With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) launched the Digital Credit Observatory (DCO) with the goal of generating rigorous evidence on the impacts of digital credit products and the effectiveness of related consumer protection measures in emerging markets. By “digital credit” we refer to small loans, typically accessed through a mobile money platform, that are instant, automated and remote.

The DCO invites CEGA affiliates and DCO network members to apply for funding for rigorous studies addressing one or more of the following research questions:

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

  2. Is there heterogeneity in impacts along borrower characteristics (i.e. financial literacy, time preferences, income, and/or gender)?

  3. How can non-traditional credit-scoring algorithms, regulations, and other consumer protection measures be designed to minimize default, over-indebtedness, leakage, fraud and other risks to consumers?

The DCO welcomes proposals of up to a maximum of $420,000 (or $210,000 per year for two years). Proposals will be evaluated for novel intellectual contribution, policy relevance to digital credit, methodological rigor, the capacity of the research team, and the commitment of the partner. Value for money will also be a key criteria used to evaluate proposals, so researchers are encouraged to apply for an amount that is fully justified by the scope of the proposal.

To Applyplease read carefully through the application materials and submit your application here by 11:59 pm PDT on Friday, September 15th, 2017.

Questions? Contact DCO Program Manager Natasha Beale at nbeale@berkeley.edu.