Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) 2024

Deadline Date: May 24, 2024

Donor Name: Global Development Network

Grant Size: $10,000 to $100,000


The Global Development Network (GDN) invites researchers from low-income or middle-income countries to submit research proposals within the theme ‘Sustainable Climate Action for Human-Centered Development’ for the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD).

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the umbrella of the Global Development Awards Competition (GDAC), administered by GDN, funded under the Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD) trust fund managed by the World Bank, and generously supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan. This award program identifies and funds outstanding research proposals in low- or middleincome countries with high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues.

The three winning projects will receive grants worth US$ 60,000. Finalists will be invited to join a communications training in preparation of a pitch of their project in front of a high-level Jury, which will decide which research proposal to award. The awards will be given to the researcher(s) whose proposals hold the greatest promise for improving the understanding of development issues and puts forth clear, articulate and well researched policy implications to address relevant developmental problems.


  • Sustainable Climate Action for Human-Centered Development
    • In the complex and interconnected tapestry of global challenges, climate change stands as a pivotal force, affecting ecosystems, societies, and individuals worldwide. Amidst these challenges, the imperative for sustainable climate action has never been more urgent, especially in regions grappling with unique vulnerabilities. In navigating the intricate challenges of climate change within the Global South, the theme “Sustainable Climate Action for Human-Centered Development” underscores the critical need to align environmental preservation with the well-being of communities in these regions. Within this nexus, initiatives that not only protect the planet but also prioritize human-centric development take center stage, acknowledging the unique contexts and vulnerabilities of the Global South. 
    • The 2024 edition of the Global Development Awards Competition aims to highlight innovative ideas and ongoing projects to celebrate and amplify the voices of those who actively contribute to building a resilient future—one where the human experience is not merely considered but is at the forefront of climate action strategies. The theme underscores the profound need to align the commitment to safeguarding the planet with an unwavering dedication to human-centric development, recognizing the unique contexts, cultures, and vulnerabilities present in the Global South, to realize a society where no one is left behind. 
    • GDN encourages the submission of projects that are either gender-specific or gender-transformative but requires that all projects be designed to respond to gender concerns. 
    • Under the Japanese Awards for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) category, GDN invites early-career researchers to submit projects that focus on the vital role of knowledge generation in informing effective climate action. They challenge researchers to contribute to the growing body of actionable knowledge. By exploring novel sodal science methodologies and embracing diverse approaches that consider different timeframes, researchers can provide nuanced insights into the complex social dimensions of climate change, with a special emphasis on human security and solidarity in the Anthropocene.
    • Sub-Theme: “Assessing the Social Impact of Climate Change in the Global South” 
      • Focus Areas 
        • Methodological Innovation 
          • Exploring and developing new social science methodologies to assess the social impact of climate change. 
          • Integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches for a comprehensive understanding. 
          • Utilization of participatory research methods involving local communities in the assessment process. 
        • Temporal Analysis 
          • Examining the long-term and short-term social impacts of climate change. 
          • Assessing the evolving nature of climate change effects on human security over different time frames. 
          • Understanding the temporal dimensions of vulnerability and resilience in communities. 
        • Human Security-Centric Approaches 
          • Developing assessment frameworks that center around the concept of human security. 
          • Exploring the interconnectedness of climate change, poverty, health, and livelihood security. 
          • Evaluating the effectiveness of interventions aimed at enhancing human security in the face of climate change. 
      • Under the Japanese Awards for Most Innovative Development Awards (MIDP) category, GDN wants to highlight the transformative power of on-the-ground initiatives by NGOs that have moved beyond conceptualization, actively engaging with communities to implement projects that enhance climate resilience. By showcasing participatory project design, adaptation and mitigation strategies, and sustainable livelihood initiatives, they aim to award their impactful work. This category stands as a platform to recognize and amplify the voices of those directly supporting the most marginalized communities, embodying the spirit of community-led climate resilience exemplifying the spirit of human-centered development in the face of climate change challenges. 
    • Sub-Theme: “Community-Centered Climate Action and Sustainable Development” 
      • Type of projects 
        • Community-Driven Assessment Initiatives 
          • Projects that actively involve communities in the assessment of climate change impacts, ensuring that local knowledge and experiences are integral to the evaluation process. 
        • Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies
          • Projects that highlight and focus on the direct benefits of these strategies to the most marginalized members of the community based on mitigation approaches to the impact of climate change. 
        • Sustainable Livelihood Initiatives 
          • Projects that integrate climate resilience with sustainable livelihood opportunities for marginalized communities while emphasizing the economic empowerment and improved well-being of community members.
        • Temporal Adaptation in Practice 
          • Projects that have adaptive strategies that acknowledge the temporal dynamics of climate change impact, demonstrating how community-led initiatives have aligned with different time frames identified through assessments. 

