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Request for Proposals: Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) Data Privacy | Spring 2022

Financial Inclusion Announcements


The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is pleased to announce the 2022 Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) Data Privacy Request for Proposals, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The widespread adoption of mobile phones, mobile money, and other digital devices and services has led to a rapid increase in the volume of personal data being collected in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Data privacy has received a lot of attention in high-income country contexts from both technical (e.g., Computer Science) and non-technical (e.g., law and policy) researchers, but very little work has been done to study data privacy in the LMIC context. This initiative is intended to help fill that gap.

The DCO has has $500k to allocate towards data privacy research over the next three years, which we anticipate using to fund a total of 6-10 projects. This RFP is focused on funding original research on questions related to data privacy in low- and middle-income countries. We are interested in technical proposals that explore the potential for privacy enhancing technologies (PETs), as well as theoretical and qualitative work that seeks to better understand concerns regarding data privacy and/or possible ways to enhance data privacy protections in LMICs. While we do not have a particular disciplinary preference, the proposal must focus on data privacy, and it must have a specific focus or relevance to LMIC contexts. Example research questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Can we measure the tradeoff between accuracy and privacy in various DFS settings?
  • How does the local definition of “data privacy” vary by context, and how can we best measure this? How do consumers in LMICs perceive the tradeoff between data sharing and DFS access?
  • How can we best use PETs either “out of the box” or in combination with each other?
  • Can PETs enable data portability / sharing and unlock the potential to create new/better public goods (i.e. credit bureaus, reduce fraud, easier to apply for financial services, etc.)?

Application Process:

To apply, please use our online Submittable portal to complete a brief series of questions about your project and upload a PDF of your proposal narrative and budget. Please see the full Request for Proposals for details about the application process. You can contact our staff team at with any questions.

Deadline for Proposals: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time



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