The Peace & Recovery (P&R) Program supports 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. Topics of study include:

  • International and internal wars
  • Peacebuilding 
  • State-supported violence and repression, from mass killings to police brutality
  • Electoral violence
  • Riots, protests, strikes, and other collective action (violent and nonviolent)
  • Intergroup violence, including ethnic and sectarian violence
  • Terrorism and violent extremism 
  • Forced displacement
  • “Recovery” responses after violence, conflict, natural disasters, or crises (including COVID-19)

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). A list of full and pilot projects P&R has funded to date can be found here.

P&R's seventh call for proposals is now closed. Awards will be announced in February 2022.

 

P&R held a Q&A session about the call, with tips about what makes a successful proposal. The video recording and the English language transcript can be found here. Additional translated transcripts can be found in these links (ArabicFrenchSpanish).

IPA Peace & Recovery Program Q&A Session | October 13 2021.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

IPA Peace & Recovery Program Q&A Session | October 13 2021.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Ricardo Morel:
So thank you for joining today. The plan is to go through some brief introductions and to give you an overview about the Peace and Recovery program at IPA and then to describe a little bit more about the open call for proposals and the application instructions, and then we'll be very happy to answer any questions you may have. So in this call, you can move to the next slide, please. We, we kindly ask you to please hold your questions and until the end. So please remain muted throughout their presentation, and then you can ask questions directly through the chat or by raising your hand at the end of the presentation. And we're doing this because we want to record this presentation and upload it to our website. So once we have the link to that, also, we'll share that with you and we ask you if you can also share it with your network as well. And then just for bandwidth issues, you can keep your camera off. So the presentation? The Peace and Recovery team is composed of the three of us, myself, who is speaking, Nessa, who is the program manager and Daphne who is the program associate, who will be also be presenting today. And you may contact us through this email address at the bottom of this slide and please email us your questions and one of us will get in touch with you.

Ricardo Morel:
Next. To give you some background about the Peace and Recovery program, so IPA, as you may know, is a research organization that broadly aims to generate evidence to reduce poverty and to promote well-being. And we do this mainly through impact evaluation research and we do that in most cases through randomized controlled trials and we work with teams that focus on specific sectors like education, financial inclusion and so on. And of course, today we're going to be talking about the Peace and Recovery program, and we kind of were born out of a collaboration between IPA and J-PAL and with support from the FCDO, formerly DFID of the UK government, and we created the Governance, Crime and Conflict Initiative or GCCI. And that hosts not only Peace and Recovery, but also JPAL's Governance Initiative and JPAL's Crime and Violence Initiative as well. In addition to this funding from the FCDO, we also have support from the Open Societies Foundation, the Latin America program in particular. And just to give you a taste or an idea about what type of work that Peace and Recovery engages in, this picture that you see on the right hand side of Slide is taken from a community based reconciliation program after the Civil War in Sierra Leone and this program brought together perpetrators of violence as well as victims. And the evaluation, which was an RCT, in line with the type of research that Peace and Recovery supports to measure the impact on forgiveness and reconciliation. The program aims to build the evidence base, broadly speaking, on peace and recovery, and will aim to inform policy and practice. What we mean by that is that we want to get the evidence into decision makers hands. So it's not that we just want to have a nice academic paper published in the Journal or in a flashy report that sits at an NGOs or a government desk. But we actually want this evidence and this data to be used. And we do this through active project development, we provide technical assistance to stakeholders, we disseminate evidence strategically with decision makers. But probably one of the key activities that pushes the evidence agenda forward is that we support projects and support research in particular through our competitive fund, which was, I guess, the reason why we are all here today and we're going to tell you a little bit more about it. So I'll hand it over to Daphne, to go more in-depth into the competitive fund.

