Assumptions. Supporting the political role of civil society organisations for inclusive development.

The MFA of the Netherlands and WOTRO Science for Global development have formulated this call for proposals on assumptions underlying the policy framework Dialogue and Dissent. The call is open to consortia consisting of a main applicant from a Dutch university and co-applicant from a research organisation based in one of the LLMICs ( ‘Least Developed Countries’ and ‘Other Low Income Countries’) where the empirical part will be executed.


CSOs in Low and Lower Middle Income Countries (LLMICs) are increasingly making themselves heard on issues such as inequality, environmental problems and poverty. In response to this development, the MFAs civil society policy framework Dialogue and Dissent has shifted  focus from poverty alleviation (economic role) to tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality (political role). This call for proposals invites researchers to scrutinize the assumptions underlying the Theory of Change of this framework.

Who can apply

Applications can be submitted by consortia consisting of at least: a Dutch university, a research organisation located in (one of) the LLMIC(s) where the project/programme that is subject of the empirical research is implemented,  and (optional) a research organisation based in any country.

Organisations that are supported by Dialogue and Dissent cannot be part of the consortium. All organisations participating in a consortium must be registered as a legal persona and deliver proof thereof.

The main applicant should hold a senior  position at the Dutch university. He or she will act as project coordinator and point of contact with NWO-WOTRO and will submit the research proposal. The main applicant’s organisation will take responsibility for the project secretariat, the day-to-day management and all financial affairs of the research project.

What to apply for

For each research project of a duration of 18 months, a maximum budget of 0.5 million euros will be available. Applicants can budget only for costs that directly attribute to the project (see call for proposals).

When to apply

  • Applications can be submitted until August 8, 2017, 14.00 CET



- Scientific quality:

  • Validity of the conceptual framework
  • Originality;
  • Demonstrable quality of (relevant) expertise of the main- and co-applicants, research staff;
  • Complementarity of expertise in the consortium.

- Policy relevance:

  • The extent to which the project proposal addresses the assumptions of the ToC of the Dialogue and Dissent framework.
  • Proven ability to translate research findings into policy messages/advices that can be useful for the MFA for improving the D&D policy framework
  • Feasibility of the work plan.


After screening by the WOTRO secretariat for compliance with formal eligibility, two independent, international expert advisors from the International Advisory Committee will pre-assess the proposals. During an assessment meeting, the International Advisory Committee (IAC) will discuss all proposals, pre-assessment reports and responses thereof by the applicant and will rank the proposals on the basis of the selection criteria. Based on the ranking, the IAC will present an advice on funding to the Programme Committee (PC). Applicants will be notified of the PC’s decision mid-October 2017.

Extra information



LLMIC include only ‘Least Developed Countries’, ‘Other Low Income Countries’ and ‘Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories’.” 


“Applications can be submitted by consortia consisting of at least:

  • A Dutch university;


  • A research organisation located in (one of) the LLMIC(s) in Africa, Asia or Latin America where the project/programme that is subject of the empirical research is implemented; and (optional)
  • A research organisation based in any country.”


“Provide a detailed description of the proposed research in no more than 2000 words.” And “Describe in no more than 750 words the expected outcome and impact of the project”: please adhere to the requirements of the application form: 2b. Detailed description of the project proposal (max. 2500 words), including Knowledge utilization and Sharing.




Closed for application


8 August 2017 14:00

Grant type



3 million euro

Science area

WOTRO Science for Global Development




Thematic research and public -private partnership (2015-2018)


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, INCLUDE Platform


Dr. Lydia Langerwerf Dr. Lydia Langerwerf 070 344 09 00