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Call for Proposals: Organizations (Hubs) Managing Regional Innovation Networks for Responsible Artificial Intelligence to Improve Sexual, Reproductive and Maternal Health (SRMH) Outcomes

A photo illustrating the application of artificial intelligence to health

Full proposals must be received no later than August 16, 2022, at 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Please note the deadline has been extended until August 16th, and the selection process will be delayed by one week.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals to select up to three institutions to establish regional hubs to manage networks in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Each hub will be managed by an institution (or consortia of institutions) based in the region and will develop a regional research network based on a competitive selection process focused on advancing sexual, reproductive and maternal health (SRMH) outcomes using responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches and solutions.

About IDRC, the Program Divisions and the Focus Area

IDRC is a Crown corporation created in 1970 by the Parliament of Canada. IDRC supports and strengthens the capacity of people and institutions in developing countries to undertake the research that they identify as most urgent. It works with researchers and research users as they confront contemporary challenges within their own countries and contributes to global advances in their fields.

The Centre’s 10-year strategy, Strategy 2030, affirms IDRC’s vision for a more sustainable and inclusive world and commits the Centre to the following mission: IDRC will be a leader in research for development, investing in high-quality research and innovation, sharing knowledge for greater uptake and use, and mobilizing alliances for more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive societies. (Please refer to IDRC’s Strategy 2030 for more information.)

In the context of this strategy, we identified the following five programs that will shape IDRC’s work over the next decade — making knowledge a tool for improving lives across the developing world:

  • Climate-Resilient Food Systems
  • Democratic and Inclusive Governance
  • Education and Science
  • Global Health
  • Sustainable Inclusive Economies

Gender equality and inclusion are central to all our programs. In the following sections, you will see how we plan to address this in all our programming.

This Call is a joint initiative of the Global Health and Education and Science programs. It seeks to leverage IDRC’s investments in AI and strengthening people-centred health systems to advance learning about how AI applications can be tested and scaled to advance outcomes related to sexual, reproductive and maternal health.

Overview of the Call

Background and rationale

The use of AI is showing promise in transforming how health systems are planned and health services are delivered across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) today. Responsibly designed and implemented AI has the potential to contribute to improved global health outcomes. In the area of SRMH outcomes, AI applications have the potential to strengthen point-of-care services, inform diagnoses and provide personalized information based on real-time analysis of relevant data. For example, AI models and applications have been developed to support the early detection of pre-eclampsia and improve accuracy of HIV testing.

In lower-income countries, indicators for sexual, reproductive and maternal health — referred to by some more generally as sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) — are not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-Being. Inadequate SRMH service provision has been linked with unintended pregnancies — including teen pregnancies — early and forced marriage, complications related to unsafe abortions, gender-based violence and increases in sexually transmitted infections. This is particularly pronounced for vulnerable groups such as adolescents, people living with disabilities, refugees and internally displaced populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on SRMH outcomes such as access to essential services and support for survivors of gender-based violence. Gender inequality, the focus of SDG5, is a central challenge for women and girls to overcome, especially in matters related to sexuality and reproduction.

Despite the promise of AI to improve SRMH outcomes, there are important ethical, legal and social risks that need to be appropriately managed, mitigated and governed. For example, harmful biases can be integrated into algorithms, which can translate into biased public health messaging, diagnoses and treatment protocols. Furthermore, much of the data required to develop AI models to tackle SRMH challenges are non-representative or inaccessible. The current increase in demand for health-focused AI solutions in LMICs is not commensurate with the investments being made to strengthen health systems, credible data, skilled individuals and requisite computing infrastructure.

Key objectives

Through this Call, up to three hubs will be set up and managed, one each in MENA, LAC and Asia. These hubs will be managed by a regionally based organization or consortium of organizations. Each of the hubs will be tasked with establishing, managing and supporting implementation research networks in their respective region. Setting up the network should consist of running an open call to select implementation research projects in the corresponding region working on or researching AI innovations for SRMH, with a typical approach being to select six to ten projects. It is expected that the selected projects will represent linguistic, gender and geographic diversity across the respective region; diversity across relevant areas of application of AI to SRMH; and diversity of relevant involved stakeholders (e.g., university researchers, start-ups, ministries of health, research-oriented think-tanks, consultancies, labs or community groups). The selected innovation research projects will receive funding and support as sub-grants for an implementation research project for a duration of at least 18 months.

