Thank you for visiting the website of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. The NCCR North-South programme formally ended in June 2014.
Please note that the content of this website will no longer be updated.
New online database of partner institutions for transboundary research KFPE and the International Graduate School North-South have just launched an online database of research institutions that have experience working as transboundary research partners with Swiss research centres and others in countries of the global South and East. The database is a valuable resource for researchers who are seeking suitable research partners or wish to find institutions that possess key information or expertise. Link to database
Award for research that includes society On 21 October 2013, the Swiss Network for Transdisciplinary Research presented the “swiss-academies award for transdisciplinary research”. The prize for “lifetime achievement” was awarded to Professors Hans Hurni and Urs Wiesmann of CDE, who led the NCCR North-South and guided it towards inter- and transdisciplinarity in exemplary fashion. While doing so, they also contributed substantially to the discourse on the opportunities and constraints of transdisciplinary research. Link to details and press release (in German)
A research and practice exchange in Peru In collaboration with the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), the Peruvian Ministry of Environment and the Department for National Protected Areas recently presented research results and recommendations for practice related to more sustainable use of natural resources in the Andean and Amazonian region in Peru and Bolivia. The research findings result from work conducted within the NCCR North-South programme. Local experts, governmental authorities, and the Swiss ambassador in Peru participated in this event. More information about the event (in Spanish) Related policy briefs
Recently founded Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research announces mission Established in June 2012, the Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research at the Hanoi School of Public Health is a key structural achievement that the NCCR North-South contributed to through its research project (RP8) on “Productive sanitation”. Referred to as CENPHER, the center has just released a flyer outlining its mission, activities, and goals. It uses an Ecohealth/One Health approach to examine the links between human, animal, and environmental health in Southeast Asia and also Africa. Download flyer (PDF / EN 1.4 MB) Link to CENPHER website
Call for papers on "Family Farming in Mountains: Institutional and Organizational Arrangements in the Context of Globalization" Mountain Research and Development (MRD) is seeking policy- and practice-oriented, well-validated insights into effective arrangements for advancing and enhancing family farms. MRD is also calling for sound analyses of organizational aspects of family farming in the political, economic, and environmental mountain context. Abstracts are due by 15 August 2013, invited full papers by 31 January 2014. Full call for papers
Research partnerships with the global South – A paradigm shift for Swiss research policy and development cooperation? Tuesday, 4 June 2013, 5 pm – 7:30 pm, University of Bern, UniS, Room 003.
At the programme’s final policy event, politicians and researchers commented on the potential of North-South research networks and discussed the role of politics vis-à-vis successful development cooperation. Press release (German / PDF 129 KB) Link to flyer (English / PDF 178 KB) Photos of event
Clips of the following programme-supported films were shown at the event to illustrate the value of research partnerships:
2013 Conference on Environment and Health – Bridging South, North, East and West Programme partner Swiss TPH will be hosting this conference in Basel, Switzerland, from 19 to 23 August 2013. It is the first-ever joint conference of three leading scientific societies committed to improving public health. Learn more and register
Research Fair: Results and Innovations from Transnational Research Partnerships The Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE) held a research fair on “Results and Innovations from Transnational Research Partnerships” on 5 June 2013 in Bern. The fair promoted mutual learning by bringing together researchers and practitioners involved in international cooperation to present, share, and discuss promising and innovative results, processes, and products from research partnerships with developing countries. A wide range of academic disciplines were represented. See presentations and more
KOFF-South Sudan roundtable on water and land management in South Sudan: How to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding? Date and venue: 2 April 2013, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm at swisspeace, Sonnenbergstrasse 17, 3000 Bern 7. Various Swiss development and peacebuilding organisations are involved in water- and land-management projects in South Sudan. Successful implementation of these projects demands superior skills in conflict-sensitive project management, as issues of access to water and land are highly charged. This KOFF workshop aims to facilitate exchange and provide guidance. Download full details
Call for papers on "Gender and Sustainable Development in Mountains—Innovative Transformations, Tenacious Resistances" Mountain Research and Development (MRD) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) invite well-validated and sound analyses of approaches to and conditions for initiating gender-positive transformation in mountain environments. Abstracts are due by 15 April 2013, full papers by 1 September 2013. Full call for papers
Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) Gender, Justice, Globalisation The second round of the CAS Gender, Justice, Globalisation will start on 11 April 2013. In 7 modules, participants will acquire theoretical knowledge on gender, justice, and globalisation, discuss international standards of human and women’s rights, and reflect on conditions for gender-sensitive governance. Once again, reputable national and international experts such as Prof. Sylvia Chant from the London School of Economics and Prof. Yakin Ertürk, former UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, will guide the proceedings. The course runs for a year. Its application deadline is 1 March 2013, but late applications will be considered. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +41 31 631 52 68 if applying late. Modules may also be booked individually. Programme coordination: Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies, University of Bern. Download programme (EN / PDF 558 KB) Link to the website
