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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



CODESRIA National Working Groups: A Call for Proposals for 2013

Deadline: 31 May, 2013

One of the most important vehicles by which CODESRIA has sought to mobilise national-level research capacities and to channel these into organised reflections has been the National Working Groups (NWGs) which has encouraged African researchers to organise autonomously on priority themes of their choice. NWGs have been supported by the Council in over forty African countries and have resulted in some of the most interesting studies on politics, economy and society in contemporary Africa. Within the framework of the CODESRIA strategic plan for the period 2012 – 2016, it has been decided to retain this vehicle as an important instrument for promoting research into and publications about different national-level experiences pertinent to the pre-occupations of African scholars active in the Social Sciences and Humanities. For this purpose, the Council invites proposals for the constitution of NWGs under the 2013 competition for the research grants that are available.

An innovation which the Council has decided to pursue within the NWG programme is the encouragement of a more systematic anchorage of the projects which it supports within specific departments, faculties, and research centres of African universities or independent and established research networks and centres, as well as the allocation of resources for the dissemination of the results of the work of the NWG to a cross-section of the local research community in the country in which the study was undertaken. All proposals submitted for consideration for support by CODESRIA within this programme have been required since 2007 to demonstrate this institutional anchorage and budget for an end-of-study dissemination workshop.

CODESRIA has also initiated since 2008 a meeting of National Working Group Coordinator. The main objectives of the meeting are to reflect on ways of improving and further developing the NWG programme, to strengthen and facilitate the work of NWGs at the national level, to enhance the quality of their outputs, and enhance their visibility both at the national and at the continental level, and to strengthen the CODESRIA identity of the groups.

There is no fixed amount for the grants that are awarded for the constitution of NWGs, although, for indicative purposes only, applicants may wish to note that in the past, awards of between USD 7,500 and USD 20,000 have been made by the Council. Also, no particular format is prescribed for the presentation of the budget of an NWG. However, it is recommended that the budget section of the proposals which are submitted should include allocations for: (i) a methodology workshop to launch the NWG; (ii) a mid-term review workshop to assess the progress of the work of the NWG; (iii) a final/dissemination workshop at which the results of the work of the group will be presented to a wider audience; (iv) the allowance that will be needed for any fieldwork that will be undertaken by the members of the group; (v) the honoraria of the members of the group; and (vi) books which might be purchased by the group and which will be lodged in the departmental or faculty library of a designated African university; or the library of an established research network or centre. Please note that the funds must be managed in a special account for the NWG.

The size of an NWG will vary from country to country but on average, most of the groups sponsored by CODESRIA in the past have had between five and seven members. It is advantageous to ensure that a proposed NWG is multidisciplinary in composition, sensitive to gender issues both in its composition and research concerns, and accommodating of younger scholars who might simultaneously benefit from being mentored through their participation in the research project.

Proposals, which could be on any topic relevant for an understanding of the economy, politics, culture, environment and society in any African country, should:

i) indicate clearly the problematic that will be addressed;
ii) should not exceed 12 pages (except for team member’s CVs); Font: Times New Roman; Size: 12; Space: simple;
iii) include a review of the relevant literature, including literature produced by the local research community on the subject;
iv) indicate the methodology which would be employed in undertaking the study;
v) spell out the composition of the Working Group;
vi) define the time frame for inauguration and finalisation of the work that would be undertaken;
vii) specify strategies for anchoring the activities of the Working Group within a department or faculty of an African university, or an African research network or centre;
viii) indicate a strategy for the dissemination of the results of the work of the Group;
ix) include an outline budget for the realisation of the research project; and
x) indicate the expected final outcome of the project.

Proposals for consideration for possible funding within the framework of the 2013 competition should be sent to CODESRIA by 31 May, 2013 at the latest. All proposals received will undergo an independent review process, the outcome of which will be announced by 31 July, 2013. A methodology workshop for the selected NWG coordinators will take place in September 2013. All proposals (electronic version) should be addressed to:

CODESRIA National Working Groups Programme
BP 3304, CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal.
Tel: +221-33 825 98 22/23
Fax: +221-33 824 12 89
E-Mail: nwg@codesria.sn
Website: https://codesria.org

NB: In addition to the CVs of the network members required, the identification sheet attached for the updated database of the Council shall be filled and sent along with the elements of NWG. Any application submitted does not contain the required elements will not be taken into account.

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