The general objective of each of the three innovation research networks is to advance SRMH in MENA, LAC and Asia through implementation research promoting responsible development and deployment of AI innovations. By responsible, we are referring to AI innovations that are ethical, respect human rights, inclusive and contribute to environmental sustainability.

Specific objectives are to:

  1. Strengthen the body of multidisciplinary evidence emerging from LMIC-based researchers on how to develop and scale responsible AI innovations for improving SRMH in MENA, LAC or Asia.
  2. Build innovation research capacities in MENA, LAC or Asia to develop, deploy and scale responsible AI applications in “real world” settings to improve SRMH outcomes.
  3. Deepen understanding and informed practices to enhance gender and social inclusion and limit related biases in the design, implementation and use of AI solutions for SRMH.
  4. Influence AI and SRMH policies, practices and efforts to scale up and/or commercialize responsible AI solutions.

The primary responsibilities of the hubs include:

  • Developing and managing an open call for proposals process to select innovation research projects focused on using AI to improve SRMH outcomes;
  • Strengthening how gender equality and inclusion (GEI) and intersectional analysis are addressed in the innovation research projects, and ensure each research project team has the appropriate multidisciplinary experience required;
  • Supporting networking among selected research teams to strengthen knowledge exchange;
  • Harvesting and synthesizing outcomes related to health outcomes, innovation processes, strengthening GEI and scaling strategies;
  • Facilitating equitable engagement of women in research and leadership roles.

The exact nature of the role of the hubs is not fully determined to allow the proposing organization(s) to provide information on how they propose to add value to the regional networks to ensure that its outputs and outcomes are greater than the simple sum of individual research projects.

The hubs will also play an important role as part of a larger IDRC investment in AI for Global Health (AI4GH). This includes working with the other implementation research networks and innovation hubs in the other regions of the world. For example, we anticipate the need for hubs to collectively think about critical issues such as approaches to gender equality and inclusion, ethics and responsible scaling of AI innovations from early on the project cycle.

Indicative Scope of Work for Network Hubs

The following are indicative activities to be performed by the hubs, building on the primary responsibilities outlined above.

Setting up and managing the network:

  • Develop and run an open call for proposals for AI for SRMH innovation research;
  • Develop and manage a call review committee, made up of multi-disciplinary experts and ensuring equal engagement of men and women — with priority given to individuals based in the region where the hub is based;
  • Sub-grant to successful research teams that will carry out specific innovation research grants of up to 18 months;
  • Support the onboarding and inclusion of selected research teams to become members of the network; and
  • Interim and final technical and financial reporting to IDRC.

Support to network members:

  • Provide technical and methodological assistance to sub-grantees as required;
  • Ensure network members engage in responsible AI practices and approaches;
  • Plan and run network workshops and other network support activities designed to collectively tackle common issues and/or facilitate cross-project collaboration where appropriate;
  • Support network members in finding engagement opportunities with SRMH initiatives that may benefit from their research results and methods;
  • Facilitate sub-grantee reporting and harvesting of outcomes and stories of change; and
  • Connect sub-grantees to other resources (knowledge, financial, etc.) as required.

Provide for International collaboration and engagement:

  • Coordinate with other activities organized by the broader AI4GH program; and
  • Coordinate with IDRC and the other AI4GH projects to engage in global and multi-disciplinary exchange, organize joint initiatives and events as appropriate, and otherwise enable the impactful and responsible development of work at the intersection of AI and health.

Contribute to advancing knowledge and policy dialogues:

  • Support uptake and scaling of research for policy or practice change;
  • Require that all grantees openly release any data sets that are generated by the research project; and
  • Facilitate the production, communication and marketing of research outputs stemming from the network and ensure research publication in appropriate venues in accordance with IDRC’s Open Access Policy.

Funding scope and duration

As a result of this Call, a grant of up to CAD1,225,000 will be issued for the hubs in Asia and LAC, and a grant up to CAD750,000 will be issued for a hub in MENA. The project duration for each hub will not exceed 36 months, including all research activities and final reporting.

IDRC reserves the right to fund additional proposals from this Call if/when additional funding becomes available. 

IDRC is under no obligation to issue any funds prior to the applicant returning a fully executed Grant Agreement to IDRC. 

All grants are subject to sufficient funds being made available to IDRC by the Parliament of Canada.

