J-PAL’s Governance Initiative (GI) funds randomized evaluations of interventions designed to improve participation in the political and policy process, reduce corruption and leakages, and strengthen state capacity.
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.
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. RFPs are typically released in June and December, and funding decisions are typically announced in November and May. GI's Fall 2022 RFP is now closed. Decisions will be announced in mid to late December.
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. J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL post-docs, and invited researchers are eligible to apply for funding for full-scale evaluations (for a maximum of $400,000; typically up to $250,000) pilot studies (up to $75,000), travel/proposal development grants (up to $10,000), and policy outreach grants (up to $20,000).
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.
GI also offers research funding 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.
- Research RFP: Open
Alex Chen, Policy Associate