King Climate Action Initiative Request for Proposals

Taking a two-track approach to informing climate policy, the King Climate Action Initiative (K-CAI) at J-PAL funds proposals to design, pilot, evaluate, and scale innovations at the nexus of climate change and poverty. The Initiative has one regular funding cycle per year. 

  • K-CAI research awards fund full randomized evaluations, pilot research projects, and travel/proposal development projects to identify potentially high impact innovations and evaluate their effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
  • K-CAI Path-to-Scale awards fund technical assistance to governments, firms, and NGOs to adapt, pilot, and scale evidence-based climate change solutions with demonstrated impact.


J-PAL affiliates and K-CAI invited researchers are eligible to apply for all categories of research and scaling funding in collaboration with their implementing, policy, and/or other research partners. J-PAL postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply for all types of research funding. Graduate students who have a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher on their thesis committee are eligible to apply for travel/proposal development grants or up to $50,000 in pilot or full-scale funding. J-PAL and IPA offices are eligible to apply for scaling funding with a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher as a collaborator. To be considered for K-CAI funding, all proposals are required to have submitted an expression of interest by February 29, 2024. Scaling proposals may continue to submit expressions of interest by contacting [email protected].

Four Focus Areas

Working across developing countries that will be hardest hit by climate change and high-emitting developed countries, K-CAI supports research and scaling projects across four outcome areas, prioritizing projects that have the potential to benefit people experiencing poverty:

  • Climate change mitigation: Reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to slow the pace of climate change and its damaging effects
  • Pollution reduction: Reducing harmful carbon co-pollutants and thereby improving public health, without reducing critical access to energy
  • Climate change adaptation: Building people and communities’ ability to adapt to the economic, social, and environmental impacts of climate change, particularly in low- and middle-income countries
  • Energy access: Increasing access to affordable, reliable energy for people experiencing poverty and encouraging shifts in energy systems towards cleaner sources 

To speed up the path from research to policy action, K-CAI will prioritize evaluations that use administrative and remote sensing data to generate results more quickly and collaborations with policy partners that can scale effective solutions.

Proposal Timeline

K-CAI’s Spring 2024 RFP for both research and scaling projects is currently closed. We will launch our next RFP in Spring 2025.

For research and scaling projects facing a significant external time constraint or a time-limited policy window, K-CAI can also accept off-cycle applications on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should complete this off-cycle LOI form. If the project is eligible to receive an off-cycle award, you will be invited to submit an application. Off-cycle proposals will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. Please email [email protected] with any questions about the off-cycle application process.

Application Instructions

J-PAL initiatives, including K-CAI, have transitioned to using an online portal for all proposal submissions, proposal reviews, invoice submissions, and grantee reporting. To apply to K-CAI’s Spring 2024 RFP, you will need to log in via our online portal with your username and password. Please navigate to the portal and follow the instructions to complete your registration. For further information and troubleshooting, please contact [email protected]. 

Letter of interest: K-CAI's expression of interest form was due on February 29, 2024 at 11:59 AM ET, and is now closed. All applications are required to have submitted an EOI by this deadline in order to submit a full proposal. 

Full proposals: The K-CAI team will notify you via the portal once we have reviewed your LOI and you are clear to begin your proposal. In the interim, to facilitate your proposal development, we have hosted reference application documents below that outline in detail all required information that applicants will be asked when submitting a full proposal to K-CAI via our online portal system. You are welcome to begin drafting your proposal materials using these templates. Please, however, do not complete or submit these reference documents to K-CAI for consideration.

J-PAL Air and Water Labs (AWLs): Proposals to Solutions and Advancements through Research for Water and Air (SARWA), the Water, Air, and Energy (WAE) Lab, and the Hub of Advanced Policy Innovation for the Environment (HAPIE) will be reviewed by the K-CAI Board for full randomized evaluations and path-to-scale projects only (but not travel/proposal development or pilot proposals). For more information on the AWL application process, visit the AWL website.  


Am I eligible to apply to K-CAI?

You are eligible to apply for K-CAI if you are a J-PAL affiliate, a J-PAL postdoc, a K-CAI invited researcher, a PhD student who has a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher on their thesis committee, or a J-PAL or IPA office working in collaboration with a J-PAL affiliate or K-CAI invited researcher.

I am a policymaker or implementing organization interested in evaluating an innovation. How can I connect with an eligible researcher in the J-PAL network?

Our team is glad to facilitate connections between potential partners and J-PAL’s network of researchers. We would be interested in hearing more about your organization and the program or policy you are interested in evaluating so we can identify if there are researchers in our network who may be available and interested. Please contact our team at

What does K-CAI’s scaling fund entail, and who qualifies for it?

K-CAI’s scaling fund (referred to as "Path-to-Scale") includes several very flexible types of funding, such as data collection and early-stage work. Path-to-Scale funding will be available to support technical assistance to partners in government, NGOs, and the private sector to adapt, pilot, and scale policies and programs that have already been evaluated with an RCT, and found to be effective. If you are unsure whether your project qualifies to be considered for scaling funding, please contact [email protected] and the K-CAI team will be happy to discuss options. A more in-depth Guide to Path-to-Scale Awards is available from the K-CAI main page. 

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