IDRC reserves the right to cancel this Call for Proposals at any time without prior notice and/or to not issue any grants under this process.

Eligibility criteria

Only proposals that meet the eligibility criteria will be considered.

This Call for Proposals is open to select individual organizations or consortia headquartered in the respective region (MENA, LAC and Asia) with preference given for organizations in LMICs (see Annex 3  for a complete list).

Note that this Call for Proposals is not open to individuals or government ministries and agencies, but it is open to public research institutes and public university centres, labs and departments.

This Call is purposely limited to selected institutions or consortia, and IDRC reserves the right to reject proposals from institutions not directly targeted.

The following eligibility criteria also apply:

  • Have a proven record of working in relevant region (MENA, LAC or Asia) and supporting research on the design, development and scaling of AI and SRMH innovations in these contexts.
  • Internal expertise in AI, SRMH innovations and health systems strengthening from at least one partner institution or demonstrated ability to collaborate on these issues via a consortium.
  • Ability to work in English and the working languages of the region (e.g., Spanish for LAC) at a minimum. Other languages are considered an asset.
  • Ability to transfer funds to other countries within the region.

Applicants must have independent legal status (or “legal personality”) and be capable of contracting in their own right and name, receiving and administering funds, and have authority to direct proposed project activities. Applicants must be able to demonstrate legal status through written documentation. Legal status will only be reviewed if and when applicants are selected following technical selection.

In additional to standalone institutions, transdisciplinary consortia are encouraged to apply. Consortia may consist of up to three (3) organizations. In case of a consortium, the proposal needs to provide a rationale explaining why the consortium has come together to implement this innovation research and describe the role and added value provided by each member organization. Consortia must describe the governance and coordination arrangements they will use to produce high quality work and support fair and equitable partnerships.

In case of a consortium application, individual members can be based in different countries and the non-leading members may be based in countries other than those included in Annex 3. However, the leading institution can only be based in an eligible country (see Annex 3). IDRC will enter into a contractual agreement with the designated lead institution only, and that institution will need to specify their arrangements with other consortia partners within their budgets (either as sub-contractors or sub-grantees).

Submission process

IDRC invites eligible applicants to submit an electronic application through the SurveyMonkey application platform for this Call before the deadline.

  • Applications must be received no later than August 16, 2022, at 11:59 pm EDT. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Applications can be submitted in English, French or Spanish.

An acknowledgement of receipt of your submission will be sent to all applicants whose application was received before the closing date and time.

Format and requirements for proposals

Applications should be concise and be presented in single-spaced, 12-point Arial font text, with a maximum length of up to 15 pages (not including the abstract and annexes).

The application form for this Call for Proposals includes seven (7) fields that applicants will need to complete.

Section 1. Contact information 

Please provide the contact information of the lead organization and proposed head of the hub.

Section 2. Abstract

Please provide a short abstract of the project, which should not exceed 250 words. It should be written clearly for a non-technical audience. Avoid acronyms and technical jargon. Describe the development problem, the purpose/objectives of the project and expected results in the form of project outputs and outcomes.

Section 3. Research problem(s) and justification

This section describes the potential range of problem(s) and or problem area(s) that could be investigated and the questions that will guide the innovation research conducted by the networks. It should also provide a brief overview of the body of research related to the problems and indicate the gaps that the network proposes to fill.

To show the importance of the problems, this section should discuss: how the proposed research network relates to the intersection of AI and the sexual, reproductive and maternal health development priorities in the respective region; the scientific importance of the problem(s); the magnitude of the problems and how the research will contribute to their solution; and the need to build up research capacity in the proposed area of research. This section is usually about one quarter of your proposal.

Section 4. Objectives

This short section (no more than half a page) should provide both the general and specific objectives of the research. The general objective should state the development goals being pursued by the research. 

The specific objectives should indicate the specific types of knowledge to be produced, the audiences to be reached and forms of capacity to be reinforced. These are the objectives against which the success of the project will be judged. Use only active verbs. 

