Studies Exploring Inequalities in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya (closed)

The application process is now closed and we will be announcing the selected applicants in early March

Funding: up to £150,000 (£50,000 for each Observatory)

The REACH Programme is a 7-year, £15m programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID). This project, led by the University of Oxford, involves a research consortium of global leaders in water science, policy and practice. It aims to improve water security for 5 million poor people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by 2022. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to an ambitious research programme and global science-practitioner partnership working to deliver significant benefits for people living in poverty.

REACH is launching a call for applications for studies Exploring Inequalities in three Observatories: Dhaka (Bangladesh), Wukro (Ethiopia), and Kitui (Kenya). A total of £150,000 of funding (£50,000 for each observatory) will be available until April 2019 to co-build knowledge on how water (in)security produces or reflects socio-economic inequalities and marginalisation, particularly of gender and disabled people.

In Dhaka, the aim of the study will be to analyse how industrialisation and water security are interlinked, specifically, how different related structural challenges affect individual agencies, especially those of vulnerable people living in riparian areas of Dhaka.

In Wukro the study will explore how reliance upon domestic water sources for income generating activities shape social structures and affect agencies, particularly of vulnerable people.

In Kitui the commissioned research aims to explore the tension between structure and agency, particularly of vulnerable people in relation to governance and management of different water supply models.

This research will inform the sector and policy makers on the consequences of industrialisation, appropriateness of water management and social consequences of different models of water supply.

The call is open for researchers or research teams that fulfill the aim of the programme including civil society organisations, research institutions, regional organisations, think tanks, governmental organisations and the private sector.

Applicants must have an institutional affiliation, and possess a good knowledge of the local language, context and culture.







You should submit your application to only one of the three Observatories.

Please read carefully our Guidance Notes for Dhaka, Wukro or Kitui, which provide more information on the studies and on the application process. You will then need to fill in the Budget and the Host Institution Declaration Form.

The application should be submitted to Applicants are encouraged to apply early, and to communicate their intention to apply by 15 January with the title of their project. Final applications should be sent by 15 February.

If you have any questions please email 


Can we conduct research in a different country to those listed in the call (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya)?

This call is open only for studies in REACH observatories (Dhaka in Bangladesh, Wukro in Ethiopia and Kitui in Kenya)

Can we apply from a different country to those listed in the call?

You may apply from a different country but you need to ensure that the ground level researcher knows well the local language, culture and context.

Could you employ me as an independent researcher, if I have relevant expertise?

We will consider only applications from researchers that have institutional affiliation.

How can I express my interest in the call?

You should send an email to with the title of your application and the possible date of submission. There are no formal forms to fill.

Do I have better chances if I apply early?

No. You should send an email with the expressed interest before January 15. All applications, which expressions of interests we have received, have equal chances. We will not close the call before receiving all the applications which we were notified about.

Will my expression of interest be evaluated? Will it have an impact on my application?

No, we do not evaluate your expression of interest. Everyone, who has sent an expression of interest on time, can send an application later. Expression of interest will not be taken into consideration in the evaluation of the final application.

UK Department for International Development Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

‘Access to water is a defining challenge for the 21st century. The UK has already helped 43 million people to access clean water, but there is far more to be done.’

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