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Call for papers

We invite submissions of one-page proposals for papers to be presented at our workshop “Resourcing international organizations: New insights from the Earmarked Funding Dataset” at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (late November or early December 2023). The workshop will take place over two days and bring together researchers from various disciplines with a key interest in the policies and politics of resourcing international organizations. After the workshop, authors will be invited to submit their papers as part of a special issue on the funding of international organizations.

All submissions must use the Earmarked Funding Dataset but are otherwise free to develop their own research questions on the theme of resourcing international organizations. To facilitate the development of one-page proposals, we provide a detailed codebook that introduces the data to this call. Authors of accepted proposals will obtain pre-launch access to the new dataset, which will allow them to finalize their drafts for the workshop.

Attendees will benefit from a unique opportunity to interact with peer authors and the data hosts in virtual sessions during the development of their paper. At the workshop, they will obtain feedback from renowned field experts and practitioners who are invited to participate in the event: Lisa Chauvet (Université Paris I Sorbonne), Axel Dreher (Heidelberg University), Jörg Faust (DEval), Nilima Gulrajani (ODI), Jonas Tallberg (Stockholm University), Margret Thalwitz (World Bank alumnus). Finally, we will cover travel and accommodation costs to the workshop thanks to funding support from UK Research & Innovation.

The deadline for submissions is March 3, 2023. All submissions should be made through the online form: Submission to the call entails a commitment to attend the workshop in Glasgow. Acceptance decisions will be made within one week after the close of submission.

Funding support for this workshop from the UK Research & Innovation is gratefully acknowledged. For further questions, please contact the workshop convenors: Dr Bernhard Reinsberg ( and Dr Mirko Heinzel ( We are happy to explain the data in more detail and answer any questions on the feasibility of projects using the data in the run-up to submission.

 Rationale and background

International organizations (IOs) are key actors in the efforts of the international community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, they have come under pressure in various ways, suffering populist attacks, member withdrawals, and insufficient resources.

The workshop seeks to examine the ways in which member states—through the ‘power of the purse’—affect the operations of international organizations. In particular, the rise of so-called ‘earmarked funds’ has increased concerns over undue donor influence, increased transaction costs, and failure to deliver on organizational mandates. Unlike core funds, these funds allow donors to restrict how organizations can use the funds to specific purposes, such as countries, themes, or projects. Several high-level initiatives, such as the UN Funding Compact, seek to commit donors to un-earmark their contributions. In exchange, multilateral agencies have committed to increase their accountability and their focus on results.

Given these developments, there is an urgent need for expanding research on the resourcing of international organizations. To facilitate systematic analysis of the causes and effects of different resourcing practices, the EF-IO project at the University of Glasgow has collected detailed data on over 342,812 earmarked funding activities by 50 donors to over 340 IOs from 1990 to 2020. They are available on the donor-level, the IO-level and the activity level. The data not only provide the most comprehensive picture of earmarked funding in the multilateral system, but also allow researchers to assess the stringency of earmarking from the perspective of multilateral implementing organizations. The new Earmarked Funding Data may help researchers address important questions on the drivers and consequences of resourcing practices and can inform theoretical debates on the autonomy and capacity of international organizations.

Scope of submissions

We welcome submissions on the theme of resourcing international organizations—broadly construed. A necessary condition for acceptance is that they make use of the Earmarked Funding Data. This does not preclude researchers from collecting additional data as appropriate to answer their research questions. We explicitly welcome new data contributions that can be fruitfully combined with the Earmarked Funding Dataset. Similarly, we welcome projects that extend the scope of the data, for instance by looking at new donors, new organizations, or new funding modalities.

Submissions from early career researchers and people from historically marginalized communities are especially encouraged.