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Grant Opportunities: IPA: Human Trafficking Research Initiative

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Deadline: 5-Aug-22

The Innovations for Poverty Action’s (IPA) Human Trafficking Research Initiative (HTRI) has launched its second Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for full randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and other rigorous impact evaluations to assess the impact of counter-trafficking programs.

HTRI welcomes proposals to assess counter-trafficking interventions that fall into any or all of the “4P’s” (prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership). Funding priorities are guided by HTRI’s Research and Learning Agenda, which outlines key research gaps under the 4P’s.


Applicants are instructed to read the Research and Learning Agenda and refer to one or more of HTRI’s priority research questions that their research project intends to address. Research that is primarily qualitative or descriptive will NOT be considered for funding under HTRI. Applicants can request full funding for RCTs, partial funding for RCTs, or funding for new arms of existing RCTs, as described below:

  • Full rigorous studies to assess the impact of a counter-trafficking programThese grants are for research projects with a clear research question, committed implementing partner(s), well-defined research designs, and statistical power estimates. While most of the impact evaluations funded will be RCTs, studies that use high-quality quasi-experimental and/or natural experiments will be considered in exceptional cases when a randomized experiment is not possible. Grants can also fund the continuation or completion of RCTs that have already started without HTRI funding (including those for which data collection is complete). This includes midline and endline surveys, long-run follow-up surveys from previously published evaluations, as well as “downstream studies” that use an already-completed randomized trial to answer a human trafficking-relevant question. The expectation is that this work will result in a paper publishable in a top economic, political science, or science journal. 
  • Adding a human trafficking-targeted treatment arm to an existing study: These are grants that will support expanding a study by adding a treatment arm explicitly focused on reducing human trafficking to an existing randomized evaluation. 
  • Adding human trafficking-focused survey modules or survey rounds to existing studiesThese are smaller grants that would fund the cost of adding human trafficking survey modules to upcoming data collection rounds for existing studies or add a new survey round to an existing study.
Award Information
  • Full rigorous studies to assess the impact of a counter-trafficking program: Awards are between $50,000 and $450,000. Applicants should apply for the funds needed to yield the best research, but (all other things equal) lower budgets have a higher probability of being funded.
  • Adding a human trafficking-targeted treatment arm to an existing study: Applicants can request funding for the costs of expanding the study sample and survey as well as the human trafficking-focused intervention. Awards are between $100,000 and $250,000.
  • Adding human trafficking-focused survey modules or survey rounds to existing studies:  They are intended for research studies that are likely to have an impact on trafficking but are not currently collecting human trafficking data. Awards are between $50,000 and $125,000.

Duration: Project timelines will depend on individual proposals. However, they expect research projects to launch in early 2023 and to close before the end of Spring 2025.

Geographical Focus

All projects must benefit people and communities in/from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Eligibility Criteria
  • Researchers must either hold a PhD or be currently pursuing a PhD in a relevant social science discipline. The research team must include members with demonstrated experience in field research and randomized evaluations and members with a deep understanding of human trafficking in the target region/country, including the social determinants that allow human trafficking to thrive.
  • IPA encourages proposals from diverse research teams. They welcome applications from researchers from multiple disciplines and historically underrepresented groups, and they strongly encourage research teams to include researchers from the countries where the project will take place, with clearly defined contributions from all members of the research team. Researchers with lived experience of human trafficking are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • HTRI also encourages the contribution and input into research projects of people with lived experience of human trafficking, from the design stage through implementation and dissemination of results, at all levels of project leadership.

For more information, visit https://www.poverty-action.org/publication/application-guidelines-human-trafficking-research-initiative-rfp-summer-2022

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