From our network: Evidence synthesis on rationales to restrict grants

With the increasing interesting in unrestricted funding, different researchers try to gather and synthesize the available evidence on the effects of unrestricted funding for the work of grantee organizations. Last year we reported on the review of evidence on the role of flexible funding in nature conservation.

Last month (March 2023), the Institute for Voluntary Action Research in the UK published a synthesis of the evidence on unrestricted funding. The report distills different rationales that funders may have to choose for restricted or unrestricted grants. While there is not sufficient evidence (yet) to dismiss or prove these rationales, this synthesis of the evidence can give funders reason to re-think the arguments in place.

Read the full report here.

We have been in touch with the author of this report, Christopher Mills, to discuss arguments and point each other to relevant studies, resources and contacts. Our own review of the academic literature – which we never turned into an academic publication – turned out to be very helpful here.

We hope that attempts like this help to fuel the discussion and provide evidence-based arguments for different types of grant-making.