BID 2020: Data use for decision-making grant

Grants that build on existing relationships between biodiversity data-holding institutions and decision-makers, to provide data solutions that respond to a specific policy need

Starfish fungus (Aseroe rubra), Zahamena National Park, Madagascar. Photo 2019 by Brandon Shaw, via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.


The Data Use for Decision-Making grant is directed at projects in which the mobilization of primary biodiversity data, and derived information resources, respond clearly to pre-defined decision or policy needs relating to sustainable development. These projects will build on existing relationships between experienced biodiversity data-publishing institutions, and end-users requiring biodiversity information for specific decision- or policymaking processes.

Projects will consist of three elements:

  1. An initial planning phase in which the data and information requirements for a pre-identified policy or decision process are collaboratively scoped by relevant partners including policy makers, researchers, sectoral interests and data holders. This should include, for example:
    • Analysis of the information resources required to address the policy or decision need
    • Assessment of which primary biodiversity data is already freely accessible (e.g. through GBIF), and which data could become accessible through a process of targeted data mobilization, e.g. from undigitized or scattered evidence from existing collections or monitoring programmes
    • What systems and tools are in place, or are needed, to support data mobilization and analytics now and in the future
    • What data management and analytical capacity is needed to create the information resources
  2. A data mobilization phase that should include the mobilization of currently inaccessible data from holders identified in the planning phase.
  3. An information development phase, in which existing and newly-mobilized data are processed into information resources fit for the purpose of user needs. This phase may overlap with the data mobilization phase. An evaluation process to include the refinement of data information resources and their integration within existing processes and platforms, as well as identifying further data mobilization requirements.

Data use grants should include activities contributing to the following four component categories. Each category below includes a non-exclusive list of possible types of activity. It is important that activities are implemented within the 24-month project period.

1. Defining user needs

  • Convening data users and data holders as stakeholders, and facilitating discussion between them
  • Leading surveys or workshops to define policy questions and/or decision processes, identify biodiversity information and primary data requirements(i.e. a user needs assessment)
  • Assessing available data and potential biodiversity data holdings by mapping the national biodiversity information landscape
  • Establishing collaboration agreements including data sharing agreements between relevant parties
  • Developing and refining plans for data mobilization and monitoring and evaluation

2. Activities to mobilize and enhance policy-relevant biodiversity data

  • Digitizing and publishing data from natural history collections, monitoring and sampling activities, DNA barcoding, citizen science, literature and other sources in response to needs identified in the planning phase
  • Validating and publishing regional, national and local species checklists,
  • Training stakeholders in data mobilization and management, for example, through workshops to share the knowledge gained through attending BID capacity enhancement workshops
  • Preparing data papers to improve the reusability of the mobilized biodiversity data
  • Enhancing quality of published datasets, for example through georeferencing, adding collection dates or identification of specimens to lower taxonomic level

3. Producing user-ready analyses of GBIF-mediated data that respond to policy questions that may include:

  • Data summary tables indicating population trends, species richness and community composition
  • Map products such as species distributions or geographical data gap analyses
  • Indicators informing Sustainable Development Goals or CBD targets
  • More complex map products (such as ecological niche models, protected area networks)
  • Biodiversity assessments (e.g. Red Lists, KBAs etc.)

4. Integrating data solutions into policy-making process

  • Implementing a user-led evaluation process of the data solutions
  • Developing a communication plan
  • Producing communication materials eg policy briefs, news articles, etc.
  • Integrating the data/information products within existing national or international biodiversity reporting platforms and systems
  • Setting up user groups to guide project implementation on identified priority themes
  • Directing workshops and advocacy actions that promote the use of data solution to users
  • Revising of national biodiversity policies
  • Documenting use cases and sharing them with partners in the region
  • Establishing workflows and institutional agreements to promote further data mobilization to update information resources developed in the project


Maximum funding: €60,000 per project


In addition to complying with the general eligibility criteria, applications for data-use biodiversity data mobilization grants must comply with the following criteria:

  1. The applicant institution must have existing relationships with government ministries and/or national/regional organizations with a mandate for developing policies and making decisions relevant to sustainable development
  2. Involve decision-makers and/or policymakers as data-use partners from the outset. These could include public agencies or ministries at national or sub-national level, regional or transboundary authorities, private companies, sectoral associations (e.g. relating to forestry, agriculture, fisheries, energy or mining) or non-governmental organizations implementing conservation activities. These must be representatives of legal entities located in an eligible country.
  3. Have identified a regional/national/subnational policy or decision process for which primary biodiversity data is required
  4. Demonstrate that project partners have already undertaken data mobilization activities and could independently undertake these activities
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of how project activities may integrate with existing biodiversity information systems. The project should not try to develop new systems.
  6. Include activities contributing to each of the four component categories:
    • Defining user-defined needs
    • Activities to mobilize and enhance policy-relevant biodiversity data
    • Producing user-ready analyses that respond to user needs
    • Activities to integrate data solutions into decision- and policymaking processes
  7. Submitted by the project coordinator responsible for overseeing activities on behalf of the project partners. The project coordinator must be affiliated to a legal entity from an eligible country. The project coordinator will be responsible for operational and financial management, and for the project reporting.
  8. Include at least two relevant national institutions, agencies or non-governmental organizations as project partners.
  9. BID funds may be used to cover up to 50% of the costs of any IT, electronic and laboratory equipment, up to a maximum of €2,500 of any data use grant. Receipts must be provided in financial reports. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to:
    a. computer equipment, such as laptops, desktop computers, servers, hard drives and printers
    b. software licences and subscriptions
    c. digital cameras and scanners
    d. other electrical equipment and electronics
    e. lab equipment including microscopes, sequencing equipment, etc.

 This programme is funded by the European Union.