Section 5. Methodology

Describe your plan to set up, support and manage the innovation research network including potential thematic priorities (or how you would determine them). This section should list key research questions the network will seek to address and show how they will be answered in the most rigorous way possible. You must be clear about what activities are envisaged and how they will contribute to achieve each objective and define the budget in terms of these activities. The methodology should discuss the following details, as appropriate:

  • Network development and support. Discuss the set of activities that will be taken to develop and support a research and innovation network across countries in MENA, LAC or Asia.
  • Technical and methodological assistance to research members. Indicate how the project will support the selected members of the implementation research network, such as in the areas of intersectional gender analysis, health systems strengthening, AI and machine learning support, research communications, research ethics, innovation design and development, and deployment.
  • Responsible innovation. Discuss your approach to ensure that the innovations being developed and deployed by network members are ethical, inclusive, rights-respecting and sustainable. 
  • Gender equality and inclusion considerations. Indicate how gender equality and inclusion considerations will be integrated into the project and how the network design will address intersectional issues that women, girls and other marginalized groups experience. See Annex 1 for further guidance.
  • Diversity and inclusion. The innovation research network must display sensitivity to, and respect for, local voices, knowledge and contexts. Discuss mitigation strategies to reduce risks for vulnerable groups that are not included or represented, as well as fragile institutions, systems and contexts.
  • Ethical considerations. All research that includes human subjects must ensure that their privacy, dignity and integrity are protected. An independent ethical review committee must approve the protocols. Projects that will collect corporate or personal information must detail how informed consent will be obtained and confidentiality maintained.
  • Climate and environmental impact. How will you ensure the research supported by the network is managing or mitigating the environmental impacts of machine learning (e.g., in terms of quantitative estimates of greenhouse gas emission reductions, or other relevant quantitative or qualitative assessments).
  • Collaboration with regional and/or international institutions. If you envisage regional or international collaborations, give the reasons for the collaboration, describe the role, and added value provided by each member organization and specify the governance and coordination arrangements that will be used to support fair and equitable partnerships. Note that concrete elements of collaboration with the Feminist Artificial Intelligence Research Network will be discussed with the winning recipient — and we will be providing information to support that work as well. 
  • Contribute to advancing knowledge and policy dialogues. Discuss the set of proposed activities taken by the hub and members that will advance knowledge in AI and gender inclusion and equality in MENA, LAC and Asia.

Section 6. Results and dissemination

Define the major outputs and outcomes expected from the research and how the research findings will be disseminated or implemented. Discuss how the research results are likely to be used, what their expected impacts (outcomes) might be and any obstacles to the execution of the research or the eventual use of the results. 

A theory of change can be included in this section if desired.

It is important to keep IDRC's open access policy and open data statement of principles in mind when developing your communication plan. This should include not only the research outputs themselves but also, whenever possible, the data that is created and used for training and education. 

Section 7. Project schedule

The project schedule should include a list of key outputs (key events or deliverables) and outcomes that can be related to the items included in the project budget.

As part of the application process, applicants will also be required to submit the following individual/institutional documents:

  • Budget in local currency:
    • To be prepared and submitted based on the budget template.
    • As a guide, please consult the budget considerations.
    • IDRC does not provide grants for basic operating expenses, endowments or facilities for individual school districts, colleges, universities or human services organizations. It does not generally make grants to individuals or make program-related investments. No curriculum projects within individual schools or colleges are supported.
  • Institutions and personnel:
    • A copy of the legal or corporate registration of the organization with whom the applicant is affiliated.
    • An attestation of your organization's capacity to manage a grant of this size and complexity (largest grants managed to date, compliance with other donor reporting and legal requirements, ability to manage third parties, foreign funds and disbursements).
    • Names of proposed principal investigator (PI), research institutions and study team.
    • For each member of the core research team, this should include information on their respective expertise and previous work in this area.
    • As an annex, letters of commitment from the leading and collaborating institutions interested in participating and a description on how the different partners, key stakeholders and institutions will collaborate in the initiative.
  • The CVs (in an annex) of the principal investigator and proposed team members.
  • Letters of other institutions willing to collaborate or supporting the study should be attached.
  • IDRC’s institutional profile questionnaire must be completed, signed and submitted along with the proposal. 

Applicants whose proposals are selected to recommend for funding will be required to provide additional documentation prior to confirmation of funding of their projects, as outlined in Annex 2.

IDRC reserves the right to rescind its selection of a project if it is deemed that the information provided in the application is false or misleading.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by AI4GH Review Committee based on the following criteria:

Review criteria


I. Network objectives and design

  • Well-thought-out objectives that are relevant in the local/regional context and can make lasting contributions to the field. 
  • Logical plan to establish, support and manage the innovation research network on responsible AI for Health innovations.
  • Approach ensures gender equality and inclusion with special attention to intersectionality. A clear knowledge translation strategy.


