Call for Proposals: Global Development Network

Deadline: 4-Jul-21

The Global Development Network is partnering with the French Development Agency, AFD, to conduct an online video contest, on key development transitions taking place across the globe.

The videos will tell the story of these transitions through the eyes of young researchers working in the Global South – enabling global audiences to learn about their challenges and successes. The videos will link deep local knowledge and perspectives to the public discourse on global development through a variety of subjects such as climate, energy, gender, governance and more.

The Agence Française de Developpement (AFD) and the Global Development Network (GDN) have joined hands to launch a global video contest targeting young researchers conducting quality work on the transitions that are shaping development today – locally, regionally or globally.

Young scholars based and operating in the global South are invited to submit to the contest short, self-produced videos. Drawing from their own scientific endeavours and that of others in their field of work, young researchers are asked to communicate clearly and concisely about the societal challenges and dynamics they are studying.

Using a language that is appropriate for a wide audience of non-specialists, the videos should aim at bringing into public discussions quality and up-to-date knowledge on the key development transitions shaping their lives.

What topic should your video focus on?

  • Applicants are asked to focus on a development challenge or transition they are currently conducting research on, one they believe will shape the future of development. The videos should draw on existing evidence (research-based) regarding the roots, the course and the ramifications of the transition/challenge you chose, for a general audience. They want to know what there is to learn about the transition you discuss, based on what researchers have figured out thus far. Videos can focus on any of the following areas (the list is indicative and not exhaustive):
  • Global picture: ODA, sustainable development, SDGs, anthropological and technological revolution, decision making in a complex world, digital revolution, knowledge revolution, etc.
  • Climate and energy transition: Energy, climate change
  • Territorial and ecological transition: urban development, environmental degradation, natural resource management in all sectors, biodiversity mainstreaming, actions for sustainable living
  • Demographic and social transition: demographic trends, migration, gender issues, poverty, inequality, education, health, the future of work, cultural issues, vulnerability and fragility, conflict prevention
  • Economic and financial transition: growth, development finance, trade, structural transformations
  • Political and civic transition: governance, corruption, political regimes, political participation
  • Methodological issues : development measurements, concept of transition, measures of wellbeing, prospective
  • Emerging approaches : Sustainability science or Sustainability Transitions Research

How can you participate?

  • To take part in the contest, you are asked to produce (and make available online, following the instructions provided in appendix) an original video of 3-5m, focusing on the development challenge or transition you are currently working on. Note: they do not ask you to present your current research project or your latest paper, but to discuss in a video format the knowledge emerging from your research field, starting from a well-identified development challenge or transition. They are looking for videos that present research-based knowledge clearly and concisely, to reach the widest possible adult audience. The video should cover the following questions:
  • What transition will shape development in the next decade?
  • Why do you see an urgent need to communicate about it?
  • What are the roots and ramifications of the transition you are talking about?
  • How does it affect them as a society, and as individuals?
  • What key policies will be important to shape this transition?
  • If you are shortlisted, you will be expected to revise your video based on multiple feedback from academic and communications experts. Finalists will have access to more research communication activities of AFD and GDN, on products or topics that might differ slightly from the submitted videos.

How will your video be evaluated?

  • The selection of videos will go through four different stages. First, GDN will run an eligibility check. It is important that you check the requirements and contact them if you have any questions (see next section). Only eligible applicants and complete applications will be considered. Note that only original videos will be considered. Second, all eligible videos and applications will be reviewed by a panel of external evaluators, in a triple review. Evaluators will score the videos based on the following list of criteria (equally weighted):
  • Clarity: Is a development transition presented clearly? Is the reasoning for choosing this transition, and its urgency, spelled out for the audience without trivializing it? Is the structure of the presentation logical?
  • Salience: Is the importance of this transition presented in a compelling way?Are the societal ramifications of the transition clearly highlighted? Does the video accompany the audience in understanding the roots of the problem the transition aims to solve? Are the key stakeholders identified?
  • Use of research: Does the video use and synthetize competently existing research on the topic? Does the video succeed in explaining in non-technical and concise language the substance of the research supporting the narrative?
  • Engagement and Originality: Did the video leave the viewer wanting to know more? Did it capture and maintain the viewers’ attention? Was the information presented in a creative way?
  • Technical Quality: Was the audio quality, visual quality and editing (if any) conducive to a satisfying viewer experience?
  • Third, the top 20 videos (shortlist) will receive qualitative feedback from academic experts, and one-on-one review with communications experts. Feedback will aim to enable applicants to improve and expand their videos. All shortlisted applicants that take part in the individual feedback and capacity building process, will be invited to produce a second version of their video, of up to 7m.
  • Fourth and finally, a Jury composed of senior social scientists with a track-record of research on transitions and co-chaired by the top management of AFD and GDN, will review all revised and resubmitted videos. The Jury will award monetary prizes worth EUR 6,000 to the top 3 video. The winners and finalists will be considered by GDN and AFD for the production of professional interviews on their research work, aimed at global circulation.
  • Before you apply, make sure the contest is for you Eligibility criteria are as follows:
  • Disciplinary expertise: The competition is open to researchers with at least a Master’s degree in social sciences. Applicants from the natural sciences are welcome to apply if they are currently working in larger multidisciplinary teams with social scientists.
  • Age: up to 40 years old on July 4th, 2021
  • Professional/academic affiliation: the contest is open to researchers with at least a Master’s degree, and who spend a significant part of their time working on academically informed research, irrespective of the registration status of their institution of affiliation. For example, applicants based in NGOs or think tanks and who conduct academically informed research, are welcome to apply even if they do not have an academic affiliation. This presumes you have a list of publications you can attach to your CV.
  • Nationality: the contest is open to all researchers affiliated to an institution based in one of the countries, irrespective of their nationality.
  • Language: applicants are requested to submit their videos and application in English or French

For more information, visit

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