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This document provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI)'s Competitive Fund.
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Research Resource
Date:
July 29, 2022
RFP
1. RFP Objective IPA’s objective is to partner with a competent Travel Agency that has extensive Global experience in Travel Management Services and superior customer service. We are looking for a Travel Agency who can demonstrate the achievement of cost savings and compliance to IPA’s policies, as well as knowledge of the United States Federal Travel Regulations, including Fly America Act and other development sector regulations. The Travel Agency should be able to charge costs to multiple internal projects and credit cards and generate invoices and reports outlining costs related to each project and card.  2. RFP Calendar The timeline for the RFP process is below. While we do not anticipate any changes to this timeline, IPA reserves the right to adjust the timeline as needed. Action Date RFP Issue Date Monday, 25th July 2022 Deadline for Receipt of Questions Friday, 5th August 2022 at 11:00pm (EDT) Deadline for Receipt of Proposals Friday, 2nd September 2022 at 11:00pm (EDT) Vendors...
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Procurement Resource
Date:
July 25, 2022
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We present the results of a 3.5-year followup on a randomized experiment benchmarking a workforce training program against cash transfers. Examining self-employment outcomes in a sample of poor and underemployed youth, this study measures the impact of the training program relative not only to a control group, but also to the counterfactual of simply disbursing the cost of the program directly to beneficiaries in cash. We continue to find impacts of the job training program on time use, productive assets, and business knowledge, while the cash transfers have strong continued effects on productive assets, livestock values, savings, and subjective wellbeing. Both interventions enhance the likelihood that individuals operate businesses and the sales in those businesses, with large cash transfers sustaining strong improvements in business profits more than three years after disbursement. Nonetheless, impacts have faded by roughly one-half compared to what was seen at the 18-month midline,...
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Published Paper
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July 19, 2022
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Can training and mentorship expand the economic impact of cash transfer programs, or would such extensions waste resources that recipients could allocate more impactfully by themselves? Over the course of two years, a Ugandan nonprofit organization implemented alternative poverty alleviation approaches in a randomized manner. These included an integrated graduation-style program involving cash transfers as well as extensive training and mentorship; a slightly simplified variant excluding training on savings group formation; and a radically simplified approach that monetized all intangibles and delivered cash only. Light-touch behavioral extensions involving goal-setting and plan-making were also implemented with some cash transfer recipients. We find that simplifying the integrated program tended to erode its impact.
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Published Paper
Date:
July 13, 2022
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In March of 2020, the Government of Colombia expanded existing social assistance programs to help shield households from the economic impact of lockdown orders associated with COVID-19. The programs included the launch of Compensación del IVA, an unconditional cash transfer (UCT), supported by value-added tax (VAT) revenue, designed to support Colombian households living in extreme poverty. This case study examines the government’s rapid deployment of the cash transfer payments via mobile wallets from March to April of 2020. The goal of deploying the funds digitally was to stem COVID-19 infections and distribute benefits quickly. However, beneficiaries faced technological challenges associated with the mobile wallet, and 23 percent of mobile money recipients reported delays or difficulties accessing the transfer (compared to 10 percent of cash recipients). Lessons from the Colombian government’s rapid deployment of digital payments and the consequences of the digitized UCT for benefici...
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Brief
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July 12, 2022
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The Consumer Protection Research Fund is open to all academic researchers and accepts proposals for randomized evaluations of consumer protection in digital financial services in lower and lower-middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Applicants are invited to consult this Request for Proposals Overview document to better understand the policy motivation and research questions acceptable for consideration under this scheme. This call for proposals has closed as of Friday, August 19, 2022. Thank you to all who submitted applications. Please contact us with any questions.
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Research Resource
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July 11, 2022
Spanish
La minería ilegal es prominente en todo el mundo, pero rara vez esta actividad se reporta ante las autoridades responsables de monitorearla. Colombia Mining Monitoring (CoMiMo) utiliza inteligencia artificial y tecnología satelital para localizar posibles puntos de ubicación de minas ilegales en Colombia. Usando esta tecnología, los investigadores revelaron la ubicación de minas a las autoridades locales y nacionales para medir su respuesta y determinar si esta información reduce o reubica la presencia de la minería ilegal.
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Brief
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July 01, 2022
Spanish
¿Pueden los programas de formación en las industrias creativas, como la música, brindar oportunidades para ayudar a mejorar las habilidades técnicas y no técnicas de los jóvenes para estar preparados y tener éxito en la economía moderna? En Colombia, investigadoras están evaluando el impacto de un programa de emprendimiento musical y planificación de vida en el fomento del desarrollo de habilidades técnicas y blandas en los jóvenes.
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Brief
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June 30, 2022
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Innovations for Poverty Action’s Peace & Recovery (P&R) competitive research fund supports randomized evaluations and related research on reducing violence and fragility, promoting peace, and preventing, managing, and recovering from crises. The program supports policy-relevant studies that develop, illustrate, or test fundamental theories of peace, violence, and recovery, especially those that challenge common beliefs, pioneer innovative interventions, and produce evidence where little currently exists. To date, we have funded over 80 projects in approximately 30 countries.  
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Brief
Date:
June 23, 2022
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A large and growing segment of the Bangladesh population are digital financial service (DFS) users, yet little has been done to investigate the range and prevalence of consumer protection issues that occur with these services such as fraud, hidden fees, and ineffective complaints mechanisms. In other markets, evidence suggests some customer segments, for example, women and lower-income customers may experience these issues at higher rates than the population at large. To better understand the nature of risks in DFS in Bangladesh, IPA conducted a phone survey of DFS users in November 2021, the results of which are presented in this report. This report finds that scams, overcharging, and poor customer care were the most common consumer protection challenges faced by digital financial service users, although these were all reported at lower levels than similar surveys in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. The report also reveals that consumers often do not report challenges through formal compla...
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Report
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June 14, 2022
ENGLISH
Households living in extreme poverty face many challenges that restrict their ability to earn a living, but historically, policies aimed at building pathways out of poverty have focused only on one or few constraints. Evidence from NGO programs points to the promise of multi-faceted programs, but questions remain around the effectiveness and scalability of such programs through government systems. In collaboration with Government Safety Nets Units, Innovations for Poverty Action, and partner researchers evaluated the impact of multidimensional economic inclusion programs delivered on top of national cash transfer programs to address several poverty challenges simultaneously. The evaluation included programs in Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal, all countries in the Sahel region. This brief presents the main findings of the evaluation in Niger. Results for Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal will be presented in forthcoming briefs.      Les ménages vivant dans l’extrême pau...
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Brief
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June 10, 2022
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IPA’s Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) has launched its second Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for full randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and other rigorous impact evaluations to assess the impact of counter-trafficking programs. Proposals are due by 11:59 pm US Eastern time on Friday, August 5, 2022. HTRI welcomes proposals to assess counter-trafficking interventions that fall into any or all of the "4P’s” (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). Funding priorities are guided by HTRI’s Research and Learning Agenda, which outlines key research gaps under the 4P’s. Applicants are instructed to read the Research and Learning Agenda and refer to one or more of HTRI’s priority research questions that their research project intends to address. Research that is primarily qualitative or descriptive will NOT be considered for funding under HTRI. Applicants can request full funding for RCTs, partial funding for RCTs, or funding for new arms of existing RCTs,...
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
June 08, 2022
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The Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) is a five-year program funded by the Program to End Modern Slavery (PEMS) at the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) and implemented by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). HTRI seeks to expand the evidence on the primary drivers of human trafficking and the most effective ways to prevent this pervasive problem. HTRI has developed this research and learning agenda to guide the project’s research and policy efforts by: Identifying inefficiencies and critical evidence gaps hindering the success of international anti-human trafficking initiatives; Providing information and evidence to guide HTRI’s grant-making selection process; Shaping HTRI’s knowledge management and policy change agenda through new knowledge and data gathered from HTRI-funded research. This document outlines the current priority research questions and working analytic framework to promote analysis of programs spanni...