Workshop proceedings available: Landless Mobile Pastoralists – Securing their role as custodians of northern Pakistan’s Mountains A gathering of all key stakeholders met at the National Agricultural Research Centre with mobile herders to address the issues of Ajars in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. This workshop on landless mobile pastoralists, held in Islamabad, 24 to 26 April 2012, produced several breakthroughs on behalf of the Ajars, who act as important custodians of mountain ecosystems and contribute significantly to the livestock economy in Pakistan. The workshop proceedings are now available for download. They include presentations, working groups’ discussions, and policy recommendations. Workshop proceedings (English / PDF 2.6 MB) Related policy brief (English / PDF 1 MB)
Master of Advanced Studies in Sustainable Water Resources at ETH Zurich Now accepting applications, this programme advocates an integrated vision of sustainable water resources management, with a focus on technical training and research. Lasting one year, it is designed to advance the education of scientists and policymakers on the importance of water availability and water scarcity in a changing world, at the same time preparing them to face the challenges of the future, such as climate and land use change, increased water use, and population growth. Learn more
New book: ‘Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding’
Former NCCR North-South project leader Albrecht Schnabel has co-edited a new volume, together with Anara Tabyshalieva, on women’s crucial role in rebuilding war-torn societies. Emphasising case studies from Africa, the book examines women’s journey from being victims of conflict to being activists and participants in post-war efforts to heal societies and create lasting peace. Learn more
Knowledge of natural remedies endures in Andes Quechua-speaking young people know as much about natural remedies as their elders in certain Andean Highland communities. This key finding is contained in a paper co-written by CDE/NCCR North-South researchers, which examines the transformation of knowledge about medicinal plants and similar remedies. Link to article
Unipress looks back on 11 years of NCCR North-South The University of Bern’s flagship magazine, Unipress, chose to focus on the NCCR North-South in its latest issue. The six-page German-language article looks at the achievements of the unique programme and features an exclusive interview with its directors, Hans Hurni and Urs Wiesmann, on life after the NCCR North-South. Download Unipress #154 (German / PDF 519 KB)
Now available: Mountain Research and Development, Volume 32, Issue No. 3 on Central Asian Mountain Societies in Transition Mountain societies in Central Asia have experienced systemic economic, political, social, and environmental changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This special issue of MRD helps to fill recognised gaps in knowledge and sustainable development practice for Central Asian mountain societies by analysing current realities and assessing development experiences. Five articles address pasture governance and use; three focus on livelihood challenges, pathways, and opportunities for households; and others examine adaptation to climate change and ways to reconcile sustainable development with wildlife conservation. The Mountain Societies Research Centre of the University of Central Asia served as guest editor of this special issue. Link to issue
Reinventing the toilet for the poor One of the sessions at the recent 3rd ICRD 2012 was devoted to improving sanitation in developing countries. On this occasion, the Berner Zeitung newspaper interviewed Thammarat Koottatep of the Bangkok-based Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and his research partners Christian Zurbruegg and Christoph Luethi, from the Swiss Federal Aquatic Research Institute (Sandec/Eawag). Link to article (German / PDF 1.1 MB) Link to English summary (PDF 349 KB)
NCCR North-South boosts researchers’ careers in global South A recent survey on the career paths of NCCR North-South alumni indicates clear benefits among participants from developing countries. A majority of Southern alumni, including women, acquired better jobs and salaries after their PhD. Remarkably, more than 90% returned to work in a developing country, where their skills can likely make the biggest contribution. These findings are spotlighted in an article in The Guardian. Link to article
DRS 1 radio interview: ‘New paths in development assistance’ NCCR North-South researchers Bassirou Bonfoh and Jakob Zinsstag were interviewed at this year’s ICRD about the programme’s partnership-based approach and the “One Health” project in particular. They describe how partnership benefits both the North and the South, and how successful projects can be transferred and tested in different regions. Link to broadcast
Free for download: Eight new NCCR North-South Dialogue papers Issues 39 to 46 were recently published. Check out the following new titles in our archive:
The Roads of Decentralisation: The History of Rural Road Construction in Ethiopia by R Emmenegger
Critical Gender Issues with Regard to Food, Land, and Water: A Compendium for Policymakers, NGOs, and Researchers by K Lanz, S Bieri, L Fankhauser
Roles de los investigadores en la coproducción de conocimiento: Experiencias de la investigación sobre sostenibilidad en Kenia, Suiza, Bolivia y Nepal by C Pohl et al
Tracking Alumni Career Paths: Third NCCR North-South Report on Effectiveness by EM Heim, S Engelage, AB Zimmermann, K Herweg, C Michel, T Breu
The MDGs in Bolivia: Poverty Reduction in a Post-neoliberal Area by S Rist, J Nuñez del Prado
International Conference on Research for Development (ICRD 2012): Research for Global Transformation by NCCR North-South
Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger in Ethiopia by Aklilu Amsalu
Côte d’Ivoire: State-driven Poverty Reduction in a Context of Crisis—Navigating Between MDG Constraints and Debt Relief by F Akindès
MRD: Call for papers on "Water Governance in Mountains"
2013 will be the International Year of Water Cooperation. For its August 2013 issue, Mountain Research and Development is seeking papers presenting well-validated policy- and practice-oriented insights for supporting improved water governance in mountains (MountainDevelopment section), and papers that analyze water governance, its implications on people and the water system in mountain areas, and related issues from a holistic perspective (MountainResearch section).
The due date for submission of full papers is 15 November 2012.
