Request for Proposals: Supporting Development Policies towards Sustainable Livelihoods, Industrialization and Resource Mobilization in Tanzania

Deadline: 31 July 2019

The United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development, known as the UONGOZI Institute (UI), are implementing a collaborative research project with an aim to development and implementation of policies towards economic transformation and sustainable development in Tanzania and the East African region.

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The project focuses more broadly on promoting sustainable development in Tanzania, the research to be undertaken through this request for proposals is aimed at enhancing the understanding of the dynamics, challenges and opportunities in relation to sustainable livelihoods, industrialization, and resource mobilization in Tanzania.

Themes and Focus Areas

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  • Sustainable livelihoods: Like most countries in Africa, Tanzania has a diverse, complex and growing informal sector, which is a key source of livelihood to low-income and vulnerable groups of the population, particularly in urban and rural areas. However, the sustainability of most economic activities remains a challenge due to various constraints — such as access to credit, markets, integration into the formal sector, and viable financing options, among others. Focusing on:
    • Challenges and opportunities in formalization of informal business activities
    • Viability and sustainability of street vending in Tanzania
    • Constraints and enablers to growth of female-owned businesses
    • Opportunities and challenges of small-scale farming
    • Promoting artisanal and small-scale mining as a business
    • Enhancing market access and the safety of women traders in Tanzania
  • Industrialization: There has been renewed interest on the need for industrialization, not only in Tanzania but generally across Africa. Tanzania’s vision is to become semi-industrialized country by 2025. However, the growing literature on industrialization shows that key drivers such as firm-level productivity, domestic capabilities and export competitiveness remain a challenge. This calls for exploring the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and export competitiveness in promoting industrialization. Focusing on:
    • Firm productivity and industrial growth
    • Factors behind the low transition of firms from self-employed to employer status
    • Alternative industrialization strategies besides manufacturing
    • Avenues for innovative energy sources to promote sustainable industrialization in Tanzania
    • Constraints to competitiveness of manufacturing exports
    • Impact of a single custom territory in the East African Community (EAC) on Tanzanian exports
  • Domestic resource mobilization: Domestic resource mobilization has recently received growing attention as a key to sustainable development, particularly in view of the current global challenges and dwindling foreign aid. Mobilization of domestic revenue is critical for meeting the growing developmental needs of the dynamic Tanzanian economy and reducing the economy’s vulnerability to external shocks. Some of the challenges the country is facing include a narrow tax base, tax evasion, a large informal sector, and the fast-growing but complex Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and extractive sectors. Focusing on:
    • Informality and tax compliance in Tanzania
    • Opportunities and challenges of widening the tax base and resource mobilization in the emerging and fast-growing sectors such as ICT, real estate, and extractives
    • Gender implications of the current tax system

Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposals from individuals (or groups of individuals) as well as non-profit organizations are welcome. Applications from suitably qualified women and developing country researchers are particularly encouraged.
  • Individual researchers will be issued Consultant Contracts (CTC), while non-profit organizations will be issued an Institutional Contractual Agreement (ICA) by UNU-WIDER.
  • Based on the qualifications of the lead researcher and an assessment of the research proposal, a total research honorarium in the range of US$6,000-10,000 for an accepted proposal will be paid for a working paper of a maximum 10,000 words, including a 1-2-page brief of the main research findings.
  • The deliverables must be deemed satisfactory by the project focal points before payment is made. The final papers will be featured on the project website and considered for publication as WIDER and UI working papers under the collaborative project.

All Successful Applicants will be Expected to:

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  • Produce a relevant research paper of sufficient quality to merit publication in the project working paper series
  • Produce 1-2 pages summary of the main research findings
  • Attend (one author per paper) a workshop in 2020 (date and venue TBC) where the work-in-progress will be presented to other researchers and selected experts. Costs of attending this workshop will be borne by UNUWIDER in accordance with United Nations University travel policy.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Proposals will be scored using the following criteria:
    • technical merit (35 points);
    • technical capabilities of the researchers (30 points);
    • policy relevance (35 points).
  • Based on this assessment, a pool of suitable proposals will be determined. From this pool, a decision panel will select the proposals to be accepted. The decision panel will consider additional criteria such as coverage of relevant topics.
  • A maximum number of two proposals per researcher may be received, and only one contract per individual researcher may be awarded.
  • All proposals should be submitted in English.
  • Only the final decision on whether to accept the proposal or not will be communicated to applying researchers.

How to Apply

Interested applicants can apply via given website.

For more information, please visit

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