Call for proposals: African policy research institutions to advance government use of evidence

The Hewlett Foundation’s Evidence-Informed Policymaking strategy focuses on an ambitious, long-term goal: governments systematically use evidence to improve social and economic policies over time.

We recognize African policy research institutions as not only integral to informing specific policies with the research they produce; they also are well-positioned to advance a broader culture and practice of evidence-informed policymaking.

The purpose of this call for proposals is to identify and support East and West African policy research organizations that want to help strengthen the capacities, motivations, and processes necessary for government actors to use many forms of evidence, not just evidence from their own organizations, in policymaking; and to more deeply connect with the broader field of actors working to advance evidence-informed policymaking in Africa.

The Hewlett Foundation will accept proposals from single African policy research organizations based in East or West Africa, or from multiple organizations working collaboratively on a joint project. All collaborative project proposals must include an East or West African policy research institution as the lead.

Key Dates:

  • May 8 – Deadline to submit clarifying questions about the call for proposals to
  • June 15 – First-round proposals due 9:00 p.m. EST. No proposals will be accepted after this date.

Learn more and apply

Eligibility Requirements

Any organization applying as a single organization or as a lead organization must meet the following requirements:

  1. Conduct social and economic policy research as a core part of institutional mandate.
  2. Be headquartered in East or West Africa.
  3. Meet at least of three of the following four criteria:
    1. Has been in operation for at least three years.
    2. Has had annual operating budget of at least $1 million in each of the last three years.
    3. Has received at least one grant from a U.S. private foundation, bilateral donor (including research councils), or multilateral development institution in at least one of the last three years.
    4. Is a registered charity in its home country.

Partner organizations may be almost any kind of organization because the intent is that lead organizations have the freedom to work with whomever they believe will best contribute to project goals.

However, the following types of organizations are NOT eligible to apply as single, lead, or partner organizations:

  • Scientific research organizations, including those with a focus on engineering; physical and biological sciences; animal, crop and forestry research; biomedical research; or national security. Organizations that conduct economic or social research related to scientific issues – for example, on human behavior-change related to disease prevention or climate change– ARE eligible to apply.
  • Government entities (other than research centers at public universities). While we recognize that government actors are an important part of the evidence-informed policymaking field, we are not able to provide financial support to those entities under this call for proposals. However, because the goal is for governments to use evidence for policymaking, we do expect that many applicants will work closely with government entities throughout the grant period.

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