Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), through its Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI), is funding new research to advance the understanding of what works to reduce trafficking and ultimately inform current policies and practices.

Due to the gravity and pervasiveness of human trafficking, it is of vital importance that practitioners, policymakers, and researchers strengthen the evidence on what programs work to reduce trafficking and protect victims. Innovations for Poverty Action established the Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) to work with researchers and partner organizations to expand the evidence base on effective solutions to reduce modern slavery and human trafficking.

From IPA’s experience developing and carrying out more than 900 randomized evaluations, we know that strong research partnerships and high-impact studies take time and effort to build. To generate a more expansive pool of high-quality research proposals focused on human trafficking, in this funding round, IPA seeks to support early-stage activities to develop partnerships, carry out exploratory research, and demonstrate the feasibility of larger-scale studies evaluating the effectiveness of current or planned counter-trafficking interventions.

Funding priorities for the partnership, piloting, and seed grants are guided by HTRI’s Research and Learning Agenda, which outlines key research gaps under the 4 P's (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). This agenda was developed in the first year of the project with the input of top counter-trafficking practitioners, policymakers, and researchers around the globe. HTRI is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Program to End Modern Slavery and guided by scientific advisors Dr. Cecilia Hyunjung Mo and Dr. Guy Grossman.


Seed Funding Opportunities:

Seed funding round 2: CLOSED March 11, 2022. Thank you to all who submitted applications.

Full Research Project Opportunities:

Full research project round 1: CLOSED as of October 15, 2021. Thank you to all who submitted applications.

Full research project round 2: anticipated in or around June 2022.


Examples of projects receiving seed grant funding can be found here.

To learn more about the HTRI Competitive Research Fund, please get in touch with us by emailing the HTRI team.