Request for Applications: Small Grants to Support Evaluations

The MEASURE Evaluation project is pleased to announce a request for applications for its small grants program to support an evaluation topic that has been identified as a country-led health priority.

The MEASURE Evaluation project is pleased to announce a request for applications for its small grants program to support an evaluation topic that has been identified as a country-led health priority. The primary objectives of this program are:

  1. To build capacity among local researchers to conduct and participate in a rigorous evaluation related to a health topic, and
  2. To support research gaps through the development of evaluations to inform programmatic or policy decision-making related to health.

Given that implementation of a full evaluation is likely to exceed the time and budget available for a small grant, the small grants are expected to focus on a component of a rigorous evaluation. Examples include, but are not limited to the development of an evaluation protocol, addition of a qualitative component to an existing evaluation, or analysis of previously collected data to address an evaluation question. The exact product will depend upon the nature of the small grant (e.g., an evaluation protocol, or a paper based on an analysis of evaluation data, etc.).  

Eligibility

Eligible candidates include country or regional academic institutions or centers, non-profit and for-profit research organizations, parastatals, and research-focused NGOs. Individuals representing themselves and not an institution/organization, as well as those representing a regional/field office for an international NGO are ineligible for this funding opportunity. Candidates must be seeking to build their evaluation research capacity.

Eligible applications will use appropriate and rigorous methods to contribute to an evaluation in response to a question of interest to stakeholders in the country or region being studied. Illustrative topics are listed under the Suggested Evaluation Topics section below. Proposals should state what the final product of the small grant will be.

Eligible proposals should be comprised of a team of at least three people, submitted on behalf of an NGO, university, etc. The team members can represent more than one institution. They should have previous research experience, preferably with evaluations specifically, but need not be highly proficient in evaluation techniques as technical and administrative assistance will be available to sub-grantees at all stages of the small grants program to build organizational evaluation research capacity.

Small Grants Awards

The base amount for a small grant is US$15,000, which is intended to cover basic research expenses for a twelve-month timeline. However, the total budget may be higher depending on the proposed activities. Funds will be paid in three installments: when the sub-grant is awarded, after receipt of a first draft of the product, and after completion of the final product.

To support the capacity-building objective of the program, MEASURE Evaluation will assign technical staff to provide assistance to the selected researchers for evaluation design, data analysis, editing drafts, and/or data utilization, as needed. 

In addition, one researcher from each of the selected sub-recipient teams will be funded to attend the MEASURE Evaluation Regional Impact Evaluation Workshop to be held in India in mid-2015. 

Application Procedure

To apply, please submit the following in English:

  • brief cover letter;
  • concept paper (3-4 pages) clearly summarizing the background/context for the evaluation including who is interested in the evaluation results, proposed evaluation component(s), scope of the project, description of any datasets to be used or produced (if relevant), and how the results/product will be used;
  • budget; and
  • curriculum vitae of key personnel.

Concept papers are due by March 16, 2015. Short-listed candidates will be requested to submit a detailed research proposal (5-10 pages) with the following sections as relevant: introduction, background, technical approach (e.g. data and methods, analysis), composition of research team, explanation of how the results will be used, description of how the sub-grant will build research/evaluation capacity, and detailed budget. Selected candidates will be required to submit proof of institutional or country ethics review and approval, if applicable.

Selection

The applications will be assessed on:

  1. The degree to which the proposal demonstrates a conceptual understanding of the research and literature related to the evaluation topic of interest.
  2. A good fit between the evaluation topic and proposed approach/data to be used.
  3. The degree to which the proposed technical approach is appropriate and rigorous.
  4. Evidence that the evaluation is relevant for program or policy decision-making at the country, regional, or international level and/or will make a significant contribution to the existing literature on the topic of interest.
  5. Applicant’s prior experience working on similar evaluations.
  6. The feasibility and appropriateness of plans to use the product of the small grant.
  7. The degree to which the small grant will build on the current capacity of the organization to conduct evaluations and encourage data use.
  8. Realistic budget and timeline based on the proposed evaluation topic and available MEASURE Evaluation funds.

Suggested Evaluation Topics 

Proposals must focus on evaluations that address health areas supported by USAID, i.e., family planning/reproductive health; maternal and child health (MCH); food security and nutrition; HIV/AIDS, including interventions for orphans and vulnerable children; tuberculosis (TB); malaria; water and sanitation; and gender. See lists of USAID priority countries by the following health topics:

Different types of evaluations are eligible such as impact evaluation, outcome evaluation, process evaluation, etc., but the proposal must use rigorous quantitative or qualitative methods. 

Examples of topics that would be suitable for a small grant include but are not limited to:

  • Development of a protocol for an impact evaluation of a specific relevant  intervention
  • Development of a protocol for an outcome or process evaluation question for a relevant intervention
  • Addition of a qualitative component to an existing relevant evaluation study
  • Addition of a costing component to an existing relevant evaluation study
  • Additional analysis of previously collected relevant evaluation data to produce a paper or other product
  • Analysis of secondary public data to address a relevant evaluation question
  • Methodological study to compare to different evaluation estimation approaches applied to the same data

Contact Information

Please send applications to measure_rfp@unc.edu.  

The question submission period has closed. See submitted questions and responses.

Filed under: