Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action: Competitive Fund for Developing Countries

poverty_action_logoDeadline: 4 November 2016
The Financial Inclusion Program at Innovations for Poverty Action is currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from teams of researchers and financial service providers to conduct rigorous research on financial product innovations for low-income households in developing countries.
Priority will be given to projects that focus on the area of women’s empowerment through digital financial services.  IPA encourage research teams to look beyond heterogeneous effects of financial products on women and actively propose innovative solutions which can help close the gender gap that still exists in financial inclusion. It supports randomized evaluations with a specific emphasis on digital financial services for the poor.
Areas of Interest
  • Usage of innovative digital financial services, including
  • payments for health and education services
  • products or services that address the specific needs and cash-flow challenges of farmers and micro-entrepreneurs
  • Incorporation of behavioral insights into product design, regulation, or other policy levers to improve take-up and usage of formal financial services by the poor
  • The usage of digital financial services, especially payment mechanisms for public sector reform and/or service delivery
  • Consumer protection issues as they relate to digital financial services and products.
  • Women’s empowerment through digital financial services.
Funding Information
  • This call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) marks the third competitive funding round in a four-year, $4.1 million.
  • Funding requests up to $300,000 will be accepted under this call.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Applicants: Each application must be presented by a team consisting of:
  • one or more researchers involved in the design of the intervention and responsible for carrying out a rigorous evaluation of the program.
  • one or more practitioner institutions from the financial sector who will partner with the research team on the proposed intervention.
  • Researchers must be affiliated with a research institution or a university and either hold a PhD or be currently pursuing a PhD in a relevant social science or engineering discipline. They must demonstrate experience in field research and randomized evaluations.
  • Geographic Focus: The fund encourages research projects in developing countries.
  • Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, as well as applications from research teams with one or more researchers working full time in these regions, are particularly encouraged.
  • Research: All submissions must present a rigorous study design for a randomized evaluation and a clear set of hypotheses.
  • Submissions proposing to conduct field-based data collection should specify the research implementing partner organization that will assist the research team with the management and implementation of the randomized evaluation.
  • The organization must demonstrate experience implementing randomized evaluations and have a presence in the country.
How to Apply
Applicants must complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) application form via given website and submit the completed application and other required attachment via email.
For more information, please visit Innovations for Poverty Action.
Eligible Countries
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial, Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.