Research on climate change and development operates in a world of high complexity and rapid change in physical and social understanding, creating a need for interdisciplinary processes to produce robust, useful results.
As a result, CDKN is not the average funder of research. We look for projects which not only demonstrate scientific excellence, but which also clearly respond to identified developing country needs and demand and promise high policy impact. We value innovative, game-changing research within the context of climate compatible development. Additionally, we seek projects which foster partnerships and support research capacity in developing countries. Further details can be found in the Research Strategy document.
CDKN is now supporting a host of demand-led, policy-relevant, applied research projects, led and implemented by a wide range of universities, private sector partners, NGOs and international agencies. The projects are of a high research standard and are already producing quality academic publications and policy briefings. A number of CDKN’s research projects feature a relevant government ministry as one of the project partners, with very positive implications for policy impact. Many are taking forward ground-breaking ideas and new research methodologies. They feed into pioneering, and implementable, projects and programmes and ultimately affect positive change at the policy level.
CDKN research projects will generally be more closely supported and monitored than under some other grant-making bodies. This is to ensure that links with potential end users are being fully optimised, to encourage swift lesson-learning across the research community, and to monitor the impact and uptake of research outputs and findings.
2. How we commission research
The majority of CDKN’s research projects to date have been commissioned through open, competitive ‘research call’ processes. These have taken 3 primary forms:
- Through the Pilot Global Research Call (March 2011) and Main Global Research Call (October 2011), CDKN funded scientifically excellent, demand-led research projects on themes including agriculture, climate-related disaster risk management, and climate compatible development policies and processes. Most of CDKN’s high value (~£500,000) research projects were selected through the Main call.
- The Action Lab Innovation Fund (April 2011) and Innovation Fund (October 2011) support research which are particularly innovative for example in their approach, content and/or partnership model. Project ideas and partnerships for the former fund were instigated at the CDKN Action Lab, a cutting-edge, action-orientated event which brought together a dynamic group of 150 participants drawn from academia, government, NGOs, civil society and the private sector from around the world. Through the later Innovation Fund, CDKN invited highly innovative research project ideas relating to CDKN’s four priority themes of international climate negotiations, climate compatible development policies and practices, climate finance and climate-related disaster risk management.
- CDKN has also funded a series of externally managed Regional Research Calls, focusing on Africa, South East Asia, South Asia and the Caribbean.
Alongside these competitive research call processes, CDKN has funded a selection of ad-hoc and regionally scoped projects which address specific priority research gaps or respond to demand identified through CDKN’s engagements, for instance through CDKN’s Technical Assistance work.
In total, the CDKN research portfolio includes over 70 active research projects and a broad range of themes including agriculture, disaster risk management, climate finance, water security, low carbon development, urban planning, and many more. A full list of projects commissioned through these processes can be found on the CDKN research projects page, and two-page summaries of a selection of these projects can be found on the CDKN case study projects page.
The remainder of CDKN’s research commissioning will follow a more targeted process. CDKN is now scoping up and funding research which relates to our core themes, and projects addressing identified regional knowledge gaps and priorities. Invitations to tender for these research opportunities will be posted on the Current Opportunities page and distributed via established channels as and when they become available.
Researchers should also consider signing up for CDKN’s Roster of Experts.
3. Research structure and staffing
Research for CDKN is led by and sits within the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and is headed by Ari Huhtala. Until autumn 2012, CDKN’s Research Programme was headed by Natasha Grist. Natasha has since joined ODI’s Agricultural Development and Policy Programme as a Research Fellow.
The CDKN Research Programme staff are:
- Ari Huhtala: CDKN Director of Policy and Programmes
- Veena Ravichandran: CDKN Senior Research Advisor
- Phil Lewis: CDKN Research and Knowledge Management Programme Manager
- Beatrice Mosello: CDKN Research Programme Officer and Water and Agriculture Sub-Theme Coordinator
- Amy Kirbyshire: CDKN Research Programme Officer and Disaster Risk Management Theme Coordinator
- Tom Mitchell: ODI Head of Climate and Environment Programme (CEP) and CDKN Disaster Risk Management Theme Leader
- Lindsey Jones: ODI Research Officer, and CDKN Disaster Risk Management Theme Research Advisor
CDKN’s Regional Research Coordinators, who are based within the relevant regional partner, are as follows:
- Shehnaaz Moosa: Africa Research Coordinator
- Dina Khan: Asia Research Coordinator
- Isabella Souza: Latin America and Caribbean Research Coordinator
The CDKN Research Programme also draws on the knowledge and expertise of ODI research staff for advisory and quality assurance purposes.
The Research Team of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) are consulted during the scoping and decision-making phases of the Research Output to ensure that research objectives complement existing programmes and priorities.
4. Current research opportunities
To date, the majority of CDKN’s research commissioning has occurred through research calls of global or regional breadth, designed to promote research of the highest scientific standards with clear policy impact. Please see the CDKN research projects page for details of CDKN’s funded research projects.
CDKN is now in the fourth year of our current five year lifetime, and as a result we have already committed the majority of our research budget to supporting our existing project portfolio.
The remainder of CDKN’s research commissioning will follow a more targeted process. CDKN is now scoping up new research which relates to our core themes, and projects addressing identified regional knowledge gaps and priorities. Invitations to tender for these research opportunities will be posted on CDKN’s Current Opportunities page and distributed via established channels as and when they become available.