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Advancing research on feminist artificial intelligence to advance gender equality and inclusion

This project will seek to improve how artificial intelligence (AI) research as a field can measurably address social problems faced by women and marginalized communities, and to correct for historic exclusion and bias that currently exists in AI systems. It will respond to a need to ensure that new methodologies, processes, and approaches ensure AI applications are designed with and for the needs of women and vulnerable communities. A competitive call will support the development of applied research on AI models that seek to combat bias and address historical inequities in data sets. These inequities perpetuate biased predictions and decision making in areas such as procurement, climate action and resource management, the automation of social-protection systems, and judicial practices.

Regional networks will help to strengthen the capacities of researchers in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa to develop and use innovative methodologies and models to undertake multidisciplinary, gender-transformative, and participatory AI research. Another focus will help to advance gender equality and inclusion principles within responsible AI principles, frameworks, and practice, working with key stakeholders in academia, the private sector, and governments at the national, regional, and international levels to adopt best practices.


Project ID
109694
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Katie Clancy
Total Funding
CA$ 2,000,000.00
Location
Costa Rica
Middle East
South Asia
Programs
Education and Science
Education and Science
Institution Country
Costa Rica
Institution
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica

Enhancing the design of the Adaptation Futures conference for a more distributed participation in the context of limited international mobility

Adaptation Futures, convened under the auspices of the United Nations, is the world’s premier gathering of the climate change adaptation research community. IDRC support and engagement have been critical in broadening the participation of researchers from the Global South. Canada was selected to host the seventh edition of Adaptation Futures to be held in Montreal in 2023, a key year that will also see the beginning of a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment cycle and the first global stock-taking under the Paris Agreement.

As the world begins to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, this project will redesign Adaptation Futures to enable more meaningful engagement from the Global South, to better replicate the capacity-strengthening and professional-networking benefits of in-person gatherings, and to reduce the carbon footprint of such gatherings. Combining features of virtual and distributed formats offers the potential for more equitable participation by both women and men, as well as people without the means for international travel.

Project ID
109596
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bruce Currie-Alder
Total Funding
CA$ 200,332.00
Location
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate Change
Institution Country
Canada
Institution
Ouranos Inc.

IDRC at the 2021 Conference of Montreal

September 3, 2021
IDRC will be part of the discussion on moving towards a greener global economy at the 2021 Conference of Montreal.
Event promotion banner
The International Economic Forum of the Americas
Promotional banner of the Conference of Montreal

IDRC is co-hosting with the International Economic Forum of the Americas a plenary session on opportunities to solve energy poverty and inequalities worldwide, a panel on the care economy, and a fireside chat with Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Conference of Montreal aims to heighten knowledge and awareness of the major issues concerning economic globalization, with a particular emphasis on the relations between the Americas and other continents. This year’s conference theme is “Towards a fairer and greener economy.”

This 27th edition of the conference will take place in a hybrid format on September 13-16, 2021, from Montreal and Miami.

Learn more about the Conference of Montreal and register

Overview of IDRC sessions

Tuesday, September 14 |12:40-1:30 p.m.
Renewables to end energy poverty for a sustainable and inclusive world 
Plenary session

Moderated by IDRC President Jean Lebel 

Lack of access to affordable, reliable, and renewable electricity is trapping millions in poverty, worsening food security, undermining efforts to address climate change, and exacerbating inequalities and gender gaps. This conversation will explore the global transition to renewable energy, overcoming obstacles and exploiting opportunities to solve energy poverty and inequalities worldwide and the potential ripple-effect benefits, such as improved education, health, gender equality, food security, economic development, and job creation.

Wednesday, September 15 | 11:00-11:50 a.m.
Investing in those who care
Panel

Moderated by IDRC Vice-President Dominique Charron

Care and domestic work are key barriers to women’s and girls’ empowerment. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how vital it is to society, yet much of it remains invisible, undervalued, and unevenly distributed. How can business and investment address the gender and social disparities associated with vulnerable care jobs and transform them into fair job opportunities? What market-based solutions are emerging to recognize, reward, reduce, and redistribute care activities and advance gender equality?

Wednesday, September 15 | 1:20-1:50 p.m.
Uniting the scientific community: What the Global North can learn from the South in research and development?
Fireside chat

Interviewed by Jean Lebel

IDRC President Jean Lebel will interview Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist at the Food and Agriculture Organization, about the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the path to Zero Hunger by 2030.

IDRC to support research chairs on forced displacement in Central and South America and South and Southeast Asia

August 16, 2021
IDRC has launched a call for proposals from universities in South and Southeast Asia and Central and South America, to establish research chairs on forced displacement.
A Rohingya woman runs a school for fellow refugee women in Bangladesh.
UN Women Asia and the Pacific

Close to 80 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced because of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, economic hardship, climate change, and prolonged instances of political instability.  

