RFP Invited for Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge

Grand Challenges Canada
Required Skill: 
Last date: 
Monday, November 16, 2020

Detailed Description

About the Organization:

Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. Their mission is to catalyze innovation that saves and improves the lives of the most vulnerable in Canada and low- and middle-income countries.


Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge seeks 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 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.

In order to provide safe drinking water and sanitation; energy; life-saving information; or health supplies and services, these innovations will involve:

  • input from people affected by humanitarian crisis
  • a connection/potential relevance to the private sector
  • the potential to create wider systems change3 in humanitarian aid delivery

Grand challenges bring global attention and resources to specific, well-defined international problems and promote innovative approaches to solving them. Grand challenges are about more than sourcing new promising innovations – they are about scaling the solutions that are proven to work. Achieving this requires a holistic approach where we address critical barriers to market growth and expansion.

Key Focus Areas

  • Safe Water and Sanitation: They seek bold ideas, technologies and approaches that address challenges in clean water supply and access. Funding is available under Transition to Scale ONLY.
  • Energy: We seek 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: They seek 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: They seek bold ideas that strengthen healthcare infrastructure and increase the capacity and skills of healthcare workers in conflict affected settings.

Activities and Deliverables:

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:

  • 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.
  • Dissemination of knowledge in a timely manner, including through social media, open access publications, depositing of data with individual identities protected into publicly accessible repositories, press releases, conferences, stakeholder engagement, etc. Acknowledgement of the Humanitarian Grand Challenge partners will be required.
  • A final report that accounts for financial expenditures and that captures a clear assessment of the 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.
  • 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:

  • Participate in public engagement activities.
  • Contribute to the learning agenda for specific challenges, including through participation in meetings, such as the annual Innovator Acceleration Week.
  • Funded innovators must retain supporting project documentation, including financial records, and may be audited by Grand Challenges Canada, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UK FCDO and/or USAID at any time up until September 30, 2030; associated requirements will be reflected in funding agreements.

Eligibility Criteria:

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 their past experience, they have found that multilateral organizations such as the UN are typically unable to agree to the terms and conditions of our funding agreements. They highly recommend that these organizations instead apply through a local eligible partner organization. Staff from the UN office could act as collaborators on the project.

  • 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.

Note: Please note that Grand Challenges Canada must approve any changes in applicant organization or Project Lead, from the original application.


This Request for Proposals 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.
This Request for Proposals will also fund up to 8 Transition To Scale innovations of up to $3,000,000 CAD each2, plus acceleration support, over a maximum period of eighteen (18) months, to refine, test and implement innovative solutions that have achieved proof of concept


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