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USAID’s Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments Challenge - A Challenge to Address Gender Based Violence

Updated on Jun 25, 2020 928 views
USAID’s Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments Challenge - A Challenge to Address Gender Based Violence

About the Challenge

Responding to GBV can provide opportunities for both enhanced environmental action and women’s empowerment, but tackling one issue without addressing the other is unlikely to succeed. USAID’s RISE Challenge aims to identify and implement interventions to reduce GBV in environmental programming.

This challenge aims to fund organizations to innovatively adapt and implement promising or proven practices that have been used to effectively prevent and respond to GBV in other sectors to environmental programming. The challenge will draw insights from other development and humanitarian sectors that have proven or promising practices to address GBV. It incentivizes partnerships between environmental organizations, local communities, indigenous peoples organizations, and gender and GBV experts who can help bridge knowledge gaps and work to build an evidence base of effective GBV interventions.

We also aim to celebrate and spur a broad range of interventions that are sustainable and integrable into USAID and partners’ environmental programming and investments. You can view the current winners of the RISE Challenge here.

The Problem
Gender-based violence (GBV) is estimated to affect more than one in three women worldwide. This widespread problem takes a variety of forms, including sexual, psychological, community, economic, institutional, and intimate partner violence, and in turn affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life, including health, education, and economic and political opportunities. At the same time, environmental degradation, loss of ecosystem benefits, and unsustainable resource use are creating complex crises worldwide. As billions of people rely on these natural resources and ecosystems to sustain themselves, the potential human impacts are dire, with disproportionate effects on women and girls.

GBV and environmental issues are interlinked, and so their interactions are complex, diverse, and multi-layered. In some contexts, they form feedback loops where gender-based attacks, harassment, and discrimination worsens the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resources, and this environmental deterioration triggers new, more damaging forms of violence. In other contexts, preventing and responding to GBV unlocks opportunities for enhanced environmental action, as well as for women’s and community empowerment.

Why Participate?

For winners of this challenge, USAID will feature their interventions, facilitate access to funding and networking opportunities, and provide technical assistance to support the proposed activity in achieving measurable results and impact.

USAID will award up to three Fixed Amount Awards (FAA) between $100,000 and $300,000, subject to the availability of funding. Each FAA will be funded based on milestones and an implementation plan that are mutually agreed upon. Grant-funded activities must be completed within one to two years.

Challenge winners will be announced by December 2020.

Participant Journey
Challenge Announcement
June 16, 2020
Apply for the RISE Challenge here.

Deadline for Questions
June 25, 2020
Please submit questions to Questions will be answered during the webinar.

June 30, 2020
On June 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m ET, RISE will host a webinar to discuss the challenge’s goals, components of a successful application, and answer questions submitted.  You will be able to access the webinar at this link. The webinar ID is 943 4079 0195 and the password is 782715.

All questions and answers and a recording of the webinar will be posted under the Resources below.  RISE will not answer questions about an application’s quality or topicality.

Application Deadline
August 5, 2020
Submissions are due at 11:00 a.m ET on August 5, 2020. Late entries may not be accepted, and no additions and/or modifications to applications will be accepted after the submission deadline.
Judging Period
August - September 2020
After an internal eligibility screen, expert judges will review the remaining applications and assess them against the judging criteria listed on this website. Finalists will be interviewed by a panel of USAID staff and affiliated partners.
Winners Announced
December 2020
USAID RISE Challenge winners will be announced during 16-days of activism against gender-based violence.
Grantee Implementation
December 2020 - June 2022
Grant-funded implementation of solutions and approaches must be completed within 18 months.

Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must meet the following requirements to participate in the RISE Challenge. All applications will undergo an initial eligibility screening to ensure they comply with the eligibility criteria.
Organization type: RISE is open to all organizations regardless of type (e.g. NGO; for profit; not-for-profit; national, regional, community and indigenous peoples organizations; universities; foundations; faith-based organizations; women-owned/women-led enterprises).

Organization size: All organizations regardless of size are eligible to apply.

Partnership model: Applicants must demonstrate a partnership model that leverages the capacity, expertise, and existing relationships across relevant environmental sector organizations, gender and GBV organizations, indigenous peoples organizations, relevant experts, and local communities for the geography and sector of interest. Partnerships with research, academic, or evaluation organizations with the capacity to support evidence collection are also highly encouraged. The RISE Challenge requires supporting documentation to verify partnerships.

Local presence: All applicants must use the funds to implement interventions in geographies where USAID is currently operational. For the full list, click here. Applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must have a local partner. See partnership model requirement above. The RISE Challenge will require supporting documentation to demonstrate legal status to operate where the intervention is taking place.

Willingness to capture and share evidence and learning: All applicants need to describe a clear and actionable plan for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning that articulates how the applicant will test hypotheses, generate evidence, and use learning to adapt programming, which will feed into the evidence base that USAID is creating. Sharing learning includes sensitively balancing being transparent about sharing setbacks while protecting vulnerable populations from exposure to harm. Grantees will be expected to participate in ongoing reporting, peer-to-peer learning, and may be asked to contribute to the development of open-source tools. All people-level indicators must be sex-disaggregated.

Topical: Applicants should present interventions that address the objectives of the Program Statement outlined in Section A of the Request for Applications.

Gender analysis: We strongly encourage all applicants to complete a rigorous gender analysis prior to applying. Successful awardees who have yet to complete a gender analysis will be required to do so as one of their initial activities under the grant.

Eligible to receive USAID funds: Catalyst will conduct a responsibility determination prior to award, to ensure the applicant has the organizational and technical capacity to manage a USAID funded project.

Language: Applicants must submit their entries in English. While entries will be decided on the strength of the content, we encourage applicants to invest in translation or have someone with strong English skills review their submission to ensure they are showing their work to their best advantage.

Completeness and timeliness: Entries will not be assessed if all required fields have not been completed. This applies to any stage of submission and also relates to missing documentation that may have been requested. Late entries may not be accepted.
Ineligible applicants:

The following organizations are not eligible for the RISE Challenge:

  • Organizations that have previously received RISE Challenge funding;
  • Political parties, groupings, or institutions, or their subsidiaries or affiliates;
  • Organizations that appear on the List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Non-procurement Programs, U.N. 1267 list, or have an active restriction or exclusion on the SAM list;
  • Organizations that advocate, promote, or engage in illegal activities or anti-democratic activities;
  • Any entity that has been found to have misused USAID funds in the past;
  • Any entity affiliated with USAID or Resonance, its officers, directors, employees, the Catalyst Project, or their family members;
  • Any governmental organization; and
  • Individuals.

Read About the Challenge:

Read More about the Rise Challenge Here

Application Link

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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