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The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) was established in 1998 as a result of networking including a number of conferences in 1997, where the objective to channel and focus the efforts of NGO research towards supporting the need for information, education and advocacy of grassroots organizations was recognized by a number of key Asian research organizations or non-government organizations with established research departments. Thus, with the goal to develop at least one NGO in each target Asian country that can become a research-information provider by introducing data banking and research as a general service, the APRN was formally established in a conference in 1999. The APRN also set as one of its objectives the identification of common strategies in research-information work and the development of a common research agenda in support of the members» respective social movements.

Since 1999, the APRN has grown to 37 leading research organizations in 17 countries in Asia Pacific, and is still growing.