Knowledge for Change

The KCP promotes evidence-based policy making through research, data and analytics.

About the Program

The Knowledge for Change Program (KCP) is an Umbrella Trust Fund Program that aims at delivering high-impact, policy-relevant research and knowledge products. Housed in the Development Economics Vice Presidency of the World Bank, the KCP commenced its operation in 2002, and has supported more than 360 projects on research, data, and analytics, with total funding of US$72 million.

KCP’s Goals

The KCP launched its fourth phase in November 2020, with the following goals:

  • Original Research: produce rigorous and relevant fundamental research in support of evidence-based policy making in international development, anticipating future needs and knowledge gaps as well as responding to current policy challenges.
  • Operational Relevance: support World Bank Group country operations in the design, implementation, evaluation, and modification of development interventions in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Open Knowledge: maximize the impact of research and data generated from KCP by making knowledge accessible and actionable, particularly through partnerships and capacity-building activities.

KCP contributes to the generation, transformation and dissemination of knowledge in three major ways. First, KCP generates high-quality, cutting-edge, policy-relevant research and data and builds the evidence base for better policy making. Second, KCP catalyzes knowledge transformation by working closely with other parts of the World Bank Group, conducting cross-cutting projects that bridge sectors, and supplying key measures, indicators, evaluation, and analysis for policy design and implementation. Third, KCP disseminates, shares, and democratizes development knowledge and learning through direct partnerships and capacity building.

KCP Partners

To date, more than 20 partners have contributed to the KCP, including Finland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the European Commission, Denmark, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Estonia, China, Singapore, ABN/AMRO Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.


KCP 2019 Report Key Indicators


KCP effectively pools various funds and intellectual resources

KCP covers a wide range of topics and remains flexible in terms of structure. This has allowed the KCP to meet various donors’ research interests and accommodate emerging topics within KCP’s research framework.  

KCP provides a transparent method for reviewing and funding proposals through a competitive process

Over the years, KCP has formulated a set of rigorous and competitive procedures, to ensure that high quality proposals receive KCP funding.  After a launch of Call for Proposals, research teams first prepare a two-page concept note for approval.  An approved concept note then moves on to the full proposal stage. 

Each full proposal is sent to two to three external subject matter experts to review. External reviewers rate and comment on each proposal’s analytical design, data, literature, program implementation, policy relevance, and local capacity building—using a rating scale of 1 to 5. When a proposal receives overall scores from different reviewers with a difference of 3 and above, it is sent to an additional external reviewer for an extra round of reviews.

The rating, comments and recommendations from the reviewers are shared with the Internal Management Committee (IMC). The IMC is chaired by the head of DEC, and composed of DEC Directors and the Regional and Global Practice Chief Economists. The IMC will then meet and decide on funding allocations based on the review process, as well as the proposal’s overall strategic relevance, and availability of funding.

Proposal Selection Process

This process ensures that successful research proposals will use rigorous analytical approaches to yield valid results and reliable evidence. Data projects will have methodological rigor of data collection and quality control processes in place. 


Last Updated: Dec 08, 2017

Strategic Research Program

The Strategic Research Program (SRP) is a strategic partnership between the Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank, funding economic growth-related research following an agreed to set of joint objectives. The DFID funding allocation for the SRP was £10.2 million (funding for which is shared between DFID’s Growth and Education Research teams).

The objectives of the SRP are to (a) generate high quality, cutting-edge research in development economics; (b) contribute to policy making in developing countries; (c) enhance research and data capacity in developing countries; and (d) enable countries and stakeholders to access evidence-based research.  The program aims to make the Bank’s research more responsive to the needs of operational and policy units by making the process of commissioning and funding Bank research more transparent, efficient and effective.   

The proposed SRP impact is: better use of evidence in decision making on economic development related policies and practices by developing countries. The proposed project outcome is: a stronger World Bank evidence base on economic development directly used by World Bank staff in the field and their counterparts in developing countries. The deliverable outputs of the program are: high quality, lower cost research papers and evidence products that a) respond to policy and operation demands, and b) are built on increasing levels of external competition. The outputs establish a reliable body of evidence on important policies compiled through rigorous research.

Read SRP Program Completion Report2017 Annual Progress Report 

List of Policy Research Working Working Papers funded by SRP.






SPR Themes