Deadline: 12 November 2019
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Digital research and innovation for development promotes the use of digital technologies as a democratised and decentralised means to approach development challenges, including openings to:
- Improve health and education;
- Stimulate economic and fiscal growth;
- Increase inclusion for marginalised groups;
- Provide better transparency and tools to hold governments and other institutions to account;
- Offer new and novel ways to improve quality of life
The seed fund Networks are intended to facilitate the development of interdisciplinary, international communities working within the three thematic areas of the call. These Networks will catalyse the development of large-scale proposals to be submitted for the second round of DIDA funding that will meet the following strategic goals in the three thematic areas:
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- Answer fundamental research questions, with clearly defined pathways to impact, that arise from the rapidly evolving spaces in which digital technology is colliding with sustainable development goals.
- Design or develop digital solutions to locally identified development challenges that can result in meaningful and scalable impact within African contexts.
- Build and/or strengthen capacity in Digital Research and Innovation within the African continent.
- Develop new networks and new models of mentorship and partnership for digital research and innovation between Africa and the UK, in a development context.
The initial seed fund Networks will enable and facilitate the co-development and co-design of a programme which can then go on to undertake projects aligned with self-identified digital for development challenges within the thematic areas outlined.
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This call will support seed funding for Networks working within the following thematic areas:
- Digital Rights
- the impact of disruptive technology on human rights, working conditions, legal protections, and the amplification of existing inequalities
- the use of digital technology to enhance participation and access for women and minority groups
- improving access to and the quality of government services (taxation, voting, justice, visas, healthcare, etc.)
- digital documentation, data vaulting and digital security of official documents (e.g. passports, birth certificates)
- improving participation in civil life and access to justice and democratic institutions
- Smart Communities
- monitoring and management of terrestrial and coastal environmental services
- monitoring and management of pollution (e.g. green house gases, waste, plastic, air), including hazard forecasting and early-warning systems
- inclusive circular economies, recycling and the management of industrial and municipal waste in urban environments
- access, management and monitoring of drinking water and sanitation in rural and urban settings
- urban traffic management and vehicle pollution
- Digital Health
- availability, access and management of patient information and health communications
- reporting, monitoring and controlling the spread of infectious disease
- managing healthcare for remote communities: telemedicine, access to diagnostic medicine, monitoring health, and effective distribution of medicines for remote and/or isolated communities
In recognising the use of digital technologies as a contemporary approach to address development challenges, DIDA awards will focus on the impact and/or application of digital solutions to the immediate challenges faced by the most vulnerable in Africa based around the identified themes above. The seed fund DIDA Networks should be multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary. They should also aim to facilitate the development of partnerships between researchers, industry, NGOs, policymakers and practitioners.
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- At stage one of the call UKRI expects to make 15-20 awards of between £100,000 – £150,000 over 12 months to seed fund Networks.
- At stage two, Networks awarded in stage one will be invited to bid into a second call in 2020 with up to £19M available across six to eight projects over 3 years.
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- For the first stage call, the seed fund Network must be led by a Network Leader (Principal Investigator (PI)) based in a UK Research Organisation (RO) eligible to receive funding from UKRI, or, based in an equivalent eligible Research Organisation in an African country. The lead organisation will be responsible for the overall management of the grant including control, disbursement and assurance of funds.
- An applicant (PI) may only lead on one application. The main thematic area being addressed must be highlighted in the proposal. They envisage that the proposal may bridge more than one of the thematic areas, however the applicant must still indicate in the case for support which of the three is the most relevant to the proposal.
- Network co-leaders (co-investigators) may be based anywhere in the world, however, there must be at least one African and one UK investigator listed on the submission.
- Further project partners may be based anywhere in the world, however, an organisation should only be named as a project partner if it is providing specific contributions (either direct or indirect) to the Network. Named partners should confirm these contributions in a letter-headed letter of support.
- Proposals may be submitted by individuals who are not already established members of the proposed host institution. In these circumstances, however, the RO should note the standard terms and condition of grant in that they are wholly responsible for the staff funded from the Grant, including Research Fellows, and accept all duties owed to and responsibilities for these staff, including, without limitation, their terms and conditions of employment, and their training and supervision, arising from the employer/employee relationship.
How to Apply
Interested applicants can apply via given website.
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For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2m2wCxF