Updated Mar 10, 2018CLOSED

Creating Hope in Conflict: Humanitarian Grand Challenge

Offered by U.S. Agency for International Development and Grand Challenges Canada as part of Humanitarian Grand Challenge

Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge is a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and Grand Challenges Canada. Together, we seek life-saving or life-improving innovations to help the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people impacted by humanitarian crises caused by conflict.

Through this first call for innovations, we seek life-saving or life-improving innovations to help the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people impacted by humanitarian crises caused by conflict. These innovations will engage the private sector and involve input from affected communities in order to provide, supply, or locally generate clean water and sanitation, energy, life-saving information, or health supplies and services to help conflict-affected people.
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CLOSEDApr 12, 2018Deadline
Up to $1,000,000Amount
Criteria: StageAmount Per Prize
Stage 3Up to $250,000
Stage 4Up to $1,000,000

Mandatory Requirements

StageStage 3: Proof of Concept and Stage 4: Transition to Scale
Implemented in:
RegionLow and Middle Income Countries
Focus AreasHumanitarian Assistance
Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
Innovations must enable local solutions, serve local needs and delivery gaps, overcome common delivery barriers in conflict settings, or improve on the timeliness and cost efficiency of current humanitarian delivery methods.

Safe Water and Sanitation: We are looking for bold ideas, technologies, processes and approaches that enable rapid provision of safe water and safe disposal of waste and sewage in the most vulnerable households and/or enable implementers to rapidly scale up programs.

​Energy: We are looking for bold ideas to generate energy. We are particularly interested in alternative energy solutions that are possible to set up and maintain in conflict situations, and that power life-saving and life-improving services such as health, information, water and sanitation, and education.

Life-Saving Information:
We are looking for bold ideas that use and improve access to information and data to increase the impact of humanitarian assistance at the local level as well as enable more effective connections between affected populations and humanitarian actors.

Health Products and Services: We are looking for bold ideas that enable non-experts to provide quality care; empower skilled staff who choose to work in conflict zones; allow faster or less costly importation and distribution of quality essential health supplies in conflict zones; and enable affected communities to manufacture necessary high quality and safe supplies, or sterilize and reuse them.
Eligible applicants include social enterprises and other recognized institutions (e.g., non-profit organizations and for-profit companies) that are formed and legally incorporated, that can successfully execute the activities in their respective technical area, and that are capable of receiving and administering grant funding. Sole proprietorships are not eligible for funding. United Nations country offices are not eligible to apply

Other Requirements

Target BeneficiariesTo help ensure sustainable impact at scale, it is essential that project teams include individuals with an understanding of the local social, political and economic context. In doing so, projects can better address the needs of affected people and identify risks to project success.
Management Team
-Do the Project Lead and key team members have the commitment and leadership potential needed to bring solutions to scale?
-Are the proposed Project Lead and/or key team members appropriately trained, experienced and positioned to carry out the proposed work?
- To what extent has the Project Lead and/or key team members demonstrated the ability to draw on the expertise of the private sector?
- Have the Project Lead and/or key team members demonstrated the ability to understand and meet the needs of affected people in the context?
Potential for Scale
Proposals should convincingly describe how their projects will eventually reach scale and be sustained. Innovators should use seed funding to test paths to scale and sustainability, and must have a robust plan and proven concept in order to receive transition-to-scale funding.

To receive seed funding, applicants must demonstrate potential relevance to, or identify potential opportunities for collaboration with, the private sector.
To receive transition-to-scale funding, engagement with the private sector is required. Innovators are expected to engage private sector actors who can help to fill a critical gap needed to scale or improve their innovation. This may include technical expertise, distribution channels, access to data, local knowledge, financial backing, or other core capacities or collaboration. In some circumstances, the Humanitarian Grand Challenge partners may be able to assist in finding appropriate private sector partners, as long as applicants are able to articulate their needs. Though it is strongly preferred, secured commitment of private sector engagement are not required at the time of application.
Impact Evaluation/M&E Plan
The ultimate outcomes of interest for this Humanitarian Grand Challenge are lives saved and lives improved of conflict-affected people. Other qualitative and quantitative results should be collected to best demonstrate the impact of the innovation.
Given that the true impact of innovations is in the future, proposals must include a plan of how relevant immediate and intermediate indicators will be monitored and evaluated over the life of the project.
Reporting Requirements
Innovators funded under this program will be expected to engage in the following activities and provide the specific deliverables listed below, in order to demonstrate project progress and success:
1. Performance reporting focused on utilization of funds and outcomes achieved. The frequency of reporting will be every three or six months, depending on our assessment of project and institutional risk.
2. Dissemination of knowledge in a timely manner, including through social media, open access publications, depositing of data into publicly accessible repositories, press releases, conferences, stakeholder engagement, etc. Acknowledgement of the Humanitarian Grand Challenge partners will be required.
3. A final report that accounts for financial expenditures and that captures a clear assessment ofthe impact of the project. Please note that a 5% hold back of funds will be applied to all funding under this program, to be released to innovators upon submission of a satisfactory final report and full justification of costs.
4. Continued post-grant updates on impact, global access, data access and management of intellectual property rights in supported innovations.

Instructions for reporting will be provided to successful recipients. Written progress reports and conversations via teleconference may be required to satisfy reporting requirements. In addition to the above-mentioned activities, innovators will be expected to:
1. Participate in public engagement activities.
2. Contribute to the learning agenda for specific challenges, including through participation in meetings, such as the annual Grand Challenges meetings.

OtherWhat we will not fund:

Formal education.
2. Approaches that utilize security-related surveillance, weapons, force or similar technologies.
3. Discovery science, merely capacity-building initiatives, ongoing programmatic funding or infrastructure development.
4. Projects that involve establishing proof of concept of innovations for which the core intellectual property rights are owned by a third-party institution, unless either: (a) the third-party institution has granted the applicant sufficient license rights to the innovation to permit eventual scaling in relevant countries, or (b) the third-party institution is willing to sign an undertaking to Grand Challenges Canada committing to comply with Grand Challenges Canada’s Global Access Policy.

Application Directions

Applications and Letters of Intent MUST be submitted through Grand Challenges Canada’s Community Online Portal

Application And Awards Process

In order to gain access to the Portal, applicants must first create an account using the following link: Create an account. Once your information has been processed, you will be emailed login credentials to access the Portal to submit your application.

Once you have created an account, please allow at least one (1) business day for Grand Challenges Canada to process your account request. Therefore, we suggest creating an account no later than April 9, 2018.


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