The Center for Effective Global Action and VISA invite CEGA affiliates and their PhD advisees to apply for small pilot grants to support early-stage, exploratory research on digital financial inclusion in emerging markets. We expect to fund 3 pilot projects of up to $20K each through this RFP. Proposals should address one or more of the following research questions identified by CEGA and VISA: 

     1. How can digitizing government-to-person payments promote financial inclusion? 

         How can making wages and social subsidies electronic increase access to formal savings and credit          for the under-banked?

     2. What value propositions can best incentivize small merchants to use digital financial services? 

         See, for example, VISA’s recent launch of mVisa (mobile payment platform) in Kenya. 

     3. What is the optimal design of digital credit products? 

         See this Omidyar study for an example.

     4. How can block chain be leveraged to promote digital financial inclusion? 

         See this interview with the Gates Foundation for an example of the potential impact of block chain              on financial inclusion.

     5. How can social networks be leveraged to promote digital financial inclusion? 

         See this CGAP article on the increasingly tight connection between social media and financial                    inclusion in China.

We encourage all studies to explore the implicit risks that consumers face by using new types of financial products/services (including fraud, identity theft, and over-indebtedness), and potential ways to mitigate these risks. Researchers are further encouraged to test new methods for measuring financial inclusion, either by utilizing new types of data, or using existing data in new ways.

Use of funds: Funding may be used to support international travel, partnership development (with Visa or an external partner), preliminary field data collection, database work, and the development of full-scale proposals. Research may be carried out in any country where financial inclusion is a persistent challenge (see Global Findex).

Timing: Travel may occur as early as Nov 1, 2016 and must be completed by May 1, 2017. In addition to monthly 100-word updates, a final report will be due to CEGA within 30 days of completion of the project.

Criteria for review: Successful proposals will be relevant, rigorous, novel, and have a vision for scaling up beyond the life of the pilot grant. Further details on the review criteria are provided in the application. Funding decisions will be made by jointly by CEGA and VISA.  

Applicant Eligibility: Faculty within the CEGA affiliate network, as well as their advisees (PhD students and Postdoctoral Scholars), are eligible to apply. Projects must be in an early, exploratory stage of research. Please direct questions about eligibility or “fit” to Carson Christiano at christiano@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 October 25th, 2016

The Working Group in African Political Economy (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. It 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). Thanks to the Stanford Center for International Development (SCID), WGAPE will be able to provide funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses to accepted WGAPE participants.

 

This call for papers is for the WGAPE Fall Regional Meeting, to be held November 18-19 at Stanford University.

 

The meeting will begin on Friday mid-day, November 18th, and end mid-day on Saturday, November 19th. Sessions are built around in-depth discussions of papers that are circulated and expected to be read in advance (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings). Presenters provide little more than a few brief, orienting comments before the floor is opened for discussion. WGAPE is more a forum for presenting work in progress than polished, finished projects and provides an unparalleled opportunity for useful feedback. We invite applicants to submit research in its early stages, including pre-analysis plans and research designs. 

 

Paper submissions must reflect WGAPE’s broad research agenda on core issues within the political economy of African development, including ethnic politics, civil conflict and violence, decentralization and democratization, and corruption, local governance, and related topics. Graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply and choice of papers will be based on both full paper submissions and extended abstracts.  

 

·         Papers must be uploaded to this page (below) by 11:59pm PT on October 3, 2016.

·         Successful applicants will be notified by October 17, 2016 and will be invited to attend the full symposium. WGAPE will cover the cost of economy travel, accommodation and dining (capped). 

 

For further information, please contact Corinne Cooper (CEGA) at wgapeworkshop@gmail.com. Non-presenters who do not require accommodation or travel funding are welcome to attend the meeting as space permits (travel funding may be extended to local attendees). We ask that you please email with your name, institution, and days you would like to attend and we will confirm whether or not we can accommodate.

 

Partners/donors: Stanford Center for International Development (SCID)

 

Ends in 4 days, 10 hours

About:

Welcome to CEGA's Third Annual Photo Drive! We're constantly searching for high resolution, inspiring photos to use on our materials year round. This year's photo drive will be open to submissions from September 12 - October 5. Anytime we use a photo entered to our photo drive on our print and digital materials, we will credit the photo source detailed in the original submission.

