IFAD Project and Partner FAQs (English, Spanish & French)
The FAQs in English are available below.
En español las preguntas más frecuentes están disponibles aquí.
En français la FAQ peut être trouvée ici.
Two categories are eligible to submit a proposal: A) IFAD-supported development projects around the world ; and B) IFAD partners.
IFAD partner is defined as i) either a recipient of IFAD grant support or ii) as an implementing partner of an IFAD-supported development project (e.g. an organization responsible to implement project activities )
No, IFAD staff, at HQs or in IFAD Country Offices, cannot submit research proposals. However they can encourage IFAD-supported projects and IFAD partners to submit a research proposal which may have elements of common interest.
Go to this link (https://mdpglobal.submittable.com/submit/b109e638-6684-45ed-83c9-d09a5046549b) to post a research proposal.
Go to this link (https://mdpglobal.submittable.com/submit) to see all of the available research proposals.
There is no deadline. Research proposals are welcome all year-round. However, IFAD projects and partners are encouraged to submit their research proposals as soon as possible . Most students do their 3 months field experience between May and August.
The following points are required:
Research activities and proposed timeframe
Duties and responsibilities of student
Expected output or “Deliverable”
No. Two examples are provided below . There is only a limit of 500 characters
|1. Develop a draft business plan for the coffee washing unit||· Research on required technology for coffee washing
· Collect relevant costing data for the stat-up business
· Collect relevant data on overall management structure and services provided by the start-up business
· Determine short-term and long-term financial requirements for the business
· Develop pricing models for services provided,
· Identify potential markets for services provided,
· Develop P/L and cash flow forecasts.
|· Draft business plan for the coffee washing|
Research proposals should fall into one of the following four thematic priorities
- Agronomy & Veterinary (e.g. extension systems, crop analysis, livestock production,etc)
- Economic & Finance Studies (e.g value chain analysis, rural finance, marketing for agri-business, socio-economic studies etc)
- Environment and Natural Management (e.g. environmental engineering, climate change adaptation,etc.)
- Development Studies (e.g. monitoring & evaluation, development effectiveness,etc.)
- Analysis of Value Chain stakeholder capacities: students could consult a number of value chain stakeholders, the project is engaging/ planning to engage with to better identify specifics of project activities, e.g. training requirements, business models, etc.
- Marketing studies, socio-economic assessment studies, land tenure studies: students may be requested to carry out research and data collection around project specific needs. This could comprise the majority of cases
- Analysis of project Monitoring & Evaluation data: students could compile, clean and analyse existing project date, such as on farm level productivity, household assets, marketing channels and/or use of inputs, to assist project teams to identify bottlenecks, as well as estimate project impacts.
- Knowledge management products: students could produce informative Knowledge Management products, e.g. based on stakeholder interviews and use gathered as well as secondary data to place IFAD project results in a given country context.
- Policy analysis: students could review existing policies that frame, enable and constrain project activities and make suggestion for stakeholder engagement as well as areas for policy consultation or even modifications.
The research proposal will be made visible on line to the students of the Global Association of MDPs at this link (https://mdpglobal.submittable.com/submit) . Students will be able to browse and select the research proposal of their interest.
The eligible students need to be enrolled in one of the Masters in Development Practice (http://mdpglobal.org/) and have;
Completed at least one year of coursework;
- Good academic records
- Alignment of their studies with the research proposal
- Knowledge of local language (if needed by the assignment)
- Long-term commitment to continue working on rural development upon completion of the MDPPriority will be given to financially disadvantaged students from list B/C IFAD borrowing member countries. In case the number of research proposals exceeds the number of applications submitted by priority students , students citizens of list A countries will be eligible to participate. These students, however, will not be eligible for any funding from the IFAD grant.
In case of multiple requests for the same research proposal, the MDP Secretariat will narrow the number of eligible applicants to a maximum of 3 before leaving the final decision to the originator of the research proposal whose final decision is required. In case of one request the MDP Secretariat will decide if the student meets the requirements of a research proposal and if so will put the student in contact with the originator of the research proposal.
MDP programs around the world don’t follow the same academic year, but normally students will be in the field in June, July and August. However, the exact period of the field practicum is negotiable and can be discussed once a student is paired with an IFAD project/partner.
Three months is the minimum field period required by the Masters in Development Practice to graduate (Field Practicum). However a longer period ( maximum 6 months) can be negotiated between the project or partner submitting the research request and the students and his/her supervisor.
Once the ‘match’ is completed, the student will contact the IFAD project/partner. The student will ask further questions about the research proposal. The student may also have questions about travel logistics such as city and airport of arrival, safe and recommended long-term accommodations, etc.
The students will be responsible for developing a research plan that is based on the IFAD project/partner developed research proposal. This research plan will be developed prior to the student travelling to the IFAD project/partner site. This research plan will initially guide the student in their research but they understand that the research plan may change based on the specific IFAD project/partner’s evolving priorities. During the field practicum, the student is also responsible for developing a research report that may include a specific deliverable requested by the IFAD project/partner. The student should present their findings to the IFAD project/partner prior to the completion of the field practicum. This presentation allows maximum stakeholder participation and validation. The research report will be edited and finalized once the student returns to their academic institution.
It is assumed that the work of the selected student will be supervised by the person submitting the IFAD project/partner research proposal. Specifically, this person will be the key contact regarding any questions the student may have regarding the research proposal. Questions may include,
- Can I ask you to clarify the objective of the project regarding XXXXX?
- How do you envision data collection?
- Do you have data in place that I should be analysing, or will there be scope for primary data gathering (via focus groups, surveys etc.)?
- Do you happen to have any documents (beyond the IFAD website) that would allow me to familiarize myself with the organization better?
- There are multiple issues surrounding XXXX issue, is there a particular angle you would like me to focus on?
In addition, while in the field the student will work closely (mainly virtually) with their MDP faculty advisor who will provide him or her with a comprehensive academic support
IFAD-supported projects/partners will provide all the support and backstopping needed to ensure that the intended objectives are met and provide technical guidance as necessary. They are not supposed to provide financial assistance. Please refer to question no.17 and 19 for more details.
The student will be responsible for arranging their own travel, accommodations and meals. However, it is expected that on the research proposal form the IFAD project/partner will provide their suggestions regarding which city and airport the student should fly into, where they should stay and eat and information on airport pick-up upon their arrival.
The completed research reports will be available on a virtual repository that is maintained by the MDP Secretariat but available to the public in general. This means anyone with access to the World Wide Web will be able to review these reports. In addition, the best 10% reports will be presented at IFAD HQs every year (so 2 the first year, 5 in year 2 and year 3)and other venues around the world. Finally, a sample of field practicum reports and other deliverables will be professionally analysed to accomplish the following:
- draw broader lessons about the recurrent issues,
- identify the common strengths and challenges of the studies,
- examine the areas in which students found to be most relevant to their future work and most rewarding to their professional growth;
- offer recommendations for programmatic changes, as appropriate; and
- provide information to IFAD projects/partners on outcomes associated with their grant making.
The Meta-Study will capitalize on the available reports and generate insights on IFAD project needs, as well as grant outcomes with regard to students’ motivation and project-level solutions.
For inquiries regarding this programme, the applicants (students) or their work please Contact the MDP Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No, only students enrolled in one of the Master’s in Development Practice programs can apply.
Yes. Academic institutions interested in developing an MDP program or adapting an already existing sustainable development program should contact the MDP Secretariat at email@example.com.