For further details, download the full call for papers at: Call for papers (PDF 138 KB)
Read about the journal’s section policies, guidelines and submission procedure at: http://www.mrd-journal.org
Article on challenge of harmonising carbon sequestration and livelihood strategies in drylands NCCR North-South and CDE researchers Henri Rueff and Chinwe Ifejika Speranza contributed to a recent article published in Environmental Science & Policy titled “Challenges and opportunities in linking carbon sequestration, livelihoods and ecosystem service provision in drylands“. The article’s lead author, Lindsay C. Stringer of the University of Leeds, was interviewed in Nature Climate Change about the interdisciplinary collaboration behind the findings. Link to article Link to interview
New South Asia Partnership Region publications The Regional Coordination Office in South Asia recently published two discussion papers and a book which address, respectively, the research partnership experience, Nepal’s peace process, and the country’s hopes for the future. Each may be downloaded directly:
KFPE’s New Guide for Transboundary Research Partnerships Based on an extensive consultation process, the Commission for Research Partnerships (KFPE) has completely updated its "11 Principles for Research in Partnership”, integrating current trends and experience. It has also developed 7 fundamental questions that help draw attention to factors that enable or hinder research in partnership. The 7 questions are intended to enable users to better understand and implement the 11 principles. Visit KFPE Guide webpage
Rio+20: The Future Switzerland Wants Just ahead of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, an event was held on 7 June 2012 at the University of Bern, to discuss Switzerland’s position at the global summit. The lead-up event – Rio+20: The Future Switzerland Wants – included a panel discussion with representatives from government, industry, science, NGOs, and members of the Swiss delegation to Rio+20. It was organised by the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) in cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, the Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. Full details at CDE website
Large-scale land acquisitions: new report and website Large-scale land acquisitions are a lasting trend. So say a new report and innovative website created by the Land Matrix partnership which includes the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and NCCR North-South researchers. The report and website, launched on 26 April 2012 at the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, aim to promote transparency and accountability in land-investment decisions through open data. Link to CDE
Panel discussion: Green Economy: Chances and Risks for Agriculture Urs Wiesmann, co-director of the NCCR North-South, spoke at this event on global agricultural policy, 23 May 2012, at ETH Zurich. SWISSAID, CDE, Biovision, and others co-sponsored the discussion conceived in the lead-up to the UN Rio+20 conference. A key topic was the relevance of the “green economy” concept for small-scale farming. Programme (EN / PDF 864 KB)
Latin America Award for dissertations at Swiss universities goes to NCCR North-South alumnus NCCR North-South researcher Peter Bille Larsen (IHEID Geneva) has been honoured with the Latin America Award for dissertations at Swiss universities. He received the award from the University of St. Gallen for his dissertation titled "Frontier governance: rights, environmental conservation and resource extraction among the Yánesha in the Peruvian Amazon". Link to University of St. Gallen Link to award photo
New PhD programme on “A Dialogue of Knowledge, Agroecology and New Paradigms of Science and Development” A new PhD course of studies was launched in April 2012 by the Agroecologia Universidad Cochabamba (AGRUCO) of Bolivia’s Universidad Mayor de San Simon (UMSS). Based on an intercultural and transdisciplinary approach, it aims to integrate indigenous knowledge and a Southern perspective into scientific discourses on development. The three-year programme spans contributions from several universities around the globe. Learn more (Spanish)
Landless mobile pastoralists (Ajars) step out of the shadows For the first time, a gathering of all key stakeholders met at the National Agricultural Research Centre with mobile herders to address the issues of Ajars in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. This workshop on landless mobile pastoralists, held in Islamabad, 24 to 26 April 2012, produced several breakthroughs on behalf of the Ajars, who act as important custodians of mountain ecosystems and contribute significantly to the livestock economy in Pakistan. Download researchers’ statement (PDF 135 KB) Link to workshop website Download related policy brief (PDF 1 MB)
Corporate Engagement for Conflict Transformation: Conceptualising the Business–Peace Interface
A new article by NCCR North-South researchers published in the Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security explores how business actors may alleviate conflicts by addressing their economic causes. It provides a conceptual basis for the relationship between business interests and peace, charts trends, and examines business actors’ motivations for social engagement in Nepal. Download article (PDF 1.2 MB)
North-South Forum: urban transformation The fifth North-South Forum took place on 24 April 2012, at the ETH Zurich. It addressed the interface between formality and informality in urban transformation in order to show the peculiarities and vitality of these hybrid development processes. The event was jointly organised by the North-South Centre of the ETH Zurich, the NCCR North-South, and the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE).
New book: From the Periphery to the Centre: Remaking the Bolivian State and Society A new book (in German) by Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera examines the Morales administration’s concept of “plurinationalism” as well as the obstacles and problems encountered during the development of a new constitution. It includes a recent interview in which García Linera discusses his political theories and Bolivia’s current situation with NCCR North-South researcher Stephan Rist and Andreas Simmen. Order book (German)
Migration Year Book for Nepal
The South Asia office of the NCCR North-South and the Nepal Institute of Development Studies have published The Nepal Migration Year Book 2010. The book provides data on various aspects of migration such as the different forms of migration, the number of migrants, and their remittances. Download book (PDF 3MB)
New article: “Representative Seroprevalences of Brucellosis in Humans and Livestock in Kyrgyzstan”
A new article by NCCR North-South researchers published in EcoHealth reports on the results of a study testing for brucellosis among humans and animals in Kyrgyzstan. The researchers found high seroprevalence of brucellosis in Kyrgyzstan and evidence of under-reporting of human cases. They point to the need for interventions such as mass vaccination of sheep, goats, and cattle. Download article (English / 168 KB) Download related policy brief (English / PDF 1.1 MB)
Voices of Youth video project
As part of the NCCR North-South research project on reproductive resilience, Tanzanian youth were given a chance to represent and reflect on their experiences concerning sexuality and teenage pregnancy through the medium of video. In a participatory action research approach, adolescents (15 to 19 years) planned, scripted, directed, and acted in videos in an urban setting, Dar es Salaam, and a rural setting, Mtwara Town. The process of participatory video production was also documented. The videos and findings are being used to support similar youth-empowerment and awareness-raising interventions and to improve the local dialogues on these sensitive issues. Download flyer (PDF 172 KB) View video on production process View video by youth in Dar es Salaam View video by youth in Mtwara
IGS North-South: ProDoc training on natural resource governance
Taking place 5–7 December 2011 at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) in Bern, this three-day training module covers governance of three areas: food and agriculture, land and water, and climate change in drylands. Open to students of the International Graduate School North-South and associated PhD students. Download course details (English / PDF 237 KB) Link to IGS North-South
Innovation prize for Sandec
NCCR North-South partner institution, Sandec of Eawag, has been awarded the IWA Development Solutions Prize in Kuala Lumpur. Read more
World Toilet Day
Worldwide, 2.6 billion people lack access to proper, clean sanitation; exactly a decade ago, 19 November was declared World Toilet Day to raise awareness of the struggle they face. News release
How can modern cities such as Bangkok, Rome, and Genoa appear defenceless against flooding? swissinfo interview with Hans Hurni, director of the NCCR North-South. Interview
Research for Global Transformation
The NCCR North-South will hold its 3rd international conference on research for development - ICRD - on 20-22 August 2012 in Bern, Switzerland. The 3rd ICRD will offer space for keynotes, workshops, and poster sessions. The aim of the conference is to share and discuss the most recent insights on development-oriented research conducted in North-South partnerships and to develop an agenda for research partnerships with developing and transition countries.
