Targeting policy actors

Pre-announcement: upcoming funding opportunity on addressing neglected areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights in sub-Saharan Africa (ANSRHRA)

By 06/02/2024

Opportunity Type: Grant
Organisation: IDRC
Sector: Health
Deadline: 5th April 2024


IDRC is providing preliminary information on this anticipatory funding opportunity to allow applicants time to prepare their applications. The funding opportunity is anticipated to be launched on February 23, 2024. Through the anticipatory call, up to 15 successful teams will be invited to submit full proposals in September 2024.


Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are foundational to people living full healthy lives in ways that enable them to contribute to prosperous, equitable and sustainable societies. Across the life course, when people can access quality SRHR information and services, and have decision-making power to exercise their rights, they can effectively contribute to their wellbeing and that of their families and communities.

Respect for SRHR and improved access to sexual and reproductive services have immediate and longer-term benefits for health, particularly for reducing inequitable impacts of sexually transmitted infections, but also for other spheres of life — from education, employment, livelihoods and access to resources such as land, credit and social capital.

Targeted investments in SRHR can be an important catalyst to strengthen the existing momentum building across many communities, states and countries. Moreover, such investments can help improve the preparedness of health systems to build resilience to future emergencies and/or disruptions.

This initiative will build on the capacity of researchers and research organizations, civil society organizations, as well as policymakers, decision-makers and communities, to integrate gender-transformative approaches within implementation research.


Focused on investments to transform service design and delivery and to strengthen the development and implementation of equitable and sustainable movements, ANSRHRA is a new initiative to support gender-transformative implementation research in sub-Saharan Africa. It will contribute to improved sexual and reproductive health and realization of rights while also building systems and structures that enable and support under-served populations, including women and girls, to demand and benefit from the full spectrum of SRHR.

The initiative’s overall aim is to support greater realization of neglected SRHR by under-served populations, including women and girls, in sub-Saharan Africa.

Availability of funds

Supported by Canada’s IDRC and other funding partners, the total anticipated amount available for the ANSRHRA initiative is CAD29.9 million, enough to fund up to 16 implementation research projects in total over two rounds of funding and two Health Policy Research Organizations (HPROs). One HPRO will be based in West and Central Africa, and another will be based in East and Southern Africa.

IDRC’s financial contributions are subject to availability of funds. Should IDRC’s funding levels not be available or decrease due to unforeseen circumstances, IDRC reserves the right to withdraw the anticipatory call for applications and reduce, defer or suspend financial contributions to grants offered as a result of this funding opportunity.

Application process

This anticipatory funding opportunity will involve a two-stage process. In the first stage, interested applicants will be required to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). This stage requires applicants to complete an eligibility checklist and upload supporting documents. Only applicants who are successful at the LOI stage will be invited to submit a full technical proposal.

Full proposals will solicit submissions for a first cohort of research projects that integrate implementation and gender-transformative research and that lays the foundation for sustainable and systems-level changes. The ANSRHRA initiative will prioritize projects that address the following five priority areas of SRHR:

  • improving access to family planning and contraceptive services
  • expanding access to safe abortion where legally permitted and post-abortion care
  • upholding SRHR rights and ensuring access to services for adolescents
  • preventing and improving services for people experiencing sexual and gender-based violence
  • strengthening advocacy for SRHR

Successful projects will address at least one of these priority areas of SRHR. Implementation research proposals must integrate intersectional and gender-transformative approaches, while also being action-oriented and capacity-focused to ensure that funded projects act as catalysts for long-term meaningful change. LOIs must demonstrate a capacity for gender-transformative change grounded in a feminist approach to research, integrating systems perspectives drawn from health systems research together with participatory and collaborative approaches to creating evidence, building on local priorities and knowledge, particularly of under-served populations.

Project teams must include a researcher at an African-based institution in an eligible country as the principal investigator, a senior member of a civil-society organization led by and/or prioritizing under-served populations, who has been active in supporting priority areas of SRHR as a coprincipal investigator, an independent researcher based at a Canadian institution as a coprincipal investigator, and at least one relevant local, district or national level decision-maker as a co-investigator from the same country as the principal investigator’s institution.

Specific requirements for the application process, including the LOI stage, will be outlined in the anticipatory funding opportunity when it is formally announced in February 2024.

All applications will be externally reviewed.

Anticipated timelines

LOIs will be due on April 5, 2024, with up to 15 successful teams being invited to submit full proposals in September 2024. The launch of the ANSRHRA initiative is anticipated to be in fall/winter 2024.

Call for peer reviewers

Recruitment of peer reviewers will begin immediately. The peer-review process at the LOI stage is anticipated to take place from April 8 to April 29, 2024. An honorarium will be provided to each peer reviewer based on IDRC policies.

If you have relevant expertise and are interested in the role of being an external reviewer of the Letters of Intent or Full Proposals, please contact the ANSRHRA team as soon as possible via email at, with the subject line “ANSRHRA – External Reviewer.”

Contact information

For general inquiries, please contact us at


The information contained herein is anticipatory only and does not represent an official funding commitment by IDRC. Accordingly, the information contained herein may differ from the official funding opportunity, if and when it is published on IDRC’s website and promoted through official social media channels. In case of any dispute, the English language version will prevail.

For more information or to apply for this opportunity, please visit the IDRC website.