Science and Development Network

SciDev.Net is a not-for-profit organisation that produces news, views and analysis about science and technology in the context of global development. It primarily engages with development professionals, policymakers, researchers, the media and the informed public.[1]

Science and Development Network
TypeOnline Media Outlet
Founder(s)David Dickson

The organisation was founded in 2001[2] in response to the significant gap in scientific knowledge between rich and poor countries and with the understanding that “those who stand to benefit the most from modern science and technology are also those with the least access to information about it".[3] SciDev.Net seeks to redress this imbalance via its free-to-access website, regional networks and specialist workshops.

SciDev.Net aims to help individuals and organisations apply evidence and insights from science and technology to decision-making in order to have a positive impact on equitable and sustainable development and poverty reduction.

The global edition is based in London and there are six regional desks based in Latin America & Caribbean (Spanish), Middle East and North and West Africa (Arabic), South Asia, South-East Asia & Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa (English and French).

SciDev.Net is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1089590).


The SciDev.Net website is made up of a global and six regional editions. SciDev.Net publishes in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Arabic. Content includes: News, Analysis, Multimedia, Practical Guides, Learning Series reports, Opinions editorials, Spotlights and Data Visualisations.

News: SciDev.Net's news coverage is at the heart of its website and articles are added daily. Freelance journalists throughout the developing world write much of this material and work closely with a team of editors to ensure timely and accurate coverage of breaking news.

Analysis blogs: SciDev.Net analysis blogs focus on vulnerable or marginalised groups who tend to be neglected in mainstream development journalism. They aim to bridge the gap between science and development and provide an analysis of how each can inform the other. SciDev.Net analysis blogs include:

  • Focus on Gender
  • Focus on Disability
  • Focus on Migration Focus on Poverty
  • Focus on Private Sector
  • View on Disability
  • View on Gender
  • View on Migration
  • View on Private sector
  • View on Poverty

Opinions: SciDev.Net opinion pieces are exclusive contributions from the world’s leading experts in science and international development. SciDev.Net has published exclusive contributions from figures such as Calestous Juma, Paul Boateng, Mark Lynas, Gordon Conway and Mariéme Jamme.

Multimedia: SciDev.Net produces original multimedia content such as videos, podcasts, photo essays, image galleries and audio-video slideshows.

Practical guides: Written by experts in their field, practical guides help readers strengthen and learn new skills. These guides:

  • Provide expert advice for journalists to sharpen their skills and improve their coverage of hot topics for print, broadcast and online media
  • Help scientists with ‘how to’ guides on getting research published, briefing policy makers and publicizing their work
  • Support science communicators with tools and tactics on areas such as blogs, press releases and covering controversial issues

Spotlights: These special collections of articles focus on a ‘hot topic’ and provide an in-depth look at the key issues facing developing countries. Spotlights published to date include:

  • Shelter crisis: rebuilding after the storm[4]
  • Managing health crises after Ebola[5]
  • Transforming cities for sustainability[6]
  • Making higher education work for Africa[7]
  • Big data for development[8]

Data visualisations: Since 2014 SciDev.Net has been producing data visualisations. These interactive features transforms the latest issues in international development into accessible information that informs data-led decision making. SciDev.Net have worked with a number of partners, including SightSavers, to produce data visualisations on a wide variety of topics including:

  • Mapping trachoma to eliminate blindness[9]
  • The hidden digital divide[10] (nominated for the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2015)[11]
  • Africa's hydropower future[12]
  • Urbanisation and the rise of the city[13]

Topics and regionsEdit

The SciDev.Net website was restructured and relaunched in March 2008[14] to provide access to material via ‘topic gateways’, which bring together news updates and analysis on key issues. The topics covered are:

  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Governance
  • Enterprise
  • Communication

Science and technology news is also available via ‘regional editions’:

  • Afrique Sub-Saharienne
  • América Latina y el Caribe
  • الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا
  • South-Asia
  • South-East Asia and the Pacific
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Coverage is informed by regional advisory groups consisting of an extensive number of journalists, consultants, advisors and registered users based in developing countries. They work to ensure that a developing country perspective is represented.


