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KIX call for proposals to strengthen education data systems and data use: Frequently asked questions

White writing on a dark blue background reads “Global Partnership for Education Knowledge and Innovation Exchange”. White GPEKIX and IDRC logos are under the text, and the KIX branding of interlocking multi-coloured circles are on the right side of the banner.

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Please refer to the detailed call document for comprehensive information about the call and its requirements.  

For more answers to questions relating to the call, watch the recording (FR) of the FAQ webinar that took place on May 24, 2023.  


1. What is this call for proposals about?  

This is a call for proposals for applied research projects. It intends to identify projects that will generate and mobilize evidence in support of scaling the impact of innovative approaches that will strengthen education data systems and data use in Global Partnership for Education (GPE) partner countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.  

2. Which countries are the focus of this call?    

Countries in the list are the GPE partner countries that are eligible for this call. 

Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, FS Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe 

3. Must countries work at the national level? 

Not necessarily, some projects are appropriately situated at provincial, regional, or other sub-national levels.  

4. Does the call only focus on existing data and data systems and not new research?   

The call is for applied research that focuses on scaling proven or promising innovations to strengthen data systems and use.  

5. Do the objectives regarding learning outcomes encompass both primary and secondary education? What about early childhood development (ECD)?   

Yes, the call is seeking to strengthen data systems and use at all levels of basic education, from pre-primary to secondary. We are keen to understand how ECD can be integrated into national and sub-national data systems. 


6. Who is eligible to submit an application as an individual organization or to lead a consortium?   

Proposals must be submitted by nationally/internationally registered or incorporated organizations. These could include, inter alia, research institutions, universities, think tanks, network secretariats, associations, civil society organizations, non-profits, or the private sector.  

Applicants must have independent legal status (or “legal personality”), be capable of contracting in their own right and name, receiving and administering funds, and have the authority to direct proposed project activities.  

There are additional specific eligibility criteria depending on grant type: 

  • Single-country grant proposals must be submitted by eligible national organizations based in the country of focus. They may apply as individual organizations or lead a consortium that includes other organizations whether from within or outside the country.  
  • Multi-country grant proposals must be submitted by an organization based in a low- or middle-income country in Africa or the EAP region. Other consortium members may include organizations from within or outside the region; national, regional, or international offices of multi-lateral organizations; or international NGOs.  
  • Regional/global grant proposals may be submitted by any organization that meets the general eligibility criteria, as an individual organization or leading a consortium. 

Who is not eligible? 

  • Individuals 
  • Government ministries and agencies are not eligible for funding but can be involved in projects  
  • For-profit providers of core education services 

7. Is priority given to applications from organizations in low- and middle-income countries?   

Yes, KIX will prioritize funding to organizations based in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) in the regions covered by this call. 

8. What do you mean by “individual organizations”?  

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

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

  • Consortia are groups of organizations that come together to submit a proposal to receive KIX funding and to implement the project. Groups of up to three organizations (maximum) may submit an application as a consortium.   
  • Proposals from consortia must name one lead organization, which can subgrant to the others. Proposals from, or that include, private sector partners should demonstrate how private sector resources – financial or technical knowhow - will contribute to the project. Organizations/consortia must have a strong presence and track record of work in the education sector of GPE partner countries. 
  • Fair and equitable partnerships must be established among consortia members.   
  • There are no specific geographic criteria for consortia members in any of the three types of grants. 
  • Single-country grant proposals must be submitted by eligible national organizations based in the country of focus. These organizations may apply as individual organizations or as the lead of a consortium that includes other organizations or subcontractors, whether from within or outside the country. 

10. Do all consortia organizations need to have demonstrated experience working in the education sector? 

No. All projects funded under this call for proposals must be directly related to education data systems and data use and each consortium must have a strong presence and track record of work in the education sector of GPE partner countries; however, consortia may include organizations with expertise in data systems and data use from other sectors whose work could contribute to strengthening data systems and data use in education.  

11. What criteria will you look for in 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;  
  • Ability to participate in knowledge exchange with the other KIX-funded projects; and  
  • Be an independent, legally incorporated entity capable of contracting in its own right and name.   

12. What documentation would need to be provided by the lead organization for 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 that are in language other than English, French or Spanish require a certified translation that also needs to be submitted.  

Legal documentation varies depending on the location and the 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   
  • récépissés issued by government authorities for private sector/non-governmental organizations. 