II.  Knowledge and expertise on research and innovations for SRMH

  • Demonstrated experience engaging in SRHM rights and services, health systems strengthening, and AI innovations (expertise can be shared among different consortium members), or strong experience in one with proven track record of collaborations in the other domains.
  • Experience and learning about scaling pathways in AI innovations for SRMH innovations.
  • Connections with local, regional and global research and policy communities relating to SRMH and AI.


III.  Knowledge and expertise in supporting research and/or innovation networks.

  • Demonstrated experience running collaborative research activities and/or networks.
  • Experience managing calls for proposals.
  • Proven ability to support and guide researchers and innovators.
  • Ability to facilitate cross-grantee learning and knowledge exchange through participatory mechanisms both virtually and face-to-face.
  • Evidence that the organization has the basic systems, resources and management capacities to set up and run a pan-regional innovation research network


IV.  Expertise in synthesis and knowledge mobilization.

  • Proven processes to harvest outcomes and results.
  • Ability to design and conduct high-impact research syntheses.
  • Experience in designing and developing products that support knowledge sharing and use such as high -quality practitioner or policy-maker oriented outputs, toolkits and rapid knowledge syntheses.
  • Experience in knowledge mobilization for policy and practice improvement.


IV. Budget 

  • Clear and coherent plans for the use of available funding, appropriate for the proposed activities


Selection process

Responding to this Call is the first step in the application process for potentially securing funding for your proposal.

Applications will first be screened for eligibility using the eligibility criteria outlined above.

Eligible proposals will then be assessed by the AI4GH Review Committee. This committee is comprised of IDRC program staff and external reviewers from different related disciplines, including with expertise in SRMH, gender, diversity, and inclusion, public health, health systems strengthening, AI, knowledge translation and/or knowledge users, who will assess the applications according to the evaluation criteria outlined above.

The AI4GH Review Committee will then make a recommendation to IDRC Management to fund the selected application.

Following the selection by IDRC Management, successful and non-successful applicants will receive notification of the results by September 16, 2022

Successful proposals may receive specific comments from the reviewers to be addressed, including suggested budgetary adjustments.

The technical selection of a proposal does not constitute a formal commitment by IDRC to fund the project. Applicants whose proposals are selected for a recommendation for funding will undergo an institutional assessment. This step assesses the potential risk of material loss of IDRC funds due to weaknesses in the capacity of an applicant’s institution to manage or report on the financial aspects of project activities, or because of economic and political conditions relating to the institution's operating environment. IDRC needs to review three broad areas in its assessment of what measures should be applied to minimize such risk: the materiality of the investment, the management capacity of the applicant’s institution and the wider environment within which the organization operates.

IDRC will have no obligation to issue any funds prior to the applicant returning an executed Grant Agreement issued to them by IDRC.

The process for finalizing the project proposal, budget and administrative documentation is expected to take place between August and October 2022.

Outline of the selection process for proposals:


  1. The Call is launched.
  2. Proposals are submitted by the deadline.
  3. Late applications are eliminated.
  4. Incomplete and ineligible applications are eliminated.
  5. The AI4GH Review Committee will read and score the proposals based on the evaluation criteria (see below). The Program Divisions may need to consider regional and geographic balance, thematic balance of the proposals, including network strategies, as well as a strong focus on gender.
  6. A slate of applicants is prepared, based on the proposal scores, and those selected are asked to finalize their proposal in response to the feedback from the AI4GH Review Committee. (Please note that the technical selection of a proposal at this stage does not guarantee that it will be funded by IDRC.)
  7. IDRC conducts an institutional assessment of each applicant invited to finalize a proposal.
  8. For Calls for Proposals, senior management at IDRC makes the final decision based on the recommendations of the Review Committee, the evaluation criteria and a consideration of the institutional assessment.
  9. Successful applicants are asked to make necessary amendments to their proposals, including budgets and administrative documentation.
  10. Applicant completes any applicable country approval procedures.
  11. IDRC and the applicant enter into a Grant Agreement.

Post-selection requirements

Proposal and budget finalization

Prior to finalizing a Grant Agreement, IDRC reserves the right to request any revisions to the submitted proposal and budget. A revised proposal with the necessary revisions must be returned to IDRC in a timely manner.

