With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationthe Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) has launched a "Digital Credit Observatory (DCO)" with the goal of generating a new body of evidence on the impacts of digital credit products and the effectiveness of related consumer protection measures in low-income countries (see CGAP's blog for the key attributes of digital credit). We invite CEGA affiliates and their PhD advisees to apply for small pilot grants to support early-stage research projects addressing one or more of the following questions: 


1. What are the short- and long-run impacts (both positive and negative) of digital credit on consumers in emerging markets?

2. How can digital credit products best reach consumers who are left out of the formal credit market?

3. How can digital credit algorithms, regulations, and other customer protection measures such as improved loan and consent terms, reminders and other behaviorally informed messages, be designed to minimize risk of default, over-indebtedness, leakage, fraud, and other risks to consumers (and providers)?


*We expect to fund pilot projects of up to $20K each through this RFP. 

Use of funds: Funding may be used to support international travel, partnership development, preliminary field data collection, database work, and the development of full-scale proposals. Research may be carried out in any low-income country in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and/or Southeast Asia, as long as a need for the research is clearly identified. 

Timing: Travel must be completed by October 1, 2017. 100-word progress updates will be due to CEGA each month in addition to a final report due within 30 days of completion of the project.

Selection Criteria: Successful proposals will be relevant, rigorous, novel, and have a vision for scaling up beyond the life of the pilot grant. Proposals will be blindly reviewed and funding decisions made by a committee of CEGA faculty, staff, and a representative from the Gates Foundation.

Eligibility: Faculty within the CEGA affiliate network, as well as their advisees (PhD students and Postdoctoral Scholars), are eligible to apply. Projects should be in an early, exploratory stage of research. Please direct questions about eligibility or “fit” to Natasha Beale, DCO Program Manager, at nbeale@berkeley.edu.

To apply, please fill in all required fields in the form below, and upload your 3-page proposal narrative (with budget) by 11:59 PM US Pacific Time on Friday March 10th, 2017

Call for Participants

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) and

The Annual Bank Conference on Africa (ABCA)

May 31-June 6, 2017 (dates subject to change)

Hosted by UC Berkeley

Deadline for Submission: 11:59pm Pacific time on March 24th 2017


The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) invites applications for attendance at the WGAPE Annual Meeting, the ABCA Conference, and a special 1-day orientation and training session hosted at UC Berkeley. This opportunity is limited to graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty working in political economy who have either a) currently hold a faculty or research position at an African institution, b) received or are actively pursuing a graduate degree at an African institution, or c) received an undergraduate degree from an African institution and are currently in graduate school elsewhere.

Selected participants will spend approximately one week in Berkeley. Participants will be registered and invited to attend the Annual Bank Conference on Africa (ABCA), held at UC Berkeley on June 1-2. They will participate in special training sessions, meetings, and individual appointments with local faculty. Participants will then take part in the June 5-6 WGAPE meeting. All travel and registration expenses will be covered by the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST).

WGAPE brings together faculty and advanced graduate students in Economics and Political Science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. The group is co-led by Brian Dillon (Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington), Edward Miguel (Department of Economics, UC Berkeley) and Daniel Posner (Department of Political Science, UCLA). WGAPE meetings are held in four regional sub-groups each fall and in a national meeting each spring. 

WGAPE meetings center on research discussion sessions rather than presentations. Papers are circulated and expected to be read in advance by all participants. Presenters provide brief, orienting comments before the floor is opened for an hour-long discussion of each paper. WGAPE accepts early work, near-complete drafts, and research designs (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings).

PLEASE NOTE: Scholars who meet the special sessions criteria are invited and encouraged to apply for both this opportunity and to submit papers/research designs to the 2017 WGAPE Annual Meeting call for papers and to the ABCAApplication to attend the meeting does not guarantee acceptance of a papers or research design for the workshops, and acceptance of a paper at WGAPE or ABCA does not guarantee participation in the special sessions.

Applications to attend the full set of activities described above should submit the following materials:

a)    Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae or Resume with contact information, including country of current location, position title, and degree(s) held.

b)   A statement of the applicant’s research that relates to the WGAPE topics listed above or to other issues relevant to economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. This should include research interests and methods (or planned methods) and should be representative of the applicant’s academic writing.

c)   The name, title, and contact information of one reference (from a current/previous collaborator or advisor) that would be able to comment on the applicant’s research interests and future research trajectory.

To submit your materials:

·         Please fill out the fields below to apply by 11:59pm PT on March 24, 2017 

·         Successful applicants will be notified by April 10, 2017

 

Participant costs and travel:

Thanks to generous support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST), WGAPE will be able to provide funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses to accepted participants for the Annual Meeting special sessions.

Please note: All information submitted may be internally analyzed by WGAPE and WGAPE sponsors. No identifiable information will be published or released to other organizations or individuals. Contact information may be used to reach out to applicants in the future. 

For further information, please contact Corinne Cooper (CEGA) at wgapeworkshop@gmail.com.