Daphne Schermer:
Hi, so diving into our competitive fund specifically, so we grant, P&R grants between five hundred thousand dollars and a million dollars of research funding every six months to once a year for research that falls under the listed research areas. So I won't detail individually every one but to capture the general topics of interest to the program, these include forced displacement, peace building, participation and organization of violence. And then we also have a focus on homicide reduction in the Latin American and Caribbean region, which is under that OSF, the Open Society Foundation funding that Ricardo highlighted. And so so far, P&R has had six rounds of open calls for proposals, along with an off cycle COVID-19 response round, and we have granted over $4 million to to projects, which has ended up supporting 27 full impact evaluation, 17 pilots,25 exploratory and travel grants, and 4 public good studies. And so in the next slide, I will be going through these different categories of projects, so there's a bit more context to what that means. So going through each one, so exploratory grants, so these are going towards early stage projects support, which generally includes things like travel support, relationship development with partners, initial descriptive and observational work, and notably these are earmarked for early career researchers. So non-tenured researchers and researchers who are based in lower-middle-income countries who do not have to be tenured to be eligible for this funding. So that's something to note, and this is capped at $10,000, the funding that can that goes towards exploratory grants.

Daphne Schermer:
So pilot study. So these projects generally will have a clear research question, but they are at a stage where they require some further investment in survey development, piloting, designing measurement or sampling strategies or different things along those lines. And so the expectations with our pilot grants is that they're supporting pre-RCT prep work. So it's helping researchers develop subsequent proposals for full impact evaluations, and this is capped at $50,000. So full studies, these projects are more advanced, more developed, they will have a clear research question, committed implementing partners, well-defined and strong technical design and power calculations will also be submitted alongside the proposal, which will be evaluated along with the rest of the proposal. And so our full studies, largely is comprised of RCTs, but we are open to funding very high quality quasi-experiments. Notably, we have not funded any so far, so we have a bit of a high bar for what will qualify. And so grants in theory under the full studies category can also fund the continuation or completion of RCTs that have already started without funding from P&R and for a long term follow-ups of previous trials. And the expectation is that this work will result in a publishable paper in a top journal, and the cap of funding is at $450,000. To date, we have not granted that much to any project and all of all other things equal lower budgets will have a higher probability of being funded.

Daphne Schermer:
So next, the infrastructure and public goods category of projects, this can take several different forms. So this can include the creation of administrative data sets, panel data sets, other new data, software measurement strategies and so forth. And so importantly, these projects will represent a public good for the research community and or for policy stakeholders, insofar as the data or tools that are built or created through funding from the Peace and Recovery Team, can support several research projects or types of analyses, often ultimately supporting the implementation of future randomized evaluations. So this means that these projects have a component that can be beneficial beyond the project or the research team itself and can be beneficial to the field as a whole going forward. So an example of this, of a P&R funded public goods project is a panel data set that can be leveraged to run future RCTs, and that one we had is our Cox's Bazar panel survey, which is a panel dataset of Rohingya who were forcibly displaced and who are now living in the Cox's Bazar refugee camp. And so researchers have collected detailed social, economic and health data from a representative sample of households and enterprises in southern Bangladesh. And the design of this panel data set will allow it to support descriptive, quasi-experimental and experimental research by other research teams. And so that's an important piece there.

Daphne Schermer:
Another example of a public goods project that we've supported is a novel, low cost automated WhatsApp survey method that has been used among or used to survey Venezuelan migrants in Colombia. And so the survey is generating both valuable descriptive data on indicators of household resilience and the return to migration in the context of COVID-19. But notably, the research team has developed a publicly accessible technical manual, manual and reproducible code so that other teams can leverage this novel method for implementing remote surveys in the future. For, like, particularly useful for reaching populations who are mobile and who are difficult to reach. So both of those examples are highlighting how it is something like an innovative method or panel dataset that then is very much set up for other teams to use that in building their own work, and it's very much so in the public domain for others. So hopefully that's largely clear. And then our last category is the evidence and policy outreach support, which this can support the development of relationships with policymakers, take up and dissemination of evidence, and it can also be used to embed a research staff member in an organization, to host matchmaking events or conferences. We're open to creative ideas in this category, and it's capped at $25,000.

