The Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action seeks proposals from individuals or organizations to carry out short-term ‘actionable’ research on food security early action in pastoral areas of East Africa.

We seek proposals from interested researchers or organizations to carry out short-term research projects that contribute to at least one of the ‘Challenge Questions’ that frame our research, learning and innovation agenda: Data for effective early action; Coordinating for effective early action; Financing for effective early action;  Trust in data and evidence for early action; and Effective early action at Community level.

We expect to allocate up to £200,000 to between two and five separate projects.

Key dates

  • Applications should be submitted by 1700 (UK time) on 17 May 2024.
  • You will be notified of the outcome of your application by 3 June 2024.
  • We expect projects to start on 1 August 2024; ending by 31 July 2025; with final reports due by 31 August 2025.

 Notes to applicants

Before submitting, we urge applicants to familiarise themselves with the Observatory’s research, learning and innovation agenda. The challenge questions in particular frame the areas where we want to achieve impact.

The form asks you to provide:

  • basic information about the person leading this application.
  • information on your project: a statement of the problem, its link to the Observatory’s ‘Challenge Questions’ that frame its agenda, the approach and methods you will use, how the project will contribute to impacts, and a list of key outputs and deliverables.
  • brief information on any expected partner organisations and their roles.
  • Information on the costs you seek funding for.

It also asks you to SEND by email A SINGLE PDF file comprising the following:

  • Relevant 2-page CVs
  • Letters of support from any collaborating organizations
  • Gantt chart
  • Budget and budget narrative

Proposals with clear links to partners in East Africa or links to Jameel Observatory consortium members are particularly welcome.

 Evaluation criteria:

  • Project idea – novelty/coherence/rigour (35%)
  • Alignment with Jameel Observatory scope (35%)
  • Outreach, engagements, manuscripts, and other activities aimed to create impact through the project (20%)
  • Value for money including considerations related to co-funding (20%)


The Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action (JO) is an international partnership led by the University of Edinburgh collaborating with the International Livestock Research Institute, Save the Children, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Community Jameel.

Its vision is that vulnerable pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in target regions of East Africa are more prepared for and resilient to the effects of evolving environmental shocks and stresses on their food security and nutrition.

It combines the local knowledge and concerns of communities facing on-the-ground threats of hunger with innovations in data science and humanitarian action; teaming up to devise solutions that can predict, prepare for, and overcome climate-related food security and malnutrition challenges in dryland areas of East Africa.