Call for Papers

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) 

June 5-6, 2017

Hosted by UC Berkeley

Deadline for Submission: 11:59pm Pacific time, March 24th 2017

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) invites submissions of papers and research designs for our Annual Meeting in June 2017. WGAPE brings together faculty and advanced graduate students in Economics and Political Science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. The group is co-led by Brian Dillon (Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington), Edward Miguel (Department of Economics, UC Berkeley) and Daniel Posner (Department of Political Science, UCLA).

WGAPE meetings center on research discussion sessions rather than presentations. Papers are circulated and expected to be read in advance by all participants. Presenters provide brief, orienting comments before the floor is opened for an hour-long discussion of each paper. WGAPE accepts early drafts, near-final drafts, and research designs (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings).

We invite paper and research design submissions that reflect WGAPE’s broad research agenda on the political economy of African development, including ethnic politics, civil conflict and violence, decentralization and democratization, corruption, local governance, public economics, and other related topics. Experimental research with field data will be given priority. Graduate students and junior faculty are particularly encouraged to apply. Each submission that is selected will receive a one-hour discussion slot at the meeting.

We invite two types of submissions:

a)    Paper submissions. These submissions can be works-in-progress. Only complete drafts are given consideration.

b)    Research design submissions. These submissions should describe a fully planned research study on topics relevant to WGAPE, as listed above. A suggested format for these submissions is the Pre-Analysis Plan, detail and examples here. This document details the statistical analyses that will be conducted for a given research project before the researchers conduct the study and look at the data. Hypotheses, outcomes, control variables, and regression specifications are written in as much detail as possible.

Submissions must include:

a)    Paper submission in PDF / Word format

b)    Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae or Resume with contact information, including country of current location.

To submit your materials:

·         Please fill out the fields below to apply by 11:59pm PT on March 24, 2017 

·         Successful applicants will be notified by April 10th, 2017 and will be expected to attend the full 2-day workshop.

Participant costs and travel:

With assistance from UC Berkeley and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, WGAPE will provide funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses for one author of each accepted paper.

PLEASE NOTE: For the 2017 WGAPE Annual Meeting, a select subgroup of participants from Africa-based institutions will be invited to spend one week at UC Berkeley, to participate in WGAPE, an orientation and training workshop, the  Annual Bank Conference on Africa (ABCA) hosted by UC Berkeley and the World Bank on June 1-2. This opportunity is limited to graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty working in political economy who either a) currently hold a faculty or research position at an African institution, b) received or are actively pursuing a graduate degree at an African institution, or c) received an undergraduate degree from an African institution and are currently in graduate school elsewhere. Acceptance to attend the special sessions DOES NOT guarantee acceptance of a paper/RD for the 2017 WGAPE Annual Meeting. More information on that opportunity can be found here.

For further information, please contact Corinne Cooper (CEGA) at wgapeworkshop@gmail.com.

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS, http://bitss.org) invites researchers to submit proposals to the 2017 Social Science Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency (SSMART) grant initiative. The main objective of the SSMART grants is to support and encourage important meta-research in the social sciences, with the ultimate goal of strengthening reliability and validity of social science research findings.

Submission Details and Requirements: SSMART 2017 Request for Proposals (PDF)

Budget Template: SSMART Budget Template (Non-UC applicants) (XLS), SSMART Budget Template (UC applicants) (XLS)


About the Fellowship

The EASST Visiting Fellowship seeks to equip East African social scientists with the skills needed to carry out rigorous evaluations of economic development programs. During a four-month fellowship, researchers will be based at the University of California, Berkeley during the Fall academic semester (approximately August 20 - December 20, 2017).

Each Visiting Fellow will be paired with a faculty mentor affiliated with the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), a research network based in the United States. A list of CEGA faculty affiliates is available online at http://cega.berkeley.edu/faculty/. Additionally, CEGA staff and PhD students will provide support during the semester and once the scholar returns home. The fellowship program will pay for room and board in Berkeley, health insurance, monthly stipend, visa fees, and roundtrip economy air travel for the selected Fellow. CEGA staff will provide mentorship not only throughout the semester, but also once the scholar returns home. Please note that the fellowship does NOT include financial provisions or support for any additional family members or spouses.

Upon completing the fellowship, scholars are expected to return to a university or research institute in East Africa and assume a leading role in the global effort to use rigorous evaluation and evidence for economic development. Small grants of up to $10,000 will be provided to fellows who return to their home institution, to hold trainings in impact evaluation, build institutional capacity, or to forge new linkages with government policymakers.

Applicants whose research proposals are related to women’s empowerment, small holder agriculture, digital credit or infectious diseases are especially encouraged to apply.

About EASST

Launched in 2009, The East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative is a multi-institution research network with a mission to promote rigorous evaluation of social and economic development programs in East Africa. EASST builds regional leadership in evaluation research by offering competitive fellowships and grants to junior social scientists at East African research institutions. EASST also facilitates collaboration between U.S. and East African researchers. Through these and other activities, EASST seeks to empower the “next generation” of social scientists to measure the impacts of development interventions, and then translate research findings into better public policies.

