Monday, March 30, 2009

R4D, tool to access DFID-funded research

Over the last decade, DFID has invested around £700m in international development research. Hundreds of research partners around the world, running thousands of projects and programmes, have generated knowledge to shape our thinking on key development topics.

For the first time, information about this research is available on a free searchable database through DFID’s research portal (R4D). 

It has never been easy to find out what research topics, projects, and programmes DFID is funding or has funded. Researchers all over the world (and even DFID staff) had to rely on a network of personal contacts or inspired detective work to discover who was already working in a particular area, what was already known, and what lessons had been learned.

But now, R4D puts that information at your fingertips. Responding to a demand expressed by many DFID stakeholders for better and open access to all this information, R4D is a free on-line database containing information about research programmes supported by DFID.

R4D contains nearly 5,000 project records, and details of more than 20,000 research outputs. Every month we add new items, update existing information, and add historical documents as they become available. In addition to the database, R4D publishes research news and case studies, and keeps you up to date on the latest from DFID, including calls for new research programmes commissioned under the DFID Research Strategy 2008-2013.

R4D could become a vital link in your information chain, both for keeping in touch with other researchers’ work and for sharing your own DFID-funded research results.

Keep in touch ...

R4D’s monthly e-mail newsletter alerts you to the latest on R4D. There are also 60 themed e-mail alerts or feeds on specialist subjects, from agriculture to water, and more than 160 more related to specific countries. You can also produce your own tailored feeds, or let us know and we will do it for you.

Hot off the Press ...

DFID’s Research Strategy promised to spend up to 30% of its overall £1bn funding in ‘making research available, accessible and useable through a range of means’. This week sees the launch of R4D’s revamped Communications Corner. Its purpose? To provide practical support and guidance to anyone wanting their research to be communicated effectively. A weekly CommsCorner Blog aims to inspire with examples of innovative communications, both from within the DFID research community and from further afield. A companion blog R4D Podium Posts invites DFID researchers to share communications approaches, tactics, successes and challenges with other researchers. Take a look!