Wash Innovation Challenge: Safe, Dignified and Inclusive MHM Programming in Emergencies

Deadline: 23 June 2019

Elrha is currently inviting applicants from eligible organizations for its “Wash Innovation Challenge: Safe, Dignified And Inclusive Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Programming In Emergencies”.

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Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is an often overlooked aspect of humanitarian response. Providing safe, dignified and inclusive MHM programming will require the humanitarian sector to address a range of complex problems that no one product or service can solve.

Funding Information

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  • Approximately between £50,000 and £300,000 per project (total funding available: £650,000).
  • The projects will run for between 12 and 33 months and the total duration should cover implementation and evaluation, as well as dissemination phase (up to one year).

The Challenge

With nearly half of displaced populations consisting of women and girls, there is a growing urgency for the humanitarian community to better address such gender-specific needs. As part of a new strategy and ambition to be a responsive and adaptive actor in the humanitarian system, they are focusing this Challenge on tackling three elements of this systemic problem.

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  • Lack of prioritisation of MHM
  • Lack of acceptable MHM spaces
  • Limited MHM waste management solutions

Program Calls

Across all three Calls, Elrha is looking for innovative solutions that bring together interdisciplinary teams. They encourage applicants to think holistically about their chosen Call in the broader context of MHM programming. To facilitate this, they expect to support coordination and learning between the grantees of the three distinct Calls.

    • Elrha is looking for projects able to shift humanitarian practitioners’ attitudes, behaviours and practices around the importance of MHM in emergency responses and ensure the uptake of existing good practice.
    • Elrha is looking for projects to design public and private spaces that allow women and girls to manage their menstrual hygiene safely and with dignity in a humanitarian camp setting.
    • Elrha is looking for innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions for menstrual waste management in emergencies to ensure women and girls can dispose of used menstrual materials safely and with dignity.


  • Across all three Calls, Elrha is looking for innovative solutions that:
    • Utilise technology if and as appropriate – they recognise that technology may only play a small part, or even no part at all, in an innovative solution.
    • Have a vision of potential avenues to scale, regardless of the current stage of innovation.
    • Build on the existing knowledge and guidance around good MHM programming in humanitarian settings. Innovative solutions can be new, or adaptations/new applications of existing solutions.
  • Elrha welcomes applications from any legally registered entity (eg, INGO, NGO, UN, academic, private company). Successful projects must include at least one humanitarian actor as a partner. The partnerships can be indicative at the EOI stage but must be formalised when the applicant’s full application is submitted if their proposal is shortlisted.
  • Applicants are encouraged to form interdisciplinary teams (eg, architects, designers, academics, community engagement experts, advocacy experts) to ensure a diverse combination of skills. Where possible, they will support applicants’ search for partners, but not able to commit to securing partners.
  • Elrha encourages applicants to think holistically about their chosen Call/barrier in the broader context of MHM programming. To facilitate this, they expect to support coordination and learning between the grantees of the three distinct Calls.

How to Apply

To apply for the Challenge, fill out the Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Common Grants Application platform via given website.

For more information, please visit https://www.elrha.org/funding-opportunity/wash-innovation-challenge-menstrual-hygiene-management-programming-in-emergencies/

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