Daphne Schermer:
So evaluation criteria, so this is thinking about how are our decisions made on which projects to fund and so our projects are awarded funding by a review board of academics, and we use these five criteria which are all weighted equally. So going through these a bit, so starting with academic contribution, we are asking ourselves, they are asking themselves when they read through your proposals, does the study make a significant contribution toward advancing knowledge in the field? How does the study compare with the existing body of research? Successful proposals include both a strong impact evaluation if it's a full RCT, but are also probing at underlying academic theories and mechanisms that drive impact. So then the next category, policy relevance, we're asking is there a demand from policymakers for more and or for better information to influence their decisions in this area? We're considering if results from the intervention will have generalizable implications, whether implementing partners will use the results of the study and we're considering if there's a potential for the implementing partner to scale up this intervention. On the technical design side, we're evaluating whether the research design appropriately answers the questions outlined in the proposal. We're evaluating if there are threats that could compromise the validity of results and if so, does the proposal sufficiently address those threats? And as we mentioned for full study proposals, this includes evaluating if the study is sufficiently powered. And so therefore we ask and alongside a full proposal for an RCT, that power calculations must be submitted as well. And then our global research, support and design team will replicate these and there may be some follow up questions regarding the robustness of the submitted power calculations.

Daphne Schermer:
Moving on to project viability for that, we're asking and we're evaluating if there are political or logistical obstacles that may threaten the completion of the study. Is the relationship with the implementing partners strong? Is it supported that it will last throughout the whole study. For pilots we're evaluating if researchers describe how piloting activities would inform a full scale randomized evaluation, and we're also taking into consideration if the research team has a track record of implementing successful projects similar to the one being proposed. Our final category for value of research, this is asking if the cost of the study is commensurate with the value of expected contributions to science and policy. And so it's a benefit when studies are able to leverage funding from several sources. A couple other considerations that we take into account when we're reading through proposal, there is regional limitation. Our FCDO funding, which funds the majority of our work, must be spent in primarily in FCDO priority countries. Our OSF funding, as we mentioned, has a very narrow scope and it's looking at homicide reduction exclusively in the Latin American and Caribbean region. And so we have a list of the countries that fall into these categories in our Guiding Principles document, which is on our website and can be found under the competitive fund page.

Daphne Schermer:
There are also several other additional considerations that we wanted to highlight is that when reviewing proposals, we also consider ethics. Our reviewers will consider whether there are any risks of harm to research participants and what the proposed risk mitigation strategies are and how the possible benefits of the research compare to the possible harms. And then also, we consider team diversity and P&R welcomes proposals from diverse research teams. We encourage prospective applicants to consider working both across disciplines and with researchers from the countries where the project will take place. Here are a couple of examples of P&R funded research questions which showcase the types of contributions that we're looking for with our funded projects, and so we prioritize studies that help to develop, illustrate or test fundamental theories of peace, violence and recovery. But notably, what that means is that we're especially excited and interested in research questions that have limited evidence and those that are poised to produce generalizable insights about human behavior that can be applied to other projects. These four are examples of research projects that we funded and that we are excited about. Also noting that two of the studies are - the Iraq study and the study in Kenya and in Ethiopia - are both external projects that were not implemented by IPA and then the other two were both IPA-implemented. The Whatsapp study on the bottom, the Colombia one, was one of our public good example topics. Now I'm going to pass this on to my colleague.