Type:
Research Resource
Date:
June 07, 2022
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In Liberia, an 8-week CBT program paired with cash transfers, called the Sustainable Transformation for Youth in Liberia (STYL) program, successfully reduced criminal, violent, and other antisocial behaviors over a ten-year period. The STYL program, developed by the local community organization Network for Empowerment & Progressive Initiative (NEPI), involved therapy led by reformed street youth and ex-combatants. The program was low-cost, with a budget of $530 US per participant for CBT, cash, and administration. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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Brief
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June 06, 2022
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New monitoring technologies can help curb illegal activities by reducing information asymmetries between enforcing and monitoring government agents. I created a novel dataset using machine learning predictions on satellite imagery that detects illegal mining. Then I disclosed the predictions to government agents to study the impact on illegal activity. I randomly assigned municipalities to one of four groups: (1) information to the observer (local government) of potential mine locations in his jurisdiction; (2) information to the enforcer (National government) of potential mine locations; (3) information to both observer and enforcer, and (4) a control group, where I informed no one. I use an independent expert validated dataset that measures gold mining to evaluate the effect of the intervention. I find that the effect of treatment is relatively similar regardless of who is informed: in treated municipalities, illegal mining is reduced by 11% in the disclosed locations and surrounding...
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Working Paper
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May 27, 2022
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La evaluación de Ingreso Solidario demuestra la importancia del programa como herramienta de política pública para mitigar los choques de ingresos, laborales y alimentarios ocasionados por la pandemia del COVID-19 y reducir la caída en pobreza de los hogares vulnerables más golpeados por su presencia en Colombia.
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Brief
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May 24, 2022
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Using a randomized field experiment in Costa Rica, we estimate the effect of providing parents of preschool students with a text message intervention containing information and activities to engage them with their children's learning process at home. After 15 weeks of intervention, the cognitive skills of children whose parents were assigned to the program was 0.11-0.12 standard deviations higher than the control group. We find suggestive evidence that the effect was driven by an increase in parent involvement through the proposed activities from the text message campaign.
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Working Paper
Date:
May 20, 2022
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Formal financial inclusion remains low in Nigeria: just about three percent of adult Nigerians have borrowed from formal sources, and less than half (forty-five percent) have a formal account at either a bank or microfinance institution (EFInA Access to Finance Survey 2020). The most common reasons for not having a formal account are negative perception of formal institutions, little access to banks, or not having enough income to save. This suggests that the broader ecosystem of formal financial services is not conducive toward inclusion—either through low demand or poor provision of the right financial products. While both men and women lack access to formal financial services, especially credit, a “one-sized” approach is not appropriate to onboard all Nigerians. This report finds that different segments of the population have their own financial preferences and behaviors. Younger women are more sophisticated with their credit than older women, and will therefore benefit from more co...
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Report
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May 19, 2022
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Finding effective measures to integrate young people into productive adult life is crucial, especially given Africa's growing youth population. However, the evidence surrounding various policy alternatives is mixed, and there is no clarity on the long-term impact and cost-effectiveness of the various alternatives. In Rwanda, researchers conducted a cash benchmarking evaluation, — a direct comparison of in-kind to cash transfer programs — of a workforce readiness and skills training program called Huguka Dukore. 
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Brief
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May 12, 2022
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A medida que los patrones de migración cambian, se necesitan más pruebas del impacto de los programas de regularización en los países en desarrollo. En Colombia, los investigadores evaluaron el impacto de un programa de permisos temporales de trabajo y residencia para los migrantes venezolanos. Los resultados muestran que el programa de permisos tuvo efectos positivos significativos en el empleo, el bienestar y la resiliencia de los migrantes.
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Brief
Date:
May 06, 2022

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