Grants for Women Empowerment in Asian and African Countries

Deadline: 25 October 2013
Open to: organizations from low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or South Asia
Grants: from $CAD 300,000 to 1 million.


The UK’s Department for International Development, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre announce the launch of the jointly-funded research initiative Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW).

This GrOW program aims to generate new evidence on women’s economic empowerment, gender equality, and growth in low-income countries. The program will address key evidence gaps by generating and synthesizing rigorous empirical research. It will also stimulate innovative partnerships and ways of working to ensure that robust evidence helps shape policies and programs to deliver better development outcomes for women, economies, and societies more broadly. The program will bring together leading researchers from around the world to work collaboratively in addressing critical knowledge gaps.

With a focus on low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the program will produce high-quality evidence on three sets of inter-related questions:

  1. What are the nature and magnitude of barriers to women’s economic empowerment and to closing gender gaps in earnings and productivity? How can these barriers be overcome?
  2. How do specific patterns of economic growth and types of structural change affect women’s economic empowerment and gender equality?
  3. How do women’s economic empowerment and gender equality affect economic growth?

Themes 1 and 2 will be explored through innovative new research projects, developed through a competitive call for Outline Proposals. Theme 3 will be addressed through a series of commissioned papers (Evidence Synthesis) analyzing the best-available evidence. A separate call on this theme will be launched soon.


Only applications that meet the following eligibility criteria will be considered for funding:

  • Proposed projects must be carried out in or on one or more eligible low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or South Asia.
  • A smaller number of proposals for research on middle-income countries can be considered if the proposed work clearly demonstrates that the research will provide lessons for low-income countries.
  • Proposed projects are to be undertaken by – or in the case of a research consortium, led by – a research-oriented institution with legal corporate registration.
  • Research consortia comprised of up to three institutional partners may apply, however one partner must be designated as the lead institution. The lead institutions should submit the application to IDRC on behalf of the consortium.
  • More than one research proposal may be submitted per institution if projects are led by different principal investigators. The final selection process will take into account the need fora balanced portfolio of projects engaging a variety of researchers,themes and regions.
  • UN, donor and multi-lateral organizations are NOT eligible to apply.
  • Applications from individual persons will NOT be accepted.
  • Research organisations in the following countries are NOT eligible for research grants as lead institutions: Cape Verde, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia.


Approximately 15 institutions will be funded with grants ranging from $CAD 300,000 to an amount not exceeding $CAD 1 million.


The call for outline research proposals invites proposals on themes 1 and 2. To apply, complete and submit the online application before October 25, 2013 at 4:59 EDT (Ottawa time).

For further information, please visit the official website.

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