Nessa Kenny:
You can tell that we're in the same office for the first time in a year and a half, very exciting. Great. Well, thank you, Daphne and Ricardo. I think one of the things that we wanted to talk about through this presentation, too, is kind of to give you an idea of sort of the common proposal pitfalls. We've seen a lot of proposals to this point. We've actually - I added them up earlier today - and we've evaluated 730 proposals and expressions of interest since the beginning of the program, which is just a huge number. And so I think we've seen a lot of these pitfalls happen time and time again. And so I wanted to make people aware and kind of give an overview of them. The first is low academic contribution. So we sometimes get proposals for a project that we think would be potentially really useful for an implementer who wants to know whether their program works, but they're not really aimed at building the generalizable knowledge that Daphne was talking about that can be used and transported to other contexts or can be useful to other implementers. So as as Daphne mentioned, we're set up to fund research that is generalizable, that has external validity that's useful to the field as a whole, not just to sort of answer questions for for one particular implementer. I guess the other extreme of this is projects that are not particularly policy relevant. So sometimes researchers comes to us with a really interesting theoretical idea, evaluating an intervention that might be, I don't know, very hard to scale or perhaps has no application to the real world. In these cases, even though the evaluation might be testing an interesting academic theory, generally it's not what we're set up to fund. We want our research to to have some kind of policy takeaway that can be applied for the field as a whole. So the third is poor identification strategy. Unlike a lot of similar initiatives at IPA and J-PAL, we are willing to fund quasi-experimental work, as Daphne mentioned in certain circumstances. So there may be some interventions, for example, in humanitarian contexts, maybe where you wouldn't want to randomize due to ethics concerns, but you still want to know whether this type of intervention is effective. So that would be a great reason to apply for us to us for this funding. That said, one thing to consider is that we still require the designs to be as rigorous as possible. So if you do apply for a type of design that is not a randomized evaluation, in this full study category, your proposal should sort of explain why you're choosing not to doimg an RCT and why the method that you're using is the most rigorous possible method in this context.

Nessa Kenny:
The next, we sometimes get proposals for lab in the field experiments, and these are kind of between lab experiments - so in a super controlled environment, often at a university, maybe you had a psychology course in your freshman year where you got paid $10 to do behavioral games or think about vignettes - so between that and a field experiment, which is most of the projects that IPA funds and implements, sort of testing the impacts of an intervention in a real life setting. We're not set up to fund studies that are only lab in the field experiments. Basically studies that use the same types of behavioral games or vignettes, but in a real-world setting with a with a relevant population, we can fund them sometimes when they're embedded within an RCT or as a pilot for a randomized evaluation. But we generally don't fund them as sort of stand alone studies.

Nessa Kenny:
On the next slide, the proposal pitfall list is continued. Another one that we think about a lot is project stage. So full projects, as Daphne mentioned, need to have clear research questions, they need to have power calculations, they need to have done some piloting, generally, the intervention funding needs to be secured. Basically, we need to know that your experiment is going to happen if it's funded. Maybe I'll harp on that power calculation point for one second. We only fund well powered studies with grounded assumptions. So if you're not at the stage where you have all of the information to be able to design power calculations for your study, maybe consider applying for a pilot.

Nessa Kenny:
We've received some proposals that are not quite at this stage, that we would fund for a full study. We send a lot of feedback back to applicants, and in certain situations we do choose to fund as a pilot instead of as a full experiment. So something to be considered as a part of this project stage piece. We have requirements around researcher qualification, so at least one researcher on every team must be either pursuing a PhD or have a PhD and must be affiliated with a university or some other form of academic institution. Sometimes we get proposals from implementers or consulting firms that we unfortunately can't fund for this reason. But that said, if you'd be interested in being paired with a researcher that meets these criteria, we might be able to help given sort of our exposure to to a large network in the field. It's not to say that we wouldn't fund a project grant to go directly through an implementer, we just require that at least one person on the project team have or be pursuing a PhD and be affiliated with an academic institution. Finally, we have restrictions. I'm going to go back to the previous slide quickly. We have restrictions on exploratory funding. So as Daphne mentioned, exploratory funding needs to be meant for early career career researchers or researchers based in lower and middle income countries, not tenured professors. This is just in recognition that these groups often have less access to kind of the early stage funding to get projects off the ground, and we really want these $10,000 grants to make a difference in terms of project viability. We encourage you to sort of think about that restriction of applying for exploratory funding.

