New PEP Call for Proposals (closed as of 26 August 2020)

PEP launches a new call for project proposals on “Climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa: The impacts and responses for women and girls”

  • The submission deadline is August 25, 2020 - see the list of important dates for this call.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa only

  • Proposals must be submitted using the appropriate proposal template (see below) via the PEP intranet system - detailed instructions and requirements below

  • All applicant teams must also submit a letter from the head of the concerned government institution – see instructions below

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Call for Proposals | Team Composition | Funding & Selection Process | Application Procedure | Help

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has awarded funding to PEP for a new research initiative on “Climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Impacts and responses for women and girls”. Through this three-year initiative (2020-2023), PEP will support up to four (4) research projects, each in a different sub-Saharan African country. 

This initiative aims to address critical capacity gaps on both (supply and demand) sides of the research-policy nexus and produce the evidence that local and national policymakers need to inform specific policy interventions for:

  1. Increasing women’s leadership in defining and implementing solutions to mitigate or adapt to climate change effects, and
  2. Mitigating the effects of climate change on gender equality.

To ensure the relevance of the research and its use for informing policy, the projects will be led by teams of local researchers and government officers.


To build and promote research capacities in sub-Saharan Africa

In accordance with PEP’s core mission, this initiative includes an important “capacity building” component and targets teams of researchers based in sub-Saharan Africa. The selected teams will benefit from the unique and manifold PEP "Grant Plus" support mechanism as they conduct high quality, policy-oriented research projects using cutting-edge methodologies (macro-micro policy modeling, microeconomic analysis and non-experimental impact evaluation and experimental impact evaluation for this call) to inform relevant development policy decisions in their home countries.


For gender-focused analysis of specific, country-relevant climate change policy issues

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. All countries feel the negative effects of climate change on welfare, livelihoods and economic prospects, but developing countries and, within them, the most vulnerable populations suffer the greatest impacts. This is especially true for women and girls. 

Indeed, due to traditional and historical inequalities and role differentiation (such as with regards to decision powers, access to resources and assets, or managing household consumption), women are particularly at risk of increased marginalization when there is climate change-induced competition for resources (Eastin, 2018), but they are also at the forefront of survival and adaptation efforts. 

Climate hazards and their consequences also exacerbate the vulnerability of girls - through increased marginalization due to the inequalities described above - compromising their development and, consequently, the strength and capacity of future generations to face the challenges awaiting them in the world of tomorrow. 

Gaining a deeper understanding, through a rigorous analytical process, of how the specific population groups of women and girls are affected or respond to these challenges is crucial to informing well-designed policies and interventions that can support mitigation and/or adaptation effectively in the short and long-term. Evidence-informed decision-making is key to ensuring the effectiveness of policy action. However, to provide useful and applicable evidence-based policy recommendations, the communication of evidence resulting from research activities must take account of the specific social norms, public values and other constraints and considerations that will affect and influence policy decisions.

Since 2015, 36 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 countries have established policies, laws, plans and strategies relating to climate change. However, only three countries – Mali, Malawi and Nigeria – identify women and children as populations in need of particular consideration. There is an urgent need for in-depth, gender-sensitive evidence to inform climate change response policies.

Within these themes, this call is for research to support policy processes through gender-sensitive analysis of specific existing or potential policy solutions to address key knowledge gaps and policy needs in terms of the evidence base. 

Click here for a detailed presentation of the thematic scope of this call and some examples of appropriate policy research questions.

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), researchers are also welcome to indicate interest in analyzing a related intervention led by their local UNDP country office (visit The UNDP would seek ways to assist the analysis (e.g. in accessing information and data, assisting in policy engagement, dissemination, etc.), but researchers would conduct their analysis independently.

  • All proposals must incorporate gender analysis into the project design and objectives.
  • Teams must also develop a policy context analysis of their proposed project, including a preliminary stakeholder analysis.
  • These requirements are included, with instructions, in the mandatory proposal template (see Content of proposals). 


From a variety of analytical perspectives

Building on 16 years of experience and the knowledge of a large pool of world-renowned experts in the field, PEP offers unique expertise in the application of cutting-edge methodologies and analytical techniques in economics and development research within the specific context of developing countries.

