Given growing recognition of the importance of gender-sensitive social protection, the Cash Transfer and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Research Collaborative seeks partnerships to expand the rigorous evidence base linking cash transfers and IPV in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Through this call for Expressions of interest (EoI), we intend to select and award “add-on” funding to approximately 5 – 7 research studies, in order to advance the evidence base surrounding priority research questions (see annex). The overall goal of this work is to better understand how cash transfers affect IPV, in order to effectively leverage cash programming for IPV prevention among poor and vulnerable women in LMICs.
This call for EoIs recognizes the benefits to sharing information, coordinating, and aligning research to fill research gaps and inform policy between institutions and research groups working on similar topics. In addition, it promotes inclusion of researchers from LMICs and closer engagement with implementers to strengthen the evidence base, relevance, and uptake of this work. As an outcome of these small grants, we hope to build a portfolio of research projects that address existing research gaps, bridge disciplinary silos, and build partnerships between researchers and implementers, as well as raise the profile of IPV and gender-based violence among social protection actors.
Parameters of the Collaborations:
- Small grants of approximately US$25,000 to US$200,000 will be awarded to each study, based on type of activity and project financial needs. As an illustrative guide, grant amounts can be envisioned as follows:
- Up to $25,000 – Analysis of existing data and drafting a paper, including possible dissemination outputs (briefs, blogs) or other evidence to policy activities.
- Up to $75,000 – Adding IPV modules or modules to capture pathways of impact to an existing evaluation in one or more survey rounds, with associated outputs.
- Up to $125,000 – Embedding a qualitative study in an existing impact evaluation, conducting a stand-alone qualitative study/process evaluation, or adding a costing study to an existing impact evaluation, with associated outputs.
- Up to $150,000 – Adding an additional round to an existing evaluation, either to examine long-term or post-intervention effects, or collect IPV within an endline of an experimental study that lacks funding, with associated outputs.
- Up to $200,000 – Exceptional cases, which may combine multiple of the above activities and outputs.
- At the start of the grant period, each awardee will be expected to attend a virtual inception meeting and present study design and research plans with the Cash Transfer and IPV research collaborative core team and other awardees. At the end of the grant period, each study will be expected to present findings at a research workshop to share results, synthesize findings across studies and inform the next generation of research.
- Core members of the Cash Transfer and IPV research collaborative will be available upon request to provide technical assistance (TA) and review of questionnaires, ethics protocols, and papers – with options for more involved research collaboration on specific studies on a case-by-case basis.
- Lead authors or author representatives from each awarded study will be invited to co-author a synthesis paper drawing out lessons on key research questions across all awarded studies (in 2023).
- All activities must be completed by the end of 2023.
Eligibility: EoIs must meet the following criteria:
- Submitting organization: Submissions must be on behalf of a research or practice institution. While there is no limitation on the location of the submitting organization, all research must focus on LMICs.
- Research questions: All studies must address one or more of the priority research questions (see Annex) agreed upon during a collaborative stakeholder workshop.
- Intervention typologies: All research must focus on cash transfer programs (including unconditional or conditional cash transfers, cash-for-work, and digital cash). Therefore, programs that evaluate the cash as one component of a broader program qualify (including e.g. cash vs. food or cash-plus programs).
- Methodologies: All evaluations must use rigorous methods. Quantitative studies typically will include credible identification of a counterfactual via experimental or quasi-experimental methods and be sufficiently powered to detect effects. Qualitative studies must use rigorous sampling and analysis methods informed by theory. Costing studies must clearly indicate methodology and demonstrate why the method is preferred given the study parameters.
- IPV and ethics expertise: All teams must have demonstrated experience with collecting data on IPV (or plan to collaborate with an experienced researcher – including from the core group). Attention to ethics within the research process is a non-negotiable component of the collaboration. All evaluations should adhere to standard ethics approaches for collecting IPV measures, promoting enumerator and participant safety within data collection.
