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Up to 64 million available for high quality research on international development.

With the purpose of contributing to meet the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Norwegian research institutes, universities and university colleges are invited to apply for funding. Projects are invited in all priority areas of the programme. The call has a special emphasis on global education, but does also invite to applications on humanitarian efforts, conflict, security and fragile states, business development and job creation, and the environment, climate and renewable energy.

Researcher project Choose
24.05.2017 18:00 CEST



Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Up to 64 million NOK is available for this call. Proposals for up to NOK 10 million and minimum 4 million will be considered. Larger projects must include PhDs or Post-doctoral fellowships. NOK 10 million is earmarked the thematic priority area Global Education.

Guidelines and important considerations relevant to all types of applications in this call for proposals:

The research programme supports high quality research that shall contribute to building research based knowledge about development, contribute to the development policy and to meet the SDGs. Please see the priorities of the .

NORGLOBAL2 has a challenge based approach. All project applications must describe clearly the challenge(s) they will address and how the new knowledge from the research can contribute to understanding and solving development problems.

The programme requires co-production of research in order to meet its goals, involving Norwegian researchers as well as leading international development researchers and researchers from developing countries when relevant. The research must be at the forefront of international development research. The objective of the call is to encourage innovative, high quality and policy oriented research that addresses complex problems of regional as well as global significance. Challenges concerning fragile states are of particular interest. The research granted funding shall produce evidence that can contribute to development, including supporting development policy. Thus, the research should contribute to meeting knowledge gaps and provide input to development policy for meeting global challenges.

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods may be relevant. Proposals may have an interdisciplinary approach. For the purposes of this call, an interdisciplinary approach is defined as incorporating concepts, questions, methods, interpretations, data, etc. from different disciplines to address complex or neglected questions and topics.

The research projects must ensure they do not have a negative impact on the cross-cutting issues of human rights, gender equality, climate and the environment, and anti-corruption, and the environment.

All proposals must have a gender perspective. The programme focuses on the most important priority areas of the Norwegian development policy. Research must contribute to the multi- and interdisciplinary knowledge needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

For this call, project applications are invited in the following priority areas:

  • Global education
  • Humanitarian efforts
  • Conflict, security and fragile states
  • Business development and job creation
  • The environment, climate and renewable energy

NOK 10 million are earmarked Global education.

Projects that incorporate more than one of the thematic areas are encouraged. In order to secure long time competence building at Norwegian institutions PhDs and/or Post-doctoral fellowships shall be included in the larger projects. It is expected that applicants are Norwegian research institutions with documented high competence within the international development field. Collaboration with other Norwegian research institutions is also encouraged.

All larger scale project applications (NOK 7-10 million) must demonstrate strategic international positioning and quality improvements with the participation of senior research staff and efficient institutional and infrastructure support in addition to research training through Norwegian PhDs and/or Post-doctoral fellowships.

Collaboration with leading international research institutions is required. In order to achieve high quality and high relevance, coproduction of research is envisaged, and it is expected that the research projects will benefit from cooperation with researchers from developing countries. 

A new whitepaper on international development from the Norwegian government issued in April 2017 provides important background and input with a potential to inspire research under NORGLOBAL2:

The following areas are of particular interest for this call:

Global education

Research on how to improve learning and the quality of education in low-income countries is needed.

The Report to the Storting (white paper) no 25 (2013-2014) on Education for Development underlines the importance of education and knowledge for achieving growth and development. More knowledge is needed in areas such as special needs education, education in conflict, ethnic minorities and girls’ education. Clearly described challenges and how the new knowledge from the research can contribute to understand and solve problems is important.  SDG4 places education at the heart of the sustainable development agenda. Education is seen as critical for achieving sustainable economic growth as well as for achieving a range of other social and cultural development objectives and ensuring environmental sustainability. As a consequence of sustained efforts and investment on the part of national governments, communities and development partners, many more children are in school across the low-income world. However, despite significant progress in increasing educational access in recent years, millions of children still have no access to formal education and, where they do, learning often remains limited. There is therefore a need to focus on improving learning outcomes and the overall efficiency and quality of education for all children in addition to expanding access to education. .

Humanitarian efforts

More research about humanitarian issues and how conflict and security affects people and states is needed. The project applications could take into consideration issues related to cultural, religious, political, historical and environmental factors. This can include issues as forced migration because of conflicts and/or climate changes.

More knowledge about how women, men and children are differently affected by natural disasters is needed.

Research proposals on peace processes and conflict in relation to the humanitarian crisis and refugee situations are welcome.

Military conflicts characterised by great brutality and complexity have in recent years increased. These and natural and other disasters, partially exacerbated by the consequences of climate change, create immense challenges for the international community and created an unprecedented need for humanitarian assistance. In the absence of sufficient means to prevent or reduce the scale of conflicts or the consequences of disasters, forced migration will further increase. There are more people displaced today than at any other time since World War 2. There is a growing convergence between the humanitarian and development agendas. The humanitarian caseload is a growing concern for development and impacts directly on the SDGs.

The lack of resources and the need for reform to respond more adequately to these challenges prompted the first World Humanitarian Summit held in May 2016 in Istanbul to strengthen the shared principles governing humanitarian aid. The core document submitted then calls for a “responsibility to act” based on five principles: 1) political leadership to prevent and end conflicts; 2) uphold the norms that safeguard humanity; 3) leave no one behind; 4) change people’s lives – from delivering aid to ending need; and 5) invest in humanity. It is common understanding that humanitarian efforts are linked to Agenda 2030 (in particular the SDGs 11, 13 and 16).

