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Understanding Southern Influence in Cyberspace Security and Governance: Toward a Global Network of Southern-based Cyber Scholars

The securitization of cyberspace - that is, making it a matter of national security - is perhaps the most important force shaping global communications today. It is particularly troublesome for developing countries where the use of networked technologies is growing faster than anywhere else in the world.

The rapid spread of networked technologies like mobile telephones and the Internet has been accompanied by a widespread belief in their potential to enhance democracy. While there is evidence to support this belief, there are also movements afoot to restrict rights and freedoms in cyberspace. Around the world, states are asserting their control over cyberspace to suit their own domestic and foreign policy interests. Governments with more "territorial" visions of cyberspace are developing ambitious and increasingly international strategies. If successful, they could legitimize national controls on cyberspace and undo gains made in rights and openness.

This research will establish a network of Southern cyber security scholars and practitioners that will study the relationship between Internet governance, national and international cyber securitization and militarization processes, and the relative "openness" of information networks across the South. Members will collaborate globally to ensure that the security process will be monitored, evaluated, and influenced in a way that protects rights, openness, and networking.

The project will provide evidence of the benefits of openness in cyberspace that can inform international debates and governance models, and influence policy. It will produce research, academic papers, an edited volume and a project website, and host workshops and conferences. It will also contribute to the Cyberspace Governance map, a Web-based interactive visualization of cyber governance entities and how they interact.

Project ID
106967
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
30 months
IDRC Officer
Ruhiya Seward
Total Funding
CA$ 2,282,760.00
Location
Central Asia
South Asia
Far East Asia
South America
Programs
Networked Economies
Networked Economies
Institution Country
Canada
Project Leader
Ronald Deibert
Institution
The Governing Council of the University of Toronto

Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health: Support to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research Program

Agriculture has made remarkable advances in the past decades, but progress in improving the nutrition and health of the poor in developing countries is lagging behind. Long-time IDRC partner, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is launching 15 new cutting-edge programs to tackle the problem. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 28% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa and 33% in South Asia are undernourished. Agricultural practices, interventions, and policies need to be better adapted and redesigned in order to maximize health and nutrition benefits and reduce health risks for the poor. Much agricultural research funding is spent on the "big three" grains: rice, maize and wheat. However, while these crops can provide a high number of calories, diets extremely high in grains may be lacking in micronutrients and protein. In addition, multidisciplinary research has been identified as a critical gap in the discourse on agriculture, nutrition, and health. A new cutting-edge program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will bring together research and development professionals in agriculture, nutrition, and health to tackle key challenges and design solutions jointly. The research is intended to balance the traditional focus on total calories with specific initiatives on micronutrients, food safety, and value chains. Co-led by CGIAR's International Food Policy Research Institute and the International Livestock Research Institute, the program will target two populations: those who are poor, food insecure, and malnourished, and those negatively affected by agricultural intensification. Activities will take place in areas of high food insecurity, namely sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with major components in Latin America. The program will use a variety of research approaches including surveys, laboratory work, and applied work focusing on four key components: value chains, biofortification (the process of breeding staple crops to have higher levels of essential nutrients), control of agriculture-associated diseases, and integrated agriculture, nutrition, and health development programs and policies. Research is expected to improve nutrition and health in vulnerable populations, particularly for women and children. It has five major objectives: to improve the availability, access to, and intake of nutritious foods, to improve agricultural labour productivity, to reduce the risk of agriculture-related diseases, to improve gender and income equality, and to improve knowledge of food safety and nutrition. The innovative, multi-pronged approach to integrating policy and programs should result in clear implications for policy and practice that will improve nutrition and health.

Project ID
106953
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
crmadm CRM
Total Funding
CA$ 5,000,000.00
Location
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture and Food Security
Institution Country
France
Project Leader
John McDermott
Institution
CGIAR system organization

Canada Among Nations 2012 to 2014

This grant will help the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University (Ottawa) publish three volumes of Canada Among Nations (CAN), described as the country's best "publication of record" on Canadian international relations.

Each year, CAN looks at major global issues that are important to Canada. Its focus is often on the developing world, as shown by the 2011-2012 volume Canada and Mexico's Unfinished Agenda. CAN authors come from within and outside Canada, and reflect diverse viewpoints from the academic world, professional groups, and political observers.

This project will support the publication of three volumes (numbers 27 to 29) over three years. The first will examine Canada's relationships with Africa, analyzing the ebb and flow of Canadian engagement with Africa over the past century and highlighting the opportunities that exist for Canada and Canadians at this point in the continent's development.