Given gaps described in the current evidence, priority will also be given to EoIs that meet the following desired criteria:
- Promote inter-disciplinary evaluation teams, including public health and economics—drawing on the strengths of each discipline.
- Encourage mixed-method research to expand, strengthen, and triangulate findings—particularly encouraging implementation research and qualitative research embedded in quantitative impact evaluations.
- Include and promote scholars from LMICs (broadly defined), both as principal or co-investigators, as well as via training opportunities for junior scholars (postdoc and graduate students).
- Focus on informing the design of government and large-scale programming, for policy impact at the national level.
- Expand and innovate in measurement and analysis of IPV outcomes (e.g. maximizing disclosure of IPV and reduce response bias; improving measurement of types of IPV that are less commonly analyzed – psychological IPV, economic IPV, indicators of frequency/severity of IPV), as well as mechanisms for impact on IPV (e.g. poverty, intra-household conflict, women’s empowerment), in order to maximize learning—building on current best practice.
- Pay attention to differential impacts across groups and possible adverse effects by program target group or setting (e.g. diverse household structures, or vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, disabled women, extreme poor, women with a history of IPV), as well as contextual factors which may shape outcomes (e.g. gender norms and access to services).
Selection process and timeline:
- Selection and scoring: EoIs which do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be scored and will be notified immediately. All others will be assessed with the following steps:
- EoIs will be scored by at least three members of the Cash Transfer and IPV collaborative and ranked based on the following categories (with associated weights): a) key research question(s) (25%); b) methodology (30%); c) planned outputs and policy influence (15%); d) experience of the research team (20%); and e) feasibility of the study (10%). The budget proposals will be assessed, including value for money and if outlays appear within reasonable ranges, but this will not be part of the technical scoring criteria.
- Within approximately 1 month of the EoI closing date, teams who move to second stage will be notified for follow-up discussions (e.g., on questions for clarification, feedback, discussion on suitability and timing of budget needs, etc.). At this time, all EoIs which are not successful will be notified.
- Those projects deemed suited to the overall objectives of the collaborative in the discussion, will be asked to develop full proposals, which will be the basis of sub-contract agreements. Development of full proposals does not constitute a commitment from the team or funder to enter into a sub-contract agreement—which is contingent on resolution of any outstanding issues around proposal components.
- Within 3 months of the second stage notification, decisions will be made, and sub-contract agreements are expected to be awarded. Required documentation to develop the agreement will be requested from the awarded team.
- Role of the Cash Transfer and IPV research collaborative: The Cash Transfer and IPV research collaborative is an inter-disciplinary group of researchers with the overall goals of building the evidence base, promoting equitable research partnerships with partners from LMICs, and promoting evidence to policy efforts. The collaborative is actively engaged in ongoing primary research, which will run in parallel with the research projects selected as part of this call. The collaborative will organize periodic meetings for projects to share information and learning (at the start and end of projects) and explore other opportunities for awardees to share work at workshops and conferences through organized panels or webinars. In addition, the collaborative plans to develop a co-authored synthesis paper drawing out lessons on key research questions across primary ongoing research within the collaborative and awarded studies (in 2023). Throughout the grant period, the collaborative is available to consult for technical assistance in study design, questionnaire development and review of outputs – as requested by awardees. Finally, if there are gaps in expertise on IPV or methodological backgrounds within specific teams, members of the collaborative can be asked to join study teams for more in-depth involvement. This can be requested on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the team, with possibility to fund labor time of the collaborative core team outside the requested budget. Inclusion of the collaborative members in the study team will not lead to a higher ranking in the scoring criteria.
- Instructions: Download and complete the application form and budget template (from the links select open in Word and save the files to your desktop). Select the Apply Now button below or in the left column. Fill in all required fields. Upload the completed application form, budget template and any supporting documents in a single zipped file. Finalize your submission.
- Submission deadline: EoIs should be submitted by July 9, 2021 before 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time via the IFPRI website/Taleo platform.
- Please direct any questions to Lucy Billings at firstname.lastname@example.org.