For more details see www.icrd.ch
Sandec-Eawag wins International Water Association (IWA) Development Solutions Award
One of the NCCR North-South’s key Swiss partners, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) at Eawag, has received an award honouring its “applied research and high quality science that provides leadership and partnership for the academic community working in low and middle income countries”. Their work on urban sanitation planning was the subject of a recent NCCR North-South policy brief. Christian Zurbrügg, Director of Sandec, will speak and accept the award at the 2nd IWA Development Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November 2011. Download award interview with Christian Zurbrügg
Women’s livelihoods in a transnational social space: Labour migration from Far West Nepal to Delhi, India
Appearing in the new book Gendered Geographies – Space and Place in South Asia, this chapter by senior NCCR North-South researchers Susan Thieme, Ulrike Müller-Böker, and Norman Backhaus examines the effects of migration on Nepalese women. It looks at how women’s roles change at home when their partners leave to work in neighboring India and how women negotiate contrasting norms and values at home and abroad when they themselves migrate for work. Download chapter (PDF 10.4 MB)
How does development contribute to peace?
This will be the topic of a speech given by Ambassador Martin Dahinden, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), at the University of Basel on Wednesday, 26 September, at 6.15 pm. It is part of the official opening of the Doctoral Programme North-South (DONOS). Download details (German / PDF 57 KB)
Advantage of indigenous fodder trees in northern Pakistan
In this article, appearing in Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice, NCCR North-South researchers describe the ill effects of exotic tree plantations meant to rehabilitate degraded land in northern Pakistan, in particular the consequences for landless pastoralists. “Indigenous fodder trees can increase grazing accessibility for landless and mobile pastoralists in northern Pakistan” by Inam-ur-Rahim et al. presents the environmental and socio-economic benefits of carefully selecting and planting indigenous species of fodder trees and shrubs. Download article (PDF / 590 KB)
Recent publication: "Transdisciplinarity – An option for applied landscape ecology in complex and uncertain contexts" Applied landscape ecology is considered to have a limited impact on decision-making. To improve the effectiveness of research, above all, closer cooperation between researchers and non-academic actors is needed. The authors of this article – senior researchers at the NCCR North-South and CDE – argue that a suitable research approach in this context is transdisciplinarity. Published in Die Erde. Download abstract More details
An African take on Swiss alpine farming
Swissinfo video journalist Julie Hunt accompanied Côte d’Ivoire-based NCCR North-South researcher Gilbert Fokou on a tour of Swiss alpine farms.
A widening poverty gap in Kyrgyzstan?
Why is rural Kyrgyzstan experiencing widespread poverty and a considerable divide between the wealthy and the poor - despite twenty years of independence and sustained efforts to reform the rural economy? A book just out by NCCR North-South researcher Bernd Steimann draws on an innovative livelihoods perspective with a focus on institutions to illustrate how the Kyrgyz agrarian reforms of the 1990s have fundamentally altered rural property relations. Learn more
Conference on "Redefining Paradigms of Sustainable Development in South Asia" The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is holding its 14th Sustainable Development Conference from 13–15 December 2011 in Islamabad, Pakistan. NCCR North-South partners will be hosting a panel on "Livelihood Options in Conflict-Affected Situations". Researchers are invited to submit 300–400 word abstracts by 19 August 2011 for papers they would like to present. Conference details Panel details
MRD: Call for papers on "Green Economy and Livelihoods in Mountains"
The June 2012 Earth Summit strives to embed "green economy" in the broader context of sustainable development. The likelihood of green economy contributing to livelihoods in mountains is contested. In this context, Mountain Research and Development (MRD) aims at exploring potentials and challenges of green economy for enhancing livelihoods and alleviating poverty in mountains in a Focus Issue.
The due date for submission of abstracts and working titles is 28 August 2011; full papers are due by 31 October 2011.
For further details, download the full call for papers here
Read about the journal’s section policies, guidelines and submission procedure at: www.mrd-journal.org
Research in a war zone: article in Nature
An article in the prestigious science journal, Nature, covers the work of NCCR North-South Regional Coordinator for West Africa Bassirou Bonfoh and his colleagues at the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, during the country’s civil conflict. Download article
Assessing carbon stocks in Laos
A new article by CDE researchers suggests that the main focus of REDD in Laos should be on conserving existing carbon stocks. REDD – the international mechanism for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – is widely promoted by the government and development agencies in Laos as a potential option for rural development. However, basic information for carbon management is missing: there is no knowledge at the national level of how much carbon is stored in the Lao landscapes. The article, published in the Danish Journal of Geography, presents an approach for a spatial assessment of vegetation-based carbon stocks. Dowload article
Sudan quo vadis?
Perspectives on North and South Sudan after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement - swisspeace will hold a public event on 4 July 2011 at the University of Bern. More information
NCCR North-South conference in 2012
Mark your calendars: the NCCR North-South will hold an international conference on 20–22 August 2012 in Bern, Switzerland. More details will be posted here as soon as they become available.
