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From emerging trends such as the use of drones in development or Brazil’s growing interest in Africa’s science, to a deeper examination of issues, such as what elections in the Philippines and Venezuela may mean for science and development, SciDev.Net’s features put a spotlight on important issues around the world in 2013. Here, our news and features desk recommends some of the highlights, including how NGOs can harness science better, how researchers can avoid falling prey to predatory journals and how science is testing new aid methods.

Which SciDev.Net articles do you find the most useful? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @scidevnet using #bestof2013

Drones begin to show their development promise
Flying drones could be used to deliver medicines and protect vulnerable people, but major rollout hurdles remain.

'Suspect' journals take scientists for a ride
Some journals are out for profit, not to carry peer-reviewed science — and they target developing-world scientists.

Is Asian space science drive harming development?
Space programmes can assist development work but are they taking cash better spent on ground-based efforts?

After Chávez: the mixed legacy of revolutionary science
What has Hugo Chávez’s socialist approach to science done for Venezuela? 

How science got a voice in the Philippine congress
In the upcoming elections, a political party representing science aims to retain its seat and continue to influence policy, reports Crispin Maslog.

Middle East synchrotron seeks peace through cooperation
A research centre in Jordan aims to boost science and foster peace through international collaboration.

Brazil’s rising interest in science ties to Africa
The past decade has seen a boom in science collaboration between Brazil and Africa, but what is behind this drive?

Will a scientific trial show the value of cash donations?
A charity is awaiting a verdict on its practice of sending money directly to poor Kenyans.

The scientific ripples from the edge of the Arab Spring
What has the Arab Spring brought to science in countries that did not see a regime change? SciDev.Net investigates.

Science and NGO success stories: how collaborating works
From kidnap alerts to solar lighting, some NGOs find the high-tech answers they need.

Read more features

What were your favourite features stories this year?