13. On the IDRC site what is the best way to download the IPQ questionnaire? 

On the IDRC public website, go to Applying for Funding, then in Guides and Forms, choose the Institutional Profile Questionnaire to be downloaded. The link can be found here: Institutional Profile Questionnaire

14. May consortia have additional partners?   

Yes, consortia may name additional partners involved in the project. It may be necessary to include additional partners, such as teachers’ associations, a relevant NGO, or people with specific research expertise.  

Each project should consider stakeholders relevant to the project’s objectives, including stakeholders relevant to knowledge-mobilization strategies, and how to best engage them.   

15. In the case of consortia that aim to apply for a regional/global grant, how can we target more than 3 countries when there is a limit of 3 organizations per consortia?   

Applicants must demonstrate that they understand gaps in the target countries, whether the organizations themselves are based in those countries or not. Applicants can identify and partner with implementing partners based in those countries if they do not have physical presence there. 

16. May consortia include national governments?   

No. The majority of GPE funding goes directly to governments to implement their education sector plans. KIX is an additional mechanism in support of education sectors that targets different actors.  

Applicants are encouraged, however, to involve national and local governments as strategic partners in their projects. Scaling in education systems will most likely need connections with governments.   

17. Does the “lead” organization assume all financial responsibilities? May other consortia members assist in the financial, administrative, and logistical management?   

The lead organization is responsible for ensuring that there is one grant agreement with one main recipient who is responsible for all aspects of the grant. The lead recipient may enter into sub-grant arrangements with partners who can then be responsible for portions of the work (reporting back to the lead), but ultimately the lead organization is responsible for reporting on all financial and technical matters related to the work. Only in exceptional circumstances, and at its sole discretion, IDRC may be willing to provide a direct subgrant to a consortium member. 

18. Is IDRC able to directly grant to UN Agencies? 


19. Do consortia need to include Canadian organizations?    


20. Should partners be in the same geographical region?   

Not necessarily. Consortium partners do not need to be in the same geographical region. 

21. Can KIX help match applicants to form a consortium or provide a tool to connect applicants?   

No. It is the responsibility of the applicant to find partners and form a consortium. IDRC cannot connect applicants to foster the creation of consortia. 

22. May an organization that has previously or is currently receiving funding for initiatives from IDRC, the Global Partnership for Education, or the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange be allowed to apply to this call?   


23. Is this just a call for proposals or was there a call for concept notes prior to this RFP. Can organizations apply directly for the proposal if they did not apply for concept notes before?  

There has not been a call for concept notes prior to this RFP – please submit a full proposal. 

24. How many applications may an organization submit?    

Updated response: Organizations are recommended to submit up to two applications as individual organization, or the lead of a consortia. However, they may submit more.

This has been updated to a recommendation to recognize that some decentralized organizations are in a difficult position to coordinate their submissions. However, our intention remains that organizations focus on their strongest and most strategic proposals, aligned to the call.

25. Is an organization that is headquartered in a country that is not low- or middle-income, but works in LMICs, eligible to apply through a national office?  

The headquarters can apply for a regional/global grant if they meet the eligibility criteria.  

If the national office meets other eligibility criteria, has independent legal status (or “legal personality”), is capable of contracting in its own right and name and receiving and administering funds, and has the authority to direct proposed project activities, they may apply as a lead organization for single- and multi-country grants.  

26. Can an organization’s headquarters and their national offices each submit up to two proposals, or is the recommended limit of two applications per organization overall? 

Updated response: Organizations are recommended to submit up to two applications as individual organization, or the lead of a consortia. However, they may submit more.

This has been updated to a recommendation to recognize that some decentralized organizations are in a difficult position to coordinate their submissions. However, our intention remains that organizations focus on their strongest and most strategic proposals, aligned to the call.

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

No. Organizations must already be registered or incorporated. 

28. May for-profit organizations apply for KIX grants?   


  • However, for-profit organizations that provide core education services (e.g., private schools) are not eligible for KIX funding. KIX will remain consistent with GPE’s private sector engagement strategy.   
  • Proposals that include private-sector actors should demonstrate how private-sector resources (for example, financial or technical know-how) will contribute to the project.   
  • All grant recipients, including for-profit organizations, must comply with IDRC’s Open Access Policy.   

29. How do we submit a proposal in a language other than French or English?   

Members can be non-French or English speakers, but your proposal must be translated to English or French. You should also find English or French team members.    


