Saturday, 10 December 2011

Transparency Accountability Initiative seeks Research Proposals on the Impact of Transparency and Accountability Interventions

Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI) is currently inviting multi-year research proposals from research or evaluation institutions or consortia on the impact of T/A interventions. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will fund the research work. The overall objective of this research initiative is to enhance knowledge and understanding about T/A interventions.
The budget envelope for the multiyear research study is in the range of US$ 5M, subject to discussions with funders and quality of proposals and designs developed.

Research Focus Areas

The overarching questions for the research are:
  • To what extent can health, agricultural, sanitation and/or education outcomes be attributed to transparency and accountability interventions?
  • How and why do transparency interventions generate change in these outcomes (e.g. through which mechanisms, under what conditions, and in what contexts)?
Moreover, the research should focus on one or more of the following sectors: health, agriculture, sanitation and education, and/or sub-sectors therein. These are key areas of interest for the project funders, within which applicants are invited to suggest a suitable focus and scope to generate credible findings. There is no a priori preference for proposals that cover more than one sector.

Geographic Focus
Generating findings that are generalizable and focused on T/A interventions that can be replicated and scaled across contexts is a key objective of the funders. The assumption is that the design will involve research across multiple country contexts.
The research should focus at least 75% on countries in SubSaharan Africa and South Asia. The research should also focus to the extent possible, and at least 50% on low-income countries, according to the World Bank definition.

Expected Outcomes
The key types of outcomes that should be the focus of the research are those far down the causal chain, as close to actual social and economic benefits for individuals and households as possible. For example, outcome categories could consist of nutrition, mortality or morbidity, incomes, literacy or numeracy, etc. Intermediary outcomes with clear links to these ultimate outcomes (e.g. actual resources spent on health, agricultural extension, primary education, etc.) could also be of interest.

Submissions Process

There is a two-stage submission process. In Stage 1, applicants will submit their qualifications in support of their ability to design and execute the proposed research based on the questions, goals and criteria elaborated in this RFP. Applicants will also submit ideas on potential designs of the research, again in relation to the questions, goals and criteria elaborated in this RFP.
In Stage 2, the selected research team will work with the T/AI and funders to systematically design and plan the research including selection of outcome categories, T/A intervention(s), sector(s), geographic context(s), implementing partner(s), methods and data. The planning phase will also allow for a fuller understanding of the challenges, constraints and risks posed by the research.

Last date for submitting the applications for Stage 1 is January 3, 2012.
For more information, visit this link.

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