Call for Proposals: ‘Evidence for Innovation’

Deadline: 28-Jul-21

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is seeking applications for the ‘Evidence for Innovation’ to support an integrative approach to understanding both the firm/economic performance of innovation support programs as well as their social impacts by integrating equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) analyses.

The rationale for this focus stems from an interest in promoting evidence-informed decision-making as well as understanding the strengths and weaknesses of targeted EDI initiatives and how economic policies can support social development goals (e.g., gender equality).

This funding opportunity aims to:
generate new evidence on the performance and the distributional impacts of innovation support programs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), promote collaboration between researchers and innovation agencies, and
strengthen networks and capacity for analysis and implementation of innovation policies.

Research focus: The funding opportunity supports research that generates evidence on the performance and distributional impacts of SME support programs or policies (e.g., on women-led enterprises, access to goods and services in underserved communities, employment for youth). There are a wide range of policies and services that seek to create and develop SMEs, referred to here as innovation support programs. The performance of such programs has been examined but there is considerable scope to strengthen the evidence base in lower-income countries.

Collaboration: The funding opportunity invites active involvement and leadership from both researchers and agency staff responsible for designing and/or implementing innovation support programs. Non-academic collaborators may involve representatives from government and non-profit or for-profit agencies. It is expected that this collaboration will facilitate access to data, improve empirical analysis, and position research evidence for application.
Funding Information

  • Budget: Stage 1 grants (up to $100,000); direct-entry grants (up to $500,000)
  • Duration: 12 months (stage 1 grants); 36 months (direct entry grants)

Eligibility Criteria

  • All proposals must identify potential innovation support programs that might form the basis of their research program. Direct-entry grants will be required to provide a detailed methodology suitable for examining the identified innovation support program(s).
  • Stage 1 proposals must identify principal and co-principal investigators based at a public research organization (e.g., a government-legislated public or private university) or a non-profit research organization (e.g., think tanks).
  • Direct- entry proposals will also have a principal investigator from a research organization but will include collaborator from innovation agencies that have or had some responsibility for the implementation of the innovation support program being investigated.
  • Stage 1 grants are to include representatives from two or more countries. Direct-entry grants do not have to involve two or more countries.

Eligible countries: This funding opportunity supports applications led from and focused on the following countries: Afghanistan; Angola; Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; Central African Republic; Chad; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Haiti; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Liberia; Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nepal; Niger; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan; Togo; Timor-Leste; Uganda; United Republic of Tanzania; Yemen; Zambia and Zimbabwe. For purposes of this call, the lead administrative organization must be based in the countries above. Applicants from the island states of Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Comoros, and São Tomé and Príncipe may participate but as members of a consortia.

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