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The imminent closure of a global development network’s policy-related knowledge hub, GDNet, may leave social scientists of the southern hemisphere out in the cold.
GDNet, based in Cairo, Egypt, announced its closure today, which may lead to the loss of existing resources on its site, such as access to journals and researcher profiles, unless a rescue plan is put together over the next few months.
Despite the closure, the Global Development Network (GDN), which runs GDNet, says it is committed to ensuring that Southern research remains accessible in the public domain and continues to inform global debates.

GDNet has been building a knowledge hub of policy-related research with the aim of amplifying the voice or researchers from the global South in what is mainly Northern-dominated global decision-making.

Part of this was its ‘Connect South’ campaign, which was helping to increase the accessibility of research papers and databases to Southern social science researchers.

GDNet’s funding came from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the World Bank. 

“It is … with deepest regret that we announce to you that the GDNet program will be coming to an end effective June 2014. During April and May, the team will be phasing out the online services,” reads the email to its registrants sent today.
GDNet members will lose access to online journals and data sets by the end of March; and their researcher profiles, data and ‘knowledgebase’ portal, with its regional and thematic sections and thousands of research papers will disappear by the end of May.
“After that time, the GDNet online platform at will cease to exist,” it says.
But the email adds: “We remain dedicated to raising the profile of research from the South and are exploring how we can ensure your profiles and our Knowledgebase of Southern research papers stay available to the public after the program ends”.
GDN says it will seek GDNet members’ ideas to inform its next steps.
These may include starting new partnerships; re-registering members to the GDN to ensure researchers continue to be part of an active network; and identifying the priority services that are needed to support Southern researchers.
GDNet’s head office in Cairo confirmed GDNet’s closure, but said it was not yet able to offer further comment.

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