The Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is inviting applications for the Peace & Recovery (P&R) Program to support field experiments and related research on reducing violence and fragility, promoting peace, and preventing, managing, and recovering from crises.

The program prioritizes studies that develop, illustrate, or test fundamental theories of peace, violence, and recovery, especially those that challenge common beliefs, pioneer innovative interventions, and produce evidence where little currently exists.
Priority funding areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Participation and organization of violence
  • Social order without the state
  • State and institution building
  • Service delivery and development in unstable or violent contexts
  • Forced displacement
  • Rehabilitation and recovery from violence and building peace
  • Crisis prevention, response, and recovery
  • Homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean
P&R supports full randomized trials, pilot studies, exploratory and descriptive work, travel grants, and (in rare but deserving cases) non-experimental evaluations. Funding for the Peace & Recovery Competitive Fund comes from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
IPA’s Peace & Recovery Program (P&R) supports field experiments and related research in several broad areas:
  • Reducing violence and promoting peace
  • Reducing “fragility” (i.e. fostering state capacity)
  • Preventing, coping with, and recovering from crises, focusing on conflict but including non-conflict humanitarian crises such as COVID-19
Type of Funding
The P&R Program will consider proposals for the following:
  • Exploratory grants: These grants are to develop preliminary research ideas. They expect these grants to help researchers develop subsequent proposals for pilots or full randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Awards are capped at $10,000.
  • Pilot studies: These grants are for studies with a clear research question, but for which the design and implementation requires substantial upfront investments. The expectation is that this work helps researchers develop subsequent proposals for full RCTs. Awards are between $10,000 and $50,000.
  • Full studies: These grants are for research projects with a clear research question, committed implementing partner(s), well-defined research designs, and statistical power estimates. While most of the impact evaluations funded will be RCTs, studies that use high-quality natural experiments will be considered in exceptional cases when a randomized experiment is not possible. Awards are between $50,000 and $450,000.
  • “Infrastructure” and “public goods” creation: This includes the creation of administrative datasets, panel datasets, other new data, software, measurement strategies, and so forth. Projects will represent a public good for the research community, with data or tools that can be applied towards a range of purposes. Awards are between $10,000 and $150,000.
  • Reviews and meta-analysis of relevant literatures: This includes but is not necessarily limited to the experimental program evaluation evidence. Awards are between $5,000 and $20,000.
  • Evidence use and policy outreach support: These grants support development of relationships with policymakers, take-up and dissemination of evidence, sharing and analysis of administrative data, and exploration potential experimental evaluations. Awards are capped at $25,000.
Researcher Qualifications
  • At least one researcher per project must be affiliated with an academic institution or university, and either hold a PhD or be currently pursuing a PhD in a relevant discipline.
  • They must demonstrate experience in field research and randomized evaluations and have sector expertise. Successful applications will come from researchers with a track record of published field experiments in top outlets.
  • Practitioners and institutions that implement interventions should partner with academics with strong records implementing similar research studies in order to apply for funding. IPA’s P&R Program is available to support matchmaking with researchers.
Focus Countries
  • Proposals related to the first seven core research themes will be eligible for funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID). A majority of DFID funding must be spent in DFID priority countries. They will be able to consider projects outside of this regional scope, provided they are in fragile states or fragile regions in moderately stable states, but these will have a lower probability of funding. This funding cannot support research in high income countries.
  • Proposals related to the eighth core research theme, homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean, will be eligible for funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). Only projects in Latin America and the Caribbean are eligible. While they would be particularly excited to receive proposals for projects in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras), proposals for projects across the region will be considered.
Evaluation Criteria
Proposals are reviewed by a rotating group of academic researchers. Projects are assessed against five, equally weighted evaluation criteria:
  • Academic contribution: Does the study make a significant contribution toward advancing knowledge in the field? Does it answer new questions or introduce novel methods, measures, or interventions? Is there academic relevance? How does the study compare with the existing body of research? Does the research strategy provide a bridge between a practical experiment and underlying economic theories?
  • Policy relevance: Does the study address the priority questions outlined in the P&R Guiding Principles and Funding Priorities document? Will results from the intervention have generalizable implications? How, if at all, will the “lessons learned” have relevance beyond this test case? Is there demand from policymakers for more/better information to influence their decisions in this area? Is there potential for the implementing partner to scale up this intervention?
  • Technical design: Does the research design appropriately answer the questions outlined in the proposal? Are there threats that could compromise the validity of results? If so, does the proposal sufficiently address those threats? What changes could the researchers make to improve the design? For full study proposals, are there sufficiently detailed power calculations?
  • Project viability Is the relationship with the implementing partner strong and likely to endure through the entire study? What is the credibility and policy influence of the implementing partner?
  • Value of research Is the cost of the study commensurate with the value of expected contributions to science and policy? Does the study leverage funding from other sources?
For more information, visit IPA.
Name of the Organisation
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
Grant Amount
USD 50,000
Closing date of Proposal
Friday, 20 November, 2020
RFP Email
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