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GDN 2023 Global Development Awards Competition

The Global Development Awards Competition is an innovative award scheme launched by the Global Development Network (GDN) with the generous support from the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan.

The awards recognize excellence in policy-oriented research, supports research capacity development of researchers in low and middle income countries and funds innovative social development projects benefiting marginalized groups in the developing world. The annual competition has a new, relevant theme every year.

Since its inception in 2000, GDN has awarded roughly US$ 4 million in research and project grants to finalists and winners. Nearly 8,800 researchers and development practitioners from low- and middle-income countries and transition countries have participated in the competition and more than 200 awards have been conferred till date.

The theme of the 2023 edition is ‘Nexus of Education, Development and Human Security’ and will feature two categories:

  • The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development: The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD) is a competitive research grant program that identifies and funds outstanding research proposals that have a high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues. Applicants receive expert feedback from junior and later senior researchers. Additionally, throughout the implementation of their projects, the research teams are supported by a Scientific and Technical Advisor, who is selected based on the theme of their research.
  • The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project: The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP) is a competitive grant program that supports Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in low- or lower-income countries to recognize the innovative approach of their projects.

GDN Global Development Awards Competition

Application DeadlineSeptember 28, 2023
TypeCollege School
SponsorGlobal Development Network (GDN)
GenderMen and Women
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Benefits of GDN Global Development Awards Competition

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development

  • 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 world-class academic in their area of work who will play the role of a Scientific and Technical Advisor.

The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project

  • The two first prize winners under each theme will receive a grant of US$ 50,000 each. The second prize will receive a grant of US$ 25,000. Additionally, awardees will be paired with a Technical Advisor throughout the entire implementation of the grant. The first prize winner is also eligible to compete under the Japan Social Development Fund for an additional grant of up to US$ 200,000 to pilot their innovative work at a larger scale.

Requirements for GDN Global Development Awards Competition

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development

  • Open only to researchers who are citizens or permanent residents of low-income or middle-income countires as classified by the World Bank. Applicants will be asked to submit proof of their citizenship and residency thrpugh documents with legal standung, at any point during the competition.
  • The upper age limit of all applicants is 45 years by the end of 2023. Individuals above 45 years of age as of January 1, 2023 are not eligible to apply.
  • The proposal should not be receiving or scheduled to receive funds from other sources to be eligible for consideration for the ORG unless it is clearly explained how the additional funds provided by the ORD would reinforce the existing funds for successful completion of the research.
  • Staff members of multilateral and bilateral organisations (The World Bank, IMF, IADB, UN agencies, UKAid, etc) are not eligible to apply.

The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project

  • Open to development projects being implemented in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Comply with the WB Environmental and Social Framework and the Environmental and Social Standards.
  • The project must be managed by a non-profit, NGO or CSO with its headquarters in one of the eligible countries.
  • Projects must have started its implementation on June 1, 2022 or before to be considered eligible. Submissions concerning a recently started project or only a project idea or a feasibility or baseline study will not be considered. Submissions for funding conferences (either in part or full) will not be considered.
  • Applicants from previous years (except winners) may re-apply, but they must update application to include new aspects of the project.
  • Previous MIDP winners are not eligible to apply.

Application Deadline

September 28, 2023

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Global Development Network (GDN) on gdn.eu-1.smartsimple.eu to apply

For more details,visit GDN website


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