The network is administered by the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at UC Berkeley. Learn more about EASST at: http://www.easst-collaborative.org

FELLOWSHIP ACTIVITIES

During the fellowship period, visiting researchers will:

  • Participate in seminars and conferences on research in social and economic development;
  • Present their own work during seminars and workshops;
  • Audit courses, including rigorous doctoral-level seminars in impact evaluation;
  • Carry out an independent research project under the mentorship of faculty members. Projects can use existing data for retrospective analysis or set-up a study design for future data collection;
  • Meet and collaborate with faculty or students in multiple academic departments;
  • Design impact evaluation curricula that will be taught at an East African institution;
  • Participate in policy dissemination by contributing to policy briefs, attending meetings with policymakers and stakeholders, and presenting at events; and

Eligibility

Eligible candidates for all EASST programs must:

  • Be a resident of an East African country participating in EASST (i.e. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, or Uganda);
  • Have a PhD or Master’s degree (completed within the last 8 years) or be enrolled in a PhD program in economics, statistics, epidemiology/public health, or another social science discipline;
  • Hold a staff position at a research institution, university or other organization in East Africa, preferably one that supports policy-relevant, quantitative social science research;
  • Have participated in or have familiarity with impact evaluation research (either randomized or quasi-experimental studies) and econometrics;
  • Have participated in field-based data collection and rigorous empirical research/analysis;
  • Be computer literate, familiar with software programs such as STATA or R, fluent in English, and a strong public speaker;
  • Plan to return to a research institute in East Africa for at least 1 year after the fellowship; and
  • Demonstrate a commitment to building the capacity of African research institutions/universities.

Applicants interested in infectious diseases, women’s empowerment, agriculture, or digital credit will be given preference.


Selection Criteria

Successful candidates must:

  • Demonstrate strong quantitative skills, with past coursework in economics or statistics.
  • Demonstrate an interest in rigorous program evaluation, policy analysis, and micro-level field data collection.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to engaging policy-makers and disseminating research findings.
  • Submit a clear and innovative research proposal to evaluate a specific public policy or program, using impact evaluation methodologies.

Female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to fellows who have been enrolled in a doctoral program in a relevant field of study. 

Research 

Applicants must submit a research proposal of no more than 2 pages along with their fellowship application. Your research proposal should lay the groundwork for a full research project. However, in contrast to a complete grant application—which requires strong partnership with implementing organizations, detailed outcome measures, and a field research plan—the design idea can be at earlier stages of development. Proposed designs should be quantitative in nature or should use mixed methods (i.e., a mix of quantitative and qualitative data collection). While the evaluation questions should be very clear, the 2-page proposal statement is not expected to fully elaborate on the evaluation’s implementation.

Applicants whose research proposals are related to women’s empowerment, small holder agriculture, digital credit or infectious diseases are especially encouraged. 

The design statement must not exceed two pages and must include the following seven sections (do not leave any section blank):  

  • Problem statement 
  • Contribution to learning
  • Description of program(s)
  • Target population
  • Evaluation design
  • Policy Translation
  • Other funding sources

Application Instructions

Carefully review the Application Guidelines in this document. An online system is used to submit applications. Please submit completed versions of all required documents by the submission deadline.  No information and/or documents will be accepted after the closing date. All materials should be submitted using the online platform “Submittable” at: http://tinyurl.com/Submittable-EASST-2017-VF

Note: If you are unable to access the online system, please email Kuranda Morgan, kmorgan@berkeley.edu, to request an application in WORD or RTF. 

Required Documents:

Please ensure that all supporting documentation is submitted in English.

6.  References (2 required):

  • One academic letter that describes the applicant’s research capacity. Please use the provided recommendation template. (Appendix 2)
  • Name, contact information, and brief description of the previous engagement of a staff at a government agency who can discuss the fellows’ past policy engagement (Appendix 3)

7.       OPTIONAL: You may attach one working paper or publication

 

Estimated Timeline 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Release of Request for Applications

Friday, 31 March 2017

Application deadline

Week of April 3 – 14,  2017

Application review

Week of April 17 - 21, 2017

Selected interviews

Week of April 24 - 28, 2017

Notification of selections

Friday, 5 May 2017

Deadline to accept


The deadline for submission is:

11:59 pm U.S. Pacific Time on Friday, 31 March 2017

The BRAC-CEGA Learning Collaborative is excited to announce the 2016 Travel Grant Competition, offered to help facilitate strong partnerships between researchers at BRAC and CEGA. 

 A total of $30,000 will be competitively awarded for CEGA faculty and their PhD students that seek to travel to BRAC field offices (in Bangladesh, East Africa, and West Africa) for exploratory work to develop new research projects, build partnerships with BRAC research counterparts, and initiate proposal development.  Applications are invited for travel taking place between March 1, 2017 and August 31, 2017. 

Eligibility: CEGA affiliates and their PhD students are eligible for this award.

Please see the RFA for further details.