Since the founding of the CIDRN in 2012, China’s remarkable set of initiatives in the field of global development have placed China at the frontiers of global development cooperation. During this period of time, the context of international development has experienced big changes with the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the Paris Agreement. China has not only started to embrace these international agenda but also made a series of initiatives, like Belt and Road Initiative, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank (NDB). The establishment of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) is also a big leap for China to draw together all these efforts to address global development issues and implement its strategies in a high-profile way.
China’s approaches to development cooperation and its unique perspective have aroused substantial international interest and driven new directions in academic enquiry within China. However, research on China’s international development, both in strategies and practice, has remained limited for a certain period of time within China. To some extent, this is hindering effective knowledge sharing and generation in the international development community. Given this, CIDRN seeks to inform China’s approaches, policies and outcomes in international development, as well as share China’s knowledge and facilitate lesson sharing.
To address this knowledge gap, the second phase of the China International Development Research Network (CIDRN) is taking shape. After four years of capacity building, CIDRN has grown into an effective platform to facilitate international development knowledge generation and dissemination. It also provided a much-needed public forum to promote simultaneous dialogues and discussions on cutting-edge issues in international development cooperation theory and practice. It also provides an important and unique bridge to connect Chinese and international scholars for knowledge sharing and research collaboration. The governance structure of the CIDRN phase II is constituted by the Strategic Oversight Committee (SOC), an Independent Advisory Committee (IAC), and an Executive Team (ET) (China Agricultural University-CAU, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies-SIIS, Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, MOFCOM-CAITEC, Institute of Development Studies-IDS). The China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture (CISSCA) at CAU continues to undertake the role as Secretariat for CIDRN Phase II. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) continues to provide funding support for the activities over the next three years. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK is the anchor institution for the programme for the next three years.
The aim of the China and International Development Research Grant is to generate high-quality, evidence-based, original academic research that supports effective government policy. In the second phase, three themes are particularly highlighted: (i) new development knowledge; (ii) new development governance; and (iii) new development cooperation. All the proposals and final reports will be reviewed by the world-class experts in the various fields and their comments will help to improve the applicants/grantees’ research capacity. The research grants will also provide some grantees with some financial support to conduct field work both in China and other countries, although pre-financing will need to be met by the research institute/individuals involved as grant funds will be available in arrears. The products of the research funded by the grant will also be disseminated widely through the CIDRN network and platform. All the grantees will also get opportunities to participate all CIDRN conferences and other academic activities.
The expected products of the research grants include publications in peer-reviewed journals, policy recommendations addressed to policy makers, working papers specifically produced for CIDRN phase II, and mid-term and final reports. The importance of the critical nexus of research, dissemination and policy influence will be strongly emphasised to achieve the objectives of the programme.
In order to enhance the impact of the research activities, a strong dissemination strategy has been developed. A website dedicated to the CIDRN has been established to disseminate programme outputs and update all related activities. It will also provide a wide range of information on the publications and activities of researchers of Network member institutions. “International Development Times (IDT)”, a WeChat public ID, has been set up since 2015 to widely disseminate CIDRN events and outputs. Last but not least, each member of the IAC and ET, along with CIDRN member institutions, also play key roles in disseminating CIDRN-related information to produce broad policy, academic and social impacts of the programme.
For more information about the first phase of CIDRN, please refer to the website: http://rcid.cau.edu.cn/col/col11130/index.html
3. Eligibility of the applicants
3.1 CIDRN invites all researchers from Chinese research institutes and individuals in the CIDRN network（International organizations excluded）to submit research proposals before 12:00am, 15 August 2019 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3.2 Proposals received after the deadlines will not be accepted, and it is the applicants’ own responsibility to confirm by telephone with Dr. Zhang Chuanhong (+86-10-62737745, 13810081722) that their proposal has been received.
3.3 Clarifications may be requested not later than 7 days before the electronic submission deadline.
4. Topics relevant to the fields
Research proposals from three themes are eligible:
● Theme 1: New development knowledge
This theme explores the key features and elements of the international development practices of China and other countries, with particular attention to the impact of their internal development experiences in informing and improving global development programmes and policies. The difference and similarities between China and western donors will also be stressed. Nuanced perspectives and methodologies are encouraged to shed light on locally situated knowledge on “development” discourse, policy and practice. It will stimulate dialogue with the traditional donors on current contesting issues including development agencies and professionals, project management and practices, development narratives and discourses, etc. The theme also encourages comparison among different countries on their development narratives, modalities, and impacts to enhance new development knowledge.
● Theme 2: New global development governance
This theme taps pilot approaches for institutionalized engagement between the emerging development platforms newly initiated by China and other BRICS countries, such as BRI, AIIB and NDB, etc. and the established development mechanisms such as GPEDC, DAC-based institutions. The fragmentation of the increasingly complicated international development architecture has attracted great attention recently, particularly with the rise of new development platforms. The thinking on what the system of development governance could look like with China fully engaged is becoming interesting and relevant. How to facilitate dialogue and to promote coordination is one of the key concerns. This group can play a strategic role by exploring innovative joint work mechanisms, for instance to deepen understanding of partner countries socially, economically and culturally, as well as to evaluating the impacts of new initiatives.