Country clearance requirements

In some cases, IDRC has scientific and technical cooperation agreements with the governments of the countries where we support projects. Where such agreements exist, IDRC may require additional or alternative approval processes to be followed to comply with such agreements. Otherwise, grantees must follow the prevailing approval procedure as required by the government authority. This is often administered by a coordinating or nodal agency of the government and varies by jurisdiction.

An IDRC grant administration representative will advise the selected applicant if any country procedures need to be followed. A grant agreement will only be issued if and once country clearance(s) is/are obtained. IDRC reserves the right to not pursue the funding of a selected project if the country approval is not secured within six (6) months after IDRC officially announces approval of the project, as this would jeopardize the timely completion of the initiative.

After an institutional assessment of an applicant’s organization is performed, IDRC may identify operational or financial weaknesses that could pose some administrative risks to the proposed project. In such cases, IDRC reserves the right to request that the applicant’s organization partner with another institution as a condition of receiving the grant.   


Country requirements that apply to sub-grantees are also documented in the grant agreement. It is the responsibility of the grantee to ensure that sub-grantees meet these requirements.

Country risk

IDRC funds research in locations that respond to the corporate and programmatic plans and objectives approved by IDRC’s Board of Governors. Project proposals and risk mitigation measures may need to be revised where:

  • project activities may be affected by legal restrictions on transferring funds or other resources to specific entities;
  • due to physical remoteness, physical risks to IDRC employees in particular regions or other inaccessibility factors prevent IDRC from properly monitoring and supporting the project; or
  • applicable laws and regulations prevent institutions from accessing funds. 

Grant Agreement

Any selected proponents must sign IDRC’s standard Grant Agreement to receive funds. Please refer to the Grant Agreement. The grant agreement will provide a schedule for submitting interim and final technical and financial reports. Although there is no limit on the number of co-applicants in one application, IDRC will only negotiate Grant Agreements with the organization of the lead applicant.

Timeline and communication of results

Please note the deadline has been extended until August 16th, and the selection process will be delayed by one week.

Submission process (approximately six weeks)

Call launch: June 30, 2022

Information session/webinars:

Deadline for submitting proposals; receipt of proposals acknowledged: August 16, 2022

Selection process (approximately five weeks)

Initial eligibility screening by IDRC: August 15, 2022

Ineligible applicants informed: August 19, 2022

Review by AI4GH Review Committee: September 5–9, 2022

Successful proposals informed they have been selected for potential funding contingent on meeting any specific conditions: September 16, 2022

Unsuccessful applicants notified, with a brief rationale of why: September 16, 2022

Applicants resubmit amended final proposals: September 23, 2022


Approval of proposals: September 30, 2022

Information session, inquiries and FAQs

Following the launch of the Call for Proposals, IDRC will organize two information sessions to address any queries from potential applicants. These will take place on:

Any additional inquiries related to the Call and application process should be sent by e-mail to All inquiries should be received before August 10, 2022, at 11:59 pm EDT to receive a response prior to the deadline date.

Any inquiries which affect all applicants received on or before the above-mentioned deadline will be added to the FAQs with IDRC’s responses to those inquiries without revealing the source of the inquiries.

Permission for use and disclosure of information

As a Canadian Crown corporation, IDRC is subject to Canada’s Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Consequently, any submissions in response to this Call for Proposals will be managed by IDRC in a manner consistent with applicable legislation and IDRC’s Privacy Policy, including IDRC's obligations to disclose documents requested by members of the public or requests for personal information. More information on how IDRC manages information in accordance with this legislation can be accessed here:

Note that IDRC’s Privacy Statement for Competitive Calls must be submitted with the application (see required documents above).

Annex 1: Ensuring research ideas address gender equality and inclusion[1]

Annex 1 IDRC strives for equality in all aspects of its work. Inequalities exist across multiple and intersecting categories of identity, including, but not limited to, gender, sexuality, age, class, race, caste, ethnicity, citizenship status, religion and ability.

Achieving equality varies by place and must be situated within the socio-cultural, political and economic contexts of the different regions where IDRC works. Equally, inequalities are not static and can vary and change over time.

To promote gender equality and inclusion, it is critical for research projects to strongly consider investigating the roles of sex, gender and other diverse identities and experiences and their relationship to the history, structures and functioning of these systems.