30. What are the policy challenges?  

KIX calls are designed to respond to the demands of the GPE partner countries for knowledge and innovation. KIX Hubs have focused on data systems and data use since they began. Recent scoping studies provide an updated picture of both progress and ongoing challenges across the very diverse countries throughout Africa and the EAP region. Progress has been made in improving data availability and use by governments, bilateral and multilateral technical and funding agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Most countries have established Education Management Information Systems (EMIS).  

However, challenges remain in orienting data systems to the nuanced information countries need to address the learning crisis, ensuring the quality and timeliness of data, making data systems inclusive and accessible, and promoting organizational capacities and cultures of data use at the national, provincial, community and school levels. Countries are seeking evidence to help them make their data systems user-friendly and service oriented. 

31. May projects be related to higher education or technical and vocational education and training (TVET)?  

No. As a GPE mechanism, KIX focuses on early childhood to secondary education, in addition to teacher training. However, higher education institutions may be involved in addressing these challenges and teams based at these institutions are welcome to apply.  

Although other IDRC programming focuses on strengthening TVET and higher education, it is not a focus of KIX calls.  

32. Can proposals respond to multiple sub-themes?  

Yes, proposals can respond to multiple sub-themes  but do not have to. Proposals must respond to a minimum of one sub-theme. We encourage applicants to consult the detailed call document for further information on the Call’s challenge and sub-themes.  

33. What should we consider in identifying innovative approaches to address the challenge?   

Proposals should identify existing innovative approaches to address the challenge and how their impact could be scaled, connected to public education systems and policy. Innovative approaches to address the challenges can originate from anywhere – from within the countries involved, or beyond. We encourage applicants to work with culturally relevant and contextually appropriate interventions that are feasible, cost-effective and scalable in the countries the call targets. Overall, as part of the research process, selected projects should adapt their interventions in the countries of focus and then test their effectiveness to determine which conditions facilitate successful implementation and scalability. That work can vary by country within the same project.  

34. What do you mean by “innovation”? 

Innovation refers to a combination of tools, practices, policies, programs, technologies, approaches, methodologies, or any other interventions that can be used to improve education access and quality in developing countries. The combination of different elements can vary according to contexts and needs to produce new solutions to education problems.  

35. Does the innovation have to be tested and mobilised in all countries in the proposal, or can an innovation be tested in one country and the knowledge shared and mobilised in the other countries?    

Proposals should have one set of overall objectives and research questions. However, project activities and foci may appropriately vary from one country to another. Proposals should include applied research in each country involved along with a knowledge mobilization strategy.     

36. May the design of the innovative approach differ in any way between countries of focus?      

Yes. The design can differ in the countries of focus as long as the various approaches are relevant to each country's contexts and policy landscape. 

37. Can we also focus on education in post-emergency situations?  

Yes, so long as the proposal is in line with the call’s themes and requirements.   

38. Would it be possible in specific cases, such as that of Ukraine and Moldova, to consider a submission for two countries as a multi-country proposal? 

Multi-country grant proposals must involve work in at least three countries. 

39.  What is meant by supporting knowledge generation “about and for scaling”?  

Scaling is the process of improving and deepening the reach, breadth, scope, quality, equity, and sustainability of the changes, benefits, and solutions that innovations bring to education systems. Proposals will be encouraged to take a critical approach to scaling (see more in Gargani and McLean, 2017). 

The call will fund applied research in support of scaling the selected innovative solutions. This could include:  

  • adapting and refining the innovations to the contextual needs of the selected countries;   
  • developing and testing means and models to scale them;   
  • supporting capacity strengthening of stakeholders who will adapt, adopt and scale the innovations;   
  • conducting a cost analysis of the innovations; and  
  • assessing results.   

40. Can the proposal focus on scaling up be on existing strategies by government and/or other not-for-profit?     


41. What is meant by “research”?  

  • KIX applied research grants are intended for research for development projects that are problem-focused, action-oriented, and designed to generate new knowledge and evidence.   
  • They also creatively identify, engage, and involve multiple types of knowledge users to ensure that research is relevant and accessible.  
  • Users typically co-create the knowledge alongside researchers.   
  • Projects are designed to be relevant to inform policy, practice, and technological development.  