● Themes 3: New development cooperation
This theme explores new ways for development cooperation in this period of change and transition, between China and developed countries such as UK, Germany, USA, etc. The relationship between China and developed countries has been experienced a fundamental change from donor-recipient to partnership during the last several years. This group can produce policy-oriented knowledge on trilateral cooperation and other various forms of modalities, for instance with UK or USA and other developing countries, as well as other non-state actors, to bridge the misconceptions among the various parties for more effective development.
Applicants should bear in mind that the key objective of the CIDRN research fund is to support effective government of China and other countries’ policy in the field of international development. The scope of aid in this context is to be interpreted broadly to cover development assistance and foreign direct investment channeled through state and non-state organizations to developing countries. To this end, proposals with any of the following characteristics are encouraged. CIDRN will seek to fund a balance of research across these areas. These topics areas must either include analysis of China and other countries’ experience or demonstrate how they are relevant to effective government policy for China and beyond:
- Global attention and reactions to China ’s foreign aid, trade and investment;
- The role and impact of China in the evolving international development architecture and related agendas, and global development cooperation;
- Impact of country systems on development effectiveness, for instance, poverty reduction governance and development policy, including in BRI countries, and the implications for development support from China and other countries;
- China’s aid and investment in Africa including the FOCAC process and its follow up actions
- Role of African governments and their capacity in the effectiveness of development cooperation with China and other countries;
- China’s project appraisal, preparation and evaluation processes in its development cooperation, including understanding of local contexts and actors;
- Poverty reduction and China’s development cooperation policies, including in BRI countries;
- Internationalisation of China’s NGOs in relation to development in poorer countries;
- Actors, practices, and knowledge: multi-stakeholder engagement in development cooperation relevant to China;
- Development finance, including new trends in development finance, new financing tools for development, and mobilization of private finance;
- Humanitarian aid, which includes both aid for natural disasters and peace and security issues;
- Aid management: aid coordination, monitoring and evaluation, bilateral and multilateral aid, and how these are relevant to Chinese development cooperation;
- South-South Cooperation and trilateral cooperation: case studies on trilateral cooperation, broader analysis and new ideas on SSC.
5. Proposal Categories
l Special Research undertaken on topical issues as the basis for policy recommendations to the government of China and beyond, with short versions published in newspapers and longer versions in Journals (10,000-50,000 Yuan).
l Empirical studies, based on existing and new research, published in journals or books, Chinese and English, leading to policy recommendations (50,000-100,000 Yuan)
l Empirical studies based on systematic field work on China’s development cooperation and BRI development related issues, emerging as multiple products – journal articles, books, conference presentations (100,000-300,000 Yuan).
6. Proposal Requirements
All proposals must be written in English and composed of the technical proposal and administrative proposal, with the administrative proposal beginning on a new page. All final research products can be both in English and Chinese
Technical Proposal (maximum 2000 words; up to 3000 words for proposals above 50,000 Yuan) should include the following components:
l Cover page, specifying the title of the proposal and lead applicant’s information: title, organization and contacts;
l Background / introduction;
l Literature review, setting out the current state of research on the proposal’s subject matter and highlighting gaps in collective knowledge which the proposed research aims to fill (500 words and up to 1000 words for proposals above 50,000 Yuan).
l Describe research and policy target;
l Research methodology, including data collection, analysis and aggregation;
l List of research outputs;
l Research work plan. This section of the proposal should set out the main activities of the research, their content and duration, milestones/indicators, and delivery dates of outputs.
Administrative Proposal should include the following components:
l Budget, with each expense corresponding to the research work plan in Chinese Yuan;
l Organisation and staffing, setting out the responsibilities of the individual(s) undertaking the assignment;
l Personnel qualifications, including Researcher Information Sheets and curriculum vitae of lead applicant;
l Signed letter of consent confirming capacity to carry out the research as described in the proposal, including signatures from a member of each affiliated institution if the proposal is collaborative.
7. Methods and Criteria for Selection of Proposals
Proposals will be assessed by the International Advisory Committee in terms of a scoring system
as set out below, adapted from the UK Economic and Social Research Council rating system for
use by peer reviewers where 6 =Outstanding; 5= Excellent; 4=Good; 3=Satisfactory; 2= Fair/Some weaknesses; 1=Poor.
Research Objectives and Relevance
Research Strategy and Programme
Outputs and potential impact
Research Team and Collaboration with Other Institutions* Capacity to produce research results in English
Value for money Index: C+D+E
*academic, government, international or civil society
Evaluation Score Sheet
Negotiations will take place between the China Institute for South-South Cooperation in Agriculture(CISSCA) at China Agricultural University (CAU)and successful applicants to pass on any guidance suggested by the CIDRN Independent Advisory Committee, and to confirm the proposed methodology, work plan, organisation and staffing, and finalisation of specific contract terms.
9. Award of Contract
After completing negotiations and with approval from the CIDRN Strategic Oversight Committee, CISSCA will award contracts to the selected applicants.
Selected applicants are expected to begin the assignment on the date specified in the contract.
10. Confidentiality and other related issues
Information related to evaluation of proposals and recommendations concerning awards shall not be disclosed to other applicants who submit the proposals or to other persons not officially concerned with the process, until the publication of the award of Contract.
During the evaluation process, applicants shall not disclose any information related to the application process to agencies and persons not officially concerned with the process.
DFID anti-corruption and anti-fraud provisions shall be observed. Due Diligence Assessment is required before the first payment is made to the research institutions.