US State and Local Innovation Initiative

government building
The J-PAL State and Local Innovation Initiative supports US state and local leaders in using randomized evaluations to generate new and widely applicable lessons about which programs work, which work best, and why.

Through this initiative, state and local governments can apply for project development awards, including:

  • Up to one year of pro bono technical support as they design randomized evaluations to inform critical policy questions;
  • Flexible funding to help get these evaluations off the ground; and
  • Connections with J-PAL’s network of leading academic researchers.

State and local governments that have partnered with a researcher from J-PAL’s network to design a high-quality randomized evaluation can apply for funding to carry out the evaluations.

The state and local leaders selected to participate in this initiative serve as a model for others across the United States, demonstrating that state and local governments can create and use rigorous evidence to address challenging social problems.

Be sure to check out our State and Local Learning Agenda, which summarizes the core research priorities from state and local governments and J-PAL affiliated researchers, discusses ongoing or completed evaluations, and outlines opportunities for future research.

Key Facts

  • Research RFP: Closed
  • Partner RFP: Open
Open to US state and local governments and J-PAL affiliates, post-doctoral fellows, or invited researchers.


For researchers

Request for Proposals

The State and Local Innovation Initiative RFP solicits proposals from J-PAL affiliates, invited researchers, and PhD students being advised by a J-PAL affiliate. Selected projects receive funding for pilot studies or full research projects. 

For Partners

Leveraging Evaluation and Evidence for Equitable Recovery (LEVER) Evaluation Incubator

Through the Evaluation Incubator, state and local governments may submit competitive applications for technical support, flexible funding, and connections with J-PAL’s network of researchers to develop one or more evaluation ideas around policy-relevant questions. 

Read more

Current Partners

Since launching the State and Local Innovation Initiative in 2015, J-PAL North America has supported the development and implementation of randomized evaluations in partnership with eighteen state and local governments.

Initiative Staff

Louise Geraghty, Government Partnerships Lead

Alejandro Noriega, Policy Manager

Emma Noble Smith, Policy Associate

Victoria Moura, Policy & Communications Associate