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.
Social Accountability in the Delivery of Social Protection
DFID is looking for a small team of experienced senior and junior researchers to undertake a study to bring together existing evidence, and generate new evidence, on the effectiveness of social accountability mechanisms on the service delivery of social protection programmes, and on precipitating state society relational change. The team will need to have specialist expertise in both social protection and social accountability, and both research and operational expertise.
The study will include:
- a literature review; up to 5 case studies (countries to be determined in discussion with DFID research team)
- the development of guidance which will be used for policymakers and practitioners, and those involved in designing and implementing accountability support to social protection system building in low income and middle income countries
- at least 1 DFID and 1 external dissemination event
The study, which will be of considerable importance to DFID, is to be undertaken from April 2016 for up to 10 months.
Interested parties are invited to submit tenders by 2pm UK time on Friday 18 March 2016.
Understanding intra-regional labour migration in the East Africa Community (EAC)
The East Africa Research Fund (EARF) announces a research call seeking to understand the implications of intra-regional labour migration on economic development in the East African Community (EAC). This is a joint study between the East Africa Research Hub (EARH) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The purpose of the research is to strengthen the evidence base on intra-regional labour migration to understand what opportunities and challenges this presents for both the countries of origin and destination countries; and maximise the potential of labour migration to promote inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction in the EAC. This Invitation to Tender requires qualified suppliers to submit a full proposal for the implementation of the project. The main objectives of the research study are to:
- map the total migration flows, stocks and remittances to, from and in each of the EAC countries
- examine the intra-regional cross-border regular labour migrant flows, trends and patterns in the EAC
- assess the characteristics of intra-regional cross-border irregular labour migrants in the EAC
- review the labour market responses in the EAC, in both the countries of origin and destination countries
- draw on the findings to recommend priority evidence and data gaps to maximise the potential of labour migration to promote inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction in the EAC
The implementation of the project will be in 2 stages starting with a feasibility assessment in Stage 1 and if successful, a detailed analysis of labour migration in the EAC in Stage 2. Note that Stage 2 will only commence upon delivery and approval of the Stage 1 outputs.
EARF seeks to identify services of a research supplier with knowledge and experience of labour markets in integrated economies, preferably including East Africa. Preference will be given to groups with expertise in analysing large scale data sets on migration and/ or labour. The applicants should have knowledge and experience in migration in sub Saharan Africa to encourage diverse perspectives, integrated and innovative thinking.
Within their bids, applicants are required to set out clear timelines in relation to the milestones identified, to deliver the overall project with high quality outputs within the shortest timeframe possible.
Interested organizations who wish to participate in this research study should register through the EARF website and download the application pack:
The call opened on Friday 5 February 2016. The deadline for submission of the ITT proposal bids is on Friday 11 March 2016 11:59pm East African time (Nairobi+03:00).
Social Protection System Capacity Strengthening
Social protection is a key part of the strategy of DFID and other international partners to supporting meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets on poverty and to ‘leave no one behind’. It supports other agendas, on increasing demand for health and education, supporting the empowerment of women and girls, adapting to climate change and being prepared for and coping with other shocks. Few other instruments can quickly reach the very poorest at scale.
The purpose of the research is to review what has and hasn’t worked, and to consider what may work best in future, in terms of support to social protection system capacity strengthening. This will be carried out through a review of written evidence and where necessary, interviews with key stakeholders among international partners and partner governments, as well as other appropriate methods. It will also be through drafting guidance and through the effective dissemination of findings and guidance including the design and delivery of training modules. The research will be part of an international collaboration with GIZ, EU-SPS , UNDP and others which will increase its reach and impact. The research will include country collaborations which will be written up into case studies and will inform the guidance.
Interested parties are invited to submit tenders by 2pm UK time on Friday 11 March 2016.
Understanding the economic contribution of Small-scale Mining in East Africa
The East Africa Research Fund (EARF) announces a research call seeking to strengthen the evidence base on small-scale mining in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and maximise the potential of the sector to promote inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. This is a 1 stage procurement process where qualified suppliers are invited to submit a full proposal.
The research study has 3 main objectives, namely:
- conduct an overarching synthesis to understand the impact of small-scale mining operations on economies and livelihoods in low to middle income countries, and explore the implications for three case study countries in East Africa
- within the three selected case study countries (Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda) map the scale of small-scale mining operations and assess the current and potential national and sub-national economic contribution of the sector and policy approaches to maximise benefits for poor (drawing on the work of others where possible)
- make key recommendations to maximise the economic contribution of small-scale mining sector to promote inclusive and sustained growth for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda both at the national level and for relevant sub-national geographic areas
For this project EARF seeks to identify a suitably experienced and qualified organisation (or consortia) that must be a recognised higher education institution, research organisation or an organisation with a credible research capacity and experience of conducting similar projects. Preference will be given to groups incorporating both international and regional (East Africa) expertise to encourage diverse perspectives, integrated and innovative thinking.
