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J-PAL Africa launches the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa)

– J-PAL

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Africa has launched the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa)

The competitive research fund will study the impact of innovative government and private sector payment systems, and digital identification reforms on citizens and governments across Africa.

DigiFI Africa will support researchers in conducting two phases of work:

  1. Formative research that includes pilots and high-frequency monitoring systems to assess the status and health of digital payments and digital ID programs at various stages of reforms.
  2. Rigorous randomized impact evaluations to test the impact of roll-outs of promising digital payment and digital ID reforms.

Funding is open to J-PAL affiliates, invited researchers, researchers with a PhD based at an academic institution in Sub-Saharan Africa and PhD students who have a J-PAL affiliate on their dissertation committee.

The Round 1 RFP closes on September 20, 2019 for these groups.

DigiFI Africa promotes research to address questions from a government’s perspective and from individuals’ perspectives, as well as considering fiscal capacity, externalities and private sector impacts.

Policymakers across Africa are increasingly investing in large-scale digital identification and digital payment systems. Because these systems are so new, little rigorous research exists on how best to design and implement such systems in low-income contexts

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