Nessa Kenny:
The next slide details our funding restrictions, so there are a few things that we generally cannot fund through these grants. The first is program or implementation intervention or intervention implementation costs, so we can only fund research costs and aren't able to fund program delivery costs, in most cases. We expect full studies to come to us with intervention funding already secured and consider this as part of the project viability portion of our evaluation criteria. We can't fund salary costs for researchers from high income countries or who are based at institutions in high income countries. We will absolutely, however, consider requests for researcher time in lower-and-middle income countries and encourage you to build that into your budget. We don't fund purely qualitative work that doesn't contribute to the development of impact evaluations, so we do fund qualitative research, but in the context generally of an impact evaluation or a pilot to prepare for an impact evaluation. As I mentioned, we don't find lab in the field or survey experiments, except in rare circumstances or within the context of a broader randomized evaluation or other type of impact evaluation. And then we don't fund research using historical data sets. Similarly, except in the context of a broader impact evaluation. And then finally, our research must take place in a lower-and-middle income country. We can not fund research in high-income countries as per the World Bank's income classification or in Europe. So a few proposal tips from us, the first is ask us about prospective projects as staff, we don't make funding decisions. We have a review board each round that makes final decisions for the call. As a result, we're able to have conversations about project development, and we're really happy to do so. We have a good sense of what we're interested in and what P&R funds and we may also be able to support pairing you with researchers if that's of interest. I think one thing we wanted to flag here, too, is that there are a few topics of of less interest to us. The first is evaluations of psychosocial programs. So some of the little rigorous research and the peace and recovery space is on psychosocial care for people who have experienced conflict and violence. And I think for us, where we're more interested in more interested in funding areas with less research, it doesn't mean that we have a moratorium on funding psychosocial research. But but maybe talk to us first to see if it might be a good fit.

Nessa Kenny:
We also tend to not fund research that replicates previous studies with with little innovation. This doesn't mean that we don't fund replications. Replication is, of course, a really important way for moving the field forward, and most replications actually do have additional elements that they are trying to test. Maybe they add another intervention arm, maybe they're looking at mechanisms. Basically, we just don't want to fund replications that don't have some kind of innovative element as a part of them. And then finally, in terms of the topics of less interest there, programs that don't address P&R research questions even even when they're in crisis affected contexts. So we wouldn't want to fund a project, for instance, that studies a behavioral nudge or an education intervention in a refugee camp purely because it's a convenient sample to work with the compelling research questions for us or fundamental questions about, as Daphne said, sort of building peace and reducing violence and promoting recovery. We would also encourage you to consider COVID. So we're we're asking in our proposal materials this round for for a couple of answers to a few questions. One sort of set of them is on the operations side. Asking you to think a little bit about how the pandemic might change implementation or risk management or field work. And then we also ask whether your project has any additional research questions that have come about because of COVID-19. So projects, of course, should ask P&R related questions first, but they may also ask additional COVID-related questions, and we find those proposals often quite interesting.

Nessa Kenny:
We'd recommend that you take advantage of our exploratory funding. We're looking for basically early stage ideas that have promise. These grants are capped at only $10,000, so we're allowed to take a few more risks than we are with the other grants that we we give. We need a basic idea of what our research team wants to do, but we require far less detail. And if we're really lucky than these projects eventually become full studies that we can support and in several situations they have for us, which is exciting. And if you are somebody who's working with an IPA country office, we also encourage you to think about exploratory funding as a way of engaging with early career researchers or local researchers for your office. Final note, overhead cap restrictions, we can only fund indirect costs up to 15% for non-profits or institutions in lower-and-middle income countries. This includes IPA country offices and then our overhead cap for university and high income countries is 10%.

Nessa Kenny:
In the next slide, we'll see a map of where IPA has country offices in the world. IPA country offices can be really great partners for project implementation. We do sort of have the capacity to implement projects outside of these countries, often especially in Latin America. So I'd encourage you to reach out even if you don't see your country on this list. If you're interested in working through IPA for project implementation, we generally expect that in countries where IPA has an office that the research that we fund will be implemented through that IPA office.

