Cooperation with research stakeholders
The year 2022 saw significant efforts by the Luxembourg Development Cooperation to find specific areas for its collaboration with the research ecosystem through collaborations and joint projects to contribute to the sustainable development goals. Thus, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation would like to do more to support the development of research capacities and expertise in the North as well as in the Global South, and to do so on a more systematic basis. It has worked towards both strengthening existing institutional links and building new partnerships with research stakeholders.
Discussions with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) have been stepped up considerably, to meet the shared objectives of the national research and innovation strategy, maximising the global impact of national efforts through a systematic review of research results for use and potential transfer in development cooperation efforts. Many of the challenges facing development cooperation policy can benefit from technologies and results from the research ecosystem. It is with this in mind that the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, the MESR and the National Research Fund (FNR) have agreed to establish a joint instrument called LuxAid BRIDGES, which will finance research projects with the capacity to advance the objectives of development cooperation and humanitarian affairs policy through annual calls for projects, the first of which will take place in 2023.
In line with its “Road to 2030” strategy, the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs has also pursued its aim of extending its support to the academic world and supporting the development of research capacities and expertise in the field of international development cooperation. The aim is to contribute to the creation of expertise in Luxembourg that can provide analyses of the Luxembourg Development Cooperation’s policies, with the specific aim of supporting the effective design and implementation of its programmes.
It is with this in mind that in July 2022 the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) signed a statement on the creation of an impact assessment unit for development cooperation policies, based at LISER and financed by the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Human Affairs, with a budget of EUR 1.25 million for the first two years of implementation. In this context, we note the close collaboration between LISER and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in Paris, known for the work of Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2019, on combating poverty.
Other collaborations with Luxembourg research institutions have been strengthened, in relation to joint projects currently being planned. Thus, the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, LuxDev and the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security of Trust (SnT) have conducted a study to sustain (and regionally extend) the excellent results of the LuxWays project (Luxembourg/ West-Africa Lab for Higher Education Capacity Building in Cybersecurity and Emerging Topics in ICT— 4Dev). The Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs has been supporting the project since 2020, and it is implemented in partnership with entities in Senegal and Burkina Faso.
The excellent collaboration between the Luxembourg Development Cooperation and the various faculties of the University of Luxembourg will be further strengthened and made more systematic, in particular through specific scholarships for students from Luxembourg Development Cooperation partner countries and/or countries with projects. In contrast to other types of scholarships aimed at attracting talent to Luxembourg, scholarships financed with official development assistance will focus particularly on strengthening local capacities and creating opportunities in the countries of origin of the selected recipients.
In 2022, together with the NGO Appui au développement autonome (ADA), the Ministry continued its financial support to the ADA Chair at the University of Luxembourg’s Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF). The Chair works on research in European and international financial law with a particular emphasis on all aspects of inclusive and innovative finance and fintech. Each year, the Chair organises the certification of professionals in the sector via the Certificate in Law and Regulation of Inclusive Finance, organises conferences on relevant topics relating to financial law and inclusive finance, publishes high-quality research in the field of financial law and inclusive finance and participates in national, European and international conferences. Thus, the Chair contributes to the reputation of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as a European hub for the law on and regulation of inclusive finance and advances research on regulatory aspects that are of national interest for its competitiveness.
Finally, in 2022, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation continued to create new partnerships, with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), for example, and deepened its collaboration with the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), with which it is already collaborating in Laos and West Africa.
Internationally, in 2022 the Luxembourg Development Cooperation continued to build on its long-standing partnership with the Centre for Africa-Europe Relations (ECDPM), in Maastricht (in the Netherlands), on research topics linked to European policy in relation to the African continent, and with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and universities in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg on the subject of data protection in humanitarian contexts.