IFAD is issuing a call for interest to universities and other institutions interested in helping to engage students in IFAD-supported operations through a new grant-funded programme, the IFAD-University Win Win Partnership. This call is open to all institutions that meet the requirements listed below. Its purpose is to gather interest from a number of qualified institutions, which will then be invited to respond to a request for proposals that will be issued in the last week of April 2015.
Background and programme objectives
IFAD currently finances about 250 programmes and projects focusing on agricultural and rural development in 120 countries. IFAD-funded projects are usually implemented through Project Management Units (PMUs), which are placed in-country and often operated by government staff as well as specifically hired personnel. PMUs are composed of technical experts from various fields. However, they often lack the time and resources to conduct in-depth studies on specific areas of interest that are relevant to the project, such as analytical work (studies, data analysis, baselines, etc.), monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge management.
The proposed programme seeks to bridge that gap by involving students in field work. Funded by an IFAD grant of US$900,000 and by US$200,000 from the selected grant recipient, it offers the following win-win opportunities:
- IFAD-supported operations will benefit from additional analytical work in project design and implementation, and in cross-cutting thematic areas.
- University students will be able to apply their studies, get hands-on experience with development practice and use empirical data for their theses.
- Support for students' research from both IFAD and the grant recipient will strengthen their interest and motivation to remain engaged in rural development and build in-country capacity.
- IFAD will enhance its impact, visibility and effectiveness as learning institution.