42. Would you consider proposals that are action research oriented?   

Yes, we welcome whatever research approaches and methodologies are appropriate to answer the research questions in the selected contexts. 

43. What is the “continuum of gender integration”?  

The continuum of gender integration refers to strategies applied in program assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation that take gender into consideration and address gender-based inequalities. Projects should either be gender aware, gender sensitive, gender responsive, or gender transformative.  

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek out resources on appropriately addressing gender equality, equity and inclusion in the project proposal, for instance this Guide to Integrating Gender in your Proposal. 

44. Is there a methodology that IDRC prefers?  

No, we have no preference, but the selected methodologies must be appropriate to answer the questions and achieve project objectives in their contexts. Proposals must be explicit and elaborate on the justification for methodological choices. The quality of projects will be assessed against IDRC’s Research Quality Plus Framework (as indicated in the call document). 

45. Who will own the data collected at the end of the project? Would it be the host organization, would IDRC use the data for future research, etc.?   

According to intellectual property regulations, the data will belong to the research institution. However, successful applicants will be asked to provide a data management plan - please see IDRC’s Open Data Policies. Please also see IDRC’s open access policy.   

46. What will happen after a proposal is selected  

Immediately after selection, project teams work on a number of things: Revising proposal and budgets based on the Independent Assessment Panel comment and IDRC's review; secure research clearances in their respective countries as necessary – including from central banks in terms of fund transfers. When IDRC accepts the project proposal as final, IDRC creates a legal grant agreement, which is signed by the recipient organization. During this time, consortia should finalize agreements across the organizations for how they will work together. In all, teams should get prepared so they can start the project as soon as they sign the grant agreement. In the first three month "inception phase" of a project, activities get started and IDRC will work with teams individually and sometimes collectively on cross-cutting topics such as scaling impact; gender equality, equity and inclusion; further developing the project's results framework in MEL in connection to KIX-wide MEL. Project expenditures will be based on the agreed upon project budget and will be reported based on the grant agreement’s schedule of milestones. 


47. Who are the education stakeholders? 

Education stakeholders may include (but are not limited to) local education groups, teacher unions, school principals and teachers, parents and children, education ministry officials, development partners, and policymakers. 

48. How should I demonstrate work in a GPE member country and engagement with education stakeholders?   

This could be through a letter indicating approval or interest from an appropriate authority in the ministry, or evidence of clear alignment with current official documents such as the partnership compact, the education sector plan, or other similar strategic plan documents. 

49. In cases where most schools are run by the Government, how can we make them adopt these innovative approaches when they are not eligible for funding?   

Projects are meant to generate evidence and scaling strategies for the adoption of innovations in the public system, not to implement them at scale. Ministries of Education are not eligible for funding or transfer of resources, but research can include research expenses required for the implementation of pilots such as teacher’s training, materials or others, managed directly by the research institution. 


50. What is the budget range per project and the amount of overall funding project and the total number of projects that will be awarded for the overall funding?   

KIX will allocate up to CAD$14 million in this call. The number of proposals selected will depend on the funding amounts required for the proposals most highly rated by the independent assessment panel. Grants can be one of the following three types: 



Funding (CA$)  

Duration (months)  

Single-country grants  

targeting impact in a single country; tailored to specific national needs, in direct association with national policymaking institutions  


Up to 24   

Multi-country grants  

targeting impact in three or more countries with direct relevance to specific priorities in those countries   


Up to 36  

Regional/global grants  

Targeting impact more generally at a regional or global level, with grounded work in at least three countries; generating public goods such as toolkits or platforms  

Up to 2,500,000  

Up to 36  


51. What is KIX?  

The Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) is a joint endeavour between the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and IDRC. KIX supports countries to have and use the evidence and innovation they need to accelerate access, learning outcomes and gender equality through equitable, inclusive, and resilient education systems fit for the 21st century. KIX achieves this by facilitating direct knowledge sharing across GPE partner countries through four regional Hubs and by funding applied research on their priorities. KIX is part of GPE’s strategy to support transformative change for education in lower-income countries.   

52. What are GPE partner countries?  

There are close to 90 partner countries in the Global Partnership for Education. GPE works with countries to build stronger education systems as a springboard to stronger economies and fairer and more stable societies, able to withstand shocks and adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. Learn more.  

KIX calls are designed to respond to specific priorities of GPE partner countries in the specific regions indicated. Annex A of the call document and Section 2 above provide a list.