NWO-WOTRO Strategy

Science and Development: Mutual Inspiration

Globalisation is transforming the world into an increasingly interdependent system. Development discourses and practices are expanding to embrace global issues such as climate change and local transitions like increased access to ICT. These transformations are inspiring new approaches to development and eliciting the involvement of a growing number of new stakeholders in international cooperation. With these changes, science and innovation are acquiring a more pronounced role in global development. NWO-WOTRO's programmes meet this challenge by combining scientific excellence with relevance to development.

Mission and core values

NWO-WOTRO envisions a world in which science inspires stakeholders in development and challenges in development inspire scientists. WOTRO believes that high-quality knowledge is vital for realising progress, equity, social justice and sustainability. WOTRO therefore encourages the generation, dissemination and utilisation of validated knowledge that helps to improve quality of life in developing countries. WOTRO's mission is to facilitate research that contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction. This mission is guided by four core values:

  • improve equity, social justice and sustainability
  • mobilise the best science for development
  • realise partnerships between researchers and other stakeholders in development
  • be transparent and accountable to stakeholders 


NWO-WOTRO has set four objectives:

  • increase the generation, dissemination and utilisation of high-quality knowledge
  • increase the generation of groundbreaking ideas
  • enhance knowledge synergy for development
  • strengthen research capacity in developing countries

NWO-WOTRO realises these objectives through three lines of action:

  • funding research that is embedded in society
  • funding challenging ideas that foster breakthroughs
  • facilitating platforms for knowledge synergy