The themes for the two next volumes will be decided through a consultative process at the start of each calendar year.

Annual project outputs will include an authors' workshop, a published book, possible briefs, and several outreach activities to promote the book and its contents. Online tools will help contributors to communicate and collaborate.

Project ID
106878
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Ann Weston
Total Funding
CA$ 185,700.00
Location
Central Asia
South Asia
Far East Asia
South America
Programs
Foundations for Innovation
Foundations for Innovation
Institution Country
Canada
Project Leader
Mr. Dane Rowlands
Institution
Carleton University

Science Granting Councils: An Exploration of Policies and Practices for Building Research Capacity

How low- and middle-income countries support public science has a direct bearing on researchers' ability to generate knowledge, and affects how organizations adapt or apply such knowledge. Although some low- and middle-income countries invest considerable resources in building scientific capacity, the majority have weak scientific capacity. But, there are signs of change in how governments support and promote public science. New science granting councils, new directions, and new partnerships merit further investigation. For example, countries such as Panama have created new agencies to fund science and innovation. In the face of change, other countries, such as Egypt and others affected by the Arab Spring, are rethinking their existing science policies and support instruments. Finally, countries with significant scientific capabilities such as South Africa, Brazil, and China may begin or increase support to scientific research outside their borders. This project seeks to better understand these recent developments and to promote learning among science granting councils to strengthen practices and promote cooperation. In support of this, IDRC will facilitate regional and inter-regional workshops. The goal is to allow peer organizations to exchange ideas on topics of mutual interest. Representatives from science granting councils will have the chance to exchange information on thematic programming, discuss operational and strategic challenges, and explore areas for collaboration. All activities will support IDRC's long-standing mandate of encouraging research coordination and fostering cooperation. Expected outcomes of the project include studies, meeting reports, and identification of potential areas for collaboration and provide evidence to inform how national governments and international development agencies support science, technology, and innovation.

Project ID
106780
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
42 months
IDRC Officer
David O'Brien
Total Funding
CA$ 766,000.00
Location
Far East Asia
Middle East
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Foundations for Innovation
Institution Country
Philippines
Project Leader
Lourdes J. Cruz
Institution
National Research Council of the Philippines
Institution Country
Colombia
Project Leader
Mónica Salazar
Institution
Observatorio Colombiano de Ciencia y Tecnología
Institution Country
Lebanon
Project Leader
Sari Hanafi
Institution
American University of Beirut
Institution Country
Thailand
Project Leader
Thitinan Pongsudhirak (Dr.)
Institution
Chulalongkorn University
Institution Country
India
Project Leader
Vibodh Parthasarathi
Institution
Jamia Millia Islamia

Equity in Health and Health Financing: Building and Strengthening Developing Country Networks

Equity in health is a pressing global concern. Disparities in health status and access to health care within and across countries are both a cause and a consequence of social inequality. Access to health services continues to be largely determined by socioeconomic factors, and financial protection against catastrophic health costs remains inadequate. It is crucial to find evidence-based, and locally-produced and owned solutions, to address the issue of equity in health. Three IDRC-sponsored regional networks are separately investigating inequities in health, health financing and health delivery. The networks are: Strategies for Health Insurance for Equity in Less Developed Countries - SHIELD (103457), Equity in Asia-Pacific Health Systems - EQUITAP (105231), and the Latin American Research Network on Financial Protection (LANET), for Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively. This grant will allow the three networks to cooperate through a series of opportunities for capacity building, exchange, and cross-regional comparative and collaborative work. Such work is expected to enhance the evidence base and dissemination of research results for informed policy design.

Project ID
106439
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Marie-Gloriose Ingabire
Total Funding
CA$ 1,627,640.00
Location
Central Asia
South Asia
Far East Asia
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
Programs
Maternal and Child Health
Maternal and Child Health
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Diane McIntyre
Institution
University of Cape Town
Institution Country
Mexico
Project Leader
Dr. Felicia Knaul
Institution
Fundación Mexicana para la Salud
Institution Country
Sri Lanka
Project Leader
Ravindra P. Rannan-Eliya
Institution
Institute for Health Policy

Strengthening Equity through Applied Research Capacity Building in e-Health

There exists limited understanding of how e-Health solutions are perceived, designed, implemented and used. This goes beyond considerations related to automation, power supplies and affordability. Rather, it refers to context-specific, politically-aware and socially sensitive examination of how various ICTs are being appropriated, who is being included and excluded in the process, and whether the incorporation of ICTs is leading to more equitable health outcomes. The Strengthening Equity through Applied Research Capacity Building in e-Health (SEARCH) program will cultivate local research capacity to examine e-health and whether it leads to improved health equity and stronger health systems. Emphasis will be placed on methodological and analytical rigor, and policy dialogue. The first phase of SEARCH will involve scoping studies and workshops, with will elaborate the research agenda for the remainder of the program.

