Evaluating High-Value Innovations from Low-Resource Communities

  • Release Date: October 29, 2015


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to seeking value from all levels of investment in health care, public health, and population health. Through this call for proposals the Foundation intends to pursue several objectives: (1) to identify promising innovations to improve health being implemented in low-resource communities, (2) to evaluate whether the innovations improve health care quality and health without increasing costs; and (3) to disseminate these  innovations as examples for other communities to implement. The evaluation of innovations from low-resource communities is the primary objective of this call for proposals.

Total Awards

  • Up to $2.5 million in total will be available under this call for proposals
  • Project funding will accommodate evaluations lasting up to 24 months
  • Up to 10 evaluations will be funded
  • The Foundation expects to fund evaluations of a broad mix of innovations as illustrated by the list of potential innovation mechanisms
  • The grant opportunity outlined in the call for proposals is contingent upon final funding confirmation from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for such grants

Key Dates

The November 6, 2015 applicant webinar audio recording is available here and you can view the slides here.

December 10, 2015 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of brief proposals.

March 22, 2016 (3 p.m. ET)
Deadline for receipt of invited full proposals.

April 28, 2016
Finalists notified of funding recommendations.

July 15, 2016
Grants initiated.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Eligible Activities

  • The primary purpose of this call for proposals is to support the evaluation of innovations to improve value, rather than the implementation of innovations. At least 80 percent of funding should be allocated to activities such as evaluation design, sample selection, data collection and acquisition, analysis, and reporting.
  • Evaluations of existing but untested innovations, or innovations that have undergone small pilot tests, are eligible for funding.
  • Innovations that disrupt or displace less effective, less efficient practices are eligible for funding. Modest enhancements or improvements to existing ways of working will not be funded.

Eligible Applicant Organizations

  • Preference will be given to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require documentation.
  • Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.
  • An organization may submit a proposal to work with an external evaluation partner or to evaluate its own innovation without a partner.

Eligible Settings

  • Organizations evaluating innovations in defined geographic areas are eligible to apply if the innovation takes place in one or more neighborhoods where at least 20 percent of residents are living in poverty.
  • Alternatively, applicants are invited to describe their innovation’s intended target populations in terms of income or poverty status, educational attainment, linguistic or cultural isolation, general geographic setting, or other relevant indicators.
  • Although innovations may involve a relatively small target population initially, they should have expansion potential. Thus, eligible innovations will be set in a town, city, county, or cluster of neighboring counties with a population of at least 25,000 people.
  • The online application system suggests ways that applicants may demonstrate that their innovation meets the setting criteria.

December 10, 2015, 3:00 p.m. ET


Leslie Foster, director of health research

Mathematica Policy Research

Phone: (510) 830-3709 (Pacific Time)

Email: IVC@mathematica-mpr.com

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