Nessa Kenny:
And this is because that those offices have sort of the experience and long term presence to ensure that the projects meet our research quality standards and maintain the relevant partner relationships. That said, if you do plan to work with another research management organization in a place where we have a presence, we ask that you provide a clear motivation in your proposal for why you've chosen to do so. And and we have funded studies in places that we work that are not implemented through IPA. So it's certainly not a binding restriction for us. On the next slide, basically this is a summary for things that we would suggest that you reached out to us for. So please reach out if you have any questions. If you need any support identifying or reaching out to or liaising with relevant researchers. We've been running this program since twenty seventeen and have a good sense of the PI's who might be interested in evaluating programs potentially like yours. We can also help you if you're a researcher on the other side, connect you with an IPA country office, too. If you're interested in working through IPA, we can help think through design as well. So as I mentioned, we've read through over 700 expressions of interest and proposals at this stage, so we have a good sense of of innovative designs in this space and may be able to help advise you there.

Nessa Kenny:
If you are interested in applying for J-PAL's Governance Initiative or Crime and Violence Initiative, we coordinate very closely with them so we can help you think through whether or not your project might be a good fit for them or for us. And yeah, or potentially to think about other funders that might be interested in your work if they're not a good fit for us. And then finally, please think about us in terms of partnering for policy or dissemination work. We engage a lot with the stakeholders in the space and are excited to disseminate work that is both funded by us and sort of other relevant work in this space.

Nessa Kenny:
In the next slide, you will see our contact info. Please feel free to reach out. The link here, that is spelled out has all of the relevant information from our fund, including a document that Daphne referred to, called our Guiding Principles and Funding Priorities. That sort of lays out a lot of the information that we said today and our Application Instructions, which include sort of the nitty gritty details about how to submit a proposal and links to proposal templates and links to our Formstack, which is the platform that you submit a proposal on. If you have any questions about any of these materials or about the fund generally either today or after the fact, please do feel free to email us.

Nessa Kenny:
This recording will also be posted on our website, so please feel free to refer colleagues to this if they have any questions, and we have some time for questions now. So if you do have any questions, please feel free to put them in the chat or alternatively, raise your hand and we can call on you in turn. That said, if there are no questions, that's fine too. We're very happy to receive those questions via email. Awesome, thanks, both.

Nessa Kenny:
Oh, interesting, so one of the questions that we got is if there's an RCT that may potentially cost under $50,000, should this be considered a pilot or a full but cheaper RCT? We consider those a full but cheaper RCT. So we have funded several randomized evaluations that do have a much lower cost for whatever reason. Maybe it's very easy to implement surveys, maybe you don't require a baseline, whatever it is that reduces the cost of the RCT. We have funded several that are quite cheap, so we would recommend that basically if you are planning on running a project that you believe is powered, that you're hoping to eventually be published, we'd recommend you apply for the full study categories that we evaluate alongside you alongside those. That said, you'll get great points for value for money if you come in cheap. That said, I think one of the things that I should mention with the value for money criteria is that we certainly don't want you to under budget your project, so please tell us how much money you would need to implement it. I think in particular, think about RA time and don't cut short the the amount of time that you might need from a research associate to be able to help you successfully implement your project. We really recommend you ask us for the amount of money that is needed and don't sort of try and cut your budget in ways because you think that that will benefit us. Honestly, the last thing that we look at is budgets. We look at everything else first and kind of decide whether or not we want to fund the project. And then often at that point, we figure out how to with the budget that we have.

Nessa Kenny:
Feel free to jump in, by un-muting yourself too, if there are any further questions. Great, so we're happy to stay online and answer a few other questions if you have them. That said, if you have to go, please feel free to jump off. And if any questions come up over the course of looking through our application materials, or if you have prospective project ideas that you think it would be really helpful to talk to somebody about, please do reach out to us. This is this is what we're here for as staff. So yeah, please let us know and thanks for your time today, really appreciate it. Yeah, as I said, we're happy to stick around for a bit.

