Background and introduction
Research is a key pathway for development innovation and to inform policymaking and program delivery. Investments in research facilitate access to diverse partnerships and networks, contributing to Australia’s aid policy and wider diplomatic engagement in partner countries. Providing access to high quality research and analysis that addresses key water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector gaps assists partner governments, private sector and civil society to improve access to these essential services.
Objectives and priority themes
The WASH Research Awards aim to contribute to the goal of ‘Improved health, gender equality and well-being of Asian and Pacific communities through inclusive, sustainable WASH.’’
The WRAs will support that goal by contributing to the Water for Women’s fourth end-of-program outcome:
a. Strengthened use of new evidence, innovation and practice in sustainable gender and inclusive WASH by other CSOs, national and international WASH sector actors
This key outcome in turn is supported by the Fund’s intermediate outcome of:
b. Documentation and sharing of gender and socially inclusive evidence and effective practices with other CSOs, national and international sector actors
The three key strategies that will support these outcomes include:
c. Quality research engagement, partnerships and networks
d. Quality research capacity building
e. Quality research management, processes and outputs.
Priority themes and proposal types
The WASH Research Awards will grant funding for research under the following five priority themes (examples are indicative only):
a. Gender and social inclusion and WASH (for example: including areas of intersection such as menstrual hygiene; women’s leadership or women’s economic empowerment in relation to WASH; violence and safety and WASH; disability and WASH; maternal health; and health facilities or a wide range of other topics)
b. Safely managed water and safely managed sanitation and hygiene (both urban and rural contexts) (for example: including beyond Open Defecation Free (ODF); progression to safely managed drinking water supply; innovations in technology and processes to achieve safe standards; and effectiveness of, and innovation in hygiene behaviour approaches.)
c. Achieving SDG6 – integration of water resources management (WRM) and WASH, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and WASH, climate change adaptation (CCA) and WASH and water security (for example: including vulnerability and resilience; water scarcity; water allocation and decisionmaking; risk-based approaches; and climate preparedness)
d. Strengthening sector systems (for example: planning; monitoring; governance coordination; financing; service delivery models; sustainability outcomes including through longitudinal research; political economy; and government, private sector and community roles at national and subnational levels)
e. Cross-sectoral WASH and its impacts: particularly health, nutrition, food security and education (for example: health and non-health impacts of WASH; links and synergies between WASH and nutrition; and links between menstrual hygiene and school absenteeism).
Two types of proposals will be sought under the WfW Fund:
a. WASH sector research addressing key knowledge gaps (Type 1 award);
b. Research closely linked to CSO implementation and outcomes of the WfW
Fund (Type 2 award).
Applications must meet each of the following eligibility criteria:
a. Applications must be submitted by research organisations or institutions (and not by individual researchers);
b. The Principal Investigator must nominate an organisation with which he/she is affiliated to administer the grant and provide support;
c. The Funding Round is open to all Australian and international not-for-profit institutions or organisations where research is a core component of the organisation’s mandate and where the organisation has demonstrated capacity to carry out quality research and manage grant funds according to DFAT’s policies;
d. The administering organisation must have access to a recognised Ethics
e. Project teams, administering organisations and partners funded by DFAT must demonstrate that they are ethically sound and, where applicable, seek ethics approval from their nominated administering organisation. Ethics approval requirements in the research project target location (country/countries) must be taken into consideration and met;
f. Demonstrated alignment with one or more of the five priority themes (see preceding section 2.2 and Attachment C).
Organisations submitting applications must not have any reason preventing them from operating in Australia, Asia and the Pacific.
Consortia are eligible and must have a clearly identified lead organisation.
Consortium applications must be accompanied by a separate letter from each partner providing information about itself, noting the relationship between the
Lead Organisation and partner organisation(s) and expressing the intent to collaborate.
The Lead Organisation in a consortium will be accountable for all funds. The Grant Agreement shall be signed with the Lead Organisation, and the Lead Organisation is responsible to the Fund Coordinator on behalf of DFAT for the performance of the consortium under the Grant Agreement to achieve the objectives as required.
Organisations may be involved in several consortia and proposals.
The Fund Coordinator, in consultation with DFAT, reserves the right to reassess any proposal if, following submission, the membership of the successful consortium proposal changes, including the withdrawal of consortium member(s).
Applicants may apply for between AUD100,000 and AUD400,000 per year of Australian Government funding for up to three years at differentiated levels of funding over the course of the research project.
Closing Time (Proposal submission deadline) 17:00 (Canberra time), 27 Feb 2018
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