DFID’s Research and Evidence Division (RED) is considering changing the way that they commission research through competition.
They are developing a Business Case to create a more rapid, responsive commissioning mechanism for DFID’s ‘mission driven’ research. This includes scoping a new, external Commissioning Centre (CC – working title only) to run research grant competitions. This mechanism could succeed DFID’s research contract procurement that currently accounts for between 20-30% of DFID’s annual research budget. It could include research in any thematic area in development research (DFID’s existing research teams are Governance, Conflict, Inclusion and Humanitarian; Health; Agriculture; Growth; Education; Climate, Energy and Water). The new mechanism would not affect other research partnerships such as live research contracts, and the multi-donor funded global mechanisms that we are part of.
The CC model would award research grants. This will aim to make DFID’s calls faster, more efficient, and more responsive to DFID’s development priorities. It will align DFID with the Treasury-approved norms underpinning UK public funded research. They are considering additional functions for the CC such as a communication platform for DFID research, supporting thought leadership and getting new research into use.
In designing the CC they are interested in engaging with organisations and groups of organisations that have proven experience in designing and managing research grant competitions in ODA funded research, and at scale, with leading academic experts to help shape research calls and oversee thematic research programmes. This includes Universities and groups of Universities, and both private and not-for-profit organisations. We will consider working with existing mechanisms.
DFID is hosting a pre-business case Early Market Engagement (EME) event to gather feedback on options to deliver this approach. The feedback will support the development of the business case. UK and overseas institutions are equally welcome to join this event. They will take steps to encourage participation of South-based organisations and to mitigate the tendency to engage more with those are able to attend in person.
At the event, DFID will present an outline of the approach and hold a discussion on a set of key questions:
- What implementation model(s) would work best to achieve this vision?
- What is the existing technical capability, as well as capability gaps, in the research environment?
- What do you see as the main risks and challenges to deliver this vision?
Parties interested in attending the EME event or requiring any other information must register interest via the DFID Supplier Portal, by the deadline of 18th February 2020.
Partners should then complete the Survey Monkey link, by the same deadline – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/G7F2FS3
This Survey Monkey will capture all registration details and therefore must be completed to ensure registration.
Confirmation emails will be sent out after the deadline date.