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Omidyar Network India announces Rapid Response Funding for Covid-19: Commits Rs 7.5 crore (US $1 million) towards solutions focussed on ‘next half billion’

24th March 2020
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Omidyar Network India today announced a call for proposals for rapid response funding to tackle the challenges posed by the Covid-19 situation and the consequent socio-economic impact. We are committing Rs. 7.5 crore ($1 million) to this initiative.

The Covid-19 pandemic and its wider socio-economic impact are an unprecedented development. This is one of the biggest human challenges of our times. World over governments, donors, investors, and communities at large are coming together to face this crisis. We recognise that the slowdown will most impact the vulnerable sections of our population and large swathes of India’s “next half billion” (NHB), whom we seek to serve – the vendors, daily wage earners, the gig-economy workers, and small businesses. We are therefore announcing a rapid response window to fund proposals that support the lower 60% of India’s income distribution in managing and mitigating the challenges that come with Covid-19. Our modest effort aims to do our bit to support innovative community level initiatives.

How much funding is being made available?

  • Rs. 7.5 crore ($1 million) in aggregate under this initiative
  • Proposals in the range of Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 2 crore

What types of initiatives will be considered?

We invite proposals that strengthen containment, detection and treatment, support crisis management capabilities, and enhance resilience and recovery in the wake of Covid-19. Below is an indicative list of the types of initiatives that will be considered:

  • Data, apps and other technological solutions (for example, real-time information apps, ‘symptom checkers’, vernacular ‘helpline’ chat bots, contact tracing applications, case reporting systems, etc.)
  • Community outreach and mobilisation campaigns that may be particularly relevant to the current situation (for example, innovative approaches to mass messaging and feedback loops)
  • Proposals that seek to improve economic resilience of NHB workers and small businesses whose livelihoods are impacted due to Covid-19
  • Actionable research that enhances the ability of the government and public in dealing with the crisis (for example, enabling ‘social distancing’ in the Indian context).
  • Collaborative efforts by foundations, philanthropies, impact investing and venture capital firms in the above areas

What are the selection criteria?

Priority will be given to the following types of proposals:

  • Scalable solutions that leverage technology
  • Time-bound interventions that can be implemented quickly and benefit a large number of Indians, especially the lower 60% of India’s income distribution
  • Solutions that have initial traction (this could be evidenced through, for example, government/community commitment to adopt the solution, completed pilots, available co-funding, etc.)

Who is eligible to apply?

  • NGOs, research organisations, social entrepreneurs, and for-profit businesses seeking to do this on a no-profit basis.
  • Our existing partner organisations are encouraged to apply

What is the process to apply for funding?

Please submit a proposal, not exceeding 2 pages, outlining the following:

  • Context of the problem
  • Description of your solution
  • Segment of the population it will serve
  • Potential impact (in 3 months, in 1 year)
  • Evidence of initial traction
  • High level budget
  • 2-3 testimonials/references

Please send your proposals to [email protected] with the subject line “Next Half Billion – Covid19 related proposal”.