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Rapid Response Funding Initiative to address the Covid-19 crisis: Omidyar Network India commits Rs 10.75 crore (US $1.4 million) towards initiatives focussed on ‘next half billion’

24th March 2020
Rapid Response Funding Initiative to address the Covid-19 crisis: Omidyar Network India commits Rs 10.75 crore (US $1.4 million) towards initiatives focussed on ‘next half billion’
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PLEASE NOTE: Due to overwhelming response, we will be unable to accept any more proposals after May 24, 2020

On March 24, 2020, Omidyar Network India 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 initially committed Rs. 7.5 crore ($1 million) to this initiative. Owing to the overwhelming response by solution providers, we have increased the funds available under this initiative to Rs. 10.75 cr ($1.4 million), through personal contributions by our employees.

Progress so far: We have already approved 24 proposals, which you can see here.

Partnerships: We are also pursuing partnerships with other funders to crowd in funding, by matching contributions to some/all of the proposals approved under this initiative.  So far, Wadhwani Foundation is a partner in this initiative. We are seeking more such collaborations. If you are a funder who would like to collaborate with us on this initiative, please reach out to the email ID at the bottom of this page with the subject line: “Proposal: <Your organisation name> <Your initiative name> to [email protected]”.

About the Rapid Response Funding Initiative

The Covid-19 pandemic and its wider socio-economic impact are an unprecedented development. This is one of the greatest challenges of our times. World over governments, donors, investors, and communities are coming together to respond to this crisis. We recognise that the Next Half Billion (NHB) –  the people in the bottom 60% of India’s income distribution (including daily wage earners, gig-economy workers, and small businesses) – are among the most vulnerable to health (physical and mental) and economic shocks in the wake of this crisis. These shocks are felt immediately, are drastic and have an unknown duration, given evolving understanding of how the Covid-19 crisis will play out, and how stakeholders will respond.

How much funding is being made available under this initiative?

  • Rs. 10.75 crore ($1.4 million) in aggregate
  • Proposals in the range of Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 2 crore

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Organisations: NGOs, research organisations, and for-profit businesses, registered as Indian entities, seeking to do this on a no-profit basis
  • Our existing partner organisations are encouraged to apply

What types of initiatives will be considered?

We invite proposals across the following themes. Note: this is only an indicative list.

  • Data, apps and other technology-led initiatives
  • Community outreach and mobilisation campaigns 
  • Initiatives that improve economic resilience of NHB workers and small businesses 
  • Fact-based inputs that can inform the thinking of decision-makers in responding to the crisis (e.g. actionable research, narrative building, storytelling, and community campaigns)
  • Collaborative efforts amongst funders and solution providers

What are the selection criteria?

  • Impact: on the Next Half Billion (people in the lower 60% of the income pyramid) and/or small enterprises (direct to beneficiary or indirect through informing decision-makers)
  • Scale: scaled, scalable, or replicable initiatives, preferably leveraging technology
  • Speed: initiatives that already have traction or have been piloted and can be implemented soon and rapidly. If your solution is run in partnership with others, please mention whether these partnerships have already been established

For initiatives that require specific expertise or verification from authorities to roll-out, please indicate whether your organisation has this or not.

What is the process to apply?

Please submit a proposal, not exceeding 2 pages, in the following format. Note: we will only consider proposals received in the format specified.

  • Brief context of the specific problem your initiative addresses
  • Your initiative:
    1. One sentence summary
    2. Detailed statement
  • Segment of the population it will serve
  • Potential impact (in 3 months, in 1 year)
  • Evidence of traction
  • High-level budget breakdown for initiative, and minimum amount needed to run it; [Note: the budget table will not be counted towards the two-page limit]
  • If you have co-funding committed for this initiative already, please mention details
  • If NGO/non-profit, please mention budget for last fiscal year. If for-profit, please mention invested capital/ revenue last year/ active users (any one)
  • Mandatory: We may share your proposal with other funders who have expressed interest in supporting such projects. If you do not want your proposal to be shared, please specifically indicate this in your application.
  • 3 references (listed with contact details)
  • Website and social media handles (optional)

What are the timelines for submission and review?

  • Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the funding is utilised
  • When you send a proposal, you will receive an acknowledgement email
  • We will review your proposals and get in touch if it makes it through our screening process. If you do not hear from us in 10 days, you should assume your proposal has not made it past the initial screening

Please send your proposals to ‘[email protected] with the subject line “Proposal: <Your organisation name>, <Your initiative name>”.