Fostering Research Productivity in Côte d’Ivoire


Since 2000, the research productivity in Côte d’Ivoire has grown steadily above the regional and global rate, despite recurring economic pressures and socio-political unrest. The Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS), a long-standing partner of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), has become one of the country’s most productive research institutions according to a study published yesterday. Jürg Utzinger, Director of Swiss TPH, highlighted this successful partnership at the Swiss Ambassador Congress in Basel on 22 August 2018.

The Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS) is a prime example of a successful and productive Swiss-African research partnership. (Photo: Thomas Fürst)

The research productivity of a country can be measured by the number of peer-reviewed and internationally referenced scientific publications per population. In Côte d'Ivoire, the amount of publications more than doubled from 4.1 to 8.5 per million people from 2000 to 2016, growing above the regional and global productivity rate in this 17-year period. In addition, Côte d'Ivoire has seen an 'internationalisation' of research output with a growing share of contributing authors from around the world.

These are the key results of a study published yesterday in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Globalization and Health. The analysis also found that as of 2016, CSRS is the second most productive research institute in Côte d'Ivoire. Despite its relatively small size, the public-private research institute has steadily increased its publication output and outperformed most of the larger, purely academic establishments in Côte d'Ivoire.

"The main features of productive publishing institutions were research staff size, diversification of research portfolio and funding, and established partnerships with foreign institutions," said Jasmina Saric, Swiss TPH and lead author of the study. "The high research output of CSRS shows that targeted investments coupled with high quality education, mentoring and training programmes pay off and benefits all parties involved."

CSRS: a prime example of a Swiss-African research partnership

Founded in 1951, CSRS is a prime example of a successful and highly productive Swiss-African research partnership. Over 200 researchers and employees work for CSRS today, conducting a wide variety of research spanning from biodiversity and conservation biology to human, animal and ecosystems health.

"We are thrilled to see that our research productivity is reaching a historic high and we thank our long-term Swiss and international partners for the excellent collaboration," said Inza Koné, Director-General of CSRS. "We are particularly grateful to Swiss TPH, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the Swiss Academies of Sciences and the Swiss embassy for their tireless commitment, in-kind and in-cash contributions."

Such strong research partnerships are also beneficial for Switzerland's research and innovation landscape. "With the support and through deep collaboration that is built on mutual trust, Swiss TPH has become a leader in global health, attracting students and staff from more than 70 nations who work together to improve people's health nationally and internationally." said Jürg Utzinger, Director of Swiss TPH.

Presenting to Swiss Ambassadors

At the annual Swiss Ambassador Congress held on 22 August 2018 in Basel, Jürg Utzinger presented on the importance of partnerships to foster excellence in research, teaching and services, focusing specifically on this mutually beneficial Swiss-Ivorian research partnership. More than 150 ambassadors and other foreign representatives from Switzerland based all over the globe attended the meeting.

About the publication

This research was conducted by Swiss TPH together with CSRS with the support of Afrique One-ASPIRE. Additional financial support was provided by SERI.

Saric J., Utzinger J., Bonfoh B., Research productivity and main publishing institutions in Côte d'Ivoire, 2000-2016. (2018) Globalization and Health.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the latest research news, project updates, course and event listings from Swiss TPH.