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 two regular funding cycles 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 scaling 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. 

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 is currently accepting proposals for its Spring 2021 RFP. Short letters of interest are due by 11:59 PM ET on Friday, February 19 and full proposals are due by 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, March 30. Please note that all applications are required to submit a letter of interest by the February 19 deadline. Funding decisions will be announced in the first half of May.

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 for up to $75,000 on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should email [email protected] explaining their time constraint to determine whether their project could qualify for off-cycle support. 

Application Instructions

J-PAL initiatives, including K-CAI, are transitioning to using an online portal for all proposal submissions, proposal reviews, invoice submissions, and grantee reporting. To apply to K-CAI’s Spring 2021 RFP, you will first need to register via our online portal. Please navigate to the portal and follow the instructions listed to complete your registration. 

Letter of interest: All applications are required to submit a letter of interest (LOI) by Friday, February 19 at 11:59 PM ET. To submit an LOI, please sign into the portal after confirming your registration and click here to access K-CAI’s LOI.

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.


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

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