Governance Initiative Request for Proposals


J-PAL’s Governance Initiative (GI) funds randomized evaluations of strategies to improve governance in low- and middle-income countries. GI's Fall 2020 round for proposals is now open, with proposals due by 11:59PM (US Eastern Time) on Friday, November 20, 2020. COVID-19-related proposals are encouraged.

J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and invited researchers are eligible to apply. PhD students, with support from an adviser who is a J-PAL affiliate or GI-invited researcher, are also eligible to apply for travel/proposal development grants and up to $50,000 for a pilot or full-scale study

By providing targeted funding for rigorous evaluations of the most promising programs to improve governance, GI aims to offer guidance for implementing organizations, governments, and donors, so that policies can be guided by scientific evidence to improve development outcomes.

For instructions on how to apply and details on eligibility and proposal types, please refer to the the RFP Overview document under Application Documents below. 

For past GI awardees with ongoing GI-funded studies: Please note that cost-extension requests from current GI awardees for their ongoing GI-funded studies will also be considered alongside new proposals during this round. Cost-extension requests must also be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, November 20, 2020. Please refer to the RFP Overview document for further details.

Proposal Timeline

GI's Fall 2020 round for proposals is now open, with proposals due by 11:59PM (US Eastern Time) on Friday, November 20, 2020. Funding decisions will be announced around January 2021.  

GI has two regular funding cycles per year for full research projects, pilot studies, and travel/proposal development grants that address open questions outlined in the Governance Initiative Review Paper. Typically, RFPs are released in June and December, and funding decisions are announced in November and May (mid-June for the Spring 2020 RFP). Each proposal is reviewed by three referees: an academic reviewer, a policy expert, and a member of the GI Review Board. The Review Board makes final funding decisions. 

Off-cycle proposals

GI also offers funding for randomized evaluations outside of the regular RFPs. These grants are intended for research projects that face a significant 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.