New PEP Call for Proposals - PAGE II (Round 3)

Gender-sensitive Analysis on Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion, and Rural Employment

Africa only (at least 50% West Africa)

 PEP launches a new call for project proposals of “Policy Analysis on Growth and Employment” (PAGE) in Africa

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

In 2016, PEP was granted funding by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (or UK Aid) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada to launch a new program supporting high quality research, capacity development, and policy engagement for growth and employment in developing countries: PAGE II.

Building on the significant outcomes (see PEP impact stories for some examples) and lessons drawn so far, the IDRC has provided additional funding to extend and deepen this program under a new round round of support for up to 13 mixed government-research teams to conduct gender-sensitive, policy-oriented research projects in Africa (at least 50% in West Africa) on the themes of 1) entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and 2) productive employment in rural farm and non-farm sectors.

Find out more about the PAGE II program here. You may also download the flyer for this call, for circulation in your network(s). 


To build and promote research capacities in Africa

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

In the context of this initiative, an extended PEP support program (including training, guidance, mentorship, peer-review, etc.) aim to strengthen/develop teams' capacity in:

  • Designing and conducting of policy-oriented, gender-sensitive research

  • Designing and applying advanced methods and tools for scientific economic research and gender analysis

  • Understanding the research-policy interface, or nexus – i.e. how one must inform the other – and positioning a single piece of research-based evidence into the broader/relevant policy context and strategies

  • Designing and implementing an effective communication and influence strategy to maximize chances of evidence-informed policymaking.  

  • Contributing to and advocating for a greater use of scientific evidence to inform policy making.  

To analyze specific and country-relevant policy issues

In the course of PAGE-II, PEP has financed 45 projects on policy analysis on growth and employment under five themes. Many very exciting findings are emerging from this analysis, as well as related PAGE-I research. While these findings are promising, particularly in terms of pointing to potential policy solutions, research is now needed to support the policy processes by analysing actual policy solutions. In the context of the current call, proposals are invited on the following two broad PAGE-II themes, in which findings are most promising:

Click on the links next to each of the priority themes to download a detailed description of the theme (including examples of methodological approaches) and the associated list of recommended readings. 

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

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.

Another particular feature of this call is that selected projects will involve the development of 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 aimed at positioning the issues and findings into the country’s broader policy context and strategies. PEP will provide selected teams with support, training, mentorship and peer-review in both areas.

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 thematic research groups (TRGs), each focused on a different set of methodological approaches. Each group involves experts from around the world who are assigned as mentors to the research project teams upon the teams' selection. 

For this particular call, PEP will be accepting proposals involving either of the two following approaches:

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


Team composition

One of the key (new) features 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 team leader and at least two researchers aged under 30 - with a sufficient academic and/or professional background in economic policy analysis. In particular, having a master’s degree/diploma or being currently enrolled in a master’s program is considered a minimum requirement (generally, team leaders should have a doctoral degree/diploma or be currently enrolled in a doctoral program).

  • 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.

Applicant teams must also:

  • Be gender mixed, with female members representing at least 50% of all members (including the team leader).
    • PEP also encourages teams with a female leader.
  • Be composed exclusively of African nationals (who are residing in 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 funded project is not eligible to submit a new proposal before the approval of the final report of the currently funded project.

Interested researchers who are not eligible for funding are nonetheless encouraged to use the resources made available on the PEP website.


Other requirements

All projects are contracted with individual researchers (team leaders), not with institutions. However, the government-affiliated team members must present evidence (i.e. an official letter) that their institution has approved 1) their involvement in the project, 2) the research questions and objectives, as well as 3) the general contents of the policy context analysis (including broader stakeholder mapping). You may use the following letter template in English or French.

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.

PAGE II - funding and selection process

This third round of the PAGE II initiative will fund up to 13 new projects.

Funding is up to US $60.5 K, including US $24 K in a research (cash) grant and up to US $36.5 K in various subsidies, such as for participation in PEP meetings and study visits, as well as for 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. 

A shortlist of applicant teams, each represented by two members (one researcher and one government-affiliated member),  will be invited to present their (revised) proposal at a PEP conference in September 2019. Participants will receive training and feedback on both the scientific and policy aspects of their projects. Final selections will be announced after the conference.

The selected teams will be invited to participate in an online training course, from September to November 2019, relevant to the research methods/tools to be applied in their project. All members of the selected research teams are strongly encouraged to complete this course (completion is a prerequisite for participation in PEP conferences and study visits) and teams are expected to be gender-balanced (at least 50% female) in terms of course graduates.

Application details and procedure


How to submit a proposal using the PEP intranet system

Applications must be submitted via the PEP intranet system, before June 10, 2019 (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 anytime.

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

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

  4. To then submit the proposal, the team leader must login, open 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 (as provided below - see "content of proposals"). 

  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

In order to be considered, applicant teams ARE REQUIRED to: 

  • Submit their proposal using the mandatory template: download the template.
    • Upload the completed template to the "Proposal" section of the "Documents" page.
  • Submit a validation letter from the relevant government institution: see letter template in English or French
    • 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:


Further requirements

The proposal should correspond to one or more of the priority issues listed above.

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.



    If you encounter any difficulties completing the steps above, please contact us at for assistance.

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