Help us help the developing world
Will you donate to SciDev.Net and help us do more to ensure developing countries get the best from science and technology?
Charitable organisations, particularly those trying to help the developing world, come in all shapes and sizes. Some help victims of natural disasters, such as those hit by the recent earthquakes in Chile and Haiti. Others focus on specific diseases, such as AIDS or sleeping sickness.
Usually, the intended beneficiaries are obvious, making it simple for people to envisage the immediate benefits their donation might bring.
But there are other charities doing equally important, if less tangible, work. They include organisations that help developing countries build the capacity to meet their own needs.
Their activities are just as essential for improving peoples' well-being in developing countries, though these may take longer to bear fruit. SciDev.Net falls squarely into this category.
And I want us to do more. So I am now inviting you, our readers (and particularly those of you in the world's richer nations) to demonstrate your support for our work by contributing towards our costs.
We need to diversify our funding
Since SciDev.Net was established in 2001, we have been fortunate to have received support from several national aid agencies, in particular those in the United Kingdom (DFID), Sweden (Sida), the Netherlands (DGIS) and Canada (IDRC).
We remain immensely grateful for their support. But we are also aware — especially given the public spending cuts and examination of future priorities sparked by the recent financial crisis — that we cannot continue to rely as heavily on such agencies in the future.
We also think that diversifying our sources of income to include you, the people who use our website, will offer a mechanism to help us respond to what you feel we should be doing.
So my appeal to you is not only based on financial needs. It also reflects our desire to become more directly accountable to our users.
What your money will do
Your support will allow us to expand our activities in several directions. In particular, it will help us:
- to expand our news coverage of parts of the developing world that are currently insufficiently covered on SciDev.Net, including the Middle East and North Africa, and South-East Asia;
- to maintain and develop our 'spotlights' to explore critical issues at the interface between science and development;
- to enhance the practical and financial support we give young science journalists across the developing world;
- to build new functions into our website and integrate new ways of communicating science for development (for example, through the rapidly expanding use of mobile phones and various social media); and
- to help organisations across the developing world — particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa — build their institutional capacity to communicate research results to policymakers, an essential step to ensuring that such results are effectively used.
How to donate
None of these are particularly glamorous tasks. They do not have the same emotional appeal as efforts to feed starving children, limit the spread of fatal diseases, or rebuild communities destroyed by acts of nature.
But in the long run, we believe that each of them is essential to achieving all those more immediately humanitarian goals. These tasks let science and technology achieve their full potential for providing all societies with the tools for sustainable development. And they do so in a way that bridges the global gap between rich and poor.
If you share our belief, and you would like to help us achieve these goals, we have introduced various options for you.
The easiest is to make a direct online donation through Donate to SciDev.Net.
Alternatively, you can contact us directly for information on how to make either one-off payments, or to create standing orders to ensure a regular donation.
We will send all our donors regular updates about our current and planned activities.
Finally, if you have other ideas of how you, or others, might contribute to our running costs and help fuel our development, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
We look forward to receiving your support.