Within their bids, applicants are required to set out clear timelines in relation to the milestones identified, to deliver the overall project and high quality products within the shortest timeframe possible.
Interested organizations who wish to participate in this research study should register through the EARF website:
The deadline for submission of the ITT proposal bids is Friday 4 March 2016 at 11:59pm East African time (Nairobi+03:00).
Centre of Excellence for Development, Impact and Learning (CEDIL)
DFID is seeking to appoint a Research Director to assemble and lead a group of outstanding multi-disciplinary academics to develop and oversee the intellectual and research agenda of a multi-disciplinary Centre of Excellence for Development, Impact and Learning (CEDIL) in international development. Once the Research Director and Intellectual Leadership for the programme are appointed, DFID will start a separate procurement process for the Programme Directorate, who will be responsible for delivery of this programme.
The objective is to establish a high quality, multi-disciplinary academic centre to commission and implement impact evaluations, promote the uptake and use of evidence from impact evaluations and develop and demonstrate new and innovative methodologies for impact evaluation and evidence accumulation.
The Research Director and multi-disciplinary Intellectual Leadership team should be intellectual visionaries who can really transform development impact evaluation through high quality research and evidence. They will have the overall responsibility for the strategic and technical direction of the Centre and will lead on developing a vision and a clear agenda for the Centre, in consultation with DFID. The Intellectual Leadership Team will also have an opportunity to undertake some of the deliverables of the Centre.
There are 3 key requirements that the Centre will be expected to deliver against, bringing its academic and multi-diciplinary intellectual leadership to the forefront in delivery:
- develop and use new and existing research methods for experimental, quasi-experimental and other designs for impact evaluations of development programmes
- develop a rigorous evidence accumulation and data sciences programme to combine and model evidence generated through monitoring and evaluation of development programmes, using new and existing methods (drawing from social, natural and bio medical sciences)
- coordinate and deliver technical assistance, research/evaluation, and design support to international development programmes that use experimental, quasi- and non-experimental methods for evaluation
The Centre will achieve these deliverables through a set of individual work programmes. The Research Directorate will conduct a review of the potential methods and a mapping of gaps in current methods to inform the number and nature of these programmes.
We have already held one Early Market Engagement meeting on this and received useful feedback which has shaped and refined our thinking. The video of that session is available on the DFID supplier portal and we are holding another Early Market Engagement meeting for those who were unable to attend the previous session and to update interested parties on how are thinking has evolved on this.
If you would like to hear more about the Research Director and Intellectual Leadership roles for the Centre of Excellence for Development please register for the Early Market Engagement meeting which will take place in DFID’s London office (22 Whitehall), on 5 February 2016 at 14.30 to 16.30pm. Please book your place by registering on this site. The deadline for registration is 2 February.
It is anticipated that the procurement for the Research Director and Intellectual Leadership will start relatively soon after this second Early Market Engagement exercise in mid-late February, with this part of CEDIL commencing in September 2016 and operating for a 5 year period, with the possibility of an extension.
Procurement of the Programme Directorate will start in May/June 2016. DFID expects that the successful bidder will be a consortium of organisations that have strengths in both intellectual leadership with regards to evaluation techniques and strong programme management experience with a track record of managing grants of a similar scale. Institutions from outside the UK are eligible, and encouraged, to bid for this work, but it is expected that they will form a consortium with at least one member in the UK.
Drivers and Implications of the Structural Shift of the Private Sector in Zimbabwe
DFID is looking for a small team of 3 to 4 experienced researchers to undertake a study to inform future programming in the area of private sector development in DFID Zimbabwe, and to increase evidence which will be used by the Zimbabwean government, the public and other donors. The study will include a comprehensive desk review of relevant literature, and interviews with CEOs of large companies and government agencies in charge of company legislation. It will also involve focus group discussions with SMEs.
A phased approach to carrying out the research is proposed. The first phase will draw on global experience, and it is proposed the second phase use primary research to analyse the resilience of businesses in Zimbabwe by conducting a firm capability study.
The study, which will be of considerable importance to DFID, is to be undertaken from March to May 2016.
Interested parties are invited to submit tenders by 2pm UK time on Friday 19 February 2016.
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.