This programme was set up in 2005 to fund world class social science research that addresses the goal of reducing poverty amongst the poorest countries and people globally. Part of a broader strategic partnership between the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and ESRC, the joint fund aims to fund research which provides a robust conceptual and empirical basis for development with strong potential for impact on policy and practice for poverty reduction.

Funding has been awarded in three phases to date, with regular research calls generating a portfolio of more than 130 grants across a broad range of topics. These provide a rich source of development research evidence, both from individual grants and their Pathways to Impact, and also through research syntheses and other programme-level impact activity that pulls together learning from across the portfolio. The Impact Initiative is now working to support the uptake of research funded by the joint fund and the ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes programme.