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If there is any conflict between these terms and conditions and rules/or specific terms of use appearing on this site relating to specific material, then the latter shall prevail.

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These terms and conditions may be varied from time to time. Please ensure that you review them regularly, as you will be considered to have accepted a variation if you continue to use the site after it has been posted.

Creative commons

SciDev.Net makes the written content of this website available for use by others under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence.

Under the terms of this licence you are permitted to:

If you wish to reproduce SciDev.Net material on another website, please make sure that:

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  • > You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article
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Community guidelines

Our commenting facility offers a platform for our users to discuss content, debate issues and encourage intelligent discussions on science and development. To ensure that everyone has a useful time on our site, we hope you will follow a few basic rules. These guidelines outline what we consider to be acceptable and unacceptable. We may update these guidelines from time to time, so please read them before posting.

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Stay focused on science and development

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Contribute new information

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Try to be clear about what you are saying, and expect that people may read your contribution in a different way to that which you intended.

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Removing inappropriate content

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Disclaimer about community content

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What are cookies and why do we use them?

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How cookies are used on SciDev.Net

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The section below shows all of the cookies that are set by this website and the third-party services we use.

First-party cookies (set by the SciDev.Net website)

We use a number of cookies to remember the selections or preferences that you've made when looking at the information on this site and to ensure fast and efficient delivery of content to your device. See below for a list of cookies we use to manage your current visit.

Name Purpose Expire Content Classification
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Strictly necessary, minimal intrusion. (CFID and CFTOKEN) provide session functionality this is used to:

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Strictly necessary, minimal intrusion. (CFID and CFTOKEN) provide session functionality this is used to:

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Third-party cookies

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We also use this data to report impacts to our funders in our role communicating science for development. While we are keen to track user data as a way of evaluating usage and communicating impacts to our funders, you are able to opt-out of this usage here.

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Privacy policies

SciDev.Net is committed to providing high-quality information and services about the role and impact of science and technology in the developing world. We are committed to protecting your privacy, and information will not be disclosed to third parties without your prior consent. Information we collect from users of the site will be stored securely by us on computers in the UK.

Signing-up with SciDev.Net

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These relate to your profession and place of work.

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If you are concerned about how your information is used, we recommend that you review this privacy statement periodically, as SciDev.Net may update it from time to time.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us at info@scidev.net. We will be sure to address your concerns.

Comments, corrections, complaints and feedback policy

SciDev.Net seeks to ensure that its news, feature and multimedia pieces are accurate, truthful and balanced, and that the editorial and opinion pieces it publishes discuss issues in a fair way, representing the genuine opinions of their authors.

SciDev.Net also seeks to ensure that all external material to which it links is reliable and authoritative. However, we do not take responsibility for the accuracy of such material or the views that it may contain.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you feel we have failed to meet any of the above criteria, following the procedures set out below.


If you have a comment about a particular article, please add it to the section under each article. Please take time to read our community guidelines.

Corrections and complaints

All requests for corrections to material published on the website should be sent to corrections@scidev.net
All complaints about such material should be sent to complaints@scidev.net

When emailing a suggested correction or to make a complaint please include the item’s full title — along with its publication date and web address, where possible — and your contact details, including a phone number.

All such requests for correction and complaints will be considered promptly and appropriate action will be taken at the editor’s discretion. You will be informed of any decision.

Where a significant correction is involved, a note will be added to the end of the piece, explaining what change has been made and the reasons for it.


For feedback or queries about the website (rather than its content), please email feedback@scidev.net. If you would like to contact a specific reporter, you can click on their byline or send your comment through our editor editor@scidev.net.

Further grievance

If you are unhappy with how a request for a correction, or a complaint about an item on the website has been handled, please email complaints@scidev.net, setting out your concerns.

The director and editor will then decide if further action is required. You will be notified of any resulting action no later than three months after your initial complaint was received.

Anti-bribery policy

Introduction and anti-bribery statement

Bribery and corruption are found in all countries. They hurt the poor disproportionately, diverting resources intended for development and humanitarian assistance and increasing the costs of basic public services. They undermine economic growth and are a barrier to poverty alleviation, fair dealings and equal treatment, and good governance. Often, bribery and corruption can aggravate conflict and insecurity.

There is a risk that corruption will prevent NGOs achieving their objectives, especially when they are working in countries where there are high levels of corruption. Suggestions that an NGO is linked to bribery in any way can be damaging to its reputation and undermine the trust and support of beneficiaries, partners, the wider public, statutory and other funding institutions and donors. Public concern about the impact of bribery and corruption is a critical issue in building broad public support for aid and development in the UK.

