Scholarly Kitchen: Some Observations on Research4Life’s New Strategic Plan for Vision 2030

19 July, 2022

Below are extracts from a blog about the new strategic plan for Research4Life.


Some Observations on Research4Life’s New Strategic Plan for Vision 2030

By Haseeb Irfanullah, July 11, 2022

Research4Life (R4L) has recently launched its new strategic plan [ ]. Although such plans are usually prepared for a five-year span, this time around the strategy instrument outlines a vision for 2030. R4L essentially started the strategy formulation process about three years ago by commissioning several assessments. I was involved in one of them, the Research4Life User Review, as a member of the INASP study team.

To me the new R4L strategy is an exciting one, not only because of the amount of effort that was put into gathering evidence before preparing it, but also for three other reasons. First, over the past 20 years, R4L has evolved into an influential platform bringing together five UN agencies, more than 200 publishers, two top universities of the world, and several technical partners to support the Global South’s to access research. Second, R4L currently benefits hundreds and thousands of researchers in over 10,500 institutions located in more than 125 countries who are accessing more than 163,000 journals and books. The estimated worth of this access is more than US$ 48 million per year... Third, since the inception of R4L in 2002, many positive and not-so-positive developments have taken place in the scholarly publishing sector...

R4L’s new strategy aims to work towards, “An inclusive, diverse and equitable scholarly communications environment that enables all global researchers to address societal challenges”. The impact R4L wants to make as a part of its theory of change is that, “Lower income country researchers are actively participating in research communications by publishing in peer reviewed journals, including Open Access, and are fully represented across editorial roles in publications worldwide, experiencing a level playing field.”...


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Working in official relations with WHO