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FAQ GrOW – East Africa

Call details
Scope
Eligibility and applicant details
Methodology
Ethics
Supplementary documents
Budget
Technical questions
Call results

 

CALL DETAILS

1. What do you mean by “evaluative research”? 

Evaluative research projects should focus on assessing current or past programs related to GrOW East Africa thematic priorities to generate evidence about what is effective. These projects should partner with policymakers, private sector, and/or civil society actors (as appropriate) to provide practical guidance to strengthen policies, programs, and interventions that improve labour market outcomes for women through transformative actions.

2. What do you mean by “action or implementation research”?

Action or implementation research projects work with key policy actors — government, private sector, or non-governmental — to test and/or scale solutions that address one or more of GrOW East Africa’s priority themes. Such projects are designed to provide a continuous feedback loop in program design and/or implementation.

3. What do you mean by “addressing structural barriers”?

Structural barriers in the context of GrOW East Africa include laws, policies, attitudes, and norms that inhibit women’s opportunities and market access, in turn limiting their ability to reach their full potential.

4. What do you mean by “implementation partners”?

Implementation partners are organizations that are already implementing interventions on the ground in the countries of focus. These may be national governments, civil society organizations, private sector organizations, or member-based organizations and workers unions, among others.

5. What should be included in the proposal’s theory of change and results framework?

The proposal’s theory of change (ToC) and results framework should lay out the intentions for the duration of the project, identify the broader or longer term changes to which the project expects to contribute, and explain how the project’s activities and strategies will achieve or contribute to those changes. It should provide a good illustration of the desired change and why and how it is expected to happen in the context of the project.

Proposals should develop a ToC and results framework that will be useful for guiding design, coordinating among implementers, tracking progress, learning and adapting, and providing information for reporting and accountability. It is not necessary to use a specific format for your ToC — please use systems and formats that you deem useful.

The broad results that your project will contribute to are discussed in the Impact Pathways in the GrOW East Africa themes and priorities background document.

SCOPE

6. May funding be used to cover the implementation costs of the interventions under study?

The call focuses on research, and although it is expected that some expenses associated with implementation (monitoring, training, etc.) may be included, most funds should be focused on research. The call is not intended to implement innovations, it is intended to build research and evidence on these innovations and the conditions for scalability. 

7. Will GrOW East Africa grants support the scaling of proven innovations within the selected countries and regions? 

While this is desired, large-scale implementation of these innovations is beyond the available budget. Funds should be used to implement applied research in support of scaling the selected innovations. This could include:

  • measures to adapt and refine the innovations to the contextual needs of the selected countries;
  • developing and testing means and models to scale them;
  • supporting capacity-building of people or groups who will use the adapted approaches; and
  • assessing results.

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICANT DETAILS

8. What do you mean by “individual organizations”?   

Individual organizations may be universities, regional and national think tanks, network secretariats and associations, and non-profits. These organizations must be based in one of the countries of focus (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and/or Uganda).

9. May individual organizations involve additional partners?

Yes. Projects often require multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary teams. Partnerships between research organizations, policymakers, the private sector, and civil society are highly recommended.

10. What do you mean by “consortia”?

Consortia refers to a group of organizations that come together to develop the proposal and who will receive direct GrOW East Africa funding to implement a project.

11. What is the difference between a partner organization and consortium member partner?

A consortium member partner is part of the group of organizations that collaboratively develop the proposal and receive direct GrOW East Africa funding to implement a project.

A partner organization will be involved in research but will not receive funding to implement the project.

Individual organization applicants are encouraged to list partner organizations, but they do not need to provide consortium member partners.

12. What criteria will you look for in a lead organization?

  • Ability to manage a large-scale grant from a financial and operational point of view;
  • presence in the field;
  • thematic experience in the subject of the proposal;
  • ability to bring multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder teams together;
  • ability to bring multiple partners and members of a consortia (if that is the case) together;
  • ability to participate in knowledge exchange dynamics with the other project cohorts; and
  • strong policy influence in the country of focus.

13. May consortia have additional partners?

Yes, consortia may name additional partners. It may be necessary to include additional partners, such as worker’s associations, relevant non-governmental organizations, the private sector, different levels of government, or people with specific research expertise. Each project should consider stakeholders relevant to the project’s objectives — including stakeholders relevant to knowledge mobilization strategies and policy uptake — and how to best engage them.

