Use keywords and Boolean terms to search

The standard search on Devex without using any Boolean terms functions similar to a Google search.

Projects that have all of the keywords will appear at the top of the search results whereas those with only some or one of the keywords will appear at the bottom. However, there are a few ways to further define your search.

Please note, that using many of these keys in one search could slow down the search speed as the system needs to scan the profiles with the new rules.


Key: "" - Quotation marks

Use: Search by phrase rather than individual words

Example: "climate change" 

Results: Will include any project with both keywords in this pattern, if you were to search for climate change without the quotation marks the search would be looking for climate or change, the word change can be included in many funding opportunities related to every and any sector.  

Key: AND

Use: Require all keywords

Example: gender AND health

Results: The search will only show projects that are both gender and health orientated

Key: OR*

Use: Require at least one of the keywords

Example: education AND (health OR gender)

Results: This search will show projects focused on education and either health or gender.

Example: education OR (health AND gender)

Results: Similar to the last search, this will show projects with the keywords of education or health and gender

* Remember, if you only have two or more ‘or’ search terms (i.e. health OR gender) you do not need to put OR – the default search will already do that.


Key: () - Parentheses
Use: Combine different keywords and Boolean search terms
Example: "climate change" AND (study OR research)
Results: Will show projects that are related to the phrase “climate change” but also include the terms study or research.


Use: Remove projects that contain a certain keyword

Example: gender AND NOT “maternal health”

Results: Will include any project with the keyword gender, but not those with maternal health


Key: ^

Use: Boost certain keywords

Example: health^10 gender

Results: Health is considered 10x more important than gender, and the order of the projects will reflect that weight. This is an OR search since we did not specify AND.* The results will be the same number as if you did health gender but in a different order – weighted more heavily to health.
* You can use the boost feature and AND keywords; for example health^10 AND gender

Key: *

Use: Used with root words when search terms could have different endings

Example: sustain*

Results: Will include sustainable, sustainability, sustainably, or any other words that begin with sustain.


 Common mistakes that result in an error on the search:

- Users leave out a quotation mark to close a phrase, e.g. "economic empowerment rather than "economic empowerment".

- Users search using Boolean search terms but not in capital letters, e.g. typing health and education rather than health AND education. Boolean search terms need to be in capital letters to be recognized (AND, OR, AND NOT).