This funding opportunity involves the use of secondary data analysis and is an extension of the ongoing Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) opportunity. This highlight notice is focused on development issues in low and middle-income countries in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
The aims of this opportunity are to:
- co-produce substantive and innovative data research through equitable partnerships with investigators based in the Global South
- utilise existing data resources to produce high quality, impactful research on issues of concern to developing countries
- improve the skills, capacity and methods for secondary data research in and on developing countries
- provide insight into existing data resources that can be used to conduct research on developing countries.
This opportunity particularly encourages focus on the following areas:
- environment, biodiversity and climate change
- building and maintaining effective, democratic and trusted institutions
- economic stability and sustainable growth
- supply chains and food security
- migration, mobility and demographic change
- shocks, risks and resilience
- conflict and violence.
All social science disciplines are eligible. We welcome proposals that include disciplines where social science approaches form the dominant part of the proposal.
All proposals will have to make a clear case for how they comply with Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines. See the ‘official development assistance compliance’ information below.
Your proposal can use quantitative, purely qualitative or mixed research methods.
You are required to include at least one international co-investigator based in the Global South. Investigator teams will also need to demonstrate how they are building equitable partnerships.
We positively encourage active collaboration between UK researchers and those in other countries. Co-investigators based in research organisations outside the UK can therefore be included in the proposal.
Official development assistance compliance
In your proposal, you will need to make a clear case for how your study complies with ODA guidelines.
ODA is defined as government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries.
Your research must relate to countries on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA recipients.
For more information about ODA and what qualifies a country to appear on the DAC list of ODA recipients, see the ‘additional info’ section.
ODA compliant research activities
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines ODA compliant research activities as follows.
Research includes financing by the official sector, whether in the donor country or
elsewhere, of research into the problems of developing countries. This may be either:
- undertaken by an agency or institution whose main purpose is to promote the economic growth or welfare of developing countries
- commissioned or approved, and financed or part-financed, by an official body from a general purpose institution with the specific aim of promoting the economic growth or welfare of developing countries. Research undertaken as part of the formulation of aid programmes in central or local government departments or aid agencies is considered as an administrative cost.
In addition, the OECD further specifies the following in relation to ODA compliant research: only research directly and primarily relevant to the problems of developing countries may be counted as ODA. This includes research into tropical diseases and developing crops designed for developing country conditions. The costs may still be counted as ODA if the research is carried out in a developed country.
The fund can support research capacity building to address development issues, for example, to increase the skills and knowledge base and support the development of the research capability within developing countries. Capacity building should be aimed at improving the ability to undertake and disseminate research in order to promote the welfare and economic development of the developing countries.
Key ODA compliance issues to note in writing applications for funding
Any proposal under this highlight notice must make it clear that its primary purpose is to promote the economic development and welfare of a developing country or countries. You should:
- seek to investigate a specific problem or seek a specific outcome which will have an impact on a developing country or countries on the DAC list
- provide evidence as to why this is a problem for the developing country or countries
- address the issue identified effectively and efficiently
- use the strengths of the UK to address the issue, working in collaboration with others as appropriate
- demonstrate that the research is of an internationally excellent standard
- identify appropriate pathways to impact to ensure that the developing country benefits from the research.
Any benefit to the UK or other developed countries has to be the secondary consideration and should not lead to a project being funded if it doesn’t primarily deliver the development objective.
Funding and duration
Projects can cost up to £300,000 at 100% of the full economic cost. ESRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost of the project. Proposals will need to show 100% of the full economic cost of the proposed research.
The project duration can be up to 22 months.
Projects must commence by the end of June 2023 and be completed by 31 March 2025.