FAQ: Call for proposals to support Africa’s Science Granting Councils in strategic communications and knowledge translation
Eligibility and application details
1. What is the purpose of this call for proposals?
This call intends to identify an organization with proven experience to support science granting councils in strategic communications and knowledge translation. The project proposed by the selected organization will support councils with the uptake of knowledge outputs, developing communication strategies, implementing plans and more. It will also support the implementation of the Science Granting Council Initiative’s (SGCI) own strategy for communication and outreach.
2. What is the thematic area of focus of the proposals?
The goal of the project on strategic communications and knowledge translation is to reinforce the capacity of science granting councils in the development of strong national science, technology and innovation systems.
SGCI recognizes that the value of knowledge outputs from its activities lies in their uptake and use and the extent to which they inform and influence policies, practices and science, technology and innovation systems. With this in mind, SGCI developed a strategy to facilitate and monitor the uptake of knowledge and learning outputs.
Achieving this goal might include:
- providing training and technical support to the councils on effective engagement with policy- and decision-makers (in close collaboration with the collaborating technical agency responsible for the use of data/evidence under SGCI);
- supporting the dissemination of results from SGCI-supported research projects in collaboration with the councils, collaborating technical agencies, and SGCI’s management team; and
- supporting national science journalists to document the outcomes and impact of SGCI’s work for publishing.
3. What key points should the proposals address?
They should provide details about the approach to identify areas for support; the nature and scope of activities; project implementation; monitoring, evaluation and learning; and the expected results over the duration of the project. Technical support to the councils could be achieved with approaches such as working with communication specialists or planning customized in-country coaching and group training courses or workshops. The councils’ committee (in close consultation with the Initiative management team and executive committee) typically selects the host council and the theme of each forum during its annual meetings.
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 the following countries: 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?
The requirements for the project team members include:
- experience in various aspects of strategic communications and knowledge translation (including dissemination of research results and effective engagement with policymakers);
- practical experience with various communication tools/approaches, including online platforms, social media, infographics, video production, newsletter production and media engagement;
- 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;
- experience working with science granting councils and other public sector science, technology and innovation organizations in sub-Saharan Africa; and
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.