Eighty percent of the world’s forcibly displaced are hosted in countries in the Global South. Yet almost all the research that influences policy and practice on forced displacement originates from Northern countries. To generate more national and local policy-relevant knowledge, IDRC will support for up to five years the establishment of up to two university research chairs in South and Southeast Asia and two university research chairs in Central and South America. 

The research chair positions will: 

  • empower institutions in these regions to define research agendas 
  • lead on practical solutions that transform unequal gender relations and promote social, economic, political, and health rights among forcibly displaced persons and their host communities  
  • amplify the voices and perspectives of forcibly displaced persons and host communities in local, national, regional, and global arenas 

This call for proposals is part of a broader IDRC contribution to localize research on forced displacement, which includes a recently closed call for proposals to establish research chairs in the Middle East and East Africa.  

IDRC’s Strategy 2030 aims to contribute to more inclusive, accountable, and transparent governance for people — especially women and children. Our efforts to improve governance for people who are forced to migrate, and the communities that host them, contribute to the greater use of data, evidence, and research for inclusive decision-making, a key enabler for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information, and to apply, please go to our call for proposals page.  

The deadline for the call is September 30, 2021 (4 p.m. EDT). 

Call for proposals: 'Evidence for Innovation'

Closed
Call for
Applications
Deadline
Programs
Education and Science
Duration
12 months (stage 1 grants); 36 months (direct entry grants)
Topic(s)
Governance
Science and Technology
Evaluation
Economics
Countries
Central Asia
South Asia
Far East Asia
North of Sahara
South of Sahara
Funded by
IDRC in collaboration with the United Nations Technology Development Bank for Least Developed Countries
Budget
Stage 1 grants (up to $100,000); direct-entry grants (up to $500,000)
Type
Grant
Status
Closed
Eligibility

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.  

Scope

 

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.  

It aims 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).   

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.   

Sequenced funding:  The application deadline for Stage 1 and direct-entry grants is July 28, 2021. 

Stage 1 grants will fund survey research and network development over a 12-month period. This preparatory phase will position teams to submit detailed Stage 2 proposals, which would support in-depth analysis of identified innovation support programs. Direct-entry grants are designed to support time-sensitive research projects that can be mobilized quickly to advance the aims of this call. 

More details

For more information, please read the program description for this funding opportunity. A frequently asked questions page will be maintained to respond to applicant questions. 

For further inquiries, contact e4i@idrc.ca

If you are eligible for this opportunity, we welcome you to submit an application. 

If you are eligible for this opportunity we welcome you to submit an application.

Climate and Resilience - Operating costs for capacity building

This project will support the Climate and Resilience partnership by covering the operational costs, including salaries and benefits, office costs, and travel of IDRC staff. Separate project approval documents will authorize the execution of individual research projects and activities related to program governance, communication, and evaluation.

The Climate and Resilience transition fund is a partnership between IDRC and the UK Department for International Development. It represents a joint investment of CA$7.1 million over two years aimed at scaling, uptake, and impact of climate research, as well as designing the next generation of research needed to accelerate adaptation and catalyze climate action in the Global South.


Project ID
109311
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Bruce Currie-Alder
Total Funding
CA$ 707,788.00
Location
Bangladesh
Ghana
India
Kenya
Madagascar
Mali
Mozambique
Namibia
Senegal
South Asia
South of Sahara
Zimbabwe
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate Adaptation and Resilience

A smart surveillance strategy for carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that causes severe infections in hospitalized patients. The worldwide emergence of carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa (CR-PA) makes infections by these pathogens almost untreatable. The World Health Organization now ranks CR-PA highest in the list of urgent threats. Information for action to prevent further emergence has to come from insight into sources and transmission routes through smart surveillance.

The aim of this project is to develop a globally applicable smart surveillance strategy to guide action against the spread of CR-PA. Since P. aeruginosa prefers moist niches, the focus will be on the human-water interface. First, highly sensitive methods to detect CR-PA in specific environmental and human niches will be developed. Subsequently, CR-PA will be collected in three study sites with increasing prevalence of CR-PA, increasingly warmer climates, and different water situations (Rotterdam in The Netherlands; Rome, Italy; and Jakarta, Indonesia). The study will search for CR-PA in a variety of niches outside and inside the hospital and in healthy humans and hospitalized patients. Whole genome sequencing will compare the CR-PA from different sources and identify transmission routes. The project will provide insight into how the different potential reservoirs of CR-PA contribute to its spread in different settings. This knowledge will be used to develop a globally-applicable surveillance strategy for CR-PA to guide preventive actions.