SciDev.Net is committed to acting, and being seen to act, in a way that is honest and transparent. It is equally committed to ensuring that those organisations it works with share and uphold the same values. The UK Bribery Act 2010 has reinforced the need for NGOs to have in place effective measures for preventing bribery. Failure to do so increases the risk of prosecution under the Act.

SciDev.Net is committed to maintaining high ethical standards and preventing bribery and corruption. It expects its partner NGOs, staff, coordinators, consultants, contributors and agents to operate a similar approach, and will monitor the policies and procedures of its partners to ensure this is the case, providing appropriate guidance and support.

Definitions and explanation

Bribery is the offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of money, gifts or other advantage as an inducement to do something that is illegal or a breach of trust or an unfair competitive advantage in the course of carrying out an organisation's activities.

Forms of bribery include:

Extortion – the unlawful use of one's position or office to obtain money through coercion or threats. One example would be when customs officials request undue or false 'customs duties' from importers as a condition to clear their goods.

Facilitation payments – these are bribes and are usually small unofficial payments made to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action to which the payer of the facilitation payment has legal or other entitlement. One example would be where a governmental licence or permit is required for a particular course of action (such as opening a new clinic) and an official who has some part in granting that licence or permit seeks a 'special payment' to speed through a successful application.

Gifts and hospitality –extravagant gifts and hospitality may be used to disguise bribes that are intended to induce improper behaviour.

UK Bribery Act 2010

Under the UK Bribery Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2011, a bribe is paid if a "reasonable person in the UK" would deem that it relates to the improper performance of a relevant function or activity. A bribe can take any form and be of any size, and can be paid to or received from public or non-public bodies and employees.

If a bribe is paid or received by a third party (such as a partner organisation), anywhere in the world, for the benefit of any British citizen (or "person with a close connection" to the UK), that British citizen is liable to prosecution.

Additionally, any organisation which engages in commercial activity in the UK may be subject to prosecution if it is deemed to have failed to take appropriate steps to prevent bribery. This applies to charities that engage in commercial activities (trading or any service for which fees are charged) irrespective of the purpose for which profits are made.

Prosecutions can also be brought against managers or trustees of a charity, if it can be shown that an offence was committed with their consent or connivance.

The potential penalties for conviction on indictment include unlimited fines, for an individual or organisation. Prison sentences of up to ten years may also be imposed on an individual.

Individual senior managers or trustees may be prosecuted if an offence is proved to have been committed by a corporate body with their consent or connivance. An organisation convicted on indictment for failing to prevent bribery is liable to an unlimited fine.

Addressing bribery within SciDev.Net

SciDev.Net places the highest value on ensuring that neither it nor any organisation nor any individual with which it works is in any way involved with any action which could amount to bribery or corruption. Such action is wrong in itself and damaging to the reputation of SciDev.Net and could lead to criminal convictions for SciDev.Net itself and those individuals involved. SciDev.Net has therefore put in place the following procedures which will apply to all members of staff and Trustees and (where appropriate) those who act on behalf of SciDev.Net. The procedures are designed to ensure that all concerned are aware of circumstances and action which might amount to bribery or corruption, and of the steps which they need to take if they are aware of or suspect any such action.

Any member of staff or coordinator who is offered or asked for a bribe, or reasonably believes they have been offered or asked for a bribe, must without delay report the matter to their line manager and also to the Director. Any agent, consultant or contributor who is offered or asked for a bribe, or who reasonably believes they have been offered or asked for a bribe, must without delay report the matter to the Director. Should any Trustee find themself in a similar situation they should immediately report this to the Chair (or in his absence, the Director).

In the rare and exceptional circumstances when individuals feel they have no option other than to make payments to protect against loss of life, limb or liberty, or in humanitarian emergencies (e.g. to prevent the loss of life), the matter should be discussed with the Director, and the Chair, at the earliest opportunity.

Acts of bribery undertaken by staff of SciDev.Net (whether seeking a bribe or paying a bribe), and any failure by a member of staff of SciDev.Net to report that a bribe has been offered or asked for, will be considered gross misconduct and will be dealt with accordingly in line with SciDev.Net staff handbook. Gross misconduct will be dealt with under our Disciplinary Procedure and will normally lead to dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice (summary dismissal). In the case of agents, coordinators or consultants, their contract will be terminated with immediate effect. In the case of commissioned contributors, the commission will be cancelled and you will not be used for any future commissions.