ALF Knowledge for Action, K4A

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Read the Call in PDF format here

Open Call for Papers and Policy Briefs

To generate evidence-based research (first policy briefs and then policy papers) to overcome the limited knowledge regarding different fields of the intercultural dialogue with a Euro-Mediterranean vision and to feed public and policy debates and agendas, the Anna Lindh Foundation is launching the ALF Knowledge for Action Programme.

The Programme is meant to foster the interaction between research/academic institutions (think-tanks, specialised centres and universities) and civil society organisations through participatory action research. This objective aligns with the ALF’s firm belief that civil society organisations can enrich the research/academic work by bringing expertise from the ground, offering a societal perspective, and meeting people’s needs.

To make this possible, the ALF seeks tandems of research/academic institutions and civil society organisations to produce knowledge on relevant aspects of the Intercultural Dialogue. These tandems are invited to produce policy briefs and policy papers on one of the following topics:

  • Social innovation as a catalyst for social inclusion in culturally diverse EuroMed societies
  • Empowering women in the EuroMed region as a way to challenge gender stereotypes
  • Integrating social dimensions in climate change policies in the EuroMed region
  • International cultural relations and cultural diplomacy to bridge both shores of the Mediterranean

Interested research/academic institutions can present their concept notes on a specific research question in partnership with a civil society organisation.  Applications should be made in English using the online forms elaborated by the ALF Secretariat. In addition to providing the key details about the research, lead applicants must specify the role of the civil society organisation throughout the evidence-based research process. A preselection evaluation will take place based on the quality of the proposals received. The research submitted must be original and must not have been previously published, either in whole or in part. The ALF maintains co-ownership of the final knowledge product's publishing rights and intellectual property.

Co-authors with preselected concept notes will have up to three months to elaborate a draft policy brief. Afterwards, the draft policy brief will be peer-reviewed, and the co-authors can elaborate the final policy brief, incorporating the recommendations received. Meanwhile, they will have up to three-months to elaborate and submit a draft policy paper. This draft policy paper will be peer-reviewed and, once the recommendations received have been incorporated, the final policy paper can be submitted.

A selection of the best evidence-based research documents produced will be published by the ALF Secretariat and broadly disseminated at the Euro-Mediterranean scale through dedicated outreach campaigns. Their authors can also be invited to participate in a series of regional dialogue seminars targeting relevant stakeholders and civil society representatives. Where appropriate, the ALF Secretariat will cover the cost of travel and accommodation.

Purpose of the call

The overall objective of the call is to create an enabling environment and to support the research community and the civil society world to produce together evidence-based and policy-oriented research tackling different dimensions of intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region. In more detail, this process is meant to: 

  • Generate evidence-based research outputs useful for relevant stakeholders, policymakers and practitioners
  • Create solid foundations on which intercultural dialogue actions can be further stimulated
  • Bridge the gap between research, policy and practice
  • Raise the visibility of the EuroMed research community in the field of the intercultural dialogue
  • Harness civil society’s potential to add value to the research/academic world and enrich it

Call for expression of interest open until 27 February 2023 (23:59 Central European Time, CET)

Interested research lead institutions can present their concept notes in English by February 27, 23.59 CET, via the online application form only. Please note that it is not possible to save the application as a draft or to make any changes after submitting it. At the close of the call, the most recently submitted version of the application will be processed. The same organisation cannot submit more than one proposal under this call.

Apply here

Preview of the online application form

Indicative timeline

16/01/23  Launch of the call for concept notes
25/01/23  Online information session (details will be published on the ALF website)
27/02/23  Deadline to submit concept notes
13/03/23  Announcement of the preselected concept notes
20/03/23  Zoom meeting with the tandems (research/academic lead institutions and civil society entities) to share common ground
07/06/23  Deadline to submit draft policy briefs
28/06/23  Deadline to communicate the results of the peer review of the draft policy briefs
July         Submission of the final policy briefs incorporating the peer-review recommendations
                
Contracts signature of global price service contracts*
06/09/23  Deadline to submit the draft policy papers
27/09/23  Deadline to communicate the results of the peer review of the draft policy papers
October  Submission of the final policy papers incorporating the peer-review recommendations
October-December Publication of the best evidence-based research documents produced and organisation of outreach campaigns at Euro-Med scale and of regional dialogue seminars
20/12/23  Zoom meeting with the tandems (research/academic lead institutions and the civil society entities) to evaluate the results of the call

[*] Only the research/academic lead organisations that have been successfully concluded the final peer review process will be entitled to receive the allocated lump sums

Pre-established lump sum allocations, payment modality and final reporting requirements

Pre-financing payments are not foreseen. Upon reception and approval of the final research documents incorporating the peer-review recommendations, each leading organisation will receive a lump sum allocation of 900 euro per policy brief and 1.500 euro per policy paper. These lump sums are fixed, regardless of the number of authors.

Thematic focus

Social innovation as a catalyst for social inclusion in culturally diverse EuroMed societies

It has been widely recognised in the policy and academic arenas that social innovation is crucial in providing novel solutions to complex societal challenges. Indeed, incorporating of the sociocultural context is integral to finding innovative, collective approaches for mitigating complex social challenges, managing diversity, fostering social inclusion and enhancing the fabric of civil society through greater citizens’ involvement and participation, among others. Given the recent global challenges, the social innovation ecosystem has witnessed a plethora of new paradigms concerning social inclusion reaffirming the need for a more rigorous, systemic and multidisciplinary approach towards framing social innovation that remains under researched.

Empowering women in the Euro-Med region as a way to challenge gender stereotypes

While there is a strong commitment to enhance gender equality and strengthen women’s empowerment as evidenced by global and regional instruments (UN, EU, UfM), among others, significant challenges remain with respect to bridging the gap between the global and regional norm setting and the implementation at the national levels across the EuroMed region. While gender-unequal norms, discriminatory practices, and laws still impede gender equality in EuroMed countries, the 2022 Fifth UfM Ministerial Conference’s acknowledgment of the significant progress made since 2015 provides hope, albeit with the reminder that further efforts are needed to advance women's effective and meaningful participation in the political, economic, and social spheres, a crucial process to shifting cultural paradigms and overcoming prejudices and stereotypical gender portrayals.

Integrating social dimensions in climate change policies in the EuroMed region

While the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan expresses deep concern regarding the adverse effects of climate change on human mobility and the lives and livelihoods of local communities, among others, it affirms that sustainable and just solutions to the climate crisis must be based on meaningful and effective social dialogue and participation of all stakeholders. Likewise, the MedECC Report (2020) urges a science-society-policy dialogue, and underscores the importance of multicultural setting, education and awareness-raising in upstream efforts. Indeed, this goes in the direction of the ALF’s regional mandate serving as a leverage between civil society and policy-makers and thus playing a key role in ensuring permanent dialogue and knowledge transfer structure towards contributing to climate adaptation policies.

International cultural relations and cultural diplomacy to bridge both shores of the Mediterranean

International cultural relations have been increasingly recognized through the emergence of cultural dimensions of international relations as a form of soft power in multilateral diplomacy. While most of the Euro-Mediterranean countries’ cultural polices rely on regional instruments and multilateral bodies and are approached from a top-down perspective, recent cultural diplomacy literature acknowledges the key role of non-state actors and the development of networks that needs to be tapped by states and institutions to explore the dynamics of cultural exportation and its influence as a mechanism to support mutual understanding and exposure to cultural diversity. As such, international cultural relations and diplomacy advocated as a corollary to intercultural dialogue have the power to bolster and renew EuroMed multilateral cooperation beyond competing interests to deal with social and political issues.   

Selection criteria

Selection criteria will be based on the quality of the proposals received (concept notes). Priority will be given to submissions where all the involved organisations are members of the Anna Lindh Foundation from the 41 National Networks and to submissions with at least one ALF member. A gender, youth and geographical balance between regions and countries will be observed. For the evaluation process, the following elements will be considered:

  • Contribution of the proposed concept note regarding its Euro-Mediterranean scope [15%]
  • Added value of the proposed research approach concerning the chosen topic [20%]
  • Methodology to actively involve the civil society co-author in the evidence-based research process [30%]
  • Background of the research co-author in the specific field of the proposed evidence-based research [17,5]
  • Background of the civil society co-author in the specific field of the proposed evidence-based research [17,5]

Definitions

  • Policy briefs are a key tool to present research and recommendations designed to facilitate policymaking by evaluating policy options regarding a specific issue. They explain the urgency of a given issue, present findings, and provide recommendations. The policy briefs are audience-driven and their length should be between 2.500 and 3.000 words (excluding tables/graphs/illustrations).
  • Policy papers are policy-oriented publications presenting a clear rationale, an in-depth analysis and adopting a “problem / solution-based” and outlining public policy recommendations.  Policy Papers raise awareness of tackled issues among non-academic audience, experts and policy specialists, among others. They should be between 7.000 and 8.000 words (excluding tables/graphs/illustrations).

Basic structure of the content

Policy briefs

  1. Title
  2. Executive Summary: around 150 words aiming to grab the reader’s attention.
  3. Introduction: introducing the rationale, the context and the relevance of the topic.
  4. Approach and results: providing two main elements – straight to the point: the research approach and the research results.
  5. Policy Implications and recommendations: providing feasible, operational, realistic recommendations.
  6. References: list of the sources consulted (bibliography)

Policy papers

  1. Title
  2. Executive Summary: around 400 words aiming to grab the reader’s attention.
  3. Introduction: introducing the rationale, the context and the relevance of the topic.
  4. Methodology: narrating the research methodology and data collection.
  5. Discussion and analysis of research findings: this section should interpret the data in a way that is accessible and clearly connected to the policy advice.
  6. Policy Implications and policy recommendations: providing recommendations that are feasible, operational, realistic and potential consequences of particular policies, if any.
  7. Conclusion: Returning to the big picture or the motive of the research analysis to remind the reader of the importance of the analysis.
  8. References: list of the sources consulted (bibliography).

Background

The Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, ALF, created in 2005 and based in Alexandria is an international intergovernmental organisation and its aim, according to its statutes, is to promote the dialogue between cultures and to contribute to the visibility of the Barcelona Process through intellectual, cultural and civil society exchanges.

To fulfil its objective, the Foundation mainstreams youth, gender equality and networking with a clear determination to lead regional and local intercultural dialogue initiatives that are useful for EuroMed societies and institutions with a very pragmatic approach. Its action grounds on the two main bodies of the Foundation: The Civil Society National Networks with more than 4.500 members and the 41 Members States of its Board of Governors.

Framework and financial allocation

This programme is developed in the framework of the Action Grant NDICI-GEO-NEAR/2022/434-371 in accordance with the Anna Lindh Foundation Multiannual Work Programme 2022-2025. The indicative overall amount allocated to this call is 48.000 euro. The ALF Secretariat reserves the right not to disburse all available funds.