Local Research for Better Lives

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About GDN

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Who We Are

The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policy-oriented, social science research in developing and transition countries to promote better lives. It supports researchers with financial resources, global networking, as well as access to information, training, peer review and mentoring. GDN acts on the premise that better research leads to more informed policies and better, more inclusive development. Through its global platform, #GDN connects social science researchers with policymakers and development stakeholders across the world. Founded in 1999, GDN is currently headquartered in New Delhi. Download the GDN fact sheet here.

An agreement establishing the Global Development Network was signed by representatives of Colombia, Egypt, India, Italy, Senegal and Sri Lanka.  Download the full Charter.

GDN turned twenty in 2019

GDN’s Vision, Purpose and Beliefs


A world in which evidence and scholarly knowledge inform and inspire development and policy decisions.


Improve development outcomes and livelihoods through high-quality, policy-oriented research in the social sciences, produced in developing countries and connected globally.


  • Locally conducted social science research leads to a better understanding of development challenges and guides policy decision and their implementation
  • Useful and actionable knowledge cannot be exclusively imported. Local social science research is needed to transform knowledge into solutions. It is also crucial for local ownership and for informed democratic debate.



GDN reaches out to all categories of countries and researchers. It fights all forms of discrimination in access to its programs, whether originating in gender, or in differences in the institutional, geographic, political or economic environment.


GDN programs, processes and criteria for selection and access are all transparent. So are GDN accounts, income and expenditure. The results of GDN’s programs are public and publicly disseminated. GDN fully supports open data principles.


GDN manages its operations in a cost efficient manner, and focuses on outcomes and impact. It gratefully recognizes the support it receives and is keen on delivering value-for-money in the pursuit of its global mission.

Research ethics and quality

Through its programs and beneficiaries, GDN upholds professional research and ethical standards, such as scientific quality standards, respect for persons and their rights, equity and transparency, legal compliance and data confidentiality and protection.

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