Call for Proposals: Research Using Original Survey Data from Malawi, Kenya, and Zambia

The Program on Governance and Local Development invites proposals for research projects that will make use of original survey data from Malawi, Kenya, and Zambia. This is an opportunity for junior scholars based in these three countries to take advantage of previously unavailable data before it is released to the broader public, whilst also receiving training in the use of survey analysis techniques. Details of the survey and application requirements are presented below.


Details of Survey

GLD and partner research institutes in these three countries (the Institute for Public Opinion Research in Malawi, IPSOS in Kenya, and the Ubuntu Research & Rural Development Company in Zambia) are implementing household surveys and elite surveys on social institutions and urbanization. The overarching aims of this project are two-fold – first, we aim to advance a unified theory of social institutions as defined by Lust and Rakner; “the rules – written or unwritten – that govern social relations within a community, the rewards of compliance, and the costs of transgression”1 – in order to understand how, when, and where they promote good governance and improve daily lives. In addition, this project will explore governance in urban areas where we believe variation in governance and key development outcomes are driven, not only by formal government institutions, but also social institutions. Surveys are currently being fielded in the capital cities and peri-urban areas of Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia. In addition, communities residing on either side of the Malawi-Zambia border are being surveyed. The expected number of households to be surveyed is 3,750 in Kenya, and 8,750 each in Malawi and Zambia. In addition, village leaders from each of the surveyed communities will be interviewed.

The Opportunity

While the principal investigators have designed the survey with particular research questions in mind, the broad scope of the survey means that it includes information applicable to a wide range of research questions beyond those that have been specified in advance. We therefore aim to provide emerging scholars (PhD students and scholars who completed their PhD within the last five years) in each of the countries where the survey is being conducted with the opportunity to collaborate with senior scholars from around the world in order to put the survey data to their own uses.

In addition to being granted advance access to the survey data, successful applicants will be invited to Gothenburg for a collaborative workshop that will introduce the survey data in more detail, train participants in the basics of survey data analysis, and workshop research designs with their assigned collaborator.

Scholars will then return to their home countries and begin implementing their research projects. Over the following 12 months, they will be invited back to Gothenburg for learning exchange visits to sharpen their analysis and facilitate the drafting of their results.

Researchers will also be invited to present their research projects at GLD’s Annual Conference in May 2021.


Please note that GLD will cover all travel and living expenses for the research trips mentioned above.


Application Requirements

All project proposals must fall under at least one of the categories below:

  • Women’ Studies
  • Clientelism
  • Traditional Governance
  • Migrants/Migration
  • Identity and Social Norms
  • Gender and Political Participation
  • Ethnic or National Identity Politics
  • Gender and Politics
  • Immigration/Diaspora Political Connections
  • Ethnic Voting
  • Influence of community characteristics vs individual characteristics on outcomes
  • Relationship between lineage systems, vulnerable populations and/or migration on outcomes such as taxation and service provision
  • Voting Behavior
  • Democratic Accountability
  • Access to Services
  • Inequality
  • Local Governance
  • Belief Formation
  • Elections


Scholars with an interest in at least one of the topics above should:

1. Review the household and elite survey instruments (Doc 1, Doc 2, Doc 3).

2. Determine a research question that falls under at least one of the topics listed above.

3. Fill out the project proposal form.

4. Choose a representative writing sample (research paper, project report, etc.) that is at least 2 pages long.


Applicants should submit the proposals as attachments to no later than  Friday, December 13, 2019.


The proposals should be titled using the following format: “LastName_Country_Proposal_SRL”

The writing sample should be titled using the format: LastName_Country_WritingSample_SRL”


For any questions or clarifications, please email: