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Global Development Awards Competition 2019

Historical awards photo, Berlin 2019. Image: Neil Baynes/GDN.

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development is a competitive research grant program under the Global Development Awards Competition 2019. The Awards Competition is administered by GDN, funded under the Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD) trust fund managed by the World Bank and generously supported by the Government of Japan. This award program identifies and funds outstanding research proposals in developing and transition countries with high potential for excellence in research and clear policy implications for addressing development issues. The program provides grants under two main categories: The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development and the Japanese Award for Most Innovative Development Project. 

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 developing countries and transition countries have participated in the competition and more than 200 awards have been conferred till date. Learn more about the Global Development Awards Competition.

The Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development 2019

The main theme of the Japanese Award for Outstanding Research on Development 2019 was ‘Doing research in developing countries: the role of non-academic actors, new communication platforms and leadership in social sciences.' Research proposals for the Award were considered in the following three sub-themes:

  1. Understanding and measuring the role of non-academic researchers in development
  2. The role of social media in the production, diffusion, and uptake of development research in developing countries
  3. The role of research leadership in advancing evidence-informed debate in developing countries

The three winning projects received grants worth US$ 45,000. The first prize winner received a grant of US$ 30,000. The second prize and third prize winners received a grant of US$ 10,000 and US$ 5,000 respectively. The funds were used to support the research work proposed by the winners towards the completion of their research. Finalists were invited to travel and present their proposals at the 19th Global Development Conference 'Knowledge for Sustainable Development: the Research–Policy Nexus' held in Bonn (Germany), 23 to 25 October 2019. Travel and expenses for one representative from each three short-listed proposals were covered by GDN. The awards were given to the organization(s) / researcher(s) whose proposals focused on any of the three research sub-themes, with one finalist per sub-theme. Winning entries held the greatest promise for improving our understanding of development issues and put forth clear, articulate and well researched policy implications to address relevant development problems.

The call for proposals received 102 applications from 32 different countries, about 31% of which were from researchers from low-income countries. The three awards were given to:

  • First Prize: Emmanuel Yujuico, The Philippines | Exploring Philippine use of evidence-based research to influence public health policy
  • Second Prize: Saravana Jaikumar, India | Effective use of social media to produce, disseminate and enhance uptake of developmental research: A multi-method study
  • Third Prize: Ruhizal Roosli, Malaysia | The role of practitioners in web-based communication for post-disaster reconstruction projects in southeast Asia

Learn more about the conference | Review the full call for proposals comprising of the competition guidelines, eligibility and review criteria, application procedure, selection process and a detailed description of the subthemes | Review the FAQs | See film.