Apply for the Creating Hope in Conflict: a Humanitarian Grand Challenge program to receive funding of up to $250,000 for new ideas, and up to $3,000,000 for proven solutions ready to scale up, as well as mentorship, resources and ongoing supports.
These innovations will involve input from affected communities in order to provide, supply, or locally generate safe drinking water and sanitation, energy, life-saving information, or health supplies and services to help conflict-affected people.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Grand Challenges Canada have launched Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge.
- Safe Water and Sanitation: The program seeks bold ideas, technologies and approaches that address challenges in clean water supply and access. Funding is available under Transition to Scale ONLY.
- Energy: The program seeks bold ideas to generate energy. Particular interest in alternative energy solutions that can be set up and maintained in conflict situations, and that power life-saving or life-improving services such as schools, hospitals, and marketplaces, on or off-grid.
- Life-Saving Information: The program seeks bold ideas that use and improve access to information and data at the local level, and provides more effective two-way connections between affected populations and humanitarians.
- Health Supplies and Services: The program seeks bold ideas that strengthen healthcare infrastructure and increase the capacity and skills of healthcare workers in conflict-affected settings.
- This program will fund up to 15 seed projects at up to $250,000 CAD each, along with basic acceleration support, over a maximum period of eighteen (18) months.
- Eligible applicants include social enterprises and other recognized institutions (e.g., nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies) that:
- are formed and legally incorporated;
- can successfully execute the activities in their respective technical area;
- can receive and administer grant funding.
- Sole proprietorships are not eligible for funding.
- In the past experience, have found that multilateral organizations such as the UN are typically unable to agree to the terms and conditions of funding agreements. The program highly recommends that these organizations instead apply through a local eligible partner organization.
- A project can have only one Project Lead, who must be affiliated with the institution from which the proposal is being submitted.
- A Project Lead may only be listed on one (1) application to this Request for Proposals.
- An institution may be the applicant on multiple applications, provided all applications have different Project Leads.
- Applications must include all required information. Only complete applications will be considered by the Review Committee.
- The Humanitarian Grand Challenge partners may, at any time and at their sole discretion, modify eligibility criteria with respect to individual applicants, Project Leads and/or eligible countries, to the extent that such modifications do not materially undermine the review process.
There are three stages to the selection process:
- Step 1: Eligibility Screen
- All applications are reviewed for eligibility. This includes but is not limited to; the applicant is a social enterprise or other recognized institutions, has only one project lead, a project lead is listed on only one application and the application is complete.
- Step 2: The Innovation Screen: All eligible applications enter the innovation screen, where project summaries from each application are evaluated on Innovation and Relevance.
- Innovation: Is the proposed solution truly innovative? – i.e. is it a substantially new approach to the problem? Does it represent a significant improvement over current approaches?
- Relevance: Is the idea relevant to the challenge? – i.e. does it address one or more of the four focus areas? Does it focus on communities affected by conflict?
- Each application is reviewed by three screeners. Last year, over three-quarters of all applications received, were removed from the competition at this stage. Those that best meet the criteria will proceed to the next stage.
- Transition to Scale concept notes will also be assessed for their potential for impact, evidence of proof of concept and scale/sustainability. The most promising concept notes may be invited to submit a full application.
- Stage 3: The External Review
- At this point, Seed applications that pass the innovation screen are split into three focus areas (Health, Energy, Information). Applications are evaluated in detail by a panel of experts. The panel is hugely diverse and includes subject matter experts; ethics specialists; private sector professionals; and, people with lived experience of conflict. Each application is reviewed by four panellists, one from each of these perspectives. They will evaluate applications for Impact, Integrated Innovation, Project Execution Plan, Leadership Capability to Champion Change and Value for Effort.
- The inclusion of people affected by conflict as reviewers represents a progressive step forward in the way such funding opportunities are assessed. They expect applicants to include affected people in the design of their innovations, as they firmly believe that those closest to problems are best placed to deliver solutions. They feel it is vital to also uphold this principle in their own selection process.
- Following an online review, they convene a panel meeting with all of their panellists to debate the best innovations and arrive at a shortlist of ‘fundable’ projects. One of their previous panellists, Dr Kirsten Gelsdorf, wrote about her experience, giving an insight into the richness of the deliberations on the day.
- In the final step in the selection process, the shortlisted proposals are discussed and approved by a steering committee made up of the Humanitarian Grand Challenge partners. This is set to take place in February 2021, with the winners notified shortly after.
- The highest-rated Transition to Scale proposals will undergo extensive due diligence, including expert analysis, with only up to 8 of the best chosen to pitch their idea to their Investment Committee. This committee is comprised of a mix of angel investors, venture advisors and humanitarian professionals. The shortlisted innovators will present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style pitch, with the hope of convincing the committee to recommend them for funding.
- Their review process is built upon transparency and learning. With this in mind, all unsuccessful applicants will receive feedback on their proposal so that they may refine their idea for future funding opportunities.
- While this is indeed a robust and stringent review process, it is also one that is agnostic to the profile of the applicant.
- All types of organizations, including local and international NGOs, academics, private sector institutions are eligible to apply for funding. Applicants must understand the context they are working in. They are particularly interested in funding locally-led innovations, as local responders are often better placed to reach affected people in insecure settings, but lack the funding, resources, or the capacity to provide aid in hard-to-reach places.
For more information, visit https://humanitariangrandchallenge.org/rfps/