Our vision to 2030: Research4Life Strategic Plan

Published: Friday 24th June 2022
Category: News

When United Nations Secretary General António Guterres launched the UN Sustainable Development Goals “Decade of Action” in September 2020, he left us with more than just inspirational words: “The science is clear. The people are clear. This is no time to procrastinate. […] The COVID-19 pandemic, the greatest challenge faced by us since the founding of the United Nations has brought us low. But we will not be beaten. We, too, must look beyond the current crisis and set our sights high, as we strike out for a world of dignity and opportunity for all on a healthy planet. Together, let us make this a decade of action; a decade of ambition; a decade of transformation; a decade of hope and peace.”

For many organizations, including Research4Life, the UN Secretary General gave us a mandate to accelerate our efforts to support the research behind the SDGs. For the past 20 years Research4Life has sought to bridge the digital research divide for researchers, librarians, doctors, policymakers, and many others in lower income countries. Together we have worked to equip users with the access and tools they need to find evidence-based research and make robust policy decisions based on trusted, peer reviewed information.

To truly support a more inclusive and equitable research ecosystem and make progress on the UN SDGs, we must take a more holistic approach, pivoting to a new strategy which will support our community of users as both consumers and producers of research.

While the pandemic has underscored the critical role that science plays in society, it has also revealed just how rapidly the world in which we operate has changed in the two decades since we founded Research4Life. This realization has helped us to consider our own role as a public private partnership as we have shaped our new Strategic Plan. After much reflection, many surveys and strategic reviews with partners, users and experts, we believe that it is no longer sufficient for us to focus solely on bridging access. 

Our ambition has been to create a new Strategic Plan for Research4Life to contribute to the UN Decade of Action for accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals by increasing research participation from the Global South. We believe that we can play a role in the development of evidence-based policies and investment priorities that will help to advance the SDGs, especially in lower income countries.

By 2030, we aim to have significantly increased the participation of researchers as both consumers and producers of critical research, providing the necessary capacity building through local networks and partnerships. Through our new strategic priorities, we have sought to create a new vision for Research4Life which fully integrates users from the Global South. We are proud to share our new Strategic Plan with you, which offers our members, users and supporters of Research4Life the opportunity to contribute to the creation of a diverse and inclusive and equitable research ecosystem.