Applications Open for GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund – Round 3

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Deadline: 7 June 2019

Applications are open for Round 3 of the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Fund that aims to promote innovation in the use of mobile technology to address humanitarian challenges. The Fund is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the GSMA, and its members.

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The Fund is open to projects which provide solutions to challenges associated with forced displacement and complex humanitarian emergencies. This funding round will support grantees to:

  • Adapt existing mobile-enabled solutions.
  • Test and validate new models of service delivery.
  • Scale up solutions with proven potential for impact.

Projects should be implemented through a partnership of two or more organisations and must be able to demonstrate a plan for long term sustainability beyond the lifespan of the grant. Applicants must demonstrate they have already engaged or plan to engage with one or more Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to support the design, implementation or future sustainability of their project.

Grant Amount

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Grant Funding from £50,000 up to £500,000.


The project duration for all grants must be between 12 and 18 months.

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The Fund is particularly interested in applications which demonstrate impact within one or more of the following 5 key themes within humanitarian contexts:

  • Mobile-enabled utilities
  • Gender and inclusivity
  • Mobile financial services
  • Digital identity
  • Food security, adaptation and resilience to climate change


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The Fund is open to applicants whose projects are implemented in the following regions:

Eligibility Criteria

  • An application should be made up of:
    • A lead applicant
    • A partner with an active role in implementing the project (1 or more)
  • Lead applicants can be a: mobile network operator (MNO); non-governmental organisation (NGO); humanitarian agency; social enterprise; start-up; or private or limited company.
  • The following organisations cannot serve as lead applicants but are encouraged to join eligible partnerships as an implementing partner: United Nations agencies, academic institutions, government bodies.
  • Lead applicants are responsible for; starting an application, adding implementing partners to the application, reviewing content entered by implementing partners, submitting the application before the deadline, responding to due diligence requests and, if a grant is awarded, signing the contract with the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation.
  • Implementing partners are any organisations that the Lead applicant will work with to deliver the grant project. Evidence of the partnership commitment will be required during the application stage (MOU / Contract etc). Where an implementing partner will receive greater than 30% of the GSMA grant funding, they will be termed a Downstream Partner and will be required to pass additional due diligence checks and honour reporting obligations.
  • Applicants must:
    • Comply with the GSMA due diligence process, through which additional due diligence materials may be requested including but not limited to; background information for key individuals, operating history, CVs and references.
    • Be in satisfactory financial health, have adequate financial systems and have human resource capacity to implement the grant project. GSMA may require the applicant to undergo a pre-selection assurance review. Such review, if required will be conducted by an independent organisation chosen by GSMA.
    • Organisations must demonstrate their commitment to adhering to the Principles for Digital Development and the Humanitarian Principles in their proposal.
    • Particular attention will be given to how ethical risks are considered and mitigated.
    • Applicants may need to demonstrate how they are compliant with local and international data protection and privacy regulations for example; GDPR (a European data protection regulation), and be prepared to respond to questions or provide evidence.
    • Have the necessary legal rights and/or permissions required to operate in the selected country of operation. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate applicants have relevant approvals to work in the implementation area(s) (i.e. refugee settlements).
  • Applicant’s project proposal must:
    • Provide solutions to challenges associated with forced displacement and complex humanitarian emergencies. Solutions which address preparedness and response to sudden onset natural disasters will not be considered eligible unless they also meet the above criteria.
    • Clearly demonstrate how the project meets the core aims of the Fund, including the critical role of mobile in the solution and how it engages with MNOs currently or plans to in the future.
    • Project plans should already have developed or implemented a minimum viable product, beta version, or pilot. Further development can be required through the GSMA partnership, although they are unable to fund early ideation or research and development stage proposals.
    • Have a planned route to scale. Applications will be assessed on their ability to achieve sustainability, commercial or otherwise, beyond the lifespan of the grant. Considerations for environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation are highly encouraged.
    • Provide formal evidence of a partnership in the form of a contract or MoU with one or more eligible Implementing Partners. Provide evidence of how applicants do/plan to work a mobile network operator.

How to Apply

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Interested applicants can apply online via the given website.

For more information, please visit

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