HAEC's Research

HAEC conducts impact evaluations to generate further evidence in humanitarian contexts.

Two people turned away from the camera in Somalia, who have been displaced by the drought
Sacha Myers / Save the Children

Funding Overview

As part of HAEC’s mission to increase the use of impact evaluations for emergency food security activities, HAEC will partially or fully fund up to seven impact evaluations from 2023- 2024. These impact evaluations must be embedded as part of a BHA-funded emergency food security activities. The most competitive applications will have a local research team member, such as dedicated partner staff or a local research partner. There are three phases to the application process. While not eligible to receive HAEC funding, HAEC will also consider providing evaluability assessments for highly competitive non-BHA-funded applicants to better prepare implementers for future funding opportunities. To learn more about the importance of conducting impact evaluations in humanitarian settings, read our recently published blog post The Untapped Potential of Impact Evaluations in Humanitarian Contexts here

Download the Request for Research

Phase 1: Expression of Interest

Implementing partners submit a brief form that captures initial information about the applicant’s program, research questions of interest, relevance to HAEC’s research focus, and initial thinking on the design of the impact evaluation.

At this stage, it is not necessary that the applicant have a detailed approach for their impact evaluation design as the expectation is that this will be designed in Phase 2. HAEC will review Expression of Interests for:

  1. Alignment with HAEC’s research focus;
  2. Potential for impact evaluation (i.e., using an RCT or rigorous comparison group); and
  3. Capacity of the proposed team for conducting an impact evaluation.

During this phase, applicants will indicate whether they are interested in being matched with a HAEC research partner (in the event they do not have the requisite impact evaluation expertise in house or another external research partner in mind). Applicants that indicate they would like a matched partnership, will be matched during Phase 2.

Expressions of Interest will be accepted on a rolling basis up until March 24, 2023. HAEC will respond to applications within two weeks whether they have been invited to Phase 2 of the application process.

Phase 2: Research Design Co-Creation 

Applicants that are successful in Phase 1 will be invited to co-create the research design to answer their key learning question(s) with HAEC. This process will be done over 4-6 consultations between HAEC.  The timeline for Phase 2 will depend on stakeholder availability for consultations, HAEC anticipates this phase to take between 2-3 weeks. During these consultations, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Identification of research partner
  • Deep dive into the implementer’s program and local context
  • Assessment of implementer and program/activity readiness for an impact evaluation
  • Exploration of possible impact evaluation research questions and design options
  • Ethical considerations of the research design
  • Research team roles and responsibilities
  • Overview of HAEC research partnership expectations

It is expected that the IP and identified research partner use this phase to assess whether the match is a good fit. In instances where the IP has a preferred research partner, it is expected that this partner will play an active role in proposing evaluation design ideas in the research design co-creation and HAEC will play a supporting role.

Following the series of consultations, all parties (HAEC, the IP, and the research partner) will jointly decide whether to continue to pursue HAEC funding for their research design. If the IE is proposed to move forward, the IP and research partner will be asked to jointly complete the funding application document.

Phase 3: Invitation to Apply

In the final phase of the application, the IP and research partner will jointly submit their funding application document to HAEC to review. The application will compile the decisions made in Phase 2 into a single document (including readiness for an impact evaluation, impact evaluation questions and design, sampling approach, field logistics, ethical considerations, and management approach).

HAEC also requests draft survey tools as part of the application, enabling the submission of the IRB application on behalf of the IE. HAEC acknowledges tools may not be completely finalized but asks applicants to submit draft tools that capture the essence of the data they plan to collect. Additionally, HAEC will have template survey instruments and consent forms on FSNnetwork.org that research teams can download, adapt, and use

Final funding decisions will be released approximately three weeks following the submission of a full application. HAEC would not invite an applicant to this stage without a high likelihood of impact evaluation funding. All applications must be submitted by May 31, 2023. 

Who is Eligible to Apply? 

If you answer yes to all of these questions, you are eligible for funding: 

  • Are you a BHA funded Emergency award or applying for a BHA emergency funding via the EAGs?
  • Does - or will - your activity contain a Food Security component?
  • Is your activity in early implementation or not yet started
  • Will a significant component of the activity plan be completed before April of 2024?


Please download the full Request for Research for more information. Submit any remaining questions to HAEC@SaveChildren.org.

To learn more about Impact Evaluations, check out Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund's video What is an Impact Evaluation