Nessa Kenny:
Great question from Jeong Kim, so she mentions that she's a PhD student who wants to apply for an exploratory grant, but she's not sure whether she would need to work with implementing partners and if that's necessary, and also asking about letters of support. Great question. So implementing partners are not necessary at the exploratory phase. We basically expect proposals to have a general idea of topic and what they would like to research. Maybe a list of potential implementing partners that they would like to talk to. But really, those grants are meant for exploring potential research partnerships and getting to know people in this space and maybe some initial survey work, if appropriate, if the project is at that stage. But really, we do fund a lot of projects that are at a stage where somebody has an idea and they need some time to invest in relationship development in order to try and put together a project. So implementing partners aren't necessary, though sometimes people do come to us with implementing partners through exploratory grants, but they're certainly not necessary. And I would say most of the exploratory projects we fund don't have dedicated implementing partners at the time that we grant letters of support. So for PhD students or candidates, we require a letter of support from your advisor, for those who are no longer PhD students or candidates, we don't. If you are working through an IPA country office, we require a letter of support from that office or alternatively from some other implementing organization, research, implementing organization. We require a letter of support that can be as simple as sort of saying, yes, we support this statement of work, we have read it. Please let us know if you have any questions. It doesn't have to be particularly detailed. Finally, if you do already have an implementing partner identified we like having support letters from implementing partners to, I will say, for full evaluations, we expect letters of support from the implementing partner already because we expect that to be secured and we expect letters of support as well from whoever the research implementer might be. So whether that's IPA or another organization.

Nessa Kenny:
I'm trying to think of their other sort of often asked questions we get that would be helpful to chat about.

Nessa Kenny:
Oh, one thought so, so great question about how many exploratory grants we fund. Honestly, it depends on the round. I think there are some rounds where we get a lot of proposals and therefore fund a lot of grants and where there are some rounds where we don't fund very many. So it depends. I would say that we we have a lot of flexibility because the grants are so limited. Their grants are quite low compared to our average size of our grants that we we do grant quite a few exploratory grants every round. One question that we often get is about country eligibility criteria. So maybe to go over that really briefly again. So a certain proportion of our funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the UK needs to be spent in FCDO priority countries that does not prevent us from funding research elsewhere. So if you look at this list, that's in our guiding principles and you say, Hey, the country that I'd like to do research in is not on this list, absolutely not a problem. Please apply to us, nonetheless. We just generally need to balance our portfolio across that and choose to be upfront about that sort of restriction that we have. But if you have a phenomenal project in a place that's not an FCDO priority country, we are still generally able to fund that work. The Latin America restriction, our Open Society Foundation funding, as Daphne mentioned, is explicitly for projects that have homicide as a dependent variable, homicide or homicide related outcomes. Basically, if if a project has a theory of change where one might expect you to have some kind of impact on on the homicide rate, then we can grant that from our OSF funding. That said, if you have other projects in Latin America that you would be interested in exploring, we can leverage some of our FCDO funding for that if we choose to fund it.

Daphne Schermer:
We often get people asking if they are interested in a project, in implementing a project that doesn't have a country office, kind of how to navigate that and maybe how to find implementing partners and whatnot or like if there's someone they should reach out to, that is an IPA.

Nessa Kenny:
Yeah. So if if a project, if you'd like to implement a project and in a place that does not have a country office, I would recommend two things. One, if it's a place that is in Latin America, anywhere in Latin America, we can probably implement that. Please let us know. We're happy to pair you with our relevant country offices that manages our regional work. If it's a country that's bordering a place where an IPA has a country office, I would say it's possible that we can implement that work. So please let us know, too. There are plenty of places where we don't have offices, though, so the MENA region comes to mind in particular. In those cases, generally, we have our grants go through either a university and then to a survey firm in the region or directly to a survey firm in the region. We have some sense of survey firms that are past grantees have worked with. So if you're interested in having a list of those for a particular country, we can certainly let you know if you see that we've funded work in that space before. But basically for those organizations, in order for us to grant to them, we require that they're an established organization with sort of a few years of financial records and that they have implemented similar work in the past. But we we are very open to granting to other survey firms that may be implementing work in places that we don't have offices.

