Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

Call for Research Proposals from Early Career Researchers – Pacific Development Research Partnership


Asian Development Bank Institute and Development Policy Centre, Australian National University


Many economies in the Pacific face continued high levels of poverty and informality, stagnant or resource-dependent growth, and severe exposure to climate change. Relative to other regions, the Pacific also has less quantitative evidence to guide policy, a challenge compounded by data deprivation and the limited number of researchers producing high-quality development research on the Pacific. The potential for greater in-depth, policy-relevant development research in the Pacific is high.

The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre (Devpol) will start a new Pacific Development Research Partnership initiative in 2022 focusing on the broad topics of (i) human capital and development; (ii) agricultural markets and technology; and (iii) livelihoods and employment, including migration and remittances. The country focus will be on Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tonga, which together account for more than 80 percent of the Pacific’s population.

As part of the initiative, ADBI and Devpol are looking for research proposals from early career economists (those in the final year of a PhD in economics or up to five years post-PhD in economics) to conduct microeconomic development research in the Pacific.

Proposals should address one of the following questions:

  1. Are Pacific children learning at sufficient levels?
  2. Are Pacific children nutritionally secure?
  3. Do Pacific children have access to safe water, adequate sanitation facilities, and hygienic living conditions?
  4. What is the food security situation in the Pacific and how can it be improved?
  5. What agricultural technology is used by Pacific farmers?
  6. What is the level of agricultural productivity in the Pacific and how can it be lifted?
  7. How integrated are value chains in the Pacific and how can market access be improved?
  8. What is the impact of shocks (climate, economic, social, and political) on human capital, agriculture, and livelihoods, and what policies and programs can reduce such impacts?
  9. What are the linkages between employment, livelihoods, and the human capital outcomes of children?

Policy and program evaluations related to the above questions and using quasi-experimental research designs are highly welcome. Descriptive studies are also welcome.

This call for proposals is limited to economists whose research focus is on the microeconomics of development, who are experienced in using microeconometric methods (including quasi-experimental methods), and who are experienced in using microdata (e.g., household-level, individual-level, firm-level, or farm-level datasets).

Submission Procedure

This call for research proposals is open to citizens of Asian Development Bank member economies only. Interested researchers should submit a brief CV and research proposal that includes the following components:

  1. Biography and statement of research (maximum 300 words);
  2. The specific research question(s) to be addressed and country of focus. Research that focuses on evaluating the impact of specific policies and interventions is of particular interest. A short literature review of relevant studies should be included (maximum 1 page);
  3. Empirical methodology, covering the data to be used. Key variables, dependent and explanatory, should be specified. If the research asks a causal question, state the quasi-experimental method(s) and identification assumptions (maximum 1 page).

The maximum length of research proposal submissions will be strictly enforced. It is not necessary to submit a budget proposal.

Researchers should submit their CV and research proposal using this link by 18 March 2022 at 17:00 Tokyo time.

Arrangements for Selected Proposals

Up to ten research proposals will be selected. Notifications are expected to be sent in April 2022.

An honorarium of $5,000 will be paid to authors of selected proposals upon addressing the following requirements:

  1. Present initial research results during a related conference in the third quarter of 2022
  2. Submit a full draft manuscript of no more than 8,000 words, excluding annexes, by October 2022
  3. Submit a revised final manuscript based on feedback from reviewers by early 2023

Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the list of topics
  • Methodology and data source(s)
  • Track record of the researcher


  • Daniel Suryadarma, Asian Development Bank Institute
  • Dil Rahut, Asian Development Bank Institute
  • Ryan Edwards, Australian National University


Inquiries should be directed to Daniel Suryadarma.