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. GI's Spring 2020 call for proposals is now open, with a proposal deadline of 11:59pm ET on Friday, March 20, 2020. Funding decisions will be announced during the week of May 11.
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 released in June and December, and funding decisions are announced in November and May. 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. 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 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.
Please email [email protected] with any questions.
Request for Proposals: Application Documents
Policy Outreach Support Grants
In an effort to foster global collaboration between researchers working on governance topics, GI is now offering conference travel grants to support the participation of researchers from low and middle-income countries to attend leading economics international conferences.
For more information about this conference travel grant program, which covers the NEUDC 2019 conference and NBER/BREAD's 38th Conference on Economic Development, please review the below application materials. Please email [email protected] with any questions.
Conference Travel Grants: Application Documents
NEUDC 2019 Conference – October 5-6 2019 at Northwestern University - The application deadline for the conference travel grants program for this conference has passed.
NEUDC 2019 Conference Travel Grant Application Form and Eligibility criteria
NBER/BREAD 38th Conference on Economic Development - November 22-23 2019 in Cambridge, MA –- The application deadline for the conference travel grants program for this conference has passed.
NBER/BREAD 38th Conference on Economic Development Travel Grant Application Form and Eligibility criteria
Support is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) since 2011. In addition, DFID has approved a further £12m of UK Aid to increase its support for the Governance Initiative and also to fund new research in crime and violence (J-PAL’s Crime and Violence Initiative) and conflict (IPA’s Peace and Recovery Program). DFID and J-PAL are in the final stages of negotiating an agreement for this.
The Review Paper summarizes rigorous empirical evidence on governance issues in low-income countries and identifies new directions for research. The Review Paper has been revised in October 2019 to include a new section on improving state capacity, as well as new published and working papers released between 2013 and 2016 and research funded by J-PAL’s GI up to 2019.
GI has funded over 100 projects to date.
If you have any questions related to J-PAL's Governance Initiative, please email Initiative Manager David Alzate.