Nessa Kenny:
So another question we got is if we're running a study in a country that has an IPA office but we're partnering with another organization, should we reach out to the office first anyway? No, that's not necessary. If you know, already sort of the research implementer that you'd like to go with and it's not IPA, we ask that you detail sort of the reasons why in your proposal, in that we do generally expect that the the work that we fund in the countries where we have offices are implemented through our offices, in part because it's extremely easy administratively and quite quick. And and sort of the offices do have the research quality standards that we require of all of our studies. That said, if you're planning on working with a different organization, no need to reach out to the IPA office, but please justify that in the proposal. And it certainly doesn't preclude us from from granting to an organization that runs surveys in a country where we also do. Yes, absolutely we can we can distribute the recording after this.

Nessa Kenny:
Another question that we've received in the chat is how many grants are allocated per category. That's a hard question to answer because it really changes every round. I think that some rounds we get, the majority of our project proposals are pilots and they're really good, and so we grant a lot of pilots. Some rounds, we get very few pilots, for instance. So the composition really changes per round. We have a funding maximum per round that we can play around a little bit with. And so basically, the way in which we make decisions is that at the end, we decide which proposals are the strongest and then sort of go through it based on our large funding pot, decide how to allocate that funding to projects. So we can't easily say how many grants are allocated per category, unfortunately, because we don't have a prescribed number.

Daphne Schermer:
The other question is, what's the ideal form for a project abstract to be sent for review and should it be something along the lines of a one pager? I'll take a stab at this and let me know if you have any thoughts. There is no ideal form for an abstract, a one pager. It does not have to be a one pager at all. I think if it captures your research questions and the methodology that you're going to be using, if that is done in like five sentences or 10 sentences or two paragraphs like there's there's no formula for that. So I think, however, you think a succinct way to give us a sense of what what you're thinking about.

Nessa Kenny:
And I would say, if you're want to run project ideas by us, don't feel like you need to produce something new. If you already have something written up, feel free to just shoot that over.

Daphne Schermer:
Ok, so the other question is about the exploratory grant category and if IPA funds exploratory grants for non PhD postgraduate students, if they have letters of approval from their MPhil or MPP dissertation supervisors.

Nessa Kenny:
So we at least one researcher on every single exploratory grant needs to be in the process of pursuing a PhD or hold a PhD and have an academic affiliation. So there are times at which we fund projects with co-authors that do not have a PhD. That said, one of the researchers, at least on every single grant, needs to either hold a PhD or be pursuing a PhD and needs to be affiliated generally with the university. And these are restrictions that are imposed on us by our funders.

Nessa Kenny:
Very happy to stay on for further questions, but I also realize we're getting close to the hour, so very happy for folks to drop if if you have to go and yes, as we said, this will be posted on our website and yeah, very happy for you to distribute it throughout your networks. And also, if there are things that are unclear, please feel free to shoot us a question after the fact or if questions come up after after this. Please, let us know. Great. Well, thank you, everyone. Really appreciate your time today, and yeah, as we said, please feel free to direct questions or project ideas at us. If you feel like it would be helpful to run your project by us, who could who could give a sense of whether it's at least a fit and could be considered. But yeah, let us know and thanks all for your time. We appreciate it.

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Further information about the program's core research themes and questions can be found in our Guiding Principles and Funding Priorities. Please email peace@poverty-action.org with any questions.

A list of full and pilot projects P&R has funded to date can be found here.

Dates for Round VII:

September 2021: Competitive round announced
November 8, 2021: Full proposal submission deadline
February 2022: Awards announced