This is one of five IDRC-funded projects developed through the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), an international platform that coordinates global funding to support collaborative research and action on antimicrobial resistance. Through the JPIAMR, IDRC has partnered with 18 other donor agencies to fund innovative research on diagnostics and surveillance strategies, tools, and technologies that can be used to detect and monitor antimicrobial resistance in human, animal, and environmental settings, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Project ID
109283
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Renée Larocque
Total Funding
CA$ 173,800.00
Location
South Asia
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Food, Environment, and Health
Institution Country
Indonesia
Institution
University of Indonesia

CDKN Knowledge accelerator for climate compatible development: Operating costs for capacity building

This operational project will support the implementation of the Knowledge Accelerator for Climate Compatible Development project (#108754) by covering the operational costs including salaries and benefits, travel, and office costs. The Knowledge Accelerator project is funded through a partnership between the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) in the Netherlands and the IDRC created in 2018 to a 3 year, joint CA$ 12,120,000 initiative that will be implemented by South South North (SSN), a South African based not-for-profit organization. The Knowledge Accelerator project will consolidate and further grow the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), to broker practical and tailored knowledge on climate and development for its use and application in decision making in the Global South. It aims to create an enabling environment for implementation and scaling of climate and development actions. The country-level work will focus on 9 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. This desired overall long-term impact of the Knowledge Accelerator programme is for key actors in developing countries, and those working at global and regional levels, to make more robust and informed decisions that enhance climate resilient low carbon development at scale in ways that benefit poor and vulnerable women and men.

The objective of this operational project is to support and assure the delivery of the Knowledge Accelerator programme (#108754) and the organizational development of CDKN. The project covers the operational costs of a full time senior program officer and the travel and office costs associated with that programme’s delivery. The staff member, based in Ottawa, will be responsible for project oversight, capacity support to partners and monitoring.

Project ID
108871
Project Status
Active
Duration
35 months
IDRC Officer
Bruce Currie-Alder
Total Funding
CA$ 605,485.00
Location
North of Sahara
South of Sahara
South America
South Asia
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate and Development Knowledge Network

Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems

Registration of events, such as birth, death, causes of death, marriage, and divorce, is critical for improving maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. These statistics provide policymakers and practitioners with the necessary evidence to design interventions and enact appropriate policies on maternal and child health. Many low- and middle-income countries, however, do not systematically collect such crucial information. It is estimated that one-third of the world's births and two-thirds of the world's deaths are not registered or are incorrectly certified. In many cases, global norms, standards, tools, and good practices are not readily accessible and useable to those who need them most.

The project will establish the Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems to provide information, tools, and expertise to facilitate the development and implementation of integrated CRVS systems. Funded by Global Affairs Canada and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and based at IDRC, the Centre of Excellence will coordinate with existing expert groups to generate, consolidate, and share information and resources in an open and collaborative electronic platform. It will also assist countries needing more direct support by facilitating the exchange of good practices and capacity strengthening, and will play an important role brokering technical assistance for countries needing more direct support.

The Centre of Excellence will work closely with the Global Financing Facility in support of the Every Woman Every Child initiative to enable the development and implementation of CRVS systems plans as part of country-led investment cases for financing by the Global Financing Facility.

Project ID
108245
Project Status
Active
Duration
57 months
IDRC Officer
Montasser Kamal
Total Funding
CA$ 4,005,823.00
Location
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Global Health
Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems

Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund: Strengthening of Research Capacity

This project creates the authorization for capacity building support to develop and manage the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund (LVIF). The fund aims to support the development of quality vaccines that are more affordable, available, and acceptable to small-scale farmers. It will also help ensure their use at scale.

About the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund
The LVIF is a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada (formerly Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada), and the International Development Research Centre. It represents a joint investment of CA$57 million over five years to support the development, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines against priority livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

More specifically, the LVIF will support innovation and research to increase the efficacy, marketability, and use of existing vaccines, develop new vaccines against priority livestock diseases, and build effective research and public-private partnerships to accelerate the registration, commercialization, and use of vaccines.

The research will also lead to a better understanding of disease dynamics and their impact, as well as the issues that constrain poor farmers from using vaccines. By bringing together all stakeholders - from farmers to researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and regulators - the LVIF will foster a vibrant and sustainable livestock sector in the target regions.

Separate Project Approval Documents will authorize individual research projects and activities related to research uptake and scale up, program synthesis, and communication.

Project ID
108155
Project Status
Active
Duration
66 months
IDRC Officer
Santiago Alba Corral
Total Funding
CA$ 6,695,713.00
Location
Far East Asia
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund
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