Crime and Violence Initiative

Crime and Violence Initiative

The Crime and Violence Initiative (CVI) fosters experimental research on crime and social and political violence. Crime and violence can hinder economic development and urban growth, and exacerbate governance challenges by fostering corruption and draining public sector resources. Given the wide reach of these adverse effects, the initiative funds evaluations that focus on preventing, mitigating, and responding to the effects of crime and violence. By providing targeted funding for rigorous evaluations of the most promising programs, the CVI aims to offer guidance for implementing organizations, governments, and donors, so that policies can be guided by scientific evidence to improve development outcomes.

CVI has two regular funding cycles per year for travel/proposal development grants, pilot studies, and full randomized evaluations that address the initiative's guiding principles and funding priorities (see “CVI RFP overview” below). RFPs are released in June and December, and funding decisions are announced in November and May, respectively. Each proposal is reviewed by the CVI Review Board.

CVI's Spring 2020 call for proposals is now open, with a proposal deadline of 11:59pm ET on Friday, March 20, 2020.

CVI also offers funding outside of the regular RFP cycles. These grants are intended for research projects that face a substantial time constraint and need to receive funding before the end of a regular funding round to make use of an unanticipated opportunity (e.g., a newly announced policy change that will go into effect soon, creating an opportunity for a randomized evaluation). Proposals must clearly justify the need to receive a decision on an expedited schedule. The maximum amount awarded to off-cycle proposals is $50,000.

J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL postdocs, and invited researchers are eligible to apply for any type of CVI funding. PhD students who have a J-PAL affiliate or invited researcher on their thesis committee may be eligible to apply for travel/proposal development grants, pilot study grants, or up to $50,000 for full RCT grants.

Requests for Proposals: Application Documents

CVI RFP overview – Spring 2020

Travel/Proposal development grants

Travel/Proposal development grant proposal application instructionsTravel/Proposal development grant proposal cover sheet and narrative formTravel/Proposal development grant proposal budget template

Pilot studies and full RCTs

Pilot study and full RCT proposal application instructionsPilot study and full RCT proposal cover sheet and narrative formPilot study proposal budget template | Full RCT proposal budget template

Evidence use and policy outreach support

Evidence use and policy outreach proposal application instructions | Evidence use and policy outreach proposal cover sheet and narrative form | Evidence use and policy outreach proposal budget template


Christopher Blattman (University of Chicago) and Oeindrila Dube (University of Chicago)

Funded projects

CVI has funded 26 projects to date.


The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has co-funded J-PAL's Governance Initiative since 2011. DFID has approved a further £12m of UK Aid to increase its support for the Governance Initiative; and also to fund new research, particularly experiments, in crime and violence (J-PAL's Crime and Violence Initiative), and conflict (IPA's Peace and Recovery Program).


Questions or comments? Please e-mail CVI Manager Isabela Salgado at [email protected].