Science is considered central in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030. Bilateral aid to science and scientific collaboration with low-income countries has existed since the 1970’s and the number of actors has grown considerably since the 1990’s. Science aid may include support to research infrastructure such as labs and ICT, research networks, research policy development and direct research project funding in bilateral cooperation with high-income country universities (including PhD training). However, the issue of how to support science in a way that generates direct development impacts as well as sustained local research capacity remains contentious.
Given the emphasis on science, technology and the role of universities in development, it is of interest to analyze the policies and strategies of influential foreign aid donors related to science. Do they support capacity building or immediately applicable research results? What types of ideologies of science do they reflect?
In my PhD dissertation, I analyzed the pioneer science aid actor Sarec from a historical perspective. Afterwards, I have begun studying the same material alongside new material in order to explore how environment- and climate related projects and programmes have been described and classified over time, in both Swedish research related aid and aid in general. I am also interested in how research collaboration between universities in Sweden and low-income countries can contribute to climate resilient and low carbon development.
Being Africa Coordinator at LiU entails working towards an increase in collaborations with countries in Africa and being contact person for LiU:s participation in The Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD) and South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF).