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Initial Call for Proposals – Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)

Closing date for proposal templates June 4, 2012

The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) is a new trust fund established within the World Bank to carry out and support research evaluating the impact of programs on alleviating poverty and improving people’s lives. The knowledge generated will provide evidence for designing more effective policies and programs. The multi-donor fund was created with the support of the British government’s Department for International Development with a commitment of nearly $40 million. The program, which will be managed by the World Bank’s Human Development Network, will run from 2012–2017.

The SIEF aims to improve the effectiveness of development policies by expanding the evidence base on the impact of scalable programs affecting human development outcomes. The trust fund will support activities aiming to (i) generate a solid evidence base on the development effectiveness of programs affecting health, nutrition and education; (ii) build capacity for understanding and using monitoring and evaluation, particularly impact evaluation techniques, through regional training workshops and toolkits; and (iii) improve access to impact evaluation results to support evidence-based policymaking. This new Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund will build on the knowledge and research generated by the Spanish Trust Fund for Impact Evaluation.

This first call for proposals will focus on four thematic research clusters chosen for their strategic policy relevance: (i) early childhood nutrition, health and development; (ii) water supply, sanitation, and hygiene linked to human development outcomes; (iii) basic education service delivery; and (iv) health systems and service delivery. Within these research areas a range of program types are welcome, including cash transfer programs and programs supporting multiple interventions. Through these thematic clusters, the program will generate cross-country evidence on how programs work in different contexts.

Over the course of the five-year program, the SIEF expects to finance over 50 impact evaluations and allocate nearly $25,000,000. We are pleased to launch the first of multiple calls for proposals and invite proposals within the thematic research clusters outlined in the cluster notes available at the following link:

In order to be eligible for funding from SIEF, all proposals must fulfill the following

Technical Requirements: Priority will be given to prospective evaluations that use experimental or rigorous quasi-experimental methods. Evaluations may also include complements to quantitative impact evaluation work including process evaluations and mixed-method (quantitative and qualitative) approaches. All proposals should include the collection of cost data and a cost analysis of the intervention.

Cluster Relevance – Evaluations should be aligned with the thematic priorities outlined in the Cluster Notes by addressing the specified research questions and knowledge gaps.

Country Eligibility – Countries classified as low, lower-middle, and upper-middle income are eligible. Evaluations in middle-income countries must demonstrate the relevance of the results and include plans for the engagement of policymakers and dissemination of lessons learned in low income countries. Multi-country proposals are eligible.

Scalability of programs – Priority will be given to programs that have the potential for scalability in low-income countries. Efficacy trials are also eligible as long as they can demonstrate they are scalable.

Timeline Restrictions – Evaluations must deliver final results by July 2017. New and ongoing evaluations are eligible as long as they are prospective in nature.

World Bank Sponsor – All development programs are eligible for SIEF funding as long as they have a sponsor within the World Bank. Proposals from programs supported by NGO’s, bilateral aid agencies, etc. are welcome. The World Bank sponsor will serve as the evaluation Task Team Leader and assume the fiduciary responsibilities of managing the trust fund.

In order to receive funding from SIEF, all evaluations must agree to the following requirements:

1. Ethics Principles
SIEF evaluations must adhere to the highest standards of research ethics and are thereby expected to uphold the Ethics Principals for Research and Evaluation established by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and adopted by the SIEF. Evaluations teams must commit to uphold the ten principles outlined in Annex I.

2. Protection of Human Subjects
SIEF evaluations must fulfill the following requirements on human subjects:
Evaluations must include a description of the human subjects protocol and a plan for securing ethical clearance in the technical proposal.

Principal investigators and research coordinators must provide evidence of human subjects training within the last 2 years. The National Institute of Health (NIH) online course includes a test and will produce a certificate number which can be used for this purpose.
Principal investigators are responsible for securing in-country ethical clearance or providing an official memo from client counterparts stating the absence of a local ethical review board. In case the country of study does not have a review board, the evaluation team will be required to contract an external review board.

3. Data Storage and Access
In accordance to the World Bank’s Open Data and Open Knowledge Initiative, all datasets must be fully documented. Datasets should be in compliance with international good practices and with the Data Documentation Initiative (
To promote broad and diverse use of the data, and to ensure transparency and credibility of the results, microdata will be made publicly accessible within a reasonable time span. Data and documentation will be stored and documented in the World Bank Data Catalog within six months of completion of data collection.

4. Cost Data and Analysis
SIEF evaluations must include the collection of cost data of the intervention. In addition, the final results coming from the evaluations should include an analysis of both the impacts and the costs.

5. Engagement and Dissemination
SIEF evaluations must outline a dissemination and engagement strategy to ensure the relevance of the impact evaluation, including the preparation of a technical report, a policy note, and a final dissemination event. Research supported by the SIEF is expected to be disseminated through World Bank and other channels.

The application process has two stages. The first stage requires the submission of the SIEF Proposal Template and the Budget Proposal Template. Proposals will be reviewed and scored by the Evaluation Review Committee according to the explicit criteria outlined in section VI. Selected proposals will have the opportunity to receive seed funding up to US$25,000 to develop a full technical proposal for the impact evaluation.

In second stage, the evaluation team will submit a full technical proposal that outlines the various technical aspects of the evaluation by February 2013. Technical proposals will be subject to an internal and external peer review. Teams will have access to the first tranche of funding in the budget upon fulfillment of the peer review. Additional funds will be transferred based on achievement of subsequent milestones.

Ongoing impact evaluations that already have a technical note can submit it for review immediately after being approved in the first stage. The first tranche of funding will be available after the approval of the technical peer review.

Proposals must be submitted by the World Bank sponsor via email to by 8:00 a.m. (EST) on June 4, 2012.
Please ensure that the file name of your application materials includes the last name of the World Bank sponsor and the country name of the evaluation (eg. Budget_Smith_Rwanda)

Applicants must use the proposal template documents available at Proposals should not exceed the limit of 10 pages.

The Evaluation Review Committee will review and rate the proposals based on the following criteria:
Policy/Cluster Relevance: Weight: 30%
Technical Quality: Weight: 40%
Capacity for Delivery: Weight: 20%
Engagement and Dissemination: Weight: 5%
Realism of Budget: Weight: 5%
See Annex II for more detail on the assessment criteria.

Funding for evaluations will be transferred based on the achievement of explicit and pre-established milestones. The following schedule of tranches will apply for all new evaluations. Ongoing evaluations will have a distinct and customized schedule of tranches. Seed funding (up to US$25,000).

Evaluation funding:
50% upon approval of technical proposal
45% upon uploading of the baseline data and documentation, baseline report and verification of the evaluation design into the Microdata Management Toolkit
5% upon uploading of the endline data and documentation into the Microdata Management Toolkit.

Announcement of call for proposals April 26, 2012
Closing date for proposal templates June 4, 2012
Announcement of approved proposals July, 2012
Deadline for full technical proposals February, 2013

Please see the frequency asked questions available on the SIEF website at For other questions regarding the proposal template and the selection process, please email

For more information, visit Initial Call for Proposals – Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)


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