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Call for Expressions of Interest for Impact Studies estimating the long-term, large-scale impacts of CGIAR research on development outcomes

The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) is an external, impartial standing panel of experts in impact assessment subject matter appointed by the System Council and accountable to it. SPIA is responsible for providing rigorous, evidence-based, and independent strategic advice to the broader CGIAR System on efficient and effective impact assessment methods and practices, including those measuring impacts beyond contributions to science and economic performance, and on innovative ways to improve knowledge and capacity on how research contributes to development outcomes.

SPIA hopes to commission a number of studies over the next 12 months. Regardless of the start date, all studies must be completed by the end of 2023. There is no budget ceiling for individual studies, and we expect to award about $1.6 million dollars in grants3. Proposals for studies that pool resources from different funding sources are eligible for consideration, and such pooling is encouraged.

Elements to be considered

Expression of Interest (EoI) should be a max of four pages and include:

  • Title and short (100 words) description
  • Innovation to be assessed, links to CGIAR research and the existing evidence base regarding its potential impacts (including lab, pilot, or efficacy trial evidence)
  • Documentation on existing diffusion of the innovation, including reference to available data or evidence
  • Outcomes to be measured, for which populations and/or geographical areas using which proposed indicators
  • Proposed methods– including an approach to causal inference
  • Proposed data, including the potential of combining different data sources (surveys, administrative records, remote sensing, qualitative interviews, machine-readable text). In this section, proponents can indicate whether they wish to be considered for Track 2 in order to obtain data and conduct a preliminary analysis
  • Study team
  • Budget, from SPIA and other sources (expected and/or secured)

Selection procedure

SPIA will review each EoI and invite promising studies to move ahead under Track 1 (prepare full proposal) or Track 2 (conduct an initial analysis to support the case for full proposal). Invitation to proceed along either Track is no guarantee of funding. Where possible, under either track, SPIA will offer suggestions for strengthening proposals to ensure we receive the strongest possible set of full proposals.

EoIs will be scored according to the following set of criteria:

  • Technical merit (20%)
  • Feasibility (including the availability of existing datasets and previous analyses) (20%)
  • Innovativeness of proposed impact assessment questions (types of research, outcomes assessed) and research design (including scale) (20%)
  • Relevance and quality of the research team, capacity, and reputation of the proposed grantee (20%)
  • Cost-effectiveness (10%)
  • Other outstanding aspects of the proposed study (10%)

Applicants can expect responses regarding the outcome of the EoI review process by Friday, November 8, 2019.

Expressions of interest (EoIs) should be sent to SPIA (spia@cgiar.org) no later than 9am CET, on Monday, October 14, 2019.

For questions, contact Nancy Johnson (n.johnson@cgiar.org).

Download the call document here.