Innovation for MSME Development Initiative Call for Partner Collaboration


The Innovation for MSME Development Initiative (IMDI) is seeking to engage implementers (nonprofits, private sector, government, etc.) who have programs or policies targeted to MSMEs in Indonesia related to financing, capacity building, and market access. We are interested in understanding the key questions they may have about their program/policy and helping them use rigorous evaluation to generate evidence on their priority research questions. Through our collaboration, the IMDI team can:

  • Share knowledge and policy lessons from existing research;
  • Establish connections between program implementers and J-PAL’s network of experienced academic researchers to design and implement a randomized evaluation;
  • Provide technical assistance on the study design and feasibility, and find funding for the randomized evaluation. 

Please note that IMDI’s 2023 RFP cycle is now closed. However, we are open to learning more about your program and brainstorming innovative research ideas together. 


Our engagement with program implementers is ongoing throughout the year. Please express your interest to [email protected]. Partners can describe their program/policy and share any information about questions they may have regarding their program/policy. 

Priority Themes 

IMDI is seeking program implementers with innovations related to four broad themes:

  1. Targeting MSMEs with growth potential: Identifying cost-effective methods of identifying firms with growth potential to improve targeting of MSME programs (e.g. innovations in credit screening, use of community information to identify high-growth potential peers, business competitions or incubators to identify productive entrepreneurs). 
  2. Increasing financial access for MSMEs: Testing innovative financial products that aim to increase MSMEs' access to credit to grow their business (e.g. using machine learning and alternative data for credit scoring, digital financial products, training to improve financial literacy and management, loans tailored to women entrepreneurs). 
  3. Increasing firm management and production capacity: Exploring solutions that would expand the reach of existing capacity-building programs and implement effective tailored training or individualized assistance at scale (e.g. tailored training for MSMEs, mentoring programs, consulting services). 
  4. Expanding market access for MSMEs: Designing and testing solutions to support MSMEs use and survive in the digital marketplace, reduce their logistics costs, and integrate MSMEs into the supply chain (e.g., logistic aggregator services, product curation service, digital onboarding training, etc.).

For an extensive list of open questions and evidence gaps related to these themes, as well as a detailed synthesis of existing evidence on MSME programs, please refer to the IMDI White Paper. 

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