Replication Window 4: Financial Services for the Poor

3ie requests expressions of interest from researchers  interested in conducting replication studies under 3ie’s Replication Window 4: Financial Services for the Poor (RW4 FSP). Funding is available to conduct internal replications of seven highly influential impact evaluations of interventions of financial services for the poor.

By internal replication, 3ie means the re-analysis of the findings of an original study using the study's own primary data.

Researchers interested in conducting a replication study must select one that is included in the RW4 FSP candidate studies list.  This list includes impact evaluations of mobile money, cash transfers, bank deposits, and other financial service interventions targeted towards underserved and unbanked populations in developing countries.

For more information, please read the  Request for Expressions of Interest (120.9 KB)

This call is now closed. The final deadline for submitting completed expressions of interest was 23.59 GMT, 2 August 2016. 
Selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals, which they would be required to submit within 45 days of receiving the invitation.

The deadline for receiving questions was 7 July 2016. The answers to the questions 3ie received are in the  Q&A document (85.1 KB)

At a glance

  • The aim of the RW4 FSP call is to invite researchers to express interest in conducting internal replication studies of seven impact evaluations related to financial service interventions for the poor.
  • Researchers interested in conducting a replication study must select an original paper that is included in the RW4 FSP Candidate Studies List. 3ie will only fund one replication study of each paper listed.
  • Applicants may apply for multiple candidate studies when submitting their EOI. However, once their qualifications are approved, each principal investigator will be invited to submit only one full proposal.  
  • The budget for replicating studies should not exceed US$40,000. All proposals, however, will be judged on cost-reasonableness.
  • Approved final reports will be posted on the 3ie website as part of the Replication Paper Series.


  • Only legally registered institutions or individuals may apply. Any researcher resident in the United States of America must have a valid work authorisation.
  • For-profit institutions are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants should be able to sign the contract with 3ie on terms and conditions stated in the individual or institutional contracts.

How to apply

These are the key documents for the application:

Request for expressions of interest

Request for expressions of interest (120.9 KB)

Budget templates

RW4 FSP individual consultant budget template (292.6 KB)

RW4 FSP institutional consultant budget template (294.5 KB)

Review form

RW4 FSP review form (81.3 KB)

Contract templates

RW4 FSP individual consulting agreement (131.5 KB)

RW4 FSP institutional consulting agreement (163.2 KB)

Replication notification policy

3ie Replication Programme’s contracts notification and communication policy (82.4 KB)


Financial services for the poor

Over the last four decades, financial services for the poor have become a priority in low- and middle-income countries. This has led to the development of multiple financial instruments, including microlending, microsavings, microinsurance, alternative collateralisation, prize-linked savings accounts, and others with different sets of risk profiles and targeted at poor populations in developing countries. Although financial services for the poor have seen significant uptake, questions remain if impacts vary based on population targeted, product design and delivery, risk management practices of the service provider, country of operation, associated skills transfer, and other aspects of the programme design.

3ie Replication Window

The Replication Window funds internal replication studies of impact evaluations of development interventions. This funding mechanism aims to increase the incentives for conducting replication studies and to improve the quality of evidence available for programme and policy design. The Replication Programme has funded fifteen replications through three rounds of the window. To see the current status of these studies as well as 3ie’s in-house replication studies please visit the Replication Studies Status Page.


This replication window is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Photo©ACDI/VOCA Malawi

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