Governance Initiative

Governance initiative

J-PAL’s Governance Initiative (GI) funds randomized evaluations of interventions designed to improve participation in the political and policy process, reduce leakages in public programs, and increase state capacity. The Spring 2016 request for proposals is now closed. The next call for proposals will be announced in June and due in September 2016. 

By providing targeted funding for rigorous evaluations of the most promising programs to improve governance, GI aims to offer guidance for organizations and governments in developing countries as well as the donors who provide support to these countries so that policies can be guided by scientific evidence on what works (or does not work). 

Application Documents

GI RFP Overview - Spring 2016

Full and Pilot Studies

Full and Pilot Proposal Application Form and Instructions | Full Study Budget Template | Pilot Study Budget Template

Travel/Proposal Development Grants

Travel/Proposal Development Grant Application Form and Instructions | Travel/Proposal Development Grant Budget Template

The next call for proposals will be announced in June and due in September 2016. Funding decisions will be announced in November.


J-PAL affiliates Ben Olken (MIT) and Rohini Pande (Harvard Kennedy School)

Review Board

J-PAL affiliates Oriana Bandiera (LSE), Frederico Finan (UC Berkeley), and Asim Khwaja (Harvard Kennedy School)


Support is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Review paper

The Review Paper summarizes rigorous empirical evidence on governance issues in low-income countries and identifies new directions for research (last updated October 2013, PDF).

Executive Summary (PDF)


GI has funded over forty evaluations to date.


Learn more about GI events held in GhanaIndia, and Indonesia.


Please email Initiative Manager Anna Schickele for more information.