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Call for Expressions of Interest: Advancing Gender Equality and Inclusion in Africa

Call for Expressions of Interest: Advancing Gender Equality and Inclusion in Africa

Deadline: 04-Jun-21

The International Development Research Center is seeking applications for its managing organization (hub) for responsible artificial intelligence in advancing gender equality and inclusion in Africa.


The goal of this call is to recruit a managing organization (hub) that will lead African-based research network on responsible AI innovations to advance gender equality and inclusion. The selected hub will engage in field-building activities to design, develop and manage an innovation research network of researchers and innovators, applying responsible AI to advance gender equality and inclusion from remedying biased algorithms to promoting new innovations that aim to advance justice and access to government and financial services, address climate change, improve health outcomes, and reduce gender-based violence, among other issues.
The selected organization will be responsible for supporting the competitive selection of high-quality research projects from African innovators and researchers at the intersection of AI, agriculture and sustainable food systems. In addition, the hub will provide conceptual and technical support and guidance to the members of the research network.
The selected organization will also be responsible for the following non-exhaustive set of activities:
Supporting the competitive selection of high-quality research projects from African innovators and researchers at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence, gender and inclusion;
Providing conceptual and technical support and guidance to the research network members as required such as ensuring responsible AI innovation development and deployment with a strong gender and inclusion considerations;
Support the exchange of knowledge and good practices between network members;
Building synergies and collaborate where appropriate with other AI and gender and inclusion networks and communities; and
Contributing to the strategic guidance of the AI4D Africa program.

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The general objective of this innovation research network is to advance gender equality and inclusion in Africa through the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence innovations.
Specific objectives are to:
Deepen understanding and support field building of how to develop and scale sustainable, African-led initiatives to deploy artificial intelligence in the service of improving gender equality and inclusion;
Build the capacity of African innovators and researchers to develop, deploy and scale such AI applications, and to do so in a way that ensures the continued engagement of under-represented communities; and
Facilitate the contribution and influence of an African research agenda on mobilizing artificial intelligence for gender equality and inclusion (and com-batting bias and risks to increasing inequality from these two systems) to relevant regional international AI policy and practice conversations and agendas.
Funding Information

Amount: CAD $1.2 million
Duration: Up to 30 months
Eligibility Criteria

This call for expressions of interest is open to individual organizations or groups of organizations that:
Have their headquarters based in lower and lower-middle income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with preference given for organizations in low- and medium-income countries.
Have a proven record of working in Africa and supporting the design, development, and scaling of AI innovations, as well as capacity and expertise around specific domains and their relevance to advancing gender equality and inclusion on the continent;
Have a team with expertise in AI, as well as in advancing gender equality and inclusion and in other relevant areas as identified.
Ability to work in both English and French at a minimum. Other languages a plus.
Trans disciplinary consortia are encouraged to apply. Consortia may consist of up to three (3) organizations. In case of a consortium, the expression of interest needs to provide a rationale explaining why the consortium has come together to implement this innovation research network and describe the role and added value provided by each member organization. Consortia must describe the governance and coordination arrangements they will use to produce high quality work and support fair and equitable partnerships.
NB: This call for expressions of interest is not open to individuals or government ministries and agencies, but it is open to public research institutes and public university centers, labs and departments. It is also open to private sector actors.
For more information, visit https://www.idrc.ca/en/funding/call-expressions-interest-managing-organization-hub-responsible-artificial-intelligence-1

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