Project ID
106229
Project Status
Completed
End Date
Duration
60 months
IDRC Officer
Chaitali Sinha
Total Funding
CA$ 3,430,000.00
Location
Central Asia
South Asia
Far East Asia
South America
Programs
Maternal and Child Health
Networked Economies
Maternal and Child Health
Institution Country
Switzerland
Project Leader
Chris Bailey
Institution
World Health Organization/Organisation mondiale de la santé/Organización Mundial de la Salud
Institution Country
Kenya
Project Leader
Doris Kirigia
Institution
Kenya Medical Research Institute
Institution Country
Ethiopia
Project Leader
Dr Daniel Datiko
Institution
Sidama Zone Health Department
Institution Country
Lebanon
Project Leader
Dr Shadi Saleh
Institution
American University of Beirut
Institution Country
Peru
Project Leader
José Enrique Pérez-Lu MD MSc
Institution
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Lyn Hanmer
Institution
SAHIA ASSOCIATION (ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED UNDER SECTION 21)
Institution Country
Burkina Faso
Project Leader
Maurice Yé
Institution
Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna
Institution Country
Viet Nam
Project Leader
PhD Liem T. Nguyen
Institution
Institute of Population, Health and Development
Institution Country
Philippines
Project Leader
Portia Fernandez- Marcelo
Institution
University of the Philippines Manila Development Foundation, Inc.
Institution Country
Philippines
Project Leader
Portia Fernandez-Marcelo
Institution
University of the Philippines Manila Development Foundation, Inc.
Institution Country
Bangladesh
Project Leader
Sabrina Rasheed
Institution
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Sally Theobald
Institution
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Call for expressions of interest: Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Low-Carbon COVID-19 Recovery

Closed
Call for
Expressions of interest
Deadline
Programs
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Duration
Up to 30 months
Topic(s)
Development
Health
Economics
Environment
Social Policy
Countries
Far East Asia
Middle East
North Africa
North of Sahara
South America
South Asia
South of Sahara
West Indies
Funded by
IDRC
Budget
CA$750,000 – CA$1 million per project. Grants will be awarded subject to availability of funds.
Point of contact
sie@idrc.ca
Type
Grant
Status
Closed
Scope

IDRC seeks short proposals for projects that will support the generation and use of nationally and locally relevant evidence on women’s economic empowerment in a low-carbon COVID-19 recovery

in the Global South. Lasting up to 30 months, the research projects can either be single- or multi-country studies led by organizations in one country or across countries.

Projects should support the generation of solutions-oriented, local research and evidence that help address the specific and systemic barriers women face during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and in accessing opportunities that arise in new low-carbon economic activities. Projects should address new barriers that have arisen during the pandemic, the continued disproportionate burden of unpaid care work and gendered social norms, and ways to support and scale women-led initiatives that promote sustainable recovery.

The research will contribute to building more inclusive and sustainable pandemic responses and recovery in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

Eligibility

This call for expressions of interest (EOIs) is open to organizations with legal corporate registration, based in low- and middle-income countries.  

We encourage applications from institutions and consortia of organizations with multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder, and diverse teams and collaborative projects with partnerships between research organizations, policymakers, private-sector actors, and non-profit and grassroot organizations.

Individual persons and applicants from the United Nations system, donor and multi-lateral organizations are NOT eligible to apply to this call.

More details on the eligibility criteria of this call can be found in the call document.

More details

For more information about the call objectives, eligibility, timelines, and application guidelines, please refer to the detailed call for expressions of interest.

Please also consult our Frequently Asked Questions.

The submission deadline for proposals is April 13, 2021. All EOIs must be submitted through the IDRC online application portal.  

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

Application Guide for SurveyMonkey Apply

It’s about time: Research that tackles gender inequality at its roots

May 24, 2019

Practical support, services, and training can go a long way toward improving opportunities for women. However, to ensure these opportunities are sustainable and grounded in local realities, we need to confront the underlying norms and systems at the root of gender-based inequalities. Only then will we have lasting and meaningful gender-transformative change.

A man and a woman are heading to a small-scale mine in Central Africa for work. They part ways upon arrival — he disappearing underground to dig, and she making her way to the area where women process ore. He will earn much higher wages, and his job is more secure, but she’ll never be able to join him in the mine. Her community believes that women cannot be “real” miners.