Now available in paperback: Conflict Transformation in Central Asia – Irrigation disputes in the Ferghana Valley Written by NCCR North-South alumna Christine Bichsel, the book provides the first systematic analysis of peacebuilding in Central Asia for inter-ethnic conflicts over water and land in the Ferghana Valley based on concrete, in-depth, and on-site investigation. The core analysis centres on peacebuilding projects in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan by three international aid agencies – an international NGO, a bilateral governmental donor, and a multilateral agency – and the shared approach which the donors developed and used for conflict transformation. Learn more Order book
Workshop for young scientists: Visions for International Cooperation In observance of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 50th anniversary, the North-South Centre (ETH Zurich) and others organised a two-day workshop for young scientists studying and working in the field of international cooperation and research for development. Held on 16 and 17 September 2011 in Lungern, Obwalden, the workshop sought to articulate new visions and future perspectives for development cooperation. Its results were presented at the ETH Zurich during the SDC anniversary celebration with Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey and Ambassador Martin Dahinden, director of SDC, on Friday, 30 September 2011. Download workshop announcement (PDF 512 KB) ETH Life article about workshop participants Video of SDC Anniversary (presentation of workshop results begins at minute 50)
North-South Forum: Peak Phosphorus? For the third time, the NCCR North-South and the North-South Centre of the ETH Zurich jointly organised the North-South Forum. The Forum focused on phosphorous use in agriculture and the implications of its growing scarcity for food security in the developing world. It was held on 12 April 2011 at the ETH Zurich. Download the flyer for complete details. Forum flyer (PDF 610 KB) Link to presentations (ETHZ website) Link to video
A new online information platform – DECIDE info – has been launched by the governments of Lao PDR and Switzerland. The site, www.decide.la, builds on the success of the project on poverty mapping and the resulting Socio-economic Atlas of Lao PDR. It is part of a project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented jointly by the Lao PDR Department of Statistics and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) of the University of Bern, Switzerland.
The organisers welcome feedback as they are continuously developing the site.
In the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) Gender, Justice, Globalisation a team of international experts introduces participants to the complex processes of globalisation which not only challenge global agendas of justice and human rights but also transform gender relations.
The CAS is run by the Faculties of Humanities and of Human Sciences, and by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies of the University of Bern. It is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The courses are held from May 2011 – May 2012; the application deadline is 31 March 2011. For further inquiries, please contact
or call +41 (0)31 631 52 68.
International Symposium in Kyrgyzstan
An international symposium on Pastoralism in Central Asia: Status, Challenges and Opportunities in Mountain Areas will be held from 13 to 18 June 2011 in Kyrgyzstan. The event is being organised by the University of Central Asia and the NCCR North-South Regional Coordination Office in Bishkek. Interested contributors and participants are invited to send their abstracts and pre-registration form by 1 March 2011 to . Please find further information in the documents provided below.
Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2011, Panel on The Production and Performance of Professional Identities: Shifting from Development Practitioner to Development Academic Two PhD researchers affiliated to the NCCR North-South and the Development Study Group, University of Zurich, are organising a panel for the conference to be held from 31 August to 2 September 2011 in London. Please note that the deadline for submitting an abstract is 11 February 2011. For more information, please refer to the Call for Papers, or contact Pia Hollenbach and Sarah Byrne at / More information (download pdf) Link to the website
Mountain Research and Development, Volume 30, Issue 4 (November 2010) available online and open access
This most recent issue of MRD contains work on various topics relevant to sustainable development in mountains, ranging from tourism and impacts of tourism to biodiversity in relation to human activities, poverty and food security, livestock production, and interaction between indigenous communities and the corporate world.
The November 2010 issue is available online and open access: www.bioone.org
Read about the journal’s section policies, guidelines and submission procedure at: www.mrd-journal.org
Zurich Lectures in Development Geography Prof. Stuart Corbridge from the London School of Economics will conduct the seminar. Doctoral students external to GIUZ may be admitted to the in-house seminar on a competitive basis. 18 to 19 November 2010 Detailed information Invitation public lecture Stuart Corbridge
NCCR North-South programme highlighted at Swissnex Day 2010 In a speech delivered 8 November 2010 at the EPFL in Lausanne, Swiss State Secretary Peter Maurer noted the work of the NCCR North-South in connection with what he describes as “science diplomacy”. The programme’s “insights are an important guide to [Switzerland’s] development cooperation policy and policy dialogues,” said Maurer. Download the speech from swissnex
Local Justice in Southern Sudan NCCR North-South and swisspeace researcher Martina Santschi will speak at an event at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC on 12 November 2010. The event is being held in the run-up to elections scheduled for 9 January 2011, in which the people of Southern Sudan will vote on whether to form an independent southern state. See also www.usip.org
Panel discussion: Justice in the Greenhouse Together with the Club of Rome and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Centre for Development and Environment organised a panel discussion on global challenges and how best to tackle them. Under the heading “Justice in the Greenhouse – What is Switzerland’s role?”, panellists discussed issues such as the future of international development work and the consequences of a low-carbon economy for transition and developing countries. It took place on 18 November 2010, 18:30 – 20:00 at the University of Bern. Please see the flyer (PDF 3 MB) and media below for more.
Martin Dahinden, Director-General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, on how the issue of climate change has influenced development cooperation.Play clip: 20:15 – 22:22 (in German)
North-South Forum “Green Economy: Development opportunity or latest buzzword?” The latest North-South Forum was held on 25 November 2010 at the University of Bern. Participants discussed the UN Green Economy Initiative and the measures that must be taken to achieve its goals while simultaneously responding to the needs of developing countries. The event was jointly organised by the North-South Centre of the ETH Zurich and the NCCR North-South.
