EfD researchers in meeting
Some of the researchers who work with the research agenda for a low-carbon transition.
Photo: Petra Hansson

EfD researchers met to work on research agenda for a low-carbon transition


About 25 EfD researchers met in Gothenburg, Sweden, and online, to compile their work to establish a high-level research agenda for a low-carbon transition in the Global South. More than 50 people altogether have been working for a year on this comprehensive project, initiated and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

IDRC aims to refine its calls for proposals and set a long-term research agenda. The report from this project group will help them do that and to make prioritizations.

“A low-carbon transition is a knowledge-intensive process. Academia has to get involved in this transition. Now is the decade of action. We have to do our part and find out how researchers can contribute,” says Gunnar Köhlin, Director of EfD.

Gender is cross-sectional

The group has produced a document that encompasses about 1,000 pages, divided into chapters and sections that focus on different fields such as energy, forestry, infrastructure, and finance. The gender perspective runs through them all as a cross-sectional theme.

The challenges now include compiling all this material into an actionable agenda, integrating conclusions from different sectors, identifying overlaps, and agreeing on taxonomy among others.

Connect with policy-makers

“Researchers and policy-makers operate in parallel worlds. Researchers focus on small perspectives and policy-makers on broad perspectives,” noted Haileselassie Medhin, World Resources Institute (WRI).

“We need to address how can we formulate relevant research questions. And how can we connect the big interventions that already exist with research?”

Making prioritizations is also both important and difficult.

“We have to establish the borders of our report,” said Khanh Nam Pham, Center Director of EfD Vietnam, noting that a low-carbon transition can include technology and engineering, which is not within the scope of this report.

Report to IDRC in October

“It is really helpful that so many of us could meet in person,” commented Maria Del Pilar Lopez Uribe, EfD Colombia, and leader of the WinEED collaborative.

“We have different areas of expertise and approaches, and represent different regions. By meeting like this, we sort out many issues that we haven’t managed to do in the previous online meetings,” she said.

The meeting took place at the University of Gothenburg and online on August 22-24.

The group also met with representatives from IDRC on the last day of the conference.

The first report will be presented to them on October 1st.


By: Petra Hansson

About IDRC

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is a part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts. They invest in high-quality research in developing countries, share knowledge with researchers and policymakers, and mobilize global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.
The head office is located in Ottawa, Canada.
The budget for the high-level research agenda for a low-carbon transition in the Global South is 1,2 million Canadian dollars.