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FAQ: Call for proposals to strengthen the use of data and evidence in policy and decision-making by Africa’s Science Granting Councils

Eligibility and application details

1. What is the purpose of this call for proposals?  

This call intends to identify an organization with proven experience in strengthening the use of data and evidence in policy and decision-making by Africa’s science granting councils. The project proposed by the selected organization will support councils with the use of data and evidence to formulate, review, and implement science, technology and innovation policies, strategies, programs and projects.

2. What is the thematic area of focus of the proposals? 

The goal of the project on the use of data and evidence in policy and decision-making is to reinforce the capacity of science granting councils in the development of monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks; the collection and analysis of data for policy and decision-making; and the development of data management systems.  

Achieving this goal might include the following objectives:  

  • Supporting the councils to develop and operationalize organizational-level monitoring, evaluation and learning systems, including frameworks and plans. 

  • Supporting the councils to develop and operationalize science, technology and innovation policy implementation plans. 

  • Supporting the councils to operationalize digital data management frameworks and systems and systematically collect, analyze and use relevant data/evidence in policy and decision-making. 

  • Deepening support for peer-to-peer learning among councils through a knowledge exchange platform. Once fully operationalized, the platform will allow the councils to seek technical support virtually.   

3. What key points should the proposals address? 

The proposals should provide details about the approach that will be taken to identify the nature and scope of support activities. In addition to the project implementation approach and the expected results over the duration of the project, proposals will explain how they will effectively support the development of robust monitoring, evaluation and learning and data management systems for policy and decision making.  

An open call for proposals will be used to select a suitable organization (or a consortium of organizations) to implement this project. Training and technical support to the councils could involve customized in-country coaching (supported by local experts where this is feasible/desired by the councils), in-person training courses/workshops and the use of online platforms. This project should be implemented in close collaboration with all other components of SGCI-2, particularly projects with a focus on research management, strategic communications and knowledge uptake, and gender equality and inclusivity. It will also be important to ensure that the work on monitoring, evaluation and learning and data management systems is aligned with the Science Granting Council Initiative’s overall monitoring, evaluation and learning process. The proposal should include a detailed description of how the project’s implementation approach will consider the unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please refer to the call document for more details and context on the potential objectives and approach. Applicants are expected to use the call information as a guide to develop their proposals and should not be limited to the key points. Originality and creativity are key evaluation criteria. 

4. Which countries are the focus of this call?    

The project will be implemented in: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

5. Who is eligible to apply (as an individual organization or to lead a consortium)?   

African organizations (organizations with independent legal registration in an African country) may submit proposals as an individual organization or as the lead organization of a consortium. IDRC will enter into an agreement with the lead organization. 

6. What is meant by “individual organizations”?  

Individual organizations may be non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, universities, academic institutions, research institutions, think tanks, private sector (for profit) organizations or private foundations (not for profit). 

7. What is meant by “consortia”? Who can be a member of a consortium? 

Consortia are groups of organizations that collaborate to submit a proposal for funding and to implement the project.   

Proposals from consortia must name one lead organization. The lead organization must be an African organization (organizations with independent legal registration in an African country).  

Consortium members may include other African organizations; national, regional, or international offices of multilateral organizations or international NGOs; or other organizations from outside Africa.    

Fair and equitable partnerships must be established among consortia members. 

8. What are the requirements for the project team members? 

Requirements for project team members include the following:   

  • Expertise and practical experience (supported by relevant publications) in developing/ reviewing science, technology and innovation and related policies, as well as policy engagement approaches within the sub-Saharan Africa context.   

  • Knowledge of national science, technology and innovation systems in Africa, including the key actors (organizations), policies and roles of science granting councils in brokering, facilitating, funding and coordinating interactions among various actors.  

  • Expertise and practical experience in monitoring, evaluation and learning and data management systems and frameworks.  

  • Experience in working with public sector science, technology and innovation organizations in Africa (especially science granting councils) in the context of capacity strengthening.   

  • Ability to work in both English and French is a requirement and applications without both language capabilities will not be evaluated. Ability to work in Portuguese will be an added advantage.  

9. What are the criteria for 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 coordinate multiple partners and members of a consortia (if applying as a consortium); and 

  • an independent, legally incorporated entity capable of contracting in its own right and name. 

10. What documentation must the lead organization provide to IDRC to verify its legal status?  

A copy of (or internet link to) the legal documentation will be required to confirm the lead organization's creation and independent legal status. The documentation provided to IDRC should clearly indicate the name of the institution. Documentation in a language other than English or French requires a certified translation.  

Legal documentation varies depending on the location and type of organization. By way of illustration, this legal documentation may include:  

  • letters patent;  

  • articles of incorporation;  

  • articles of association;  

  • certificates of incorporation;   

  • certificates of registration; or   

  • proof issued by government authorities for private sector/non-governmental organizations. 

11. May an organization with a pending registration in an eligible country apply to a call? 

No. Organizations must already be registered or incorporated in an eligible country. 

12. My organization has a national/regional office in an African country, but our headquarters are outside Africa. May I apply as an individual organization or lead a consortium? 

No. You are welcome to participate as a member of a consortium, but not individually or as a lead. 

13. May consortia include national governments?   

No, however applicants are encouraged to include national governments as strategic partners in their projects. 

14. Do consortia need to include Canadian organizations?    


15. Should partners be in the same geographical region?   

Not necessarily. Consortium partners may be located in various geographical regions. 

16. When is the submission deadline? 

Proposals should be submitted by August 26, 2022 (17:00 East African Time). 

Proposals should be submitted electronically to the secretariat of the Science Granting Councils Initiative at

17. What language should be used for the proposal? 

Proposals must be submitted in English. 

The ability to work in both English and French is a requirement and applications without both language capabilities will not be evaluated. Ability to work in Portuguese will be an added advantage. 

18. May I contact someone if I have questions about the call for proposals?   

The call document and this FAQ page should address most relevant application questions and are updated regularly. However, if additional technical questions or difficulties arise, please contact

19. Will applicants receive feedback on their application?  

IDRC will only share feedback with successful applicants. Given the volume of applications expected, we will not provide comments to unsuccessful applicants.