Call for Proposal 2015 - IDRC: Scaling Up Food Security and Nutrition Innovations

Posted by Jamal Fida Monday, February 23, 2015 0 comments
Closing Date: March 27, 2015.

Canada’s International Development Research Centre and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada are pleased to announce the 2015 open call for proposals under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (the “Fund”).

Food and nutritional insecurity remains a significant challenge in many regions of the World. The need to improve food security is particularly urgent in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, as well as in some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which account for almost 90% of the undernourished people in the world, most of them in rural settings. The World Bank has estimated that under current conditions, global food production will need to double by 2050 to meet increasing global needs. In the face of growing food demand and constraints of available resources (such as cultivable land, water and energy), it is not possible to produce increasingly higher quantities of nutritious food without the introduction of game-changing innovations at a scale that enables the development of improved sustainable food systems. There is wide consensus about the fundamental role that small-scale farming plays in attaining food security in the developing world. Unfortunately, productivity remains chronically low in many of the least developed countries, and productivity-boosting innovative technologies and practices have yet to reach (or be taken up by) many small-holder farmers. This is particularly true outside of breadbasket regions where water and fertile land is often scarce, the risk of droughts, floods and frost are high, and smallholders struggle to make a living. There is an urgent need to develop and scale up innovations specifically suited for small-scale farming in these regions, in order to increase the sector’s productivity and reduce food insecurity.

The call will support projects that aim to develop, test and apply ways to scale up food security and nutrition innovations, particularly ones that address the needs of women small-scale farmers as core users. It will support projects that take effective, pilot-tested innovations to a wider scale of use and application, to deliver meaningful development outcomes (i.e., reaching important numbers of end-users) through the effective deployment of scaling up models, delivery mechanisms and approaches. Page 5 of 14 Proposals submitted to this call will need to include the following three key objectives, (adapted to the context of each particular project):
1. To scale up effective, pilot-tested innovations, and achieve meaningful impacts at scale.
2. To test and assess the effectiveness of creative and bold scaling up models, delivery mechanisms and approaches.
3. To inform decision-making and public policies, at different levels and varied contexts, using evidence-based research results.

Please note that these objectives are mandatory and must be included in all proposals that seek funding through this call. Proposals will be requested to present a sound business case for the innovation(s) they intend to scale up. The business case will include:
a. The innovation. A description of the innovation; how and why it works, and the science behind it; evidence that the innovation has already been pilot tested and is ready for scale up.
b. Potential for impacts at scale. A description of the problem/opportunity that the innovation is targeting; number of potential end-users at the end of the project and longer term (post-project); expected changes/benefits at the user level, and/or at the organizational and institutional levels, when appropriate.
c. Delivery mechanisms/scaling up approaches. A description of the possible mechanisms, models approaches to convey the innovation to end-users; alternative scaling up pathways that might be tested.
d. Cost – benefit analysis. A projected quantification of the costs and benefits attributable to the innovation (with/without the innovation), separated by types of end users, if appropriate.

Successful proposals must present a sound, achievable and convincing scaling up plan (objective 1) describing how impacts at scale will be attained, during and after the project. A clearly outlined set of scaling up activities, and a realistic, achievable set of milestones will be required as part of the scaling up plan. This plan must also include a comprehensive exit strategy that details post-project activities, roles, responsibilities and possible post-project outcomes and shows how the scaling up effort will self-sustain.

For innovations to scale up and become widely used, innovative business models, delivery mechanisms and approaches, tailored to the specific innovations, but robust enough to work effectively in diverse settings and conditions, need to be tested and extensively deployed.

Project are anticipated to begin on October 2015, The size of the project funded by this call will be in range from CA$0.5 to $1.5 million.


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