Research supported by NORGLOBAL2 should be contributing to some of these necessary aspects and dimensions to strengthen humanitarian efforts also in Norwegian aid policy based on careful analyses and new insights as to how best support interventions and strengthen preventative initiatives in terms of local sustainability.

Conflict, security and fragile states

Conflict changes people’s lives. On the one hand, conflict affects development. On the other hand, a lack of development or very uneven development may lead to conflict. Conflicts have an impact not only on security, but also on political and economic conditions, health, general law and order, and forced migration. Women and men are affected in different ways. Human rights violations are more widespread in times of conflict, and this often persists long after the conflict has ended.

The research proposals should contribute with knowledge that enhances the understanding of the relationship between conflict and democratisation.

On-going conflict, even at a low level, changes power constellations and contributes to new forms of social and political organisation, while at the same time potentially causing economic activities to shift towards activities that are especially profitable because of the conflict.

The research proposals must address these issues. They should contribute to the understanding of the causes and effects of the conflicts, especially in light of the interplay between social, ethnic, religious, cultural, political and economic factors. The projects must combining general insight with specific knowledge about the individual conflicts and their histories. 

Poor countries are the most vulnerable to climate change and will be those most seriously affected. The research shall contribute to promote a global understanding of the impacts climate change has especially on poor and fragile states.

Business development and job creation

The need for new job creation on a global scale, in particular among the younger generations is enormous, as pointed out by the white paper no. 35 (2014-2015) “Working together: Private sector development in Norwegian development cooperation”. Especially in Africa, high population growth, increasing urbanisation and large youth cohorts looking for work create major challenges. Business development, innovation and entrepreneurship is crucial for job creation. More knowledge is needed about how the authorities and the private sector can better facilitate and take advantage of the development of new business opportunities and creation of new jobs with decent working conditions. The opportunities and challenges from globalisation, through trade, migration, capital flows and information must also be considered. How can a self-stimulating process that replaces low-productivity jobs with high-productivity ones be set in motion? What functions and effects does the informal sector have, and what is the role played by income distribution and wage differences between informal and formal jobs? How can job creation and growth in productivity be stimulated without the use of long-term subsidies? How can business development needs and environmental, social, cultural and political needs be harmonized?

Research on how corruption, tax avoidance and illegal capital flows influence business development and job creation in developing countries could also be relevant under this thematic priority area.

The research supported by NORGLOBAL-2 under this thematic priority area must describe clearly specific challenges related  to business development and job creation, and how new knowledge provided by the research project can contribute to understanding challenges and suggesting possible solutions.

The environment, climate and renewable energy

Climate services, i.e. climate information that assists decision making by individuals and organizations, is highly needed. Such services require appropriate engagement along with an effective access mechanism and must respond to user needs. Little is known about the impacts of the increasing acquisition of agricultural land in the South by other countries and private actors and about the long-term effects that changes in land ownership and conflicts over this will have on food security. Land reform may be crucial for improving the living conditions of large groups in rural areas. In all land distribution issues, women’s opportunities and rights are critically important if redistribution is to have a genuine effect. A great deal more knowledge is needed in this area. An understanding of how land reform can be implemented in a fairer manner may contribute to peace and development.

The management of natural resources (land, forests, water, and marine resources) and the provision of stable energy have a critical impact on the basic subsistence of many poor people, and play crucial roles in preventing conflicts and violence. In many places around the world, poor people’s access to natural resources and energy is threatened by an intensifying conflict over those resources, e.g. industrialisation or other forms of regulation claiming agricultural land or centralized versus distributed energy production solutions. The problems are usually the greatest where land ownership is unclear or bound by tradition. It is important to acquire more knowledge about such factors as well as resilience of different ecosystem services.

In many locations, access to natural resources is threatened by diminishing stability and productivity of ecosystems due to factors such as climate change and deforestation. There is a need for more knowledge about how poor groups can adapt to rising temperatures, more frequent flooding and drought, sea-level rise and acidification of the oceans, and what local authorities can do to facilitate such adaptation. Thorough knowledge of the opposing interests and power structures is critical for addressing these challenges as well as user friendly climate services.

Access to energy is fundamental to improving quality of life and is a key imperative for economic and social development. It is also vital to a country’s ability to generate income, provide jobs and stimulate trade and development. In the developing world, energy poverty is still rife. Nearly 1.3 billion people still have no access to electricity.

In support of efforts to provide access to energy for all, there is need for more knowledge on energy needs of societies, various energy sources and technological solutions for supply and distribution, their implementation, financing, effects on societies and long-term sustainability. In particular, knowledge is needed on the effects of renewable energy sources on poverty alleviation, climate and job creation, as well as on the role of private sector.

The research supported by NORGLOBAL-2 under this thematic priority area must describe clearly specific challenges related  to the environment, climate and renewable energy, and how new knowledge provided by the research project can contribute to understanding challenges and suggesting possible solutions.

A successful proposal will contain

  • Clearly stated hypotheses or research questions
  • A description of the methodology to be applied
  • An explanation of how the project can increase and add to existing knowledge,
  • A description of how the project will co-produce knowledge between Norwegian researchers and leading international partners, including researchers from developing countries when relevant
  • Clear description(s) of specific challenge(s) and how the new knowledge from the research can contribute to understanding and solving global development challenges

Regular communication between researchers and practitioners is important. Applications must include plans for regular communication/dissemination activities throughout the project period. Findings should be shared on a semi-annual basis, and provide Norad, the MFA and other relevant practitioners and stakeholders with research findings that might be valuable for policy development and decision-making.

The project must be minimum 3 and maximum 4 years.