2014 Gaps in Research Grant

Event Date: 
4 Aug, 2014 - 12 Sep, 2014 

The African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium is launching its 2014 grant season with a call for the Gaps in Research Grant. This is the third annual call for competitive grant proposals to support research on emerging issues in Africa. Proposals for this grant will be accepted from any researcher, regardless of AGRODEP membership status. Later this fall, a separate grant opportunity will be launched for AGRODEP members only.

The selected topic of this year’s Gaps in Research Grant is “Using trade for development” with special attention given to: Investment in infrastructure or trade; African regional integration schemes; and the measurement of informal trade and policy responses.

International trade is considered a vector of increased growth and development (Winters, 2004) as well as poverty and hunger alleviation, yet Africa’s participation in world trade is relatively low (Bouet and Roy, 2008). According to UNCTAD, although Africa’s share in world trade declined from 6.21% in 1980 to 1.98% in 1998, it has augmented since then to 3.27% in 2012, after a peak at 3.58% in 2008 corresponding to a surge in world prices of raw materials. It is noteworthy to mention that the trade performance of African developing economies is weak as compared to that of Asian developing economies. More importantly regional trade in Africa is usually considered as low (UNECA, 2012 and 2014).

There are several factors potentially responsible for this low level of trade within Africa:

  • Investment in infrastructure and trade: trade infrastructure (roads, communication) in Africa are low (Bouet and Roy, 2008) and trade regulations (rules of origin, trade facilitation, etc.) need to be harmonized (UNECA 2013)
  • African regional integration schemes which are inefficient resulting in low trade between African countries (UNECA 2012)

Trade within Africa is also characterized by substantial informal trade (UNECA 2010); it is defined as any trade within a country or between two countries that is not captured by official statistics. This activity is a private response to high barriers to domestic trade (security checkpoints, corruption) and to international trade (high import duties, export duties or export bans, inefficient payment systems, etc.). It is important to measure this phenomenon and to evaluate appropriate policy responses. In particular, it is key to examine how regional integration can potentially decrease the importance of informal trade to the benefit of formal trade.


AGRODEP anticipates awarding a total of US$50,000 per year to address gaps in research. The size of each proposal may range from US$10,000 to US$15,000, depending on the quality and the potential for innovation that it exhibits. 


All researchers or research organizations in and outside of Africa are invited to apply. AGRODEP members are also eligible to apply.


  • All proposals must be submitted via electronic application by Friday, September 12, 2014.
  • AGRODEP will notify authors of selected proposals by October 31, 2014.
  • The duration of the project is expected to be from December 1, 2014 through November 30, 2015.


  • Online Application. Please upload the two following documents to the application form when prompted:
    1. A proposal document, 4 pages maximum, with the following information:
      • Introduction
      • Brief literature review, including any previous or ongoing research on the topic that you have or are currently conducting
      • Methodology & Data
      • Project Timetable
      • Authors: who will be involved in the study and in what capacity
      • The total funding amount required from AGRODEP. Please do not include a budget breakdown in your proposal document.
      • References
    2. A separate document containing a detailed budget.


    About AGRODEP

    AGRODEP is an initiative led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with the ASARECACORAF/WECARD, and FANRPAN. The Consortium aims at positioning African experts to take a leading role in the study of strategic development questions and the broader agricultural growth and policy debate facing African countries.

    For more about AGRODEP or if you have questions about this proposal please visit www.agrodep.org and write to info-agrodep@agrodep.org.