2014 FAQ

Data for Life FAQ

What is the Data for Life Prize?
Data for Life Prize invites applicants to submit a successful but under-recognized life-saving intervention for children under five that deserves more rigorous study. Two winners will receive $50,000 each to fund meticulous, independent, year-long field studies of their chosen intervention.

Must the Prize application be submitted in English?
Yes. Please make sure that all materials you submit are in English.

What is the goal of Data for Life?
The goal of Data of Life is to scientifically evaluate an intervention designed to save the lives of children under the age of 5.  The evaluation should accurately describe the intervention, sample population, outline the methodology,  and provide quantitative data proving the success or failure of your intervention. The goal is to obtain the best evidence possible with the funds available.

Who can apply?
Anyone – any organization or person can apply. The Prize is open to anyone who is in a position to save children’s lives but lacks the means to quantitatively assess the impact of their work. Practitioners fighting to reduce child mortality as well as researchers in this area are encouraged to apply for the Data for Life Prize.

What if I am a child mortality researcher, epidemiologist, or public health student or professional, can I apply for the Prize?
Yes, we encourage research and academic professionals to partner with a practitioner – someone directly conducting a life-saving intervention – to develop an application for the Prize.

What is the criteria for winning the Data for Life Prize?
The goal of the Data For Life Prize is to save as many children’s lives as possible by identifying and strengthening under-recognized life-saving interventions that are highly impactful, scalable, and cost-effective, but currently lack scientific evidence of their impact. Accordingly, the winning applicants will propose studies that will yield previously unavailable proof demonstrating the efficacy of programs that deserve much greater support. By securing this proof, these programs will be empowered to save more lives.

What is the schedule for the Data for Life Prize?
For more information about the schedule, click here

Is the Data for Life Prize a reward or a grant?
The Prize is not a reward recognizing past work or achievements. Instead, it is a grant for future work to directly validate the life-saving intervention that is outlined in the submitted proposal.

What can the prize funds be spent on?
The Data For Life prize funds are intended to secure valuable pieces of scientific evidence that will save children’s lives. Prize funds may be spent on a combination of collecting field data where a life-saving intervention is deployed, the deployment of the intervention itself, or the capacity and personnel needed to deploy the intervention. The goal is to obtain the best evidence possible with the funds available.

Are indirect costs allowed, if so, is there a cap?
We prefer to see as little overhead or indirect costs as possible. But, we can accept up to 10% of the budget for indirect costs, overhead, and/or organizational maintenance, although we would prefer to see less. Please also note that the Data for Life Prize reserves the right to negotiate the budget before awarding the prize prior to finalizing the prize contract.

How should the use of prize funds be verified?
There is no pre-determined criteria for verifying the use of funds, but at the second round of the Prize, proposals must include a section detailing how the donor may verify the use of funds.

May an existing study currently funded by another entity be leveraged for Data for Life?

Yes, there are several scenarios where Data for Life may be used to enhance a currently funded study, but the proposal should make clear how the funds will be administered separate from what is currently budgeted for the existing funding.

Are joint proposals and partnerships acceptable?
Yes, provided that it’s clear where the funds would go and who would administer them. Also, submitting a proposal as a partnership does not necessarily improve the quality of an application.

What evidence is Data for Life interested in?
We want to fund studies that will produce evidence that matters. To us, that means new, previously uncollected evidence that an intervention is able to save a lot of children’s lives. It is also important that the intervention be scalable and cost effective, so that more children’s lives can be saved.

What would be considered a large impact on children’s lives?
Generally speaking, it will be difficult to scientifically prove an intervention is working unless either a large population is affected (tens of thousands of children) or a large change is made in child mortality rates (20-80% reduction in under five mortality, for example). Small changes in child mortality rates in small populations will not yield very robust statistical proof of success.

May we study child health instead of child mortality?
Yes and no. Our only criteria for Data For Life is saving the lives of children under five. We recognize that in some cases it may be easier to collect data on morbidity (sickness and disease) than on death, however, applicants proposing to study morbidity must make a very convincing, evidence-based argument about the relationship between morbidity and mortality in their study population in order to advance through the Data For Life competition and be considered for the prize. In other words, you may use morbidity as a proxy for mortality, but not as a study endpoint on its own.

How often should we measure impact on our population, and when?
In the second round of the competition, applicants will be asked to provide more details about their study design. There are several reasonable approaches, including surveying the population before and after the intervention, surveying only at the end but asking questions about the period before the intervention, and using previously collected records or data. There are also a variety of field data collection techniques including random and non-random sampling of respondents and/or households or comprehensive data surveys of the entire population. Populations might be sampled twice, one year apart, to remove seasonal bias, or might be monitored on a rolling basis. These examples are for illustration only – we do not specify how the data is collected, that is up to you. We are interested in high quality quantitative evidence (data that shows a clear result), no matter how it is collected.

Is a control group required?
A control group (a population similar to the population where the intervention is deployed, but lacking the intervention) is a useful way to improve the quality of a data survey by removing bias, but is an optional element in your study design.

Does the same group have to conduct the life saving intervention as well as the study of that intervention?
No. Partnership, collaboration, and outsourcing are acceptable in the Data For Life Prize, and in fact an independent data collection, conducted by a group unaffiliated with the program conducting the life-saving intervention, may be preferable in many cases. However, the prize funds will flow directly to the applicant for further dispersal as detailed in a budget that will be requested of applicants invited to the second round of the prize contest.

What happens if I win the prize and collect a lot of data, but the data fail to prove that the intervention works to save children’s lives?
We will be disappointed, as will you, but the goal of the program is not to prove that an intervention is successful, but to ensure interventions utilized have been thoroughly evaluated for effectiveness.

What’s the Difference between the Data for Life Prize, and the Caplow Children’s Prize?
The Data for Life Prize joins the Caplow Children’s Prize as part of the Children’s Prize family. Data For Life continues and expands the work of the Caplow Children’s Prize.

What is the origin of the Data for Life Prize?
It was noted during the selection process for the Caplow Children’s Prize that, although there were a number of programs worthy of the grant, many of them could not fulfill the data-assessment requirements, and were therefore ineligible for the prize. Data for Life seeks to bridge that gap through the collection and analysis of accurate data concerning their programs.

Can applicants that submitted proposals for the Children’s Prize in 2013 enter the Data for Life Prize?

Do applicants that previously submitted an application to the Children’s Prize have a better chance of winning the Data for Life Prize?

When will the Caplow Children’s Prize be awarded again?
The inaugural Children’s Prize was a $1 million grant won by Dr. Anita Zaidi in Pakistan. Data For Life is new this year and continues the Children’s Prize focus on saving children under five through identifying the most effective programs for targeted investment. It is not the policy of the Children’s Prize to announce future contests before they are open to applications, although this may sometimes be done.

Who were the finalists of the Caplow Children’s Prize
The winner and finalist details can be found here

Who do we contact about technical difficulties?
Direct all these questions to support@foundationsource.com

FAQ REVISED June 20, 2014