Gender Bias 

  • GDN recognizes the imbalance in the opportunities provided to women in professional research, as well as the consequences of unconscious gender bias in review processes in environments across the world. GDN also recognizes the impact these factors can have on the prospects of women researchers in securing awards and funding. 
  • Since the 2022 edition, GDN embed more equitable grant-making processes to guarantee that more women can compete and win while still maintaining a highquality standard on the evaluation. Therefore, GDN instituted a selection process for GDAC where they will make all efforts to guarantee gender representation amongst the 3 finalists of the ORD category. 
  • GDN strongly encourages female researchers to engage and apply. 

Connector Grant 

  • The Connector Grant aims to stimulate international cooperation through the development of collaborative projects to support scale-up efforts with researchbased evidence. The Connector grant will be awarded to ORD grantees, based on a project developed in collaboration with the MIDP grantees who received the JSDF grant. This grant will support the award recipients’ collaborative efforts towards measuring and analyzing scale-up impact, as well as to enhance the robustness of their M&E activities. The application to this grant will only take place after the full implementation of the funded ORD project and will not be part of the selection of the ORD winners.

Funding Information

  • The first prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 30,000. The second prize and third prize winners will receive a grant of US$ 20,000 and US$ 10,000 respectively. The funds will be used to support the research work proposed by the winners towards the completion of their research. Additionally, awardees will be paired with worldclass academic in their area of work who will play the role of a Scientific and Technical Advisor.

Eligibility Criteria 

  • Geographical scope 
    • Eligible countries for the ORD competition are those classified by the World Bank as low-income or middle-income countries. The competition is open only to researchers who are citizens or permanent residents of these countries. The applicants (including team members) can be asked to submit proof of their citizenship and residency through documents with legal standing, at any point during the competition. The information on the Identity Card will remain strictly confidential with GDN.
      • Citizens of eligible countries currently residing in a non-eligible country are allowed to apply only if they have been living in the non-eligible country for no more than five years as of 1 January 2025. This should be clearly shown as in the CV and personal information should be provided. In case any information is found to be incorrect, the proposal is liable for disqualification during any stage of the competition, including after the grant has been conferred.
  • Age limit 
    • The upper age limit for all applicants is 45 years by the end of 2025. Individuals above 45 years of age as of 1 January 2025 are not eligible to apply.
  • External funding 
    • The proposal should not be receiving or scheduled to receive funds from other sources to be eligible. However, this would be allowed if it is clearly explained how the additional funds would reinforce the successful completion of the research.
  • Employment 
    • Staff members of multilateral and bilateral organizations (The World Bank, IMF, IADB, UN agencies, UKAid, etc.) are not eligible to apply. 
    • Previous and current employees of GDN or its Regional Network Partners3 are not eligible to apply up till 5 years from the completion of their tenure. Previous GDN Board Members, project mentors and members of evaluation teams are not eligible to apply.
  • Previous GDN funding 
    • Similar proposals or papers resulting as products from full or partial GDN funded activities (Global Research Projects and other competitions not limited to Regional Research Competitions, Global Research Competitions etc.), cannot be submitted for this competition.
  • Previous winners 
    • Past ORD winners and finalists are not eligible to apply with the same or similar research proposal. 
    • Past ORD winners are not eligible to apply for a period of 3 years after the end of their agreement with GDN.
  • Plagiarism 
    • Please note that all forms of academic dishonesty are unacceptable to GDN, plagiarism being one of them including self-plagiarism. Plagiarism is unauthorized use of other people’s work, ideas and/or writings (in part or in full) and presenting or giving notion of these work(s), ideas and/or writings being one’s own work, idea(s) and/or writing(s). GDN takes plagiarism very seriously and will take immediate and appropriate action including and not limited to withdrawal of funding for any such grantees found guilty of plagiarism.

For more information, visit GDN.

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