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Introducing the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet)

Announcing the launch of the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) and the public Call for Concept Notes on funding proposals to support research and case studies that explore the linkages between open science and development initiatives.


With funding from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), OCSDNet is jointly coordinated by the Centre for Critical Development Studies (CCDS) at the University of Toronto Scarborough (Canada) and iHub (Kenya). OCSDNet aims to support researchers and practitioners from the Global South to carry out research or projects that will lead to deeper understanding of whether, and the conditions under which open knowledge production processes could lead to development outcomes, such as economic and educational opportunities, improved health and food security, and policy reform. By contributing to this new area of study, OCSDNet will also build a community of open science practitioners and leaders who will influence policy dialogues pertaining to the role of science and innovation in development.

Research Focus:

OCSDNet aims to investigate a broad range of questions, including:

  • How do researchers in various institutional contexts practice “openness”? How can open science approaches benefit researchers in the Global South?
  • Will OCS lead to novel insights and solutions to entrenched development problems?
  • Can greater participation of citizens in the planning and conduct of scientific research increase its application in addressing local development goals?
  • How can the sharing of knowledge as a public good be weighed against protection of various forms of rights?

To explore these and related questions, OCSDNet will provide funding support for up to 15 case studies from eligible countries. Specifically, OCSDNet will support case studies that employ innovative and transformative open processes to address a range of development challenges in Global South contexts. The network welcomes a mix of projects that include scientific research in a specific domain to generate new knowledge (i.e. food security, health equity, citizen empowerment, renewable energies, climate change impact), as well as critical research on ongoing initiatives, focusing on behaviours, contexts, challenges and opportunities enabled by OCS principles.


Applying for OCSDNet Funding:

OCSDNet has launched an open call for concept papers for OCS development projects. The call is open to researchers and practitioners affiliated with organizations based in countries that are eligible for support by the IDRC. The deadline for submissions is September 8th, 2014. Successful authors of the papers will be invited to a proposal development workshop, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2014. (For details of the call, visit the OCSDNet web site: ).

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