Call for proposals: Closing the justice gap - A Legal Empowerment Research and Learning Agenda

Call for



Inclusive Economies


March 22, 2021 by 23:45 (EDT)


Development, Social Policy, Governance


36 months

Funded by



Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe



CA$450,000 for individual country studies and up to a maximum of CA$800,000 for multi-country studies (up to three countries)






This call for proposals is open to applicants from non-governmental organizations, academia, and private and public-sector organizations with a strong research focus.

We encourage applications from multi-disciplinary consortia of organizations within a country, or across countries, bringing together capacity in terms of community-level or grassroots support, applied research, and national-level advocacy. Given the focus on action research, strong preference will be given to consortia that include organizations engaged in community-based justice work.

Applicants from the United Nations system may not apply to this call as leads or co-applicants. UN organizations may participate as collaborating organizations.


IDRC seeks proposals for action research projects to generate evidence on innovative legal empowerment approaches and experimentation from the field. Lasting three years, the research projects can be either single country studies led by local organizations or multi-country studies led by local organizations across countries.

Projects should support the generation of knowledge, evidence, and learning on what works, and under what conditions legal empowerment approaches can contribute to achieving systems change, especially for women and vulnerable groups. 

The research will contribute to building a comparative evidence base on how legal empowerment approaches draw on the grassroots and community-level experiences of addressing specific violations and the leadership of those who are directly affected. In particular, we will focus on how legal empowerment approaches can help address the root causes of inequality and exclusion and promote public accountability.

More details

Online information sessions will be held for interested applicants.

Register for the Southeast Asia session on March 2, 2021, 10 am, Singapore time.

Register for the bilingual sub-Saharan Africa session on March 2, 2021, 4 pm, Eastern Africa time.

For more information, please read the detailed call for proposal.

Please also consult our frequently asked questions.

Interested in applying?

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

Apply online