Evaluation of the r4d Programme: Final Report and Management Response

The r4d programme was "ahead of its time" as an innovative research programme promoting sustainable development across borders. This is the result of the external evaluation of the r4d programme. Read more in the final evaluation report.

The r4d programme was a pioneer in promoting inter- and transdisciplinary research which directly involved the Global South in the effort to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. The r4d programme was a living lab that allowed the SDC and the SNSF to try out novel principles and concepts for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. And it demonstrated that transformative research works: r4d delivered scientific excellence and impact on the ground at the same time. Many projects found follow-up funding and contribute to SDC’s and SNFS’s strategic objectives on promoting sustainable development.

These are some of the main lessons learned from the final evaluation of the r4d programme which was conducted by BSS Volkswirtschaftliche BeratungExternal Link Icon in 2023.

Goals achieved, effectiveness confirmed

The evaluation’s first objective was to assess the extent to which the r4d programme has been able to achieve its objectives. The second objective was to identify lessons learned that can be used for other research programmes, such as r4d programme’s successor, SOR4D. The evaluation was based on the OECD DAC Principles for EvaluationExternal Link Icon and focused on relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.

The findings of the evaluation indicate that the r4d has reached its objectives. The funded projects generated evidence and research-based solutions through a wealth of varied outputs and enhanced international and interdisciplinary scientific networks, which enabled the development of numerous new projects. There are numerous examples of cases where the projects generated knowledge transfer to national and international stakeholders. Finally, the programme helped increase scientific competencies and expertise, changed the perspectives of many junior and senior researchers and helped develop the competencies necessary to succeed in a transformative and international research environment.

Read the evaluation report (PDF) and the management response (PDF).