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Global Development Awards Competition 2020

Video teaser prepared for the final online presentation to Jury in December 2020.

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition 2020. This year, three winning projects on the topic, 'Unpacking the health-environment-economic wellbeing nexus' competed for grants worth US$ 45,000. Finalists were invited to join a communications training in preparation of a pitch of their project in front of a high-level Jury, which then decided which research proposal to award. The awards were given to the researcher(s) whose proposals hold the greatest promise for improving our understanding of development issues and puts forth clear, articulate and well-researched policy implications to address relevant development problems.

Members of the 2020 ORD Jury

  • Akio Takahara, Director, JICA Ogata Research Institute for Peace and Development, Japan
  • Jane Mariara, Executive Director, Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Kenya & Professor of Economics at the University of Nairobi
  • Habibul Khondker, Professor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences & Professor of social sciences at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE & a scholar of globalization studies

1st prize winner | Kok Sin Woon, Malaysia

Project: Development of a Multi-Objective Life Cycle Eco-Efficiency Optimization Model for Formulating a Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management Policy Framework

Institution: Xiamen University, Malaysia

2nd prize winner | D.V. Pahan Prasada, Sri Lanka

Project: Balancing a triple threat: divers’ health, collapse of fishery and the vulnerability of livelihoods in the artisanal sea cucumber fishery in Sri Lanka

Institution: University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

3rd prize winner | Chukwuemeka Onyimadu, Nigeria

Project: Impact of Climate Change Adaptation Strategies on Livelihood and Multidimensional Poverty among Women Farmers in Nigeria

Institution: National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Nigeria

Prizes and support

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$ 10,000 and US$ 5,000 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 to the winners.

In light of global travel restrictions, the selection was conducted online. Note that a physical Award ceremony may be held in 2021, if conditions allow it, but projects are expected to start on 15 Jan 2021. 

Here is the process that was followed for the competition

  • July 2020 | The public call was launched online, the last date for submission of applications was 30 September 2020 (Indian Standard Time 6:00 PM)
  • October 2020 | Announcement of Eligibility screening results 
  • October 2020 | Announcement of First Level review results (shortlisted applications) and comments from reviewers 
  • November 2020 | Resubmission of updated application for shortlisted applications 
  • December 2020 | Announcement of Second Level review results (finalists) and comments from reviewers
  • December 2020 | Resubmission of updated application of the finalists
  • 7-11 December 2020 | Online Communications training: 7-11 December 2020
  • 18 December 2020 | Jury presentation: This was a live, public event, 'Global Development Awards Competition 2020 - Outstanding Research on Development Finalists Presentation' on (See recording)
  • 20 December 2020 | Announcement of winners

More about the Award

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition 2020. The Awards Competition is administered by GDN and supported by the Ministry of Finance, Government of Japan. This award program identifies and funds outstanding research proposals in low-income or middle-income countries with high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues.

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-income or middle-income countries have participated in the competition and more than 200 awards have been conferred till date.

Call Video | Call for Proposals (competition guidelines, eligibility and review criteria, application procedure, selection process and a detailed description of the theme) | Application Template  | FAQs | Call for Reviewers | Call for a Communications Training Consultant | 

If you have a grievance regarding the implementation of this project or towards its future impacts, send an email to, with a copy to or check for further instructions.