The Academy of Finland and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs fund problem-oriented and multidisciplinary development research, that is, research on developing countries.
In development research, the problems to be studied may derive from the local as well as the global level, or from a search for and analysis of the connections between development phenomena at different levels.
Development research describes and interprets dimensions of development, helps understand obstacles to development and finds ways in which those obstacles can be removed. In practical terms, the aim is to produce knowledge that can help solve problems related to, for example, health, natural resources, the economy and education. Knowledge is also needed about how international, national and cultural systems work and about the limitations that these systems present to and the opportunities they offer for development. These lines of inquiry in development research are not mutually exclusive but complementary.