Conference for Swiss researchers studying Africa The first meeting of the Swiss Researching Africa Days took place on Friday and Saturday 29-30 October 2010 at the Institute for Social Anthropology of the University of Bern. The annual general assembly of the Swiss Society for African Studies occurred on Friday evening. Complete details
Conference: "Social Movements and the Plurinational State of Bolivia – A View from the Political ‘Subsoil’" On 20 October 2010 at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, a Spanish-language conference (with French translation) took place with Dr. Luis Tapia, professor at the Center for Development Studies (CIDES), University of San Andres (UMSA) La Paz, Bolivia. Organised in connection with the NCCR North-South's research project on rural transformation. Download details: Spanish / French (PDF 609 KB)
Comparing processes of state transformation: Nepal and Bolivia Bishnu Upreti, NCCR North-South regional coordinator to South Asia, visited Bolivia this summer to study the growth of broad-based democracy there, and compare the transition to that occurring in his native Nepal. Supported by senior NCCR North-South researcher Stephan Rist, he was interviewed about his observations on a popular Bolivian television programme. View part one of interview (Spanish / English) View part two of interview (Spanish / English)
Long-term effects of Pakistan's floods In a recent interview with Swiss radio, NCCR North-South collaborator Urs Geiser discusses the lasting consequences of Pakistan's August deluge, and outlines the possible directions the land may take as a result of the destruction. Listen to interview (German)
Scholarships for fieldwork and dissertations sponsored by the Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifiques (CSRS), Côte d’Ivoire Under the motto "research partnerships with the South help us understand and solve global challenges", the CSRS in Abidjan is offering 12-month research scholarships and 36-month dissertation scholarships for up-and-coming and more experienced researchers doing master’s- or PhD-level fieldwork or research in select areas of focus. Application deadlines: 31 December 2010 (dissertation) and 15 November 2010 (field research) Download dissertation scholarship info in German (PDF 88 KB) or French (PDF 88 KB) Download research scholarship info inGerman (PDF 88 KB) or French (PDF 88 KB)
Article on "Negotiating Statehood: Dynamics of Power and Domination in Africa" NCCR North-South alumni and collaborators Tobias Hagmann and Didier Péclard recently edited a special issue of the journal Development and Change. It features an introductory article by the two on processes of state construction and deconstruction in contemporary Africa. Purchase or download article (English)
Conference on "Peace and Sustainable Development in South Asia: The Way Forward" The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is holding its 13th Sustainable Development Conference from December 21-23 in Islamabad. Babar Shahbaz, co-leader of the NCCR North-South's research project on livelihood futures, is organising a panel on Social Safety Nets and Exclusion. Complete details on abstract submission and panels
Sign up for workshops on "Climate change and food security" at the University of Bern Beginning 18 September 2010 and continuing on three more Saturdays in October and November, the Forum for University and Society will be hosting a series of workshops exploring the interaction of climate change, food production, and agricultural trade. Admission is free, but the number of participants is restricted. Download programme (German / PDF 324 KB)
Out now: Five additions to the NCCR North-South Dialogue series Available free for download, Dialogues present reflections on research topics of concern to programme members throughout the world. Issues 23 to 27 have just been released, covering diverse topics ranging from the effect of coffee prices on rural farmers to ways of making research relevant to policy-makers. Visit archive and download
Land resource potential and climate change Written by Bettina Wolfgramm, a recent article in Soils Newsletter (pp. 11-12) describes the collaboration taking place in Tajikistan between the FAO/IAEA’s Joint Division, the Tajik Soil Institute, and the NCCR North-South: A research project looking for sustainable land management systems that optimise agricultural benefits, resilience to climate change, and carbon sequestration. Download newsletter (PDF / 4.7 MB)
Floods in Pakistan: present conditions and challenges ahead Urs Geiser, of the Development Study Group in Zurich, and Abid Qaiyum Suleri, of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad, have prepared a joint brief analysing some of the major challenges facing Pakistan in the aftermath of the recent floods. Download brief (PDF / 389 KB) In another article appearing in the University of Zurich's online news magazine, Urs Geiser portrays the current situation and discusses possible lessons. Read article (German) The researchers would also like to call attention to the following sites where donations for the relief and rehabilitation of flood survivors in Pakistan can be directed: sdpi.org and edhifoundation.com
New book: Disputing the Floodplains - Institutional Change and the Politics of Resource Management in African Wetlands Edited by former NCCR North-South senior researcher Tobias Haller, this new publication features several articles based on NCCR research and a Foreword by Elinor Ostrom. Articles explore how common-pool resources in 5 different countries have been managed in pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial times. The book also offers a comparative analysis based on the New Institutionalist approach (Jean Ensminger, Elinor Ostrom). Download flyer and order form (PDF / 802 KB)
Interview with Hans Hurni in SDC’s “One World” The latest issue of the SDC magazine “One World” features an interview with Professor Hans Hurni (pp. 28-29), programme director of the NCCR North-South, as well as an article about Addis Abeba (pp. 31-32), site of the programme’s next ITC conference . Professor Hurni discusses the significance of a growing academic elite in the South. Download the magazine in German (PDF/ 3.6 MB) or French (PDF / 3.56 MB)
"Neglected aquatic diversity?" - Eawag Info Day 22 June 2010, ETH Zurich Freshwater lakes and rivers contribute greatly to global biodiversity. The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology's (Eawag) annual Info Day covered the latest research on freshwater diversity and efforts to protect it. Learn more (German)
Transnational land acquisitions and rural development – Impacts on natural resources and livelihoods in developing countries was the topic of the first North-South Forum jointly organised by the North-South Centre at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and the NCCR North-South, and held on 18 May, 2010.
