Call for Impact Research Proposals on Local Democracy

ICLD invites researchers to submit their application for research aiming to connect research and practice in order to improve equity, participation, accountability and transparency through the design and application of a pilot project and producing of written research material. 

The research proposal

The proposed project should: 

  • Address one problem discussed in the Local Democracy Labs held on June 8th, 2022 (see the themes and localities in the list below). 
  • Collect data that can help the local government to better understand their problem (surveys, interviews, citizens cards, photo voice, etc). 
  • Use a participatory and innovative approach to co-create and propose a small-scale intervention that can help to solve the problem (together with the local government officials and affected citizens). The proposed solution should be small in scale and feasible to pilot during the time of the research project. 
  • Document the impact of the proposed intervention: The researchers should collect data that measures the impact of the pilot project (in terms of increased ability of citizens to influence the local government decisions) and reflect on lessons learned and replicability in other contexts.  

Prioritised themes: 

  • Child and youth inclusion: Muranga (Kenya), Chobe (Botswana), Livingston (Zambia), Kinondoni (Tanzania), Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) 
  • Using participatory budget to include marginalised groups: Jinja (Uganda)  
  • Reducing barriers in women’s engagement in political leadership and decision-making positions: Ngara (Tanzania). 
  • Monitoring on the implementation of the SDGs: Kajiado (Kenya) 
  • Enabling a democratic dialogue between different political parties: JB Marks (South Africa)  
  • Using digital tools to improve service delivery: Pemba (Zambia) 
  • Tactical urbanism to improve public spaces: Vushtrri (Kosovo) 
  • Participatory Action Research and Citizen engagement to reduce, recycle and reuse waste in Muranga (Kenya) 

Who can apply?

Applications are open to researchers with  a deep knowledge within the field of development and democracy. The main applicant must be affiliated with a research institution or an accredited university or college.

The research team should have a gender balance and preferably include researchers based in one of the countries being studied.

How much can you apply for?

Researchers can apply for two types of grants: 70.000 SEK for interventions in one city and 150.000 for interventions in 2 cities.  

Important dates

Application deadline: 15th of August 2022
Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a Zoom interview by the end of September, 2022.
The study must be completed by 1st of December, 2022.

How to apply

Applications should be made using the following link:
and attach:

  • A Research Proposal Form (4000 words), including problem description, literature review, proposed intervention, methods to document the impact of the intervention, involvement of local government and citizens
  • Budget and timeline
  • CV of the researchers  
  • Letter of support from the organisation that will receive the funds 

Terms of Reference
Research Proposal Form

Deliverables:  At the end of the project, researchers should submit three outputs. 

  1. The project is expected to produce a research brief describing the problem, intervention and key lessons learnt.  
  2. A comprehensive research report describing the problem, the data collected and analysing the impact of the research.  
  3. A financial report of how the funds were used. The financial report should be signed by an accredited auditor. ICLD can only sign a research contract with a university or organisation (NGO), but not with private persons.   

The ICLD is looking forward to your application!

See our previous and ongoing research projects.