SciDev.Net has over 15 years’ experience of specifically supporting southern journalists and researchers to communicate scientific evidence through workshops and on-the-job mentoring. Since its inception, SciDev.Net has delivered workshops for approximately 1,500 journalists.

In 2013 SciDev.Net piloted a new approach to capacity building centered upon training for trainers. The new approach provides a blend of face-to-face workshops, networking programmes, awards, mentoring and online learning for journalists, researchers and policymakers.

Signing upEdit

Visitors who sign-up with SciDev.Net receive a free weekly and/or daily email with all the latest stories from the website. These are available for each edition English, Spanish, Arabic and French. Those who sign-up can comment on articles and submit announcements, events, jobs and grants to the noticeboard for free and these are featured on the website and in the weekly emails.

RSS feedsEdit

The latest news can appear instantly on other websites through a free SciDev.Net global, regional or topic specific newsfeed. Each newsfeed carries the latest news stories, including a headline, introductory sentence and link to the full article.

For busy researchers or editors who need to sift through information from many sources, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) enables instantaneous delivery of SciDev.Net news stories to a 'news reader' soon as they are published.

Creative CommonsEdit

All SciDev.Net website material is free to reproduce under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 licence. Under the terms of this licence users are permitted to copy, distribute, display and perform the content, and make derivative works so long as the original author and website are quoted as the source.

Hundreds of media outlets have syndicated SciDev.Net’s work including global media houses such as The Guardian, The BBC and The Thomson Reuters Foundation as well as regional news networks like AllAfrica, The Asian Scientist and Dawn.

Funders, supporters and partnershipsEdit

Funders of SciDev.Net include:[15]

  • UK Department for International Development (DFID)[16]
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)[17]
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)[18]
  • The Wellcome Trust [19]
  • INASP[20]
  • Carnegie Corporation[21]

Partners SciDev.Net works with a range of organisations at global, regional and national levels to achieve shared objectives. These include:

  • Nature
  • Science
  • Guardian Environment Network
  • Guardian Development Network
  • AlertNet

SciDev.Net is also affiliated with TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, based in Trieste, Italy.[22]


  1. ^ SciDev.Net. About Us.
  2. ^ SciDev.Net. About Us: History.
  3. ^ IDRC (The International Development Research Centre). Archive: Science and Development Network. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2010-08-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ SciDev.Net. "Shelter crisis: Rebuilding after the storm". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  5. ^ SciDev.Net. "Managing health crises after Ebola: Key resources". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  6. ^ SciDev.Net. "Transforming cities for sustainability: Facts and Figures". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  7. ^ SciDev.Net. "Making higher education work for Africa". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  8. ^ SciDev.Net. "Big data for development". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  9. ^ SciDev.Net. "Mapping trachoma to eliminate blindness". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  10. ^ SciDev.Net. "The hidden digital divide". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  11. ^ "The Hidden Digital Divide — Information is Beautiful Awards". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  12. ^ SciDev.Net. "Africa's hydropower future". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  13. ^ SciDev.Net. "Urbanisation and the rise of the city". SciDev.Net. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  14. ^ DFID (Department for International Development). New look SciDev.Net. Research for Development.
  15. ^ About Us – supporters/funders
  16. ^ DFID (Department for International Development). Project Record: Science in Development website (SciDev.Net). Research for Development.
  17. ^ Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
  18. ^ International Development Research Centre (IDRC). "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ Australian Aid.
  20. ^ "INASP – Home". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  21. ^ York, Carnegie Corporation of New. "Carnegie Corporation of New York". Carnegie Corporation of New York. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  22. ^ "TWAS". TWAS. Retrieved 2019-04-25.

External linksEdit