This is one example of how culturally rooted gender norms and attitudes in many parts of the world can dictate which activities women are “allowed” to do, or what is considered “acceptable” for them to do. Norms and attitudes not only affect economic opportunities; they can also influence women’s mobility, security, safety, health, and many other aspects of their lives.

Gender equality — and how people experience it within households, organizations, and communities — is the product of how different social systems and structures are designed, negotiated, and implemented. Influencing positive change at these levels depends on evidence that moves beyond simply identifying inequalities.

Worldwide, there is growing recognition that simply being “gender aware” is not enough, and that significant, sustainable change requires institutional and systemic transformations. In keeping with this, Goal 5 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda calls for continued action to reduce gender inequality and empower women. Projects that focus on tackling this kind of foundational change are often referred to as gender-transformative.

What is gender-transformative research, and why is it so important?

Gender-transformative research promotes women’s empowerment, including shared control of resources and decision-making. It unpacks social inequalities, provides space for women, men, and non-binary genders to learn, and engages with people across the socio-economic spectrum to change the norms that enable inequalities.

A research project is “gender-transformative” if these considerations are addressed in its rationale and methodology and if it includes a rigorous analysis of root causes, gender power relations, and intersectionality (multiple vulnerabilities experienced by individuals or groups, such as race, class, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, alongside gender). This approach to research is important because it tackles inequalities in ways that reflect the lived experiences of real people and it promotes sustainable solutions that address root causes.

IDRC recently commissioned an international consulting group called Sisters Ink to evaluate its gender programming in order to gain insights and share lessons learned about gender-transformative research. The study’s findings are published in Transforming gender relations: Insights from IDRC research and they are summarized below. 

Ten years of gender research at IDRC

Sisters Ink reviewed 10 years of IDRC’s gender programming (from 2008 to 2018) before conducting a deeper exploration of gender-focused research projects over the past decade.

A sampling process identified 219 research projects, of which 42 were randomly selected and then assessed for their ability to challenge and change social, cultural, and gender norms. The consultants identified 16 of these projects as gender-transformative and chose six for further study. They explored the objectives, rationales, methodologies, and outcomes of these projects to uncover common patterns, findings, and lessons.

The six projects explored challenges to gender inequality experienced in different regions, different sectors, and by different groups.

1. Changing gender and social relations in the fisheries sector in Zambia and Malawi

The project addressed social and cultural norms that segregated women into lower-income fisheries jobs. It examined the use of community theatre to change attitudes toward gender divisions, decision-making, control over resources, women’s mobility, and more. Overall, in sites where community theatre was presented, attitudes shifted significantly toward support for gender equality.

2. Uncovering adverse norms in artisanal and small-scale mining in Central and East Africa

In this part of the world, it is often assumed that women are not suited to work in mines. Women in the sector are limited to lower-paying and less secure jobs. This project gave women miners an opportunity to articulate their experiences to policymakers and civil society organizers. It strengthened their leadership and voices in mining and supported gender-responsible policies and systems.

3. Intercultural health in Peru: choice and voice for Indigenous populations

Indigenous people in Peru experience social exclusion and inequality. This is partly because of limited access to health services, but it also arises from ingrained biases and prejudice toward Indigenous people. This project worked toward transforming these norms through a participatory approach and rights-based gender analysis.

4. Women’s rights and access to water and sanitation in India

Women living in overcrowded, polluted areas near Delhi lacked clean water and sanitation — a situation that compromised their rights to basic services, dignity, and security. This project addressed the role of gendered social norms in perpetuating women’s lack of access to basic amenities. By supporting dialogue between women, communities, and local governments, the project led to better water and sanitation infrastructure and gender-equitable policies, including a national policy on women’s safety.

5. Crowd-sourcing sexual violence reporting in Egypt

Sexual and gender-based violence are among the most common crimes in Egypt. This project provided a digital crowd-sourcing platform for reporting gender-based violence, tackling gendered social norms, and addressing harmful practices and beliefs in a challenging context. The model has been replicated in at least 28 countries.

6. Empowering girls to negotiate around early marriage in West Africa

Early child and forced marriages occur in some parts of the world due to entrenched gender norms. This project made girls aware of their rights, trained them in communication, and gave them negotiating tools to shift norms in their communities. Gendered analysis and intersectionality were at the core of this project’s research protocols.

Based on its analysis of these six case studies, the paper found that gender-transformative research shares four key qualities:

  • it addresses the root causes of inequality;
  • it recognizes multiple vulnerabilities and identities (since gender can intersect with race, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, caste, and other factors);
  • it builds trust and meaningfully engages stakeholders; and
  • it leverages and amplifies local thought leaders and institutions.

