RFA: Learning Agenda Questions III - Synthesizing Evidence for International Development on Key Questions in the DRG Sector


IIE, on behalf of USAID’s Center of Excellence in Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center), invites applications from research institutions to support USAID in answering a research question that is integral to how USAID designs programs in the DRG sector.

Each applicant will present its research scholars, who may work either alone or in teams. PhD students who have passed their qualifying exams are eligible to work on the research teams. The successful applicant, in close collaboration with USAID, will produce a multi-disciplinary analytical literature review that provides an overview, assessment, and synthesis of the empirical research relevant to its selected research question. The questions, which are further elaborated in the RFA, are in the following areas:

  • The effects of e-governance programs on government performance and public confidence
  • The implications of creating separate justice sector institutions that address gender-based violence

Each applicant will apply for a single grant, to be awarded to and administered by the applying institution. Grants issued under this RFA will be awarded and managed by IIE. The complete RFA, with attachments, is posted below.

Deadline to submit applications: January 28, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST

Submission: Electronic, to https://goo.gl/ThLSnD

Deadline for questions: January 3, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST. Questions should be submitted to dem.grants@iie.org; IIE will post questions (without attribution) and answers on this page. Applicants should check the DFG website regularly, as no notice of postings will be issued.

Maximum grant size: Up to $50,000.

Grant period: 6 months

Learning Agenda Questions III RFA

Learning Agenda Questions III RFA (737 KB, PDF)

Application Templates

Template 1 - Working Group Information (13 KB, XLSX)
Template 2 - Annex 1: Branding Strategy and Marking Plan (113 KB, DOCX)
Template 3 - Annex 2: Certifications, Assurances, and Other Statements of the Recipient (265 KB, PDF)
Template 4 - Annex 3: Past Performance References (34 KB, DOCX)
Template 5 - EEO Survey (optional) (25 KB, DOCX)
Template 6 - Budget (43 KB, XLSX)


Q1. Can the project focus on only one specific country that could serve as a model for other similar countries?

A. Technical applications will be scored according to the diversity of regional expertise represented by proposed personnel. IIE recommends that applications show regional diversity and not focus exclusively on one country.

Q2. Can the team of scholars include 4 scholars:  the PI from US, another US scholar, a PhD candidate, and a scholar from a country of the focus of research?

A. The RFA states no limit on the size of the research team. As stated in the RFA, we recommend that any additional member(s) of the research team represent different disciplinary background(s) than the PI. In addition, PhD students who have passed their qualifying exams in a closely related subject are eligible to be on the team. Please note that increasing the size of the team does not change the award ceiling, which is $50,000.

Q3. Do I correctly understand that the two posted questions are separated and each grant application need to focus on one of the questions, either E-governance or gender-based violence?

A. Yes, each grant application needs to answer one of the two research questions listed in the RFA.

Q4. Is the use of grant funds to buy off time from teaching (to pay adjunct to teach a course) a legitimate expense if the free time is used to conduct the IIE research?

A. Applicants may budget for a course buyout for a team member to work on this project. Please remember that applicants must show back up documentation to justify labor costs.

During the RFA period, answers to questions sent to dem.grants@iie.org will be posted here without attribution.