The Australia-Indonesia Infrastructure Research Awards (AIIRA) program is based on the premise that by enhancing the skills and informed roles of academic and civil society organisations in Indonesia’s infrastructure policy and planning processes, the quality of outputs from work commissioned by GoI agencies will improve. The program will comprise up to three separate funding rounds for research partnerships, involving an Indonesian and an International institution, over the period from January 2013 to June 2015.
The main AIIRA program outputs will be a series of high-quality demonstration research products, which will have the additional benefit of providing opportunities for learning by doing, and effective and sustainable knowledge transfer. In this way, a further, long-term outcome will be the increased capacity of the participating institutions and agencies to undertake and complete action and applied research, independently.
2. Two-stage application process
The AIIRA grant program will operate through a two-stage process:
- The first stage process will provide seed funding of up to $A15,000 (amount appropriate to the level of Stage 2 funding to be sought) to a selected number of partnered applicants, to support them to proceed to a Full Proposal (Stage 2). The seed funding will assist the partners to:
(a) meet costs including initial negotiations, meetings, analysis, preparation of documents, travel, etc.;
(b) identify and confirm an appropriate GoI agency partner; and
(c) resource the preparation of a collaborative submission.
The primary reason for providing this first-stage assistance is to ensure more balanced, equitable, and effective partnerships across the International and Indonesian research groups, and to confirm ownership and sponsorship of the planned research by a GoI agency.
- The second stage of each round will provide funds, of between $A50,000 and $A150,000 each, for the best of the initial shortlisted applications (as assessed by peer reviewers and confirmed by an Expert Panel) – to undertake, complete and communicate the approved infrastructure research. Smaller research programs of less than the $A150,000 limit are encouraged, where the funding level sought is appropriate to the planned research.
To ensure that the most effective use is made of resources, an initial, eligibility check will be required before potential applicants submit their Stage 1 (EoI) application. This preliminary stage, accessible directly from the relevant IndII-AIIRA website page, will require potential applicants to answer eight questions to determine their eligibility to apply for AIIRA funding. (Their eligibility will also be checked by IndII personnel, following submission of applications.)
A key aspect of the program is the need to ensure that any AIIRA-funded research has at its core resolving or progressing potential solutions to a challenge faced by an Indonesian government agency. Through its commitment to a demand-driven approach, IndII will ensure that potential AIIRA research projects clearly prioritise the needs and interests of the participating Indonesian institutions and GoI agencies.
5. Commitment from GoI agency or agencies
All proposed activities for which AIIRA funding is being sought will require a strong “buy-in” (or the potential for strong support) from a GoI agency (or set of agencies) at either the national or sub-national level - to maximise the potential of sustainable outcomes and benefits. As direct beneficiaries of the research, GoI agencies will be better positioned to work productively with IndII and other donors in implementing infrastructure projects that are founded on well-researched needs and whose approach and objectives address clearly-articulated emerging demands of that agency.
6. Scope of partner organisations
Participation in the program will be open not only to academic institutions, but also to civil society groups, such as “think tanks”, business associations, user group associations, and other NGOs/CSOs. This will help facilitate important and potentially productive linkages between groups with similar priorities. The program will also build on and extend existing initiatives to promote research links internationally, including Australia Awards, project-/ program-specific training, etc.
An essential component of the AIIRA program is the need to socialise research results effectively. Clearly, there will be multiple audiences – each with varying needs for information. Applicant organisations will propose a communication strategy for dissemination of the research results, not only within the participating institutions and agencies, but also more broadly across the discipline cohort. The successful achievement of these communication strategies will be a condition of payment of the final grant amount.
8. Priority sectors
Funding is available for research in the following sub-sectors, relevant to IndII’s programs: Cross-sectoral infrastructure (e.g., governance, finance, institutional reform, academic curriculum development); Water; Sanitation; Transport (e.g., rail, road, sea, air, urban mobility).
9. Broad selection criteria
The following broad assessment factors provide the framework within which specific AIIRA selection criteria will be determined.
(c) Research relevance: The most important (broad) selection criterion is the relevance of the planned research collaboration. Each research proposal must demonstrate high potential to be able to better inform and assist the delivery of infrastructure in Indonesia, at either or both the national and sub-national levels.
10. Further Information