IDRC: Boosting decent employment for Africa's youth


International Development Research Centre (IDRC) along with INCLUDE and International Labour Organization (ILO)


Employment and Growth Program: Inclusive Economies - Boosting decent employment in Africa's youth

For More Information

Full Call for Concept Notes


IDRC, INCLUDE, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) seek concept notes for action-oriented research aimed at informing the design of effective and innovative interventions that boost decent employment for Africa’s youth.

Nested within the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, this call is part of a series planned for the next two years to help governments, civil society, and private sector actors design effective and innovative interventions that boost economic opportunities for youth in sub-Saharan Africa.

This initiative will support cutting-edge research projects that address either one of the following priority research themes:

  • Soft skills and digital jobs for youth; and  

  • Effective approaches to foster work-based learning programs and mentorship.

Concept notes under each theme must address gender constraints that hold young women back from improving their economic prospects and accessing decent work.

The call seeks concept notes that are systems-oriented; innovative; grounded in practice; engage directly with key stakeholders; and have the potential to inform action in one or more countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

For more details, please refer to the call document.


The call is open to applicants from research-focused organizations, academia, research institutions, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations around the world. However, the applicant must have a strong presence in sub-Saharan Africa or a partnership with a sub-Saharan-based institution.

Maximum Project Value

$500,000 per project

Project Duration

Projects are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2019 and should be scheduled to be completed within a timeframe of up to 24 months.


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

Internal Deadline

Please submit the complete application package along with a signed OR-5 form to

External Deadline

Applicants will submit their full application, including all attachments, directly through the FluidReview online system.

How to Apply

Applications should contain the following: 
• A completed Concept Note, to be submitted using the online application form in FluidReview.
• One (1) sample of work to demonstrate capacity to carry out rigorous research on the proposed topic, including capacity to integrate gender based analysis. 
• An estimated budget, with a cost breakdown for different budget categories and any existing in-kind support or co-funding for this project. 
• CVs of research team (each CV should not exceed 2 pages). 

For Questions, please contact

IDRC's Employment and Growth division:

Office of Research

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

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