A discussion of the forum on Swiss Radio DRS may be heard here (German): www.drs.ch swissinfo.ch covered the event in English and in German
Radiotelevisione Svizzera's coverage and an interview with NCCR North-South programme coordinator Thomas Breu may be heard here (Italian / segment begins 00:18:38): rsi.ch
A second radio programme on "land grabbing" aired by Radiotelevisione Svizzera and featuring comments by Thomas Breu may be heard here (Italian): RSI Rete Due
Roots of turmoil in Bishkek A feature by NCCR North-South researchers Bernd Steimann and Susan Thieme sheds light on the people and socio-economic forces behind violent protests in Kyrgyzstan’s capital. Published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Download article (German / PDF 360 KB)
A Thai community resists A new piece in the magazine Echo traces residents’ struggle to prevent demolition of Tha Tian, Bangkok’s oldest neighborhood. Their resistence is the subject of an NCCR North-South research project. Download article (French / PDF 1.2 MB)
In a newspaper article following the recent unrest in Kyrgyzstan, NCCR North-South researcher Bernd Steimann examines the rural population’s view of the situation. Download article (German)
The NCCR North-South and the North-South Centre at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) are holding a joint event on 18 May, 2010. The North-South Forum will take place in Zurich, and focus on agricultural land investment and the effects on rural areas. More information
Sustainable Tourism: Nepalese Researcher looks to Switzerland Pranil Upadhayaya, an NCCR North-South researcher from Kathmandu University, is currently featured in an article appearing on swissinfo.ch. It highlights his efforts to learn from Swiss experiences promoting sustainable tourism to mountain areas. Read article
Swiss TPH Open Day
The newly renamed Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is holding an Open Day.
Everyone is welcome to attend: Saturday 10th April 2010 from 10am to 4pm
CSRS Conference: Research Partnerships in West Africa - A Scientific and Human Success Wednesday, 17 March 2010 in Bern, Switzerland. Please register by 9 March. Download the complete programme and registration form: German PDF (232 KB) French PDF (232 KB)
New volume in the NCCR North-South Perspectives Series: Synthesis of regional research - Edited by Hans Hurni, Urs Wiesmann and an international group of co-editors, Global Change and Sustainable Development features 36 peer-reviewed articles by interdisciplinary teams of authors who reflect on results of development-oriented research conducted from 2001 to 2008. More information
The Nepal Research Group of the NCCR North-South now has its own website. To find out about its activities, please visit: www.nccr-nepal.org
Balancing life and work: A challenge for women and men
A recent collaborative workshop organised by the three Bern-based NCCRs – North-South, Trade Regulation and Climate – invited participants to discuss ways of reconciling the demands of a scientific career with those of a healthy family and social life. The third event held by the trio of NCCRs in the context of women’s advancement, the workshop explicitly included men, since, in the words of co-organiser Anne Zimmermann, “We need the perspectives of both sexes to bring about societal change”. The participants – 6 women and 5 men – greeted the workshop with enthusiasm, welcoming the opportunity for exchange and self-reflection.
For more (in German) go to: www.snf.ch
Two publications were prepared in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), taking place 7-18 December, 2009. Both publications – a CDE/SDC brochure and an NCCR North-South policy brief – were launched at the COP15 side event “Mountains of the World: Addressing Climate Change through Sustainable Mountain Development” on Saturday 12 December 2009. www.cde.unibe.ch
Environmental Peacebuilding: Managing Natural Resource Conflicts in a Changing World
Published by swisspeace and edited by Didier Péclard, this new conference paper examines the issue of environmental security in light of heightened concerns about global warming and resource scarcity. Looking beyond simple cause-effect relationships between environmental degradation and violent conflicts, the authors highlight the role of local social and political institutions in managing environmental conflicts. Download pdf
Book presentation Facing Environmental Change
swisspeace will be hosting a book presentation (10 December 2009, 11-13 h, Bern) on Facing Global Environmental Change: Environmental, Human, Energy, Food, Health and Water Security Concepts. The editors and authors of this comprehensive new volume will be on hand to present their analyses of 21st century threats to global security. Topics discussed will include climate change, resource scarcity, population growth, urbanisation, human security and early warning of conflicts. A closing speech by Professor Hans Hurni, followed by time for discussion and an aperitif, will round out the scheduled activities.
Those wishing to attend should RSVP by 3 December to Lukas Krienbühl:
For more information (in German) download the programme here
Biofuel in Africa: opportunities and threats of Jatropha and related crops (BIA)
BIA is a project funded by the Agriculture Research for Development Dimension of the European Research Area (ERA-ARD) and affiliated to the NCCR North-South. In this interview on TSR (Swiss TV - French channel, aired on 22 October 2009), BIA coordinator Dr. Albrecht Ehrensperger (Centre for Development and Environ-
ment, CDE, University of Bern) speaks about the challenges related to biofuel production in developing countries and explains how BIA intends to assess the impacts of such production on livelihoods and the environment. Watch video (French)
Greater meat consumption intensifies global hunger
In the past, the industrialisation of agriculture could be called a success. However, scarce resources require that we adopt a new model. In order to combat world hunger, we should invest more in small-scale farmers. That’s the message of Professor Urs Wiesmann of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern. (Interview by Marcus Moser, UniPress)
What has become of the global food crisis? Interview with Urs Wiesmann in the Berner Zeitung.
A global food crisis was declared last year following riots in developing countries. Despite the current absence of protests, the problem is far from solved, says CDE/NCCR North-South director Urs Wiesmann in an interview with the Berner Zeitung newspaper. The increasing consumption of meat and milk has put pressure on small-scale farmers in developing countries, says Prof. Wiesmann.
Interview with Hans Hurni on BBC World To mark World Food Day on 16 October 2009, BBC World is airing a number of television reports on the topic. The reports include interviews with Prof. Hans Hurni, director of the NCCR North-South and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), and Markus Giger, senior research scientist at the CDE.
The reports aired on 16-19 and 24-26 October on BBC World can be viewed here. The full interview with Hans Hurni is available on YouTube.
Grants for MSc, MA and PhD fieldwork in Côte d'Ivoire The Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques (CSRS) Board of Trustees offers Swiss candidates grants for MSc, MA and PhD fieldwork in Côte d'Ivoire. Research must focus on one of the four CSRS themes:
Biodiversité, protection de la nature et de l’environnement
New Dialogue Paper People’s Choice First From 2006 until the end of 2008, the participatory Household-Centered Environmental Sanitation approach (HCES) was tested in 7 different urban and periurban sites across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Case studies from four of the seven sites are presented and analysed in this publication. More than just offering a summary of what happened during the planning process, the goal of presenting these case studies is to analyse why it happened the way it did.
