Humanitarian Action Research Incubator in Cairo, Egypt

Workshop or Training
Línea de tiempo:
Cairo, Egypt


J-PAL and IPA Humanitarian Incubator Photo


J-PAL and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) are pleased to announce that applications are now open for a three-day randomized evaluation design workshop as part of the Displaced Livelihoods Initiative (DLI) and the Humanitarian Protection Initiative (HPI) to develop projects in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Hosted by J-PAL Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Cairo, the research incubator is tailored to the interests of organizations whose activities aim to promote sustainable livelihoods, self-reliance, and socio-economic inclusion for displaced persons and host communities, or promote solutions that ensure humanitarian protection outcomes. It will help them explore how randomized evaluations can complement their evaluation, learning and innovation toolkit and lay the foundations for fruitful collaboration with researchers who can apply for impact evaluation funding.

Over the course of this incubator, J-PAL researchers and staff will guide groups of 3–4 staff members per organization through the process of designing a randomized impact evaluation. By the end of the incubator, participants can expect to have thought through the key elements of a rigorous evaluation design to better understand one of their own projects or interventions. As places are limited, early application is encouraged.

Instructions to apply

Fill in this application form by 23 May 2024. As places are limited and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, early applications are encouraged. 

Information Session: Sign up here for the Humanitarian Action Research Incubator Information Session on Tuesday, 14 May at 3:00 pm CET. 

Objectives and outcomes

Participants will come out from the incubator with an increased understanding of the nuts and bolts of designing and implementing a randomized evaluation. Besides the design of an evaluation that is relevant to their work, they will be better equipped to make informed choices about evaluation options that are suited to their programmes and the specificities of livelihood aimed to improve livelihood outcomes targeting displaced persons.

Participant organizations with promising research questions will benefit from support before, during and after the workshop from J-PAL staff and researchers, along the path towards developing a randomized evaluation. Workshop participants will be well-positioned to partner with researchers who can apply to a recurring call for research proposals run as part of the Displaced Livelihoods Initiative and the Humanitarian Protection Initiative. 

What can applicants expect? 

Participants will cover topics such as:

  • Building on a theory of change to formulate research questions, select indicators, and identify data sources
  • Methods of randomization adapted for interventions implemented in displacement and humanitarian settings 
  • Understanding power calculations to determine sample size 

Indicative Agenda

22 July 23 July 24 July
Welcome and Introduction Randomization and evaluation design Generalizability
Research question and theory of change Implementation challenges Project presentations and feedback
Lunch Lunch Lunch
Indicators and measurement Power and sample size Project presentations and feedback (continued)
  Group dinner Closing and next steps

What makes a strong application?

Successful applications will demonstrate:

  • Alignment with DLI’s motivation and scope as outlined in section II and III of our most recent call for proposals, or alignment with the scope and research priorities in this request for proposals
  • Clear programs or activities that are evaluable:
    • Recurring activities of a program, which participating organizations seek to better understand and iteratively improve
    • Activities of a program that the organization intends to launch in the near future
  • Evaluation question that the organization seeks to answer via a randomized evaluation
  • A robust theory of change detailing the assumptions underpinning current programming 
  • Organizational interest in evidence-based decision making and learning that makes for a conducive environment for randomized evaluations

Who should make up the team? 

  • Organizations should ideally be represented by multidisciplinary project teams that has the ability to carry randomized impact evaluations forward, across organizational divisions and levels, such as:
    • Decision-making: Staff member with decision-making power with regards to the project (e.g., head of department managing the project)
    • Implementation: Staff with knowledge of the specific program / intervention that the organization is interested in evaluating and who can provide detailed information on the implementation aspects of the project.
    • Evaluation: Staff empowered to oversee/coordinate the implementation of the evaluation (Statistician / M&E specialist) within the organization

Key information

How to apply: Fill in the application form in this submission portal by 23 May, 2024. As places are limited and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, early applications are encouraged. 

Information session: Join an information session on the Humanitarian Action Research Incubator Information in MENA on 14 May at 3:00 pm CET. Sign up here

Workshop fees: Participation in the course is free of charge, thanks to funding provided by the IKEA Foundation and UK International Development from the UK government.

Travel and logistics: The workshop will take place in person in Cairo, Egypt. Please note that J-PAL is generally not in a position to cover travel or accommodation expenses, and we are therefore asking selected organizations to cover their own expenses. Funding is available on a case-by-case basis for refugee-led organizations, or more broadly, organizations led by individuals with lived experience of displacement, who anticipate challenges in funding their travel expenses. J-PAL can provide letters to support participants' visa applications. 

Contact : Please contact [email protected] for any questions regarding the application process or other details about the workshop

Application form access troubleshooting: In the exceptional cases where the applicant team does not have access to Google suite, please submit the form attached below to [email protected]

About the Displaced Livelihoods Initiative

Displacement is at an all-time high and is projected to climb in the coming decades, pushing the donor, practitioner, and researcher communities to seek more cost-effective, long-term solutions to displacement. This has led to an increased effort to strengthen displaced livelihoods, self-reliance, and economic inclusion. More evidence is needed, however, about what interventions best support sustainable livelihoods for displaced populations and host communities. 

The IKEA Foundation is supporting IPA and J-PAL to generate and share new evidence on the impacts of policies and programs that can foster sustainable livelihoods for displaced populations and host communities. Under this Initiative, IPA and J-PAL manage calls for proposals, form partnerships with displacement actors and researchers, and support the translation of funded research into policy and practice. Ultimately, research supported by the Initiative will support the design of better policies and programs to enable refugees and others forced to flee to rebuild their lives.

For more information, visit our website

About the Humanitarian Protection Initiative

Conflict and crisis situations threaten the lives and basic rights of individuals, and present obstacles to both the fulfillment of basic needs and inclusive economic development. UN OCHA estimated that 274 million people will require humanitarian assistance in 2022 and the scale of these needs continue to grow, in particular as global warming leads to further disasters, displacement and potential conflict. Yet, rigorous evidence on how humanitarian assistance can be delivered effectively, and in a manner that can durably meet the needs and protect the rights of affected populations, is scarce. To help fill this evidence gap, J-PAL has developed a research initiative funded by UK International Development from the UK government with the intention to identify effective models of humanitarian programming to improve protection outcomes. 

For more information, visit our website and the recent RFP document.