Opening soon -- 2nd ReFinD request for proposals for research in retail finance distribution

The Retail Finance Distribution (ReFinD) research initiative will open for applications for the second round of sub-grants in February 2023. Successful applicants will be awarded grants to undertake research and test innovations in retail finance/ agent banking for financial inclusion in low and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

The request for proposals (RFP) will be accessible via the ReFinD website and affiliate platforms. The grant covers five categories: proposal development, pilot projects, natural experiments, extensions, and green field evaluations. Grants range from USD 5,000 for proposal development to USD 450,000 for greenfield evaluations.  The ReFinD secretariat will host information sessions to provide further information to applicants and stakeholders.

Eleven (11) grants have been awarded since June 2022, to 11 research institutions based in various countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The second RFP is expected to draw applications from across the three focus regions, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, and build on progress.

“I welcome existing and new partners to engage on the second ReFinD RFP. This is a great opportunity to build evidence to improve policy through research and commercial market solutions in retail finance for financial inclusion,” said Prof. Peter Quartey, Executive Director of ReFinD.

Research institutions, agent banking providers, commercial partners, and industry associations, policymakers with an interest in financial inclusion are encouraged to keep an eye out for details of the RFP and information sessions.

Please contact for further information.

Categories of the Grant

To cover time/resources to develop proposal for a pilot, natural experiments, extensions, or greenfield evaluations.

Amount: $5000

To conduct 3-12months pilot studies aimed at developing and testing interventions, and methodologies that can be scaled into full research projects.

Amount: $40,000 - $60,000

To conduct quasi-experimental research, such as utilizing variation from a regulatory change that enables observation of differences between individuals or regions exposed to the change and those not exposed to it.  

Amount: $40,000 - $60,000

To undertake components of an ongoing experiment (e.g., endline data collection) , expand or conduct follow-on activities associated with a completed research/experiment. 

Amount: $100,000 - $125,000

To conduct rigorous impact evaluations, working with treatment and control groups with larger interventions for a period of up to 3 to 4 years.

Amount: $250,000 - $450,000