USAID Call for Proposals: De-Risking Pay-As-You-Go Solar Home Systems in Uganda Refugee Settlements Grants Program

Deadline: 20 March 2019

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Green Powered Technology, in partnership with Energy 4 Impact, are inviting eligible companies to submit proposals for expanding access to Pay-As-You-Go Solar Home Systems in the Kiryandongo and Rwamwanja Refugee Settlements & Host Communities in Uganda.

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This Grants Program aims to de-risk private sector companies that want to expand their market reach into displacement settings by providing incentives in the form of grants that will cover costs associated with expanding into these locations. The program will target PAYGO SHS companies in an effort to address both the challenge of increasing energy access and financial inclusion whilst focusing on two core pillars of the SCC – energy access and digital tools. By doing this the program aims to achieve the following key outcomes:

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  • Increased private sector PAYGO SHS sales in refugee settlements and host communities, through providing targeted incentives for establishing or expanding services.
  • Increased socio-economic development through private sector participation and market development activities.
  • Development of local economies through inclusion of entrepreneurs.

Grant Information

  • The program anticipates awarding grants between $145,000 and $175,000 to approximately three companies through a competitive single stage application process.
  • The period of performance of each grant must not exceed 12 months


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The program also has the following targets:

  • Two or more PAYGO SHS companies entering and actively selling in Kiryandongo and/or Rwamwanja refugee settlements and host communities.
  • 10,000 new actual direct off-grid connections from PAYGO SHS sales in the target refugee settlements and host communities.
  • Combined across all grantees, 15 new employees trained and permanently employed, including employment on a commission basis, consisting of:
    • refugees (minimum of 10) and
    • host community members (minimum of 3), by PAYGO SHS companies, disaggregated by refugee or host community member.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Companies applying to the Grants Program must comply with the following eligibility criteria:
    • Applicants must be able to provide SHSs that can be paid through mobile phone-based PAYGO technology.
    • Applicants must propose to sell their products at market price without any direct customer subsidies.
    • SHSs offered under the program must consist of multiple lights and a port for phone charging; systems can also include appliances, but these are not required.
    • SHSs being offered under the Grants Program should comply with Lighting Global standards and have certification under the Lighting Global program. Preference will be given to products that have successfully acquired the Quality Test Method (QTM) certification although the technical evaluation will also consider products successfully subject to Lighting Global’s Initial Screening Method (ISM). In the event that the proposed SHS products have not been subject to Lighting Global certification process, (for example, a recent innovation or where testing facilities are not locally available for the type of product), the SHS company must start certification procedures for the proposed products before any grant funding disbursement or will be required to demonstrate the design and manufacturing quality of the SHS products to the technical evaluation committee.
    • Applicants must have been operating on a commercial basis in East Africa for a minimum of 12 months. The applicant or a key partner must be fully registered to do business in Uganda.
    • Only one application per company can be submitted.
    • Applications must be for one or both of Kiryandongo refugee settlement and host community and/or Rwamwanja refugee settlement and host community.
  • Applicants will also be required to provide information for consideration of the following criteria through the grant application and any subsequent due diligence;
    • Applicants should have adequate financial resources or the ability to obtain such resources as required during the performance of the award. As such, applicants should have an annual turnover in the past two or three years, equivalent to or greater than the award amount sought.
    • Applicants should have the ability to meet the award conditions, taking into consideration all other current and prospective commitments.
    • Applicants should have a satisfactory record of performance and business integrity including compliance with the revenue authorities and certification of products by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards.
    • Applicants should be otherwise qualified to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations and be able to provide registration certificates and references.
  • Applicants should notify GPTech of any actual or potential conflict of interest that they are aware of that may provide the applicant with an unfair competitive advantage in competing for an award under this grants program.

How to Apply

Applicants should complete all items in the Call for Proposals package and send it via email at the address given on the website.

For more information, please visit

  • Avatar Hassan Yusuf Abdi says:

    YOUTH CO-OPERATION FOR IDEAS(YCI) is interested to your grant opportunity and we are refugee based Organization in Uganda.
    We are here preparing our proposal for this project and soon submit it.

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