PEDL Newsletter - September 2020

Dear all, 

It has been a while since our last newsletter and a lot has been going on at PEDL. We have been working hard to ensure that our projects and funding initiatives have been able to continue with as little disruption as possible. We have also been looking for new opportunities to contribute towards effective policy responses to COVID-19 in the field of private enterprise. Our call for proposals related to COVID-19 attracted a lot of interest and we funded a total of 14 projects. We have also recently launched a new series of summary pieces entitled C-19 Notes based on the work our projects have undertaken related to the pandemic.

We currently have two open calls for proposals: a new exploratory research grant call related to development finance and our eighth major research grant call. On top of this, our Young Scholars Matchmaking Workshop and Conference will take place in December and we are now accepting applications to participate.

This newsletter highlights much of our work from September (as well as a good deal of activity from the summer) and also our open and upcoming calls:

  • Newly-funded COVID-19 projects
  • Launch of C-19 Notes
  • CDC call on development finance
  • 8th major research grant call
  • Young Scholars Conference & Workshop
  • Information for open PEDL grants affected by COVID-19
  • All upcoming calls

New COVID-19-related projects

Our Special ERG Call on the Economic Impacts of Coronavirus closed at the begninning of June. This was a particularly competitive call with close to 200 expressions of interest initially put forward - a sign of the need for research in the area.

After extensive deliberation, PEDL and our new partner, CDC Group, decided to fund 14 projects across nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia:

Further information on each of these projects can be found by following the links. We are looking forward to seeing these projects develop and hope to share preliminary results in the coming months.


Launch of C-19 Notes

PEDL has launched a new series of publications that will summarise the research currrently being undertaken by PEDL-funded projects on COVID-19. September saw the release of the first three of these C-19 Notes:

1st CDC ERG Call on Development Finance

PEDL is glad to announce an expansion of its programme. PEDL will now be receiving applications for projects researching the role of development finance: investments in private sector development that are impact-led but commercially rigorous. Please note that for this call, a one-page expression of interest is required before applications are submitted. EOIs must be submitted by 1 November 2020 to [email protected]. EOIs should clearly state the relevance of the research to CDC Group.

CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) are sponsoring this new research initiative aimed at understanding the impact of development finance on private sector development. Issues of interest include the effect of investment on private sector growth; the characteristics of high-growth firms and how they impact on their sectors and localities; supporting decent work and gender; and production and distribution of broader inclusive products and services. Researchers will ideally partner with specific CDC investments, or alternatively work with other businesses sufficiently comparable to build our understanding of the importance of investment in private sector growth.

Applications should be submitted by 23:59 GMT, 15 November 2020. Find out more about the areas of particular interest for this call as well as further details on applying here.


8th Regular MRG Call

PEDL is glad to announce that its 8th regular major research grant call is now open. This call provides large-scale funding for research focused on PEDL's agenda determining the strength of market forces driving efficiency in low-income countries. Existing research suggests that the private sector in LICs faces a multitude of constraints that act upon each other. What is needed is research that allows us to understand how these constraints interact.

MRGs are designed to allow researchers to build on and expand previous exploratory research on the study of firms in LICs, and, more generally, conduct research on a larger scale that can provide deeper insight into the specific and more general effects of mechanisms and interventions in this area.

Applications should be submitted by 23:59 GMT, 15 November 2020. Find out more about the areas of particular interest for this call as well as further details on applying here.


Young Scholars Matchmaking Workshop 2020 - Call for Ideas

To strengthen the links between young scholars in higher- and lower-income countries working in this rapidly growing field of research, the PEDL programme is organising a virtual matchmaking and project development workshop. This workshop aims to bring together pre-dissertation PhD candidates from institutions in higher-income countries with PhD candidates and young scholars from institutions in lower-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Young scholars should be no more than three years out of their PhD.

Over the course of two weeks, we will gather for three days with the aim of fostering new ideas and developing projects, grant proposals, and, importantly, collaborations across these groups for research on the frontier of private enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.

Those interested in participating can find more information on the workshop and how to apply here. Applications are open until October 18, 2020 23:59 GMT.

Applicants that are selected to participate in the Young Scholars Workshop 2020 are also invited to attend the PEDL Young Scholars Conference 2020.

Young Scholars Conference 2020 - Call for Papers

The PEDL programme will be hosting a two-day virtual conference focused on PhD candidates and young scholars. Presenters should be no more than three years out of their PhD. The conference is open to any paper on firms in lower-income countries, though we particularly encourage submissions from PEDL-funded projects.

More information on how to apply can be found here. Applications should be submitted before October 18, 2020 23:59 GMT.


Information for open PEDL grants affected by COVID-19

With the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, PEDL expects significant disruption to ongoing projects. We want to assure our grantees that we are continuing to offer as much flexibility as possible so that projects can be completed. To this end, projects that foresee or are experiencing disruption should contact the PEDL team at [email protected] if they have not done so already.


Upcoming Calls

Listed here are all open and upcoming calls for proposals for PEDL funding and their respective deadlines. Please bear in mind that dates for upcoming calls are provisional and may change.

Open calls:

Upcoming calls (before March 2021):

  • 1 Dec 2020 - 1st Special MRG Call on Development Finance
  • TBC - 1st Special MRG Call on Climate Change
  • TBC - 2nd Special ERG Call on Climate Change
  • TBC - 34th Regular ERG Call