Request for Proposals: Research to Better Understand the Psychosocial Impact of NTDs

This page describes a call for proposals which has since closed. 

The Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center (NTD-SC) at The Task Force for Global Health is currently soliciting proposals for operational research to better understand the psychosocial impact of NTDs on individuals and their families.

Individuals living with the chronic manifestations of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) can face a lifetime of permanent disability. Without sufficient health services to address their physical and mental health needs, these individuals and their families can endure subsequent psychosocial impacts from prolonged disability. These may include poor mental health due to stigma and its related trauma, the deprivation of social and community contacts, reduced marital prospects, and lower economic potential.

Presently, our understanding of the psychosocial impact of NTDs remains limited and uneven across the NTDs. As health care services for NTDs are increasingly integrated within the health systems under the platform of universal health coverage (UHC), more operational research is needed to understand the burden of impact, the range of experiences people have, and the opportunities to improve outcomes for those living with chronic manifestations of disease.

The outcomes of this request for proposals (RFP) will strengthen the evidence base about the psychosocial impact of NTDs on individuals and their caregivers. This information will help in the design of approaches that will better meet the needs that people face when living with disability due to NTDs. For those diseases or populations for which the impact of the psychosocial burden is known, this RFP offers a chance to pilot interventions within the health system to improve quality of life, providing recommendations to health authorities for bringing promising interventions to scale.

Examples of operational research topics that will be considered include the following:

  • Measuring the burden of the psychosocial impact and availability of services through mapping or other techniques;
  • Investigating health-seeking behaviors and experiences of individuals living with NTD-related disabilities as they seek care;
  • Quantifying the economic impact of disability due to living with chronic manifestation of NTDs on household income and health expenditures;
  • Assessing how mental health services for NTDs might be integrated into the existing health system, providing recommendations for UHC;
  • Piloting an intervention to address some of the known psychosocial impacts of NTDs, evaluating for impact; and
  • Understanding gender-based differences in stigma, providing recommendations for gender transformative approaches.

This is not an exhaustive list of topics to be funded, and other relevant ideas will be considered. The NTDs which will be considered for this call include: leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, and visceral leishmaniasis.

With this call, the NTD-SC seeks proposals that are nested within national programs and which establish a foundation for integrating NTD-related activities into national health systems. Projects will be funded with UK aid through the UK Department for International Development via the NTD-SC, which serves as Secretariat for the Coalition for Operational Research on NTDs (COR-NTD).

Applications will be evaluated based on the following:

  1. Well-formulated research question that addresses the theme of the call
  2. Whether the proposed research is nested within the national NTD program
  3. Collaboration between national and international research teams
  4. Scientific merit of the research questions and methods
  5. Plan for knowledge translation
  6. Value for money 

Maximum duration of the project: All research activities, analysis, and final technical/financial reports must be concluded and submitted by 27 February 2021.

Submission: Submissions are made through a web form, available here:

Deadline for submission: Midnight EST on February 7, 2020