Government – guidance

Funding for development research

Details of calls for new funding opportunities in development research run by the Department for International Development (DFID) or our development partners.


This page is aimed at organisations and researchers looking for information on funding opportunities in development research. It lists in date order a selection of current calls with a research, evidence or evaluation theme which are being run by DFID or by our programme partners. If you are interested in working for DFID you should also look at our supplier portal.

The Effectiveness, Coherence and Accountability of the Humanitarian System: A Political Economy Analysis

DFID is looking for a small team of 3 to 4 experienced researchers and / or evaluator(s) to undertake:

  • a conceptual mapping
  • review of the literature and evidence relating to the functioning, financing and incentives, internal relationships and accountability of the multilateral humanitarian system

The study will include a review of the relevant literature, limited desk-based case studies and a summary assessment of agency / system capacity for strategic self-evaluation. The study should consider articulation with NGOs, bilateral donors and government agencies, but limit detailed analysis to UN multilateral agencies and the Red Cross.

The study, which will be of considerable importance to DFID, is to be undertaken from August to November 2015. It will be undertaken in parallel with (and will support) the implementation of a new ‘system-wide’ approach to DFID’s multilateral financing – which is based on the premise that a transparent system-wide approach to performance will incentivise change in the ways in which humanitarian multilateral agencies work together. The study will be part of an iterative approach to implementation, allowing the chance to engage with DFID and with a simultaneously commissioned evaluation.

Interested parties are invited to submit tenders by 2pm UK time on Wednesday 29 July 2015.

Ensuring debt sustainability in developing countries through productive expenditure

DFID places emphasis on the collection and use of high quality evidence to inform its policies and programmes. DFID has identified a possible gap in the relevant literature that could improve DFID’s and other stakeholders’ understanding of how to ensure debt sustainability in developing countries; that is, knowledge on how countries have previously, and could in future, ensure the sustainability of their debt by ensuring that debt financing is ‘used productively’.

This research would provide useful evidence and insights into an area that many stakeholders, including donors, developing country governments, International Financial Institutions, and academia, are keenly interested in. Moreover, the knowledge generated would likely be used to feed into various international and domestic processes of importance to sustainable debt management in developing countries.

It is expected that the first draft of outputs will be produced by 14 August 2015. The final paper is to be submitted by 11 September 2015. Presentation of findings to key stakeholders will take place in September. However, if the supplier deems that additional time is needed to complete the final version, this should be explained clearly in the bid i.e. suppliers should detail what they would add to the paper in the additional time. As a minimum, suppliers will need to supply DFID a final draft by the end of September 2015.

Invitation to tender letter (MS Word Document, 45KB) Invitation to tender instructions (including tender evaluation criteria) (MS Word Document, 78.8KB) Full terms of reference (MS Word Document, 40.3KB) Commercial pro-forma for submitting the cost breakdown (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 61KB)

Deadline for submission of tenders 2pm UK time Tuesday 30 June 2015.

Prior Information Notice: Improving Communication of Research and Evidence for Development (ICRED)

DFID will be publishing a tender seeking a service provider or group of organisations as part of consortia to carry out projects for the ‘Improving Communication of Research and Evidence for Development programme. A supplier event took place on 2nd June. The presentation together with Q&A write up are available on the DFID supplier portal.

Programme information

Having the ability to make evidence-informed policy and practice decisions is vital to support efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. DFID has designed the Improving Communication of Research Evidence for development programme (ICRED) to increase the impact of investments in development research, by supporting improved capacity of researchers and intermediaries in DFID priority countries to access, appraise and communicate evidence and rigorous research. Results of this programme are expected to include enhanced capacity of researchers (e.g. academics) and intermediaries (e.g. the media; civil society organisations) in DFID priority countries to routinely gather, appraise and communicate research evidence to inform the public, and increase the use of rigorous evidence for more effective development policy and practice.

DFID will be seeking proposals for a range of projects that aim to build capacity of researchers and intermediaries to access, appraise and communicate evidence and rigorous research to inform development policy and practice. DFID has committed £12 million to this programme, which is expected to become operational during 2015/16, and a further 500,000 for an evaluation stream which will be commissioned following project selection. This programme will help inform DFID and other development research funders on what types of research uptake capacity building approaches are most cost effective and have the greatest impact. It is anticipated that project contracts will run for 5 years. This is the business case (PDF, 595KB, 24 pages) for this programme.

The Agri-Tech Catalyst

This supports businesses and academia in developing innovative solutions to challenges in the agri-tech sector. There are 2 competitions a year.

Further details