Development and Change

The 17 SDGs form a comprehensive development agenda, and relating to this facilitates cooperation of Bonn University with Bonn based UN Organizations and beyond. However, Bonn University does not establish a goalby-goal research agenda. Rather the related development research agenda in which Center for Development (ZEF) is engaged with several Faculties focuses on basic issues and on linkages of goals to identify synergies, such as hunger / malnutrition and poverty reduction, health and economic progress, governance and social services. Some of these themes are covered in the themes mentioned above. The modeling innovations under the first priority above serve a broad analytical base for SDG research too. The large areas of SDG attention, poverty and hunger reduction, global change, justice, sustainable economic growth, maintaining diversity, and risk management in a sustainable way are certainly considered in the research agenda, while Bonn University partners with research groups, that address the whole set of goals (SDSN).

The more specific research themes focused on are:

  • Migration: Migration is becoming an ever more relevant challenge. Due to political and global change, the number of migrants and refugees is increasing because of unsuitable living conditions and rampant food insecurity. Of particular research interest is the understanding of drivers of migration and the consequences of migration for local economies and livelihoods, as well as for the social-ecological systems in general. Socioeconomic labor market analyses as well as migrant networks will be connected to analyses of environmental stress and political causalities of migration and refugee flows.
  • Markets and services: The developmental roles of markets and the political, infrastructure, and institutional constraints of access to public services by the rural and urban poor are the focus under this research theme. Access to markets is a major precondition for farmers and rural landless people to overcome subsistence and to enhance their individual economic situation, making them more resilient to fluctuating boundary conditions as induced by global and national changes, for instance in international trade and investment arrangements and related regulatory regimes. Among public services, attention is given here to information, education, social transfers, insurance, and health systems. Moreover, the relevance of a secured and constant supply of ecosystem services as being an important component of public services need increasing research attention.
  • Innovation and knowledge: Innovations have different facets ranging from technical and institutional innovations to societal innovations such as new governance structures or incentive schemes. Research on processes leading to the generation, implementation and adoption of innovations is key to develop policy recommendations for the most promising ways of promoting innovations as well as to identify the mechanisms that foster such innovations. It comprises research on information and communication technology utilization. Specific examples are research on rural innovations in Africa on both, innovations from research organizations and farm-based technology development; Digital and social media roles for innovation across science systems of emerging economies are another example.
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