IDRC and GPE - Call for proposals: Strengthening education systems with proven innovations in developing contexts


The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) have formed a joint endeavour Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), to strengthen national education systems and accelerate educational progress in the Global South. 


Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX), Technology and Innovation Program

For More Information

More information regarding this opportunity can be found at the following links:

The following IDRC Policy guidelines should also be reviewed by interested applicants:

Webinars have been scheduled to provide additional information

  • August 14, 2019, Series 1: 
    • English, 9:00 am EDT
    • French, 11:00 am EDT
  • September 9, 2019, Series 2:
    • English, 9:00 am EDT
    • French, 11:00 am EDT

Questions must be submitted in advance; the question submission deadline for the first webinar is August 9, and for the second webinar is September 4. To attend the webinar, please register for the first webinar by 4:00 pm EDT on August 13. Only those who register will receive access to the webinar platform. Registration for the second webinar will open on August 14, using the same link, and will close on September 8, 4:00 pm EDT. Please note that those who are registered for the first webinar will automatically be invited to the second webinar.


The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and IDRC invite proposals for KIX Global Grants from individual organizations or groups of organizations for multi-region, multi-country projects that aim to develop, test, and apply ways to scale innovations that address key education issues. KIX will fill knowledge gaps, increase access to evidence, and strengthen systems to support the generation and uptake of evidence and innovations in GPE member countries. KIX supports knowledge exchange across countries, and funds projects at global and regional levels, with a particular focus on deepening knowledge on how to scale proven approaches to address pressing issues in developing country education systems.

Projects must respond to the question: How can existing evidence-based and contextually relevant innovations that have a demonstrated impact be adapted and scaled to improve education access and quality within GPE member countries?

The projects funded under these grants will:  

  • generate knowledge and evidence to support the adaptation of proven innovations to address key education priorities in GPE member countries(see Appendix A); and
  • mobilize research and knowledge to support the scaling of these proven innovations.

Projects funded through this global call must be multi-regional, involving at least three GPE member countries (see Appendix A) in at least two regions and focus on one or more of the following six thematic areas:

  • teaching and learning;
  • early childhood care and education;
  • equity and inclusion;
  • gender equality;
  • data systems; and
  • learning assessment systems.

Proposals should outline processes to establish fair and equitable partnerships with relevant local stakeholders, involving them as appropriate throughout the project, respecting their knowledge and expertise, and taking an adaptive approach that is responsive to the local context.


This call is open to individual organizations or groups of up to four organizations working in a consortium that have  a substantial record of conducting education research in developing contexts.  Mixed teams—consisting of researchers, tool developers, private sector, policy and development organizations—are encouraged to apply.  The grants will support projects that aim to develop, test, and apply ways to scale innovations that address issues raised in KIX’s six discussion papers on teaching and learning, early childhood care and education, equity and inclusion, gender equality, data systems, and learning assessment systems. Proposals addressing more than one thematic area are encouraged.

The following groups are NOT eligible:

  •  Individuals.
  • Government ministries and agencies are not eligible for funding but can be involved in projects.
  • For-profit providers of core education services.

Starting with the priorities identified in the discussion papers, KIX invites proposals to respond to this overall question:

How can existing evidence-based and contextually relevant innovations that have a demonstrated impact be adapted and scaled to improve education access and quality within GPE member countries?

The following sub-questions are suggested to guide the exploration of the overall question:

  1. What innovations can be adapted or improved to address challenges identified across the chosen thematic area(s)?
  2. What are effective approaches to adapting, scaling, and implementing these innovations in GPE member countries?
  3. What factors incentivize, impede, and enable the implementation of these innovations in GPE member countries?

Proposals deemed high quality by this call’s Independent Assessment Panel but not approved for funding may be retained for an additional 12 months, based on applicant permissions, in the event that additional funds become available.

Funding Availability

KIX will allocate CAD 16.2 million through this call.

Maximum Project Value

Successful proposals will be funded CA$1,350,000 – $2,700,000 (US$1,000,000 – $2,000,000) per grant.  Between 6 and 12 projects will be funded through this call.

Indirect Costs

IDRC will allow indirect costs up to 13% of all recipient-administered costs.

Project Duration

Projects can be up to 42 months in duration.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applicants should submit their signed OR-5 form and full application package to

Proposals selected for funding will receive feedback from IAP and IDRC and requested to make amendments if necessary on November 20, 2019.

External Deadline

Applicants should submit their completed application package directly, along with any required supporting documents on the KIX portal

How to Apply

All applications should be submitted in English or French, using the online IDRC application. The components of the online application form are outlined below. The online application will ask applicants to provide:

  • the project title
  • thematic area(s)
  • countries and regions of focus
  • project summary
  • contact information of the project leader and co-applicants (if applicable)
  • the rationale for the consortium (if applicable)

Additional supporting documents will need to be uploaded to the portal:

For Questions, please contact

For more information, please contact

Office of Research

Carolyn Dowling-Osborn, Senior Manager, Grants & Contracts
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52935

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