IDRC recognizes the importance of striking a balance between ambition and pragmatism. Actions to address gender and other inequalities require doing the groundwork to interrogate and surface the ultimate root causes of inequality; at the same time, changing gendered structural dynamics takes time, trust and long-term commitments to policies and practices.

The questions below are intended to guide you in reflecting how your research addresses social and gender equality and inclusion, and how you can strengthen these dimensions in your proposal.

  1. Does your proposal intend to understand and address social and gender inequalities and their underlying causes?
  2. In the context of your proposal, what are the power structures and power dynamics that exist between men and women, and other groups which underpin gender inequality? What are some possible avenues to address and change these conditions?
  3. In the context of your research problem, how is this affected by identities or experiences such as race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, income levels and where individuals live (e.g., rural, urban settings)?
  4. Is there a logical theory of change of how your research objectives will promote or lead to greater gender equality and/or inclusion? What impact will your research proposal have on these aspects?
  5. Do you have a stand-alone objective on addressing gender equality and inclusion? How are other objectives framed in relation to addressing gender equality and inclusion?
  6. How will the proposed conceptual framework(s), research design, and related research methods address, and analyze the root causes and context-specific factors contributing to intersectional forms of gender inequality? Which individuals and groups should be engaged in co-creating this research design and its implementation – to what extent and how will they be engaged?
  7. Has your project identified clear outcomes and indicators with respect to gender equality and inclusion? Are these integrated into project measurement tools? For example, do you plan to collect and analyze sex-disaggregated data? What about gender-disaggregated data? Have you planned to undertake a pre- and post-project gender analysis?
  8. Does the proposal’s knowledge translation plan integrate sex and gender considerations (including intersectionality) in how the iterative processes of engagement, analysis, synthesis, product development and knowledge facilitation are designed and operationalized?
  9. Do the members of your research team understand contextual gender equality and inclusion issues? Do you have the right skills and experience within your team? Which of your team members will take the lead in designing, implementing, monitoring and assessing your project’s objectives to address gender inequality and inclusion?
  10. Does your research team have a good balance between male and female scientists or scientists of other identities?
  11. Have you clearly budgeted for gender equality and inclusion activities and staffing? Have you allocated sufficient time and resources to strengthen the capacity of your team, partners and other stakeholders on gender and inclusion issues?

Please note that these are some myths or assumptions that will be important to avoid in your proposal:

  • Assuming that women, or certain groups, do a task so that they will benefit is not adequate. Instead, it will be important for your project to identify any gender inequalities and outline steps by which your research will help re-define power dynamics.
  • Adding “especially women and marginalized groups” after each of your objectives is not adequate. You must be able to define how gender dynamics are present in your research objectives. Research rigour and quality is critical.
  • The women on your team will not always qualify as the gender expert. Get real gender expertise and partnerships that bring in the necessary skills.
  • Equally, addressing gender in the project is not only the responsibility of these gender experts — rather the entire team must understand the gender dynamics at play in your research.
  • Addressing gender takes real resources. Saying gender cannot be integrated because you do not have sufficient resources is not acceptable. Budget resources for gender at the outset.

Annex 2: Institutional Assessment Documentation

Annex 2Successful applicants will be required to provide the following documents to allow IDRC to undertake an institutional assessment prior to confirmation of funding:

  1.  Most recent audited financial statements, including but not limited to:
    1. Balance Sheet, Statement of Income and Expenses or Profit and Loss, and Statement of Cash Flow;
    2. Notes to the Financial Statements;
    3. Audit Report;
    4. Any Management or Internal Control Letters, and related follow-up response.

*The latest financial statements duly authorized by a financial officer if an audited statement is not available.

  1. Current organizational chart.
  2. Human resources manuals.
  3. Finance and administration manuals.
  4. Policy/procedure for procurement.
  5. List of active external donors and their current contributions.
  6. Latest annual report.

Annex 3: List of eligible countries

Annex3 The lead organization must be headquartered in a low and lower-middle, and upper-middle income countries in MENA, LAC and Asia, as per the country classification of the World Bank. Eligible countries include the following:


Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

American Samoa











Marshall Islands




Papua New Guinea



Solomon Islands

Sri Lanka













Costa Rica



Dominican Republic


El Salvador












St. Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines



Egypt, Arab Rep.