From Research to Action (R2A)

Using Knowledge to Accelerate Progress in the Elimination of Child Labor and Forced Labor
Project Duration
August 2018
August 2023
Funding and Year

The Research to Action (R2A) Project applies rigorous research methods in an effort to accelerate global action against child labor and forced labor. The project seeks to help policymakers and practitioners access relevant research and evaluation tools, identifies key knowledge gaps, and facilitates the development of a global research agenda to guide new policy-relevant research efforts. To that end, the project also seeks to broaden and diversify the researcher pool, increasing both the number and capacity of researchers working to shed light on these abusive labor practices.

The Problem

A proliferation of international data and research on child labor and forced labor over the past two decades has not always translated into more effective policies and programs to combat them.

Policymakers cannot always readily access key information that can drive decision-making. Even those who can may lack awareness of existing research tools, including survey methodologies and statistical resolutions. Infrequent dialogue between the scientific community and policymakers and practitioners further hinders progress. 

Meanwhile, more highly trained researchers from a broader range of disciplines are needed to conduct timely, policy-relevant research that can close the evidence gap and capture the full complexity of child labor and forced labor worldwide.

Our Strategy

The project tackles the accessibility challenge by collecting research, tools, and data and making them more readily available to policymakers and practitioners, including through a searchable database of what works in combating child labor and forced labor.

To address knowledge gaps, the project brings together policymakers, donors and researchers to develop a global research agenda and country-level research priorities. 

Finally, the project grows and diversifies the pool of researchers studying child labor and forced labor issues by providing research grants and expanding access to existing research awards. In addition, the project improves access to and quality of training on how to conduct research on child labor and forced labor issues.


  • Like a jigsaw puzzle, R2A is creating a picture of child labor and forced labor by piecing together the body of knowledge that currently exists on these issues. The project held a workshop with leading experts to assess what pieces of information might be missing and what research should be prioritized to fill in those gaps.  
  • R2A is supporting the next generation of researchers from around the world who are studying child labor and forced labor. The project is providing four fellowships and twelve seed grants to early-career researchers to fund research projects.  The funding will produce new knowledge and approaches to address these issues while also growing the pool of researchers who can continue the work into the future.
  • To ensure its research findings are put into practice, R2A has developed an online platform to host their research agendas, interactive evidence gap maps, online bibliography, and additional tools as they become available. It can be accessed at:
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor
Capacity Building
Knowledge Gaps
Knowledge Platform
Policy-Relevant Research
Research Agenda
Research to Action
Small Grants