26- 03
Funding opportunity -Women’s Economic Empowerment and Digital Finance

Wednesday, January 26, 2022 to Thursday, March 3, 2022

*All applications and required documents should be submitted by March 3, 2022 23:59 Bangladesh Standard Time (BST)

WEE-DiFine is a research initiative that seeks to generate a comprehensive body of evidence that addresses the impact of digital financial services (DFS) on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and the causal mechanisms between the two by funding rigorous research across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia.

WEE-DiFine has five main categories of funding, based on the type of research study, which have been grouped into two categories: Large Grant and Small Grants. This call for proposals is dedicated to funding for the following categories:

Large Grants
Large-scale Greenfield Evaluations: Intended for greenfield projects explicitly designed on strong theoretical grounding to target key questions in the initiative’s research agenda.  The maximum award amount for this grant type is USD 500,000.
Extensions to Existing Studies: Intended to add extensions to existing experimental research designs that would yield results of central relevance to the initiative’s research agenda. Researchers often lack the funding for accommodating the necessary sample size that would allow decomposing the mechanisms mediating the impacts of interventions, particularly in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Alternatively, researchers may not have the budget to effectively include sufficiently large strata of women in an experimental sample, particularly in cases where women are less represented than men. This tier of funding will enable researchers to add additional intervention arms, female strata to samples, and/or other extensions to existing study designs, enabling researchers to investigate mechanisms influencing women’s economic empowerment. This tier of award is expected to yield results more quickly than funding for new projects, enabling funding to be distributed more evenly across the duration of the Initiative. As such, funding will be awarded to proposals that clearly focus on adding survey rounds or samples to current studies or adding a WEE-DiFine targeted treatment arm to an existing study. The maximum award amount for this grant type is USD 200,000.
Small Grants
Measurement Studies: This funding category is meant to support measurement studies (including, but not limited to, developing novel measurement techniques, an adaptation of an existing measure to a different cultural context, or population) in field surveys. Effectively, measuring indicators such as (digital) financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment are crucial for estimating important outcomes such as financial health, female agency and empowerment, intra-household bargaining power, control of household decision-making, etc. Measurement studies do not have to be associated with an RCT – they can be attached to any form of quantitative data collection. The maximum award amount for this type of grant is USD 50,000.Before being peer-reviewed, submissions must demonstrate that 1) They have a skilled researcher(s) who are experts at measurement studies on their team (either as a PI or in another key role) and 2) There is clear potential for a publication-quality paper to emerge from the research.
Qualitative Studies:  Qualitative studies can be used to disentangle the causal mechanisms of an RCT or shed light on specific sub-themes in the Initiative’s white paper. This funding category has two sub-categories.