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Funding local research to help end extreme poverty


The DEEP Challenge Fund, which awards small and medium grants to local researchers working on national poverty reduction, has launched in Tanzania in March 2024.

Tanzania was selected to be the first focus country for the DEEP Challenge Fund due to its pressing poverty reduction challenges and a desire and need for research evidence and policy change. 

Tanzania faces a persistent issue of severe poverty, which has not improved despite significant economic growth in recent years; has one of the highest urbanisation rates in the world; and is highly vulnerable to climate change. Pressing policy and strategic choices will need to be made to find potential solutions.

Tanzania has a favourable political and policy environment with opportunities for poverty to be addressed both directly through targeting and also through modifications of design and management of existing national strategies, policies and programmes.

Furthermore, Tanzania has significant and emerging national research resources (including researchers in universities, thinktanks and government ministries) and a growing availability of good quality data from both traditional surveys and Big Data sources that together provide poverty analysis opportunities at very low cost.

The research focus and aims and scope of the Challenge Fund are being shaped by Tanzanian policy makers and other key stakeholders and the creation of a Tanzania Evidence Gap Map of poverty research and evidence. The research will aim to address some of the priority policy questions and research gaps.

Research aims

The Tanzania DEEP Challenge Fund aims to encourage national researchers and analysts to develop and deliver small and medium research projects that would help to generate insights and improve national strategy, policy and programmes affecting poverty and vulnerability to poverty.

Applicants are encouraged to develop their own ideas; expand on the techniques, ideas and insights that DEEP has been developing over the last three years; analyse under-analysed datasets; undertake small and innovative qual-quant case studies, and develop ideas and analysis that are particularly relevant to current national policy and programmes or to the emerging Vision 2050.

Proposals can include partnering with members of the DEEP consortium, especially if this facilitates the learning of new analysis techniques (such as Big Data analysis, small area estimation techniques, or poverty dynamics using synthetic panels), new insights about the drivers of poverty (such as climate change, Covid-19, urbanisation, migration, conflict, social exclusion and social norms), or analysis on ‘what works?’ in relation to government policies and programmes that include poverty reduction objectives.

Grants will be allocated to organisations and/or individuals following a competitive bidding process.


Applications for the DEEP Challenge Fund Tanzania are open until 26 April 2024.

Please complete the online application form to submit your research proposal.

Note that you will need a google account to access the form.

Apply now


Supporting documents

Call for proposals

Annexe 1 – Application instructions, background and terms of reference



Research proposals will be reviewed and scored by the DEEP Challenge Fund panel. Successful candidates will be notified by mid to late May, and due diligence and contract checks will then be completed based on OPM’s FCDO contractual requirements, which can be found in the supporting documents. Unsuccessful candidates can challenge the outcome by emailing within 10 working days of being notified of DEEP’s decision.

Steering committee

The DEEP Challenge Fund Steering Committee comprises government representatives, academics and NGOs. The Steering Committee is responsible for developing and approving the strategy of the Challenge Fund; provides ongoing support during grant awards and implementation; and supports dissemination and policy impact opportunities using the research outputs.

Mr. Lawrence Mafuru

Executive Secretary, President’s Office Planning Commission

Chair, DEEP National Steering Committee

Dr John Mduma

Director General, Tanzania Workers Compensation Fund

Co-Chair of DEEP National Steering Committee

Dr. Charles Sokile

Country Director, Oxford Policy Management Tanzania Office

Co-Chair, DEEP National Steering Committee

Racheal Chagonja

Chief Executive Officer, National Council of NGOs Tanzania

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Ms. Gertrude Mapunda Kihunrwa

Human Development Team Leader, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Tanzania

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Prof. Fortunata Makene

Executive Director, Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Prof. Zacharia Masanyiwa

Institute of Rural Development Planning

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Ms. Silvia Meku

Manager of Social and Demographic Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Prof. Beatrice Mkenda

Dean, School of Economics, University of Dar es Salaam

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Dr. Donald Mmari

Executive Director, Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA)

Member of DEEP National Steering Committee

Mr. Shedrack Mziray

Ag. Executive Director, Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Mr. Obey Assery Nkya

CEO, Uchumi Institute

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Mr. Juma Reli

Executive Director, Zanzibar Research Centre for Socio-Economic and Policy Analysis

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Dr. Rahma S. Mahfoudh

Executive Secretary, Zanzibar Planning Commission

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Mr. Kadari Singo

Chief Executive Officer, Uongozi Institute

Member, DEEP National Steering Committee

Prof. Jehovaness Aikaeli

School of Economics, University of Dar es Salaam

Member, DEEP Secretariat

Ms Pamela Shao

Senior Consultant, Oxford Policy Management

Secretariat, DEEP National Steering Committee