19th Global Development Conference – An International Youth Competition

Deadline: 15 August 2019
Open to:
writers under the age of 30 with at least completed Master’s degree
Benefits: cash prize of EUR 1000 and conference attendence


Young researchers and practitioners in development: Tell us why sustainable development research matters

The Context The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that promotes sound social science research in developing countries to improve sustainable development outcomes. It believes that youth can and will play a major role in restoring and sustaining faith in robust knowledge, thus safeguarding the benefits of enlightenment for social and environmental progress. GDN is calling on young graduates and researchers to help push forward the agenda of social science research for sustainable development, and submit their blog posts as part of an international competition linked to the global development conference, ‘Knowledge for Sust ainable Development: The Research-Policy Nexus.’ The generation of researchers – who started studying development through the lens of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – faces pol itical, socialand policy frameworks that are significantly different from their predecessors, and an environment under deep transformation. Sustainable development calls for more integrated, and faster knowledge production, across traditional disciplinary and other boundaries, and new ways to mix learning and action, across global and local scales. It alsourges individual commitment and action on everyone, based on sound knowledge and beyond abstract support to an ideal. And yet, debates and decisions are too often based on unsubstantiated claims, conventional wisdom, shaky or biased evidence, self -serving beliefs and ‘ post-truth’ politics. The purpose of this competition is to provide examples of how sound knowledge and good research provide insights that can inspire action, guide decisions and reach successful outcomes.

This blog competition for youth is launched as part of GDN’s forthcoming 2019 Global Development Conference, “Knowledge for Sustainable Development: the Research-Policy Nexus” (October 23-25 in Bonn, Germany), supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Ministry and organized in partnership with the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval), the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), and the Bonn Alliance for Sustainable Development Research.


GDN and its partners invite young graduates and researchers under the age of 30 to explore and share their faith in developing a sound knowledge base, and engaging in high-quality, sustainable, development research. They ask you to identify a good piece of research (or several of them) that has impacted, or can impact, sustainable development. It can be their own research or that of another. It has to be published in a peer-review journal or in a recognized working paper series. They ask you to submit a blog that makes the case for sustainable development research, by explaining how the piece they identified has provided useful insights to opinion leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders, and translated into an influential debate or effective action. This is therefore not an exercise in summarizing a research paper. What we ask is to document the impact of good sustainable development research, by providing narratives based on convincing examples. The organizers will also accept blog posts that criticize the potential usefulness of current development research.

Writers must:

•Be under the age of 30, on 1 August 2019;
•Have at least completed a Master’s degree, and have a strong interest in research;
•Be a developing or transition country national, living in their country of origin or abroad.


Blog submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis by a selection committee consisting of the Founding Editors of GlobalDev, #K4SD Conference Director and international scholars. Till 15 August 2019, up to 30 contributions will be selected on a rolling basis. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of EUR 1000 and will be invited to attend GDN’s 2019 Global Development Conference (Bonn, October 23-25) along with other selected contributions. Travel, hotel and visa expenses will be fully covered by GDN. However, they will have to apply for and secure their visas. In addition, their contributions will be considered for publication on the blog, GlobalDev, subject to a successful editorial collaboration, in English, between them and the Blog editorial team.

How to apply?

•Make a submission between 800 and 1200 words in English, French or Spanish toK4SDblog@gdn.int
•Submit a bio and evidence to prove their academic degree.

For more information, please visit the official web page.