Impact Report from the Economic Development & Institutions programme - Research Area 3 (EDI-RA3)
EDI was designed to be a research programme that would impact policy, not tangential to the needs or demands of policy stakeholders. The EDI-RA3 studies that the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at the University of California, Berkeley helped competitively select are responding to decision-maker demand. That is, from the outset, the research projects were chosen and subsequently funded because they were not only technically sound, logistically feasible, and promising to contribute to the evidence base, but also directly relevant to ongoing policy and reform debates.
To build a research portfolio that could effectively respond to policy needs, CEGA leadership and the RA3 Scientific Committee made careful decisions, such as prioritizing funding for projects with direct government partners. This prioritization was made possible through significant effort from CEGA to crowd-in high quantity and quality of proposals among which to select the portfolio. In the conclusion we discuss both our research funding selection strategy in greater detail, and identify notable commonalities across projects with impacts thus far. For example, we emphasize the value of embedding an experiment within governmental programme implementation. Where possible and successful, this approach seems clearly more likely to achieve direct contributions to policy decisions.