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Q. What global challenges will GCRF address?

The following challenge areas have been developed in consultation with the UK Department for International Development:


Clean Energy

Sustainable Agriculture

To tackle diseases, strengthen health systems and reach the worlds’ most vulnerable.

To provide access to clean energy, including new technologies and the behavioural insights required for successful introduction to developing countries.


To improve nutrition and food security, support technological innovation, and increase resilience to climate change.

Conflict & humanitarian action

Foundations for Inclusive Growth

Other potential topics

New insights and approaches for preventing conflict and violence, build stability and strengthen humanitarian action.

To understand what works best for developing countries to build the foundations for economic development - macroeconomics, institutions, innovation and private sector growth, cities and infrastructure, education systems, jobs and skills.


Resilient systems

Mass Migration & Refugee Crises




Q. Which countries are eligible for funding?

The OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee) list of the Official Development Assistance Recipients shows all countries and territories eligible to receive official development assistance. These consist of all low and middle income countries based on gross national income (GNI) per capita as published by the World Bank, with the exception of G8 members, EU members, and countries with a firm date for entry into the EU. The list also includes all of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the United Nations (UN). The DAC revises the list every three years. Countries that have exceeded the high-income threshold for three consecutive years at the time of the review are removed. The next review of the DAC recipient list will take place in 2017.

The Global Cambridge website has further information on Cambridge’s global activities in specific countries and regions, key strategic partnerships, as well as institutions and initiatives that engage with specific internationally-related themes. 


Q. What is ODA?

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) defines Official Development Assistance (ODA) as “flows to countries and territories” which are on the DAC’s list of ODA recipients, provided by official agencies to promote the economic development and welfare of countries on the list. It is expected that funding streams eligible for allocation from the UK’s ODA budget should demonstrate how they aim to contribute to aims to reduce poverty and increase sustainable development is required. For further information on ODA please visit the OECD web site.


Q. Is my project ODA compliant?

There are guidelines to ODA eligibility, but slight differences in context and detail could mean that an activity would or would not be ODA eligible. Therefore when trying to decide whether an activity is ODA eligible, it is important to focus on the questions which would typically be asked for by the OECD. Questions you may wish to consider regarding your project’s ODA eligibility include:

  • Is the activity addressing the economic development and welfare of the country in question?
  • Are the countries involved on the DAC List of ODA Recipients (the Development Assistant Committee of the OECD)
  • Is there a development need that my activity is addressing?
  • Is this credible or is there evidence of the need?
  • How would this project or activity be applied in the country?
  • What would the impact of my project or activity be, and who would benefit?
  • How does my project or activity contribute to sustainable development?
  • Would this lead to a reduction in poverty in a developing country?
  • What would success for this activity look like?
  • How would success or impact be measured?