Research Funding

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In this image:Participants in an IPA study on teacher transfers digitize marks from copies of students' tests in Kampala, Uganda. © 2018 Aude Guerrucci
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IPA's research funds provide competitive funding for rigorous research on understudied topics of global policy interest.

Our funds are managed by in-house experts and supported by guidance from leading academic researchers. IPA has managed large-scale competitive funds for rigorous research (randomized controlled trials or RCTs, and other rigorous evaluation methods) on numerous topics, including financial inclusion, human trafficking, intimate partner violence, peace and recovery, and small and medium enterprises, along with funds for developing and improving research methods.

IPA has developed robust systems for soliciting, selecting, and managing awards, ranging from travel awards and seed funding for partnership development, to pilot studies, to full RCTs. We have also funded add-ons to existing studies, meta-analyses, policy outreach support, and infrastructure and public goods creation such as panel datasets. IPA research awards are made with the expectation that the funding will eventually lead to a high-quality impact evaluation, publishable in an academic journal.

IPA staff work with academic advisors to form selection committees composed of experts in the topic and research methodology, along with members with deep policy knowledge. Proposals are generally scored based on academic contribution, policy relevance, technical design, project viability, and value of research.

Awards can be made to projects in IPA country offices (with research managed by IPA) or outside of IPA country offices. Applicants may be from any institution so long as they have sufficient expertise to carry out the work. We encourage applications from researchers from multiple disciplines and historically underrepresented groups, and we strongly prefer research teams include researchers from the countries where the project will take place.

 

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Closed Funding Opportunities

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Consumer Protection

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IPA's Consumer Protection Research Initiative is a four-year research initiative, which partners with policymakers, financial institutions, and civil society to develop new consumer protection solutions in digital financial services. The Initiative focuses on key consumer protection themes relevant to digital financial services.

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Human Trafficking

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IPA, through its Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI), is funding new research to advance effective solutions to human trafficking and ultimately inform policies and practices. To generate a more expansive pool of high-quality research proposals, HTRI is supporting early-stage activities such as partnership development and exploratory research, as well as larger-scale studies evaluating the effectiveness of current or planned counter-trafficking interventions. Funded projects include seed grant funding for pilot studies, exploratory and descriptive work, and travel grants, as well as partial and full funding for randomized evaluations and (in limited cases) quasi-experimental evaluations. For reference, see past funded projects.

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Intimate Partner Violence

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IPA's Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Initiative seeks to inform global development policy and practice on IPV reduction by expanding knowledge and improving research methods. By building on existing studies, the IPV Initiative aims to generate insights on the development programs that shift IPV outcomes and what factors drive these changes.These include studies of programs that impact household finances, increase women’s empowerment, and improve socio-emotional skills. The IPV Initiative's research fund leverages existing research studies to advance our understanding of the underlying causes and influencing factors of intimate partner violence. For reference, see past funded projects.

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Peace & Recovery

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IPA's Peace & Recovery Program (P&R) sector supports field experiments and related research in several broad areas: reducing violence and promoting peace; reducing "fragility" (i.e. fostering state capability and institutions of decision-making); and preventing, coping with, and recovering from crises (focusing on conflict, but also including non-conflict humanitarian crises such as COVID-19). Through its competitive fund, P&R supports full randomized evaluations, pilot studies, exploratory and descriptive work, travel grants, and (in rare but deserving cases) quasi-experimental evaluations. For reference, see past funded projects.

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Research Methods

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The Research Methods Initiative is a collaboration between IPA and the Global Poverty Research Lab at Northwestern University.The initiative supports systematic studies into how to improve the methods and measurement of key outcomes in global poverty research. The initiative was created to examine sources of measurement error in research studies including in questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork implementation, and validation of key indicators. It is organized around three themes: (1) research design, (2) questionnaire design, and (3) fieldwork implementation and data quality.

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