Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RAD?
The Researchers Alliance for Development an informal, action-oriented, multidisciplinary network of researchers and academics that provides a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas on international development.
Its objectives are the following:
 1. Facilitating interaction between the academic community and the World Bank;
2. Mobilizing the academic and student community on development issues and curricula, facilitating mutual flow of knowledge.

The RAD was first established in 2003 at the initiative of the World Bank External Affairs Europe Vice Presidency, as a vehicle for interaction between the World Bank and external researchers.

The activities of the RAD are coordinated by the Steering Committee composed of 10 researchers. The RAD Secretariat is located at the World Bank Paris Office and is coordinated by the Development Policy Dialogue Team.

Who can join the RAD?
Membership is in the RAD open to all university departments, research centers, think tanks and NGOs that deal with international development – regardless of academic discipline. You can join the RAD as an academic liaison representing your institution in the network, or as an individual. Practically, any institution may join the network, as long as it has a research unit and is focused on development issues. Join the RAD!

How can I join the RAD? What are the modalities of membership?
In order to join the RAD, simply fill in a short membership form. If you do not wish to become an academic liaison or a full individual member, you can only subscribe to the monthly newsletter, by sending an email to the RAD Secretariat. The RAD is an open and inclusive network, which means that there is no membership fee and membership is not subject to any restrictions. If you are interested in joining, the Secretariat will only make sure that your application is serious and the contact details you provided are complete. Please fill in the membership form in full, providing your research interests and expertise areas will help us better match the members.

What is an academic liaison?
The Academic Liaison is a delegated representative of a given institution to the RAD, who maintains a working relationship with the Secretariat, and serves as a bridge between the RAD and his/her institution. Further, the Academic Liaison keeps his/her colleagues informed about relevant information on RAD events and opportunities, research trends, issues and resources, and ensures that researchers’ needs and concerns are conveyed to the relevant departments or units within the World Bank – the RAD’s primary interlocutor.
The Academic Liaison should be:
• A member of an academic/research body
• Committed to inclusiveness and have a broad intellectual perspective
• In charge of, or highly involved in, organizing events for his or her research unit
• Willing to enhance collaboration with the Bank on development research
• Able to commit some time and effort required to act as Liaison
• Proficient in English

The Academic Liaison ought to have support and mandate from its home institution to represent it at the RAD. If you would like to join the RAD without becoming an Academic Liaison, you may do so by becoming an individual member.

What does it mean in practice to be a RAD member?
It is up to you to determine to that extent you want to be involved in the RAD. Membership offers the following benefits:
• Monthly newsletter with latest development information and knowledge
• Link with 600 researchers all over the world: See who is a RAD member in your country or at your institution! Link up with a researcher in a different country working on the same area as you!
• Privileged link with the World Bank: 1. Are you organizing a workshop or seminar on development at your university? Invite a local World Bank representative! 2. Are you teaching a course on development? Invite a World Bank representative to meet with your students! 3. Are you looking for specific information on development? Ask help of the RAD Secretariat for World Bank documents and reports!
• Invitation to conferences and seminars on development
• Sharing research with other members and World Bank staff/ staff of other development organizations (via newsletter and website, or direct targeted dissemination)
• Working groups: join an existing group or start a new working group, if existing groups do not represent your area of interest
• Participate in consultations and have a say in World Bank policy

I am a student – can I join?
Yes, the RAD welcomes students and junior researchers, especially at graduate and PhD level in development economics and social sciences. If you are looking for a research topic in development, please consult the Issues Briefs. We also encourage students to take up the World Bank as their object of research and get involved in the ‘Share University Papers’ project.

What does the RAD do?
Please consult the RAD Work Program (2007), Annual Report (2008) and the events section of the website to find out more about the network’s activities.

How can I get involved in the activities of the RAD?
The RAD work plan for each year is designed and implemented by the Steering Committee, in consultation with members. We encourage you to read the RAD Annual Report to find out what kind of activities the RAD supports, as well as the current Work Plan (2007). The Steering Committee and the Secretariat welcomes suggestions from members who would like to be involved in any of the existing projects, as well as proposals for new activities. Tell us what you would like to do under the RAD and we will see how we can help!

How can I get in touch with other members?
In order to protect the privacy of RAD members, we do not display their names or contact details online, only the names of the institutions they represent (see RAD catalog). If you wish to contact a researcher from a particular institution or country, please get in touch with the RAD Secretariat.

What is RAD’s relation with the World Bank?
The RAD was initially developed together with the Paris Office of the World Bank (in 2003). The daily functioning of the network is supported by the Secretariat, located at the World Bank Paris office. The activities of the network are determined by the Steering Committee – an independent body consisting of 10 researchers from 10 different countries. The RAD has a privileged relationship with the World Bank, profiting from direct access to its experts and tailored information.

Can the RAD fund projects of its members?
The RAD has very limited core funding, which means that it raises funds for each of its projects separately, from a variety of bilateral and multilateral donors. The RAD does not have the means of funding a project of one of its members, unless the project is endorsed by RAD as an institution and is part of its work plan. However, the RAD is a powerful vehicle for fund raising, as a global network of researchers. If you have a good idea for a, international research program, conference or any other activity with focus on development, please contact the RAD Secretariat and tell us more about it!

What kind of projects does the RAD endorse?
The RAD does not normally produce research. It is an organization working primarily on dissemination of research outcomes, knowledge sharing, capacity building and learning, and networking. The network may provide you with the valuable means to start a research project and to disseminate its results. However, many members of the RAD are now doing research together, as well as engaging in collaborative research with World Bank staff.
A RAD project would have the following characteristics:
• International scope (topic, task team, impact)
• Multidisciplinary, bringing together different stakeholders and different types of institutions
• Dissemination of research: to experts in a given area and to mass audiences

I have another question…
Please don’t hesitate to contact the RAD Secretariat or the Chairperson! We may take a few days to answer, but we always do.

©2010, The Researchers Alliance for Development