Evidence Action Beta invites researchers to submit an application to collaborate in testing and scaling up the results of rigorous research into policies and/or programs that have the potential to benefit millions of people living in poverty.
We are seeking researchers in international development who want to participate in the transformation of their research results into scaled-up programs and/or policies, with measurable social benefits for large numbers of poor households.
Successful candidates will collaborate with Evidence Action Beta in testing and possibly bringing a promising solution to scale. They will provide advice and technical guidance in a partnership that offers substantial research opportunities, and leads to a greater good.
Evidence Action scales proven development solutions to benefit millions of people around the world. We fill the gap between knowing ‘what works’ and having impact at scale. We implement cost-effective interventions whose efficacy is backed by substantial rigorous evidence. We voraciously self-evaluate, learn, and improve our models for scaling with a commitment to transparency on progress, impact, and value for money. Our two flagship programs — Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water — reached almost 200 million people in 2016, and one of them has been selected by GiveWell four years in a row as one of the best charities worldwide.
The Evidence Action Beta team identifies, pressure tests, and scales up solutions that have the potential to become flagship programs. Among other programs, the Beta team is currently testing and growing No Lean Season. No Lean Season is a collaboration between Evidence Action and Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor at the Yale School of Management. Currently it its third year of development, No Lean Season offers small travel subsidies to rural households in Northern Bangladesh to support seasonal migration for economic opportunities. The initiative was motivated by the large positive impacts of these travel subsidies on migration, consumption, and calorie intake that were identified through a randomized control trial (RCT) carried out by Professor Mobarak and co-authors.
Since 2014, Evidence Action and Professor Mobarak have collaborated on pressure testing the program: implementing additional RCTs to verify results and explore effects that may arise at scale, including spillover effects, health effects, and impacts at the destination areas of seasonal migration. Professor Mobarak has guided the design of the RCTs; conducted independent research on the intervention; and provided critical intellectual leadership and technical guidance. Evidence Action has driven the overall growth strategy; led the design of the service delivery; brought together partners and funding; and is overseeing the implementation of the program, including coordination with RDRS, the local partner in Bangladesh.
Evidence Action Beta is looking to forge similar, mutually-beneficial collaborations with other researchers.
We invite individuals or teams who have tested and found a positive impact of an intervention benefiting poor households through an RCT or other rigorous empirical method, and are interested in further testing its scalability and potential to benefit millions of people, to submit a brief application. Short-listed candidates will be contacted to discuss the potential for collaboration, and may be asked for a detailed proposal at a later stage. We expect to select 3-6 promising, evidence-based ideas for improving the lives of the poor to test in partnership with researchers.
Evidence Action intends to fund at least one additional RCT or other rigorous empirical study for each of the selected 3-6 solutions. The purpose of this research would be to further test the potential of each proposed solution to benefit millions of poor people, and to explore additional outcomes relevant if an intervention were to be implemented at scale. We expect that research partners will provide input in the study design.
Researchers will have co-ownership of any datasets produced, and independence to publish findings based on the data. Evidence Action will be responsible for managing implementation, including providing funding, contract management, and coordination with other partners. Evidence Action may also be able to provide funding for a Postdoctoral Fellow and/or Research Assistant(s).
Depending on the success of the collaboration and the nature of the results, the partnership may continue through further studies and other related activities.
This Call for Results is part of a larger set of activities undertaken by Evidence Action Beta to identify promising solutions for pressure-testing and eventual scale-up – including a desk review and interviews with key experts.
Promising interventions from any sector will be considered, with the following requirements:
The intervention has been tested and found to have impact through at least one RCT or other rigorous empirical method. The positive impact should be documented in at least one peer-reviewed journal publication. Papers that have been accepted but are not yet published will also be considered.
The intervention is clearly pro-poor, in that it has a direct link to poverty alleviation, with quantifiable economic benefits (i.e., income, consumption, employment, etc.) to poor households. Solutions in health, environment, or water and sanitation, for example, are of interest as long as they present an empirically-based connection to decreasing poverty.
The intervention has been tested in, or is relevant to, sub-Saharan Africa. Geographically, the activities tied to this Call for Results will focus on sub-Saharan Africa, but Evidence Action Beta is open to solutions that have been tested elsewhere and demonstrated positive economic effects.
There are no further restrictions in terms of timeline, budget, institutional affiliation, or implementing agency.
UPDATE: The deadline for submissions for Spring 2017 has passed. We will post future rounds here and on social media. Thanks for your interest.
Researchers may submit more than one expression of interest (as a single researcher or as part of a team). Please submit a separate entry for each proposed intervention.
Submissions by researchers who were not involved in a study that tested and found a positive impact of the proposed solution are considered. In this case, researchers involved in the original RCT will be contacted for first refusal to participate.
Timeline and Questions?
Submissions for the spring 2017 round will be reviewed by Evidence Action and research collaborators.
Selected candidates will be contacted by 3 March 2017 to discuss the potential for collaboration. At that stage, candidates may be asked to submit a more detailed proposal, to be reviewed and rated by a team of experts.