Recommendations for lasting change

Research funders looking to make a sustainable difference in gender equality may want to consider the following research takeaways.

1. Have an ambitious mandate.

Supporting gender-transformative research requires being rooted in values and being clear about what the research entails. It is about building awareness of which types of norms, structures, and behaviours contribute to different opportunities and outcomes.

2. Be clear about the meaning of gender-transformative research.

Terms like equity, equality, and inclusion do not have the same meaning to everyone in every discipline. It is important to clarify what the terms mean in order to define what is needed for research programming and application to align.

3. Take a long-term approach.

Changing gendered structural dynamics is a long road littered with obstacles and trade-offs. Success means immersing the right actors in discussions and dialogues. Ensure sufficient time for engagement, trust-building, and embedding in the local context.

4. Plan to measure performance over the long term.

Gendered social norms and structural changes require a longer-term monitoring and learning process to facilitate learning and broader dialogue and practice.

5. Build individual and organizational capacity.

Gender-transformative research requires a complex set of skills, capacities, and expertise. It also entails constant use, reflection, and iteration to get right. Some of skills required include systems thinking, stakeholder analysis and deliberative dialogue, as well as the ability to leverage mixed methodologies, create effective partnerships, and position research for use.

All six projects proved to be gender-transformative:

  • The Zambia and Malawi fisheries project shifted attitudes rooted in social norms to support gender equality, decision-making, and ownership for women.
  • In Central and East Africa, culturally rooted forms of discrimination were unravelled to reshape and expand the kinds of activities women could do.
  • In Peru, blending Indigenous and western health practices amplified the choices and voices of Indigenous women over their own bodies.
  • In India, interlinking the root causes of poor access to water and sanitation helped to influence a national policy on women’s safety.
  • In Egypt, factoring gendered power relations into process analysis and policy helped overturn misconceptions about violence toward women.
  • In West Africa, research showed that being intentional about transforming gender relations can empower girls to promote norms shifts in their communities.

Together, these projects tell us that nudging perceptions, norms, and institutions toward greater gender equality is a complex and long-term process that can be approached from more than one direction. However, the process ultimately relies on examining, questioning, and unseating rigid gender norms and power imbalances through community-led and participatory processes. IDRC has a strong foundation in this area, and hopes to continue to forge new territory and inspire experimentation, research, and granting partnerships with like-minded organizations to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 globally.

Read Transforming gender relations: Insights from IDRC research 

Call for concept notes: Collaborative One Health Research Initiative on Epidemics

March 1, 2021
This Call for Concept Notes aims to support One Health research to identify, implement, and assess potential innovations in policies, programs, or practices that can prevent, control, and mitigate the risks of emerging epidemic threats.
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FARM RADIO INTERNATIONAL GHANA

IDRC is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity to understand and demonstrate how One Health research on emerging epidemic threats can help to protect the health and livelihoods of vulnerable populations, strengthen local food systems, and promote environmental sustainability.

The Collaborative One Health Research Initiative on Epidemics (COHRIE) will focus on geographic hotspots for emerging epidemics as well as regions which are characterized by human, animal, and environmental drivers of infectious epidemics, such as unsustainable environmental and land-use patterns, loss of biodiversity, and increasing interaction between humans and wildlife.

Concept notes are invited from multi-institutional consortia of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners that bring together the range of intersectoral and multi-disciplinary perspectives, capacities, and contributions needed to undertake One Health research in line with the objective and themes of this funding opportunity.

Applications are encouraged to address at least one of the following research themes:  

  • Understanding and addressing intersectoral drivers of epidemics 
  • Identifying and developing structural, systemic, and policy level interventions 
  • Strengthening data systems for enhanced multisectoral communication, coordination, and collaboration

Geographic Focus:     

  • Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam
  • Latin America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela 
  • Central, East and West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Uganda 

Deadline to apply: 5 April 2021 (17:00 Eastern Daylight Time)

For full details about this funding opportunity, please see the Call document here.

Integrating equity in maternal and child health projects: Experiences from IMCHA

Equity-informed research contributes to strengthening health systems and proposing solutions to make health accessible to all. Researchers from the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health (IMCHA) initiative will share their experience on how they applied an equity lens to their implementation research project. Key concepts and terminologies, including equality vs equity, intersectionality, and social determinants of health, will also be clarified. Join us on March 4, 9h30 EST, to learn more and discuss equity in health research. 

The event will be available in English and French. Join here

 

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