Unique aspects of this publication include:
Case studies covering 3 continents, from small sections of dense urban areas to large, peri-urban communities;
Summaries of fully completed, as well as partially completed, case studies, along with the reasons for respective successes and failures;
Analysis of the true duration and costs associated with so-called “participatory planning” in challenging urban environments.
Planners, engineers and policy-makers using the HCES or a similar approach will hopefully find this collection of experiences useful and applicable to their own work. Download pdf
Open position Senior Researcher – Sanitation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (tenure track position)
The department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) at Eawag is engaged in applied research & development in water supply and environmental sanitation for low and middle income countries.
We are seeking to fill a vacant position as group leader (tenure track) for sanitation.
The objectives are to develop new concepts and technologies for excreta, faecal sludge and wastewater management through applied research projects with partner organizations in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Dissemination of research results, advocacy, developing research capacity and professional expertise, and facilitating implementation are further important activities for getting research results into policy and practice. Special focus should be on the subject of excreta, and faecal sludge management for low- and middle-income countries. Deadline for applications is October 15, 2009. More information is available at: www.eawag.ch
Rendez-vous, Swiss Radio DRS1 The World Climate Conference in Geneva is looking at how to improve weather forecasting and long-term climate information as weather events become more extreme. For farmers in Africa, simply knowing when it will rain is of crucial importance. In this report on Swiss Radio DRS1, Regional Coordinator for East Africa Boniface Kiteme talks about the increasingly uncertain rain pattern and the effect this has on farmers. The report aired in the “Rendez-vous” lunchtime programme on 2 September 2009 and can be downloaded here: www.drs.ch
Article published in PNAS Human rabies in developing countries can be prevented through interventions directed at dogs. Mass vaccinating dogs interrupts transmission of rabies to humans for at least 6 years, making it more profitable than post-exposure treatment of humans alone: this is the conclusion reached in research co-funded by the NCCR North-South and published in PNAS. Download pdf
Tha Tian research featured in Der Bund This two-part article in the Bern-based newspaper, Der Bund, features Tha Tian, the oldest part of Bangkok and topic of NCCR North-South research on how to sustainably develop historic city centres without detrimental effects on the original inhabitants. >> Download pdf 1 (German) >> Download pdf 2 (German)
Open PhD Position In the framework of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation ProDoc scheme, a PhD position in Epidemiology is open at earliest convenience. Download pdf
Radio DRS 2 mp3 available now
In July and August 2009, Swiss-German Radio DRS 2 aired a series of programmes on leading Swiss research. The 20-minute report on the NCCR North-South was broadcast on 8 and 9 August.
Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia Highlights of the work conducted over the past four years in Southeast Asia are the focus of a brochure just out. The brochure Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia was published by the NCCR North-South team based in Bangkok.
New website The NCCR North-South-funded project "From Social Vulnerability to Resilience" now has its own website. The website contains information on the work conducted during a period of four years in Bolivia, Pakistan and Tanzania. www.socialresilience.ch
Peace building in Nepal
The Student Workshop Proceedings on Peace-Building in Nepal have been published. The document contains the results of discussions held during a visit to Nepal by Harvard University students, co-hosted by the NCCR North-South and Kathmandu University. >> Download pdf
Honorary Doctorate for the NCCR North-South Director
On 11 July 2009, Hans Hurni, Professor of Geography and Sustainable Development, Director of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) and NCCR North-South Director, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Haramaya University, Ethiopia. The degree acknowledges his dedicated research in the agricultural sciences, in particular in the field of soil and water conservation, and his many years of work and commitment to the people of Ethiopia. With 29,000 students, Haramaya University is one of the country’s largest universities. Only very seldom does it award honorary doctorates to foreigners: this is only the second time in its over 50-year history. Hurni lived 10 years in Ethiopia with his family as of 1974, first as the director of the Simen National Park, then as the initiator and leader of a countrywide research network to combat soil erosion. His untiring dedication to the advancement of the country and the people of Ethiopia never ceased after this initial decade of work in the country.
Image source: Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Postdoc and Co-Leader of a Research Project (50%)
For a research project active in Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico and Peru (i.e. Central America and South America) we are seeking to employ a postdoctoral researcher and co-leader. The project is entitled ‘The transformation of multifunctional agrarian systems in Latin America’.
Starting date: 1 October 2009 or by agreement. Applications, including CV, references, full details of qualification and experience, e-mail address and a passport-size photo should be forwarded by 20 August 2009 to:
NCCR North-South, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Institute of Geography, Hallerstrasse 10, 3012 Bern, Switzerland. Phone: +41 31 631 52 72, E-mail:
Four Swiss researchers have been awarded prestigious medals by the Vietnamese government. The Eawag scientists, two of whom also work with the NCCR North-South, were granted the honour for research done within higher education institutions in Vietnam. The medal is only rarely awarded to non-Vietnamese nationals.
Four Bolivian government ministers and the Swiss Ambassador attended the launch of a new book on food security that was produced with the cooperation of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE). The launch was held in the Vice-Presidential office of the government of Bolivia in La Paz.
President Evo Morales of Bolivia considers Bolivian NCCR North-South partner institution AGRUCO “fundamental” in implementing constitutional change in higher education.
The statement was made at a meeting with Swiss representatives in Bolivia.
Swiss and Ethiopian science and technology institutions have signed an agreement on capacity building and research partnerships. Research cooperation with Ethiopia will mainly be conducted through the activities of the NCCR North-South.
An agreement has been signed between the University of Central Asia (UCA) and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE). It allows for future UCA staff to be trained at Bern University. Also, UCA will host the NCCR North-South Regional Coordination Office.