autumn 2017 and spring 2018. As part of the tour, DDRN plan to organize public meetings at universities in Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Roskilde and Copenhagen, jointly with the relevant departments.
For the public audience the project will promote an understanding of the significance of South researchers’ study stays in Denmark; in general, it will contribute to the internationalization of Danish research, and in specific terms highlight the urgent need for research on sustainable development in the South and in the North.
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