RAN Innovation Scaling Program (RISP): An Opportunity to Strengthen the Resilience of Communities

Deadline: 16 August 2019

ResilientAfrica Network has announced the RAN Innovation Scaling Program (RISP) that is looking for innovations that strengthen the resilience of communities.

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The innovations should have passed the idea stage and have gone through the formative processes (ideation, prototype testing and piloting) with promising results showing that they are scalable and potentially transformative.

This call is targeting both profit driven start-ups and social enterprises that have the potential to strengthen the resilience of communities.

The General Objective of RISP Call is to identify and bring to scale high-impact innovations that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

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Funding Information

  • Selected projects will receive up to 10,000 USD in support of a six-month acceleration program to optimize their innovation for scale.
  • As part of the acceleration program, selected projects will undergo a diagnostic evaluation to identify strategic areas for intervention so as to accelerate their pathway to scale.

Thematic Areas               

The RISP Call targets the following thematic areas:

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  • Agriculture and Food Security: In East African communities, agriculture supports the survival and well-being of up to 80 percent of the population. Currently communities experience recurrent shocks arising from climate variability and climate change with high dependence on subsistence agriculture. The yields are meagre and non-diversified, value addition to produce is low, and agricultural markets are skewed by irregularities in prices. The result is low income, persistent poverty and no growth. They need to disrupt the status quo and build the agency of rural farmers. They are looking for low cost, environmentally friendly approaches and technologies to improve agricultural practices and increase agricultural yields both in crops and animal husbandry. They are seeking for novel ideas or approaches (including those that build on or have considerations for previous work in the area) that will address but not limited to the following:
    • Use of low-cost technologies and ICTs to increase agricultural yields through: increased access to farm inputs, and improved farming and harvesting practices,early warning systems for adverse climate conditions, among others.
    • Value addition, preservation, post-harvest handling methods and innovative ways of utilizing agricultural waste.
    • Last-mile communication and platforms to reduce market asymmetries
  • Global Health: Communities in sub-Saharan Africa are confronted by the most dramatic health predicaments including communicable and non-communicable disease due to urbanization, adverse climate conditions, chronic displacements and extreme poverty. They are seeking innovations that will alleviate health concerns among low-resource communities. Innovations may address but not limited to the following areas:
    • Innovative approaches or technologies that aid disease prevention.
    • Low-cost and easy to use primary care diagnostics for common causes of morbidity and mortality.
    • Low-cost approaches and technologies to aid current challenges in adherence and treatment of the common causes of morbidity and mortality.
  • Governance/Democracy and Human Rights: Governance systems often have bureaucratic structures that may limit civic engagement and the demand for transparency. Furthermore, there is a disconnect between local and central administrative levels, which further fuels challenges in the allocation and utilization of resources. In order to streamline service delivery, promote democracy and transparency in government systems, there is need to explore innovative approaches and applications of technology for monitoring and reporting, among other uses. They are seeking innovative solutions that may address but are not limited to the following:
    • Engagement of leaders and civil servants on pertinent social issues through advocacy and/or dialogue with community. The ideas may use an array of multimedia- visual/conceptual art, photography, videography, music, dance, theatre/performance art, creative writing, or other forms keeping the context of the target communities in mind.
    • New frameworks, platforms, and approaches to citizen participation and civic engagement (that include the voices of minority and under-represented groups) to discuss social issues and policies.
    • Platforms to facilitate engaging local and central governments so as to promote government accountability, transparency, and responsiveness to the needs of local communities.
    • Technologies, approaches or platforms that address the violation of human rights and promote community cohesion (e.g. innovations around reducing gender-based violence, human trafficking and disputes such as land wrangles, etc.).
  • Energy: Research on low-cost, environmentally-friendly energy sources has been funded over the years. However, most of these energy technologies remain unviable for some contexts often due to economic, geographic and social challenges. They are looking for innovations that have demonstrable capabilities to extend sustainable eco-friendly energies to last mile communities and households in East Africa. Solutions may include but not limited to the following:
    • Innovations (technologies and approaches) that increase access to off-grid energy solutions at a community-level and/or household-level.
    • Innovations that promote the wider uptake of clean, energy efficient solutions at the community or household level.
    • Innovations around the use of solar, wind and biomass for clean energy production for communities or households.
  • Financial Inclusion: Low financial inclusion, a pervasive culture of not saving for investment and a high dependence on subsistence farming with little or no diversification of livelihoods drive numerous households into deeper levels of poverty. They are seeking innovative solutions that may address but are not limited to the following:
    • Technologies and approaches that create and foster a culture that reduces consumerism, improves savings and enhances access to finance and credit.
    • Solutions that explore alternative sources of livelihoods for rural communities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The call is open to interested applicants from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who propose brilliant projects in relation to any of the above-listed themes.
  • Applicants should note that the proposed projects could be in form of ‘technologies’ or ‘approaches’. The proposed projects should have a demonstrated proof of concept, and evidence or results from a pilot of the product or service. Projects may even have been launched on the market and, made some initial sales of their product or service.
  • This call is open to applicants from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit their applications by login or register themselves via given website.

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For more information, visit https://risp.ranlab.org/

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