Deadline: 23rd July 2023 | COMMONS AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION FROM A SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PERSPECTIVE | Research projects that address the contribution of the commons to democratic issues and citizen participation

Grant amount: €30,000–€400,000
Deadline: July 23, 2023
Summary: This call is dedicated to research projects that address the contribution of the commons to democratic issues and citizen participation.

JOIN YOA Your Opportunities Africa Whatsapp Groups and Telegram Group : For timely and daily Updates Join our social Media groups : TELEGRAM, Whatsapp 1 , Whatsapp 2 , Whatsapp 3Whatsapp 4 Whatsapp 5 , Whatsapp 6 , Whatsapp 7 , Whatsapp 8


General research program and related projects

  • The cross-cutting question of the new research program supported by AFD is the following: to what
  • extent do the commons and the commons-based approach extend democratic practices and
  • modalities of citizen participation in AFD’s countries of intervention? The resulting research questions
  • will be addressed through the lens of social and environmental justice.
  • The ambition of this program is to allow research to contribute to public policy dialogue (understood
  • as a set of political, strategic, or technical exchanges on a reform or on the intensification of existing
  • public action, between social and public actors).

It therefore has a strong operational focus.
The research projects participating in this program must:

  • Address the identified research questions from an academic perspective in order to understand
    their complexity.
  • Provide for public policy dialogue activities at an appropriate level (central, deconcentrated,
    decentralized). These activities could include, for example, the simplification of research
    questions, methodologies and results into formats that are accessible to stakeholders through the
    production of dedicated documents, the structuring of spaces for debate through the facilitation
    of seminars and multi-actor workshops, the support of actors through training, etc.
    The research projects will therefore focus in a complementary manner on:
  • The operational and organizational practices of the commons in light of questions related to
    democratic practices and citizen participation.
  • The transformative power and inspirational value of the commons through their interactions with
    public actors and their power to act within public action, with regard to the way in which public
    actors associate the commons with the creation and implementation of public policies.
    Sectors concerned and geographical scope
    All types of commons can be studied: land and natural resource commons, urban commons, social
    commons, cultural commons, digital commons, knowledge commons, ecological commons, etc.
    Research projects should be based on empirical analyses that highlight and analyze the existing
    commons. These analyses will be carried out in countries according to the following priorities:
  • In priority 1: South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia, Senegal, Morocco, Colombia, Rwanda
  • In priority 2: India, Ecuador, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Balkans – Serbia, Dominican Republic, Brazil,
    Nigeria, Niger, Uganda
  • In priority 3: Bolivia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Angola, Papua New Guinea, Mauritius, Armenia, Central
    African Forest States
    Examples of commons in European or North American countries may be mobilized insofar as they shed
    light on commons practices observed in the countries mentioned above.

    Disciplinary fields and methodology
  • Research projects may concern all social and human sciences (sociology, geography, history, political
    science, law, philosophy, anthropology, economics, etc.). Multidisciplinary work is sought after.
    From the point of view of research activities, a methodology based on empirical analyses is expected
    as well as the mobilization of researchers, and if possible research institutions, from the countries in
    which the studies are carried out. Participatory research involving academic and non-academic actors
    pooling their knowledge, skills and experience to provide concrete answers to scientific questions that
    can be appropriated by civil society and public actors will be favored.
    From the point of view of the activities of animation of the public policy dialogue, it will be necessary
    to mobilize ad hoc means (human resources, specific methodology, deliverables, etc.) for an in itinere
    reflexive follow-up that will allow to specify and inform the indices of change (see below “Reflective
    and in itinere follow-up activities”).
    Ambitions in terms of new research production and dialogue facilitation will be determined
    appropriately according to:
  • The maturity of the research: Empirical analyses can be carried out within the framework of the
    project according to an academic methodology to be specified, or based on studies previously
    carried out by the team.
  • The maturity of the dialogue: Depending on the reference situation of the existing dialogue, and
    in particular the maturity of the relations already established with the public authorities, the levels
    of ambition of the dialogue may be situated at different levels of the public transformation scale.
    Thus, funding may accompany the emergence of a new community of research, social and public
    actors or accompany the co-construction of projects emanating from already established groups,
    around a jointly defined scientific issue.
    The research activities may therefore be involved in the following ways:
  • To initiate: Research activities motivate the emergence of a dialogue on new themes. The dialogue
    is driven by the research production process itself.
  • To convince: Research activities aim to contribute, through their results, to targeted public policies.
    The dialogue is driven by the results of the research carried out.
  • To develop a reflexive approach: The dialogue and the commons-based approach are themselves
    the target of the research activities carried out in the framework of the project.


The team

  • AFD encourages applicant teams to call on partners from other organizations to complete their team
  • and meet the requirements of this call. Public actors in particular will be brought on board in a
  • differentiated manner according to the maturity of the dialogue (from awareness of the scientific issue
  • being addressed to co-construction and joint ownership of this issue).
  • The application must specify the team’s main institution and affiliations. The lead institution will
  • submit the application on behalf of the whole team. It can be an academic institution (university,
  • research center, laboratory, think tank, etc.) or a social actor that would facilitate public policy dialogue
  • (association, cooperative, private actor, etc.).
  • The lead institution can be from any country in the world. However, proposals from research
  • institutions in the countries concerned by the projects submitted will be given preference.
  • A single lead institution may submit several projects, provided that the principal investigators have the
  • expertise to conduct the proposed thematic analysis and that the projects include dialogue facilitation
  • activities consistent with the chosen research focus.


  • The budgets requested by each research project proposal must not be less than EUR 30 000 and not
  • exceed EUR 200 000. Co-financing is encouraged. The deadline for payment of the funding is set at a
  • maximum of three years. Overhead costs (for administrative, management or internal purposes other
  • than research and dialogue facilitation activities) may not exceed 8% of the total funds requested.

Submit Your Proposal

  1. Download the framework note of the call for expressions of interest (PDF document) as well as the Appendix 1 of the call (Word document).
  2. Fill in the online application form, making sure to provide all the requested elements, and upload the proposal in PDF format, following the outline requested in the framework note of the call.
  3. Download a copy of Frequently asked Questions FAQs



Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

× Inquire Now