Malaysia was one of the first Southeast Asian countries we supported in 1971. Over the following two decades, we funded more than 100 activities. They contributed to better policies, technologies, and research capacity in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, education, health, and science and technology.

Research results in the late 1980s shaped the Malaysian government’s national industrial strategy around science and technology. As Malaysia became an upper middle-income economy and the local government prioritized research in the 1990s, we scaled back our support. Our funding now bolsters Malaysian efforts to understand how the knowledge economy can benefit the poor. We also promote new technologies for local development.

Better livelihoods for homeworkers

We supported local research to document women’s access to information and communication technologies in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, and the strategies needed to support women’s use of these technologies in the home.

This research on women homeworkers and home-based entrepreneurs — who sell everything from telemarketing and editorial services to homemade crafts and cakes — raised the profile of women working at home and their need for recognition, training, and legal protection. The special needs of homeworkers with disabilities were also highlighted.

Global partnership for knowledge and development

Since 2001, Malaysia has been home to the Global Knowledge Partnership secretariat, supported by IDRC and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. This international network of public, private, and not-for-profit organizations promotes the innovative application of knowledge and technology to achieve development goals. It includes improving education and reducing poverty.

The network shares knowledge and builds partnerships through training, meetings, excellence awards, and project funding. Our most recent grant allowed the organization to assess its future directions.

Total IDRC Support

115 activities worth CA$13.8 million since 1971

World Bank/N.Motlaq

Our support helps

  • poor rural residents get an education
  • small-scale entrepreneurs find venture capital
  • farmers safeguard their export markets
  • migrant workers gain better protections​

Projects