2022 Global Development Awards Competition for Researchers and Development Practitioners

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Last Updated on September 9, 2022

The 2022 edition of the Global Development Awards Competition is now open to applications. It is one of the largest international competitions for research on development, open to researchers and to development practitioners from nonprofit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Civil Society Organizations (COs) headquartered in low- or middle-income countries. The emphasis is on supporting promising young talent in the field of development research, and rewarding innovative development projects capable of significantly impacting the local communities in the developing world.

The Global Development Awards Competition is an innovative award scheme administered by the Global Development Network (GDN), funded under the Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD), managed by the World Bank, and generously supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan.

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 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.


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Award Categories

GDN provides grants through its awards competition under two main categories: 

  • The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD): 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 in low and middle-income countries (as defined by the World Bank).
  • The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP): A competitive grant program that supports non-profit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in low or lower-middle-income countries (as defined by the World Bank) to recognize the innovative approach of their projects.

Prices and Benefits

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD):

  • The three winning projects will receive grants worth US$ 60,000. The funds will be used to support the research work proposed by the winners towards the completion of their research.
    • The first prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 30,000.
    • The second prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 20,000.
    • The third prize winner will receive a grant of US$ 10,000.
  • 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.
  • Finalists will be invited to join a communications training in preparation of a pitch of their project in front of a high-level Jury, which will decide which research proposal to award, at a physical event in March/April 2023 (details to be defined) and projects are expected to start in May 2023. In case social distancing policies do not make travelling possible, the event will be held in a virtual setting.

The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP):

  • The three winning projects will receive grants worth US$ 125,000. The awards will be given to organizations whose projects embody an innovative approach to an important development need and hold the greatest promise for:
    • responding directly to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, underserved groups to improve their lives aiming at rapid results for improved livelihood;
    • supporting initiatives that lead to developing sustainable outcomes through the scaling-up of the project.
  • The two first prize winners under each theme will receive a grant of US$ 50,000 each. 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.
  • The second prize will receive a grant of US$ 20,000.
  • Additionally, awardees will be paired with a Technical Advisor throughout the entire implementation of the grant.

Finalists in both categories receive training in communicating research and development, prior to their presentations at the conference. They are expected to be available for the physical event.


  • The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development (ORD):
    • Open only to researchers from the countries listed below with the requirement that they need to be also their citizens and residents and the project to be implemented in one of the listed countries.
    • Citizens of eligible countries currently residing in a non-eligible country are also eligible to apply only if they have been living in the non-eligible country for no more than five years as of 1 January 2023.
    • The upper age limit for all applicants is 45 years by the end of 2022. Individuals above 45 years of age as of 1 January 2023 are not eligible to apply.
    • Past ORD winners and finalists are not eligible to apply with the same or similar research proposal. Additionally, winners are not eligible to apply for a period of three years subsequent to the end of their agreement with GDN.
  • The Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project (MIDP):
    • Open to non-profit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (COs) from the list of above to submit applications on projects currently at the stage of implementation.
    • Projects must have started its implementation on 1 June 2021 or before to be considered eligible.
    • Additionally, NGOs/SOs applying for the MIDP category must be eligible to receive funds from abroad according to the national legal framework (e. g. in India, the NGO/SO must be FCRA compliant).
    • Applicants from previous years (except winners) may re-apply, but they must update the application to include new aspects of the project. Previous MIDP winners are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants may submit only one proposal
  • GDN strongly encourages female researchers to engage and apply

Eligible countries

Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; American Samoa; Angola; Argentina; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belize; Benin; Bhutan; Bolivia; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Brazil; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; China; Comoros; Colombia; Costa Rica; Congo, Dem. Rep; Congo, Rep.; Côte d’Ivoire; Cuba; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Eritrea; Eswatini; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Fiji; Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Grenada; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Kenya; Kiribati; Korea, Dem. People’s Rep; Jamaica; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kosovo; Kyrgyz Republic; Lao; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Malawi; Maldives; Mali; Marshall Islands; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mexico; Micronesia; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nepal; Namibia; Nicaragua; Niger; Nigeria; North Macedonia; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Romania; Russian Federation; Rwanda; Samoa; São Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sri Lanka; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Sudan; Suriname; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzani; Timor-Leste; Thailand; Togo; Tonga; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Tuvalu; Uganda; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Vanuatu; Vietnam; West Bank and Gaza; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe


Click here to apply.

For more information, visit GDAC.

Deadline: November 14, 2022

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