Contest and Prizes:

Thanks to your help and your photo submissions, we can continue to grow our photo library and you can win a prize in the process! After our CEGA communications staff initially reviews each photo entry, photos selected to move to the public voting round will be posted individually on CEGA’s Facebook. On October 7, the photos with the most likes will win prizes. The top 4 highest ranked photo entries will receive a $50 Amazon gift card, and the photo with the highest ranking will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

Guidelines and Requirements:

We're looking for photos taken around the world that incorporate CEGA's values of innovation, collaboration, and impact. To get an idea of what we're looking for, check out the photos from last year's photo drive.

1) Each person is allowed to submit up to 5 photos.

2) With each submission, please include your full name, email address, and title/organizational affiliation.

3) For each photo, include information about where the photo was taken, as well as a short caption. 

4) For each photo, please have your name in the photo file name.

5) You must have consent from the subjects in the photo (please ensure submissions comply with CEGA's photo policy).

6) Photos submitted that apply to one of CEGA’s sectors and themes will be given extra consideration.

Call for Papers

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE)

January 3-8, 2017

New York University – Abu Dhabi

Deadline for Submission: October 6th, 2016

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) invites submissions of papers and research designs for an international meeting at NYU – Abu Dhabi on January 6-8, 2017. The meeting will be preceded by a training workshop in empirical methods, on Jan 3-5, designed for junior scholars and graduate students. Scholars and graduate students from Africa are especially encouraged to apply for both the meeting and the training workshop.

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. This call is for a special, supplementary WGAPE meeting, which will be held January 3-8, 2017 at New York University – Abu Dhabi. This is the second international meeting hosted by our partners at NYU Abu Dhabi, J. Andrew Harris, Melina Platas Izama, and Peter van der Windt. Thanks to the generosity of NYU-AD, WGAPE will provide funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses to all accepted meeting participants. This has been made possible thanks to the generosity of NYU-AD, Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), Evidence for Governance and Politics (EGAP), Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) and Wageningen University.

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).

This call is for two linked activities:


1)    The "research workshop": an international WGAPE meeting from Jan 6-8, at the campus of NYU – Abu Dhabi, following the standard WGAPE format.


2)    The "training workshop" from Jan 3-5 will focus on graduate students and junior scholars from low income countries, particularly in Africa. The workshop will cover empirical methods, best research practices, guidance to data sources, research transparency practices, training materials, and networking opportunities. The workshop will be led by Maarten Voors (Wageningen University). 

 

Applicants may apply for one or both of two tracks. Please review the following carefully.

 

Track 1: Submissions of papers and research designs for the research workshop (Jan 6-8) only

We invite paper submissions which 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, 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 paper submissions:

a)    Paper submissions. These submissions can be works in progress.

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 all written in as much detail as possible.

During the meeting 6 papers and 7 research designs will be discussed. Anyone submitting to Track 1 must provide the following materials:

a)    Paper submission in PDF / Word format

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

 

Track 2: Application to participate in the training and research workshops (Jan 3-8)

This year, we invite junior scholars to apply to attend the workshop as participants. We invite young professors, post-doctoral fellows, PhD candidates, or policymakers (in charge of the design and/or impact evaluations of public policies) from across Africa that use or seek to use experimental methods in their research to apply. Applicants must have a background in social sciences as well as basic knowledge of statistics and/or econometrics. Finally, please note that the workshop´s language is English; applicants should feel comfortable reading and exchanging ideas in English. Funding for the supplementary WGAPE meeting from our sponsors (listed below) will cover all costs of travel, visa, and accommodation for this purpose. We ask that you submit the following materials to apply:

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

b)   An abstract of the applicant’s research that relates, even if only loosely, to the topics relevant to WGAPE, as listed above. This should be representative of the applicant’s academic writing.

c)    A short paragraph discussing the applicant’s methodological approach or evidence used in his or her relevant research.

d)    The name, title, and contact information of one reference (from a current/previous collaborator or advisor) that would be able to comment on your research interests and future research trajectory

To submit your materials:

·         Please fill out the fields below to apply by 11:59pm PT on October 6, 2016 

·         Please indicate which of the two tracks your submission is for. If you would like to apply for both, please indicate this on the form and fill in ALL information for BOTH TRACKS. 

·        Junior scholars and African country/developing country scholars are highly encouraged to submit applications for Track 2 in addition to paper submissions.

·         Successful applicants will be notified by October 25th, 2016 and will be invited to attend the full symposium.

 

Participant costs and travel:

WGAPE will be able to provide funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses to accepted WGAPE participants. Visas and travel will be arranged by NYU-AD.

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

 

Partners/donors: New York University – Abu Dhabi, Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP), Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), and Wageningen University.