The PEP research support program spans four distinct methodological approaches. For each approach, experts from around the world are assigned as mentors to the research project teams upon the teams' selection. 

For this call, PEP will be accepting proposals involving any of the three following approaches:

  • Macro-micro policy modelling (MPIA group)
  • Microeconomic analysis and non-experimental impact evaluation (PMMA group)
  • Experimental impact evaluation (PIERI group)

N.B. Proposals involving data collection will NOT be considered/accepted for support under the MPIA and PMMA groups.

For this initiative, the selected project teams will benefit from an extended PEP support program (including training, guidance, mentorship, peer-review, etc.) to strengthen/develop capacity in: 

  • Conducting rigorous, state-of-the-art and gender-sensitive analysis to produce a scientifically-sound evidence base
  • Preparing and submitting scientific articles (based on their project's research outputs) for submission to highly-regarded journals
  • Consulting, engaging and communicating with a broad set of stakeholders (beyond the government unit involved), such as policy actors from other sectors, NGOs, CSOs (especially women’s organizations) involved in promoting gender equality at the national level, throughout the project cycle
  • The contextualization and dissemination of research and scientific advice for more effective policy use
  • The effective use of evidence to inform policy advisory processes within government institutions.

The projects selected under this call will develop two distinct papers: a research/working paper, and a policy paper: the first detailing the process and results of the scientific research work, and the latter to position the issues and findings within the country’s broader policy context and strategies. PEP will provide the selected teams with support, training, mentorship and peer-review in both areas.

Team composition

A key feature of this call is that selected project teams must be composed of both researchers and government officials/officers:

  • Four (4) researchers - including one senior/experienced researcher acting as the team leader and at least two researchers aged under 30 - with a sufficient academic and/or professional background in economic policy analysis. Having a master’s degree/diploma or being currently enrolled in a master’s program is a minimum requirement (generally, team leaders should have a doctoral degree/diploma or be currently enrolled in a doctoral program). These members should describe their relevant training and experience in the issues and research techniques involved

  • Two (2) government officials/officers from (and with their involvement sanctioned by) the institution in charge of the policy/program that the research aims to inform. These government-affiliated members must have a good understanding of the relevant policy processes and priorities, but are not required to have research experience.

Research team members will strengthen their expertise in the application of research methodologies, while government-affiliated members will acquire critical knowledge pertaining to the features, requirements and constraints of rigorous empirical analysis. Both sides will also gain new understanding and skills related to the contextualization and translation of research into policy terms.

Applicant teams must also:

  • Be gender-mixed
    • Female members must represent at least 50% of researchers (including the team leader) and at least 50% of government-affiliated members.
    • All female members must contribute substantively to the project.
    • PEP particularly encourages teams with a female leader.
  • Be composed exclusively of sub-Saharan African nationals, who are residing in sub-Saharan Africa for the duration of the project.


  • A researcher can be funded as a team member a maximum of three times by PEP (no more than twice as team leader) and should show marked progression over time. 
  • A researcher who is already involved in a currently funded project is not eligible to submit a new proposal before the approval of the final report of the currently funded project.
  • Each team should identify one team member who has the expertise and capacities to replace the team leader if the latter is not able to complete the project for any reason.
  • For a team member to be considered "under 30 at project selection" they must have been born after June 30, 1991.


Approval from government institution

All projects are contracted with individual researchers (team leaders), not with institutions. However, the government-affiliated team members must procure an official letter from the head of their institution stating that s/he approves 1) the research questions and objectives, as well as 2) the involvement of the concerned staff members in the project. You may use the following letter template.

Proposals involving experimental impact evaluation (PIERI group) must use a random assignment technique. Teams presenting a proposal of this kind must submit an official letter from the implementing authority in charge of the experiment stating their commitment to carry out an experimental evaluation (i.e. involving random assignment).

Funding and selection process

This initiative will fund up to four (4) new projects.

Funding is up to US $58 K, including US $24 K in a research (cash) grant tied to deliverables and up to US $34K in various subsidies, such as for participation in PEP meetings and study visits, publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations in international conferences, the organization of national policy conferences to share/discuss findings with stakeholders, etc.