14. Are North-South partnerships allowed to apply?

Yes, but the lead institution must be in the South and in one of the countries of focus (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and/or Uganda).

15. May organizations from non-GrOW East Africa focus countries apply for grants and receive funding?   

The lead institution must be located in one of the five countries of focus (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and/or Uganda).

Organizations outside of the five countries of focus may be part of a consortium, but the lead organization must be in one of the five countries of focus.

16. May an organization be a lead applicant on more than one application? 

Yes, one organization may be a lead applicant on more than one application and/or they may be involved in multiple applications.

Applications will be shortlisted and ranked based on quality and merit. In the final stage of project selection, IDRC will ensure appropriate diversity across countries, themes, applicants, and organizational types across the top-ranked proposals.

17. What range of organizations may be funded through this call?

We expect to receive proposals from a broad range of organizations with strong research capacity. These include (but are not limited to) civil society organizations, national or regional think tanks, network secretariats, consulting firms, and universities.

METHODOLOGY

18. Do GrOW East Africa grants fund both qualitative and quantitative research?

Yes, the grants may support both qualitative and quantitative research. However, the grant will not support implementation research (see above) or research of a descriptive nature that is not evaluative.

19. Please clarify whether secondary research (for example systematic or literature reviews covering global evidence) are eligible.

Secondary research or literature reviews are required as part of the proposals, but grants will not cover purely systematic reviews that do not evaluate existing innovations and solutions or test solutions with implementing partners.

ETHICS

20. Which ethical guidelines and approval bodies need to be consulted? Are separate ethics reviews required for each country?

Please provide details of the potential ethical issues in your proposed research. It is also important to include the steps that will be taken to ensure the highest ethical standards and the greatest protection of research participants. Please refer to the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans, particularly if you do not have access to standard ethics guidelines in your country or in the countries of your proposed research.

Each country has individual ethical requirements and approval bodies. It is your responsibility to check the requirements in each country where the proposed project will take place.

SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTS

21. At the time of application, is it necessary to have a memorandum of understanding with the government of the country in which the project will take place? 

No. We understand it might be early to have an official memorandum of understanding before a project begins. However, established relationships with the government and its support of the project would be considered an asset.

22. What do you mean by “work plan”? 

The work plan should be a comprehensive timeline of the project that includes proposed dates for key project milestones and deliverables. 

BUDGET

23. What types of expenses are eligible under this call?

Please consult the IDRC funding page for full details.

24. What rates of pay will be employed for the project staff and budgeting purposes? Are there any guidelines?

IDRC funds actual costs, therefore rates of pay for existing staff charged to a project should reflect the actual cost of the resource. There are no pre-set rates for new staff, but IDRC limits staff cost to 25% of the overall budget, therefore rates must reflect this proportion of the budget.

25. Are there any overhead requirements?

Yes. Where and when needed, IDRC will allow indirect costs of up to 13% of all recipient-administered costs, including the amount awarded toward the procurement of equipment that will be vested in your institution and excluding the amount of the indirect costs themselves. These costs must be actual costs, and support of these costs is required to satisfy potential audits.

26. May information and communications technology (ICT) equipment be included in the budget?

Yes, ICT equipment is allowable. All items with a value greater than CA$5,000 must be itemized separately. All equipment purchases above CA$5,000 must be acquired through a competitive and open process governed by your institution’s policies and procedures on procurement.

Please refer to IDRC’s funding page for more information.

27. What currency should be used in the budget?

The budget should be in the working currency of the lead applicant, as indicated in the IDRC budget template. However, please note that while the applicant is required to submit the budget in their working currency, they must convert the total amount requested into Canadian dollars to answer question 1.6 in the online application. 

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

28. Is it possible to modify the proposal before the closing date (August 31) if it has already been submitted?

No, you may not modify your proposal once it has been submitted. We encourage you to review your application before submission to ensure that all information is correct.

29. How do you start an online application?

This link will take you to the online application form. Complete each section and select “save and exit” once you are certain you have uploaded all necessary documents and answered all questions. You will not be able to edit your responses once you have selected “save and exit”.

CALL RESULTS

30. How will you communicate with applicants?

Applicants will be notified of receipt of their application(s). Only successful applicants will be notified of their candidature after the selection process is complete.

Please email grow@idrc.ca with any questions that are not already answered on this page.

31. When will the results of the GrOW East Africa global grant call competition be announced?

The results will be announced in October 2020.