Proposals are evaluated, and selected, based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality: literature review, originality, methodology, data
  • Policy relevance: in addition to the acknowledgement letter from their government-affiliated members’ institution, teams must provide a convincing argument that the evidence sought through the proposed research project will be useful/serve to inform strategic policy decisions
  • Capacity building: in particular the contributions and expected skills to be attained by each team member, especially female and junior researchers, as well as the capacity of the team to execute the project.

Longlisted teams

  • Will be invited to revise and submit their proposals after the first round of evaluation. 
  • Revised proposals will go through the second round of evaluation, to produce a shortlist of around seven teams.

Shortlisted teams

  • Will be invited to participate in an online training course (and additional gender analysis modules), relevant to the research methods/tools to be applied in their project, from January to April 2021.
    • All members of the selected research teams are strongly encouraged to complete this course.
      • Completion is a prerequisite for researcher-members to participate in PEP conferences and study visits.
    • Shortlisted teams will be asked to name up to two “substitute” researchers who will also be invited to take the online courses and, if successful, will be able to replace any of the core researchers who do not successfully complete the online course, to ensure the final team respects PEP’s requirements (four researchers, at least 50% female, at least two aged under 30).
      • These “substitute” researchers should typically be under 30 years of age and at least one should be female.
    • If at least four researcher-members, including at least two female researchers and two aged under 30, successfully complete their online course, teams will be invited to present their (revised) proposal at a PEP conference in June 2021, where they will be represented by two members (one researcher and one government-affiliated member). 

PEP conference participants

  • Will receive training and feedback on both the scientific and policy aspects of their projects at this conference.
  • Non-participating members will be able to follow proceeding virtually (live or through video-recorded sessions).

Final project selections will be announced after the conference.

Application details and procedure


How to submit a proposal using the PEP intranet system

Applications must be submitted via the PEP intranet system, before August 25, 2020 (23:59 GMT). Here are the steps to follow:

  1. ALL members of the applicant teams must register on the PEP website BEFORE submitting a new proposal.

    1. To register, click Register (see also the top right corner of the PEP website header, next to "Login") and follow the instructions.

    2. Once registered, each member will receive a username and password by email, normally within minutes. Your profile will be activated within 24 hours.  

  2. Access your PEP intranet file by clicking on the Login button (also top right corner above) and entering the username and password received.

    1. Note that you can change your password yourself, through your personal intranet profile, at any time.

  3. ALL members of the applicant team must complete their PEP intranet profile, including their CV, birthday, highest diploma, a photo and short professional bio.

    1. To do this, each member should log in to the PEP website and then select "Profile" (then "Upload CV", "Upload photo", etc.).

  4. To submit the proposal, the team leader must log in, open the menu under "My workspace", click on "Submit New Proposal", fill out the required information and upload all required documentation using the mandatory PEP proposal template (provided below - see "content of proposals"). 

    1. All team members who are listed in the proposal document must be added to the intranet page for your proposal.

  5. Once finished, to make sure that the proposal has been successfully submitted to PEP, simply return to your PEP intranet file and click on "My Projects".

Content of proposals

To be considered, applicant teams ARE REQUIRED to submit their proposal using the following mandatory templates. 

  • Download the template to submit an MPIA/PMMA research project proposal
  • Download the template to submit an expression of interest (EOI) for a PIERI experimental research project proposal (field experiment)
  • Submit a validation letter from the relevant government institution: see letter template
    • Upload the letter to the "Other" section of the "Documents" page.

There are three main areas/dimensions to all PEP-supported projects: research, capacity building, research and policy engagement. Each dimension must be considered with due care and attention, as they will be assessed individually and concurrently to determine the overall quality of a proposal. For guidance and/or information, you may also refer to the following:

We also strongly encourage applicants to consult PEP’s list of recommended readings on climate change analysis and other readings specific to their country/region and topic of analysis.


Further requirements

PEP encourages applicant teams to submit proposals in English but also welcomes proposals (including all supporting documents) that are submitted in French or Spanish.

    PLAGIARISM is strictly unacceptable - more information about the definition of plagiarism and related instructions for citing sources. PEP uses a software program to detect cases of plagiarism.



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