The Data for Development Innovation Fund
The Data for Development in Nepal (D4D) Program invites proposals from interested and eligible organisations for the Data for Development Innovation Fund.
Nepal is facing many pressing development challenges related to society, the environment and the economy. To address these challenges and drive Nepal’s development the effective use of data is essential. For governments to make evidence-based decisions on policy, budgets and services, they need data. For citizens to engage with government and hold them accountable, they need data. For civil society to target their programs and measure progress towards development goals, they need data. For companies to develop new innovations and make investment decisions, they need data. For Nepal’s youth to excel in their studies and fully realize their potential in society, they need data. But in Nepal, this data is not always available to the people that need it and there are not always the skills and tools in place to support them to use the data.
Despite the growing recognition of open data as an important tool for enabling effective, transparent and accountable development, there continue to be challenges in the widespread use of data for development. To address these challenges there needs to be an enabling policy environment to support data sharing and use; greater awareness among development stakeholders of the value of data; a ready supply of open data in usable formats; data literacy skills among development stakeholders; tools to support the use of data; and examples of impact to encourage data use.
In recognition of this, the Data for Development in Nepal (D4D) Program invites proposals from organisations with ideas for innovations that can support the improved use of data for development.
Through the Data for Development Innovation Fund, locally-led innovations that improve the use of (open) data to address development challenges will be supported.In addition to funding, awardees of the Innovation Fund will receive strategic guidance to support the development of sustainable, user-centered and problem-focused innovations that are well-placed to demonstrate impact. Through this, the D4D Program aims to strengthen local leadership and momentum on the (open) data for development agenda and support the development of new solutions, approaches, tools, skills and open datasets. The Innovation Fund ultimately aims to improve the use of data in Nepal to inform decision-making, target interventions, monitor progress, improve accountability and evaluate development outcomes.
This is the second year that the D4D Program has run an Innovation Fund. In 2017 the Innovation Fund focused on open data and made five awards. The awardees were:
- an initiative aimed at improving disability inclusion through the development of a disability data portal;
- a tool to support the statistical analysis of government data;
- an initiative aimed at improving agricultural decisions through the generation and opening of hyper-local weather data;
- an initiative at improving fiscal accountability through the development of a taxation data portal; and
- a platform to improve the accuracy of health targets through population modelling based on demographic data.
Minimum Number of Projects
Maximum Number of Projects
The Data for Development Innovation Fund will award a total amount of $30,000, divided between 3-5 projects. Awards made under the Data for Development Innovation Fund will be for a maximum of $10,000 per project. Funding will be awarded based on a two-stage process:
- Feasibility Assessment Phase: Successful applicants will be required to conduct a feasibility assessment to assess and demonstrate project feasibility. A maximum of $1,000 will be awarded to support the Feasibility Assessment Phase, the deliverable of which will be a Feasibility Assessment Report. The Feasibility Assessment Phase may take a maximum of four weeks from the initial agreement. If the D4D Program deem the Feasibility Assessment Report to have demonstrated full feasibility of the innovation, funding for the Implementation and Review stage will be agreed. If project feasibility has not been clearly demonstrated then further funding will not be awarded. The Feasibility Assessment Phase will include a detailed review of assumptions in the theory of change; whether similar proposed projects already exist or are being planned; likelihood of data being officially shared; potential for partnerships; an in-depth analysis of user needs; development of a sustainability plan; development of impact indicators; detailed planning of project activities; and the identification of lessons and insights from similar initiatives in other contexts. Strategic guidance will be offered to the awardees to support the Feasibility Assessment Phase.
- Implementation and Review Phase: Under a contractual agreement with The Asia Foundation, a maximum of $9,000 will be awarded for the Implementation and Review Phase. The timeframe for this Phase must not exceed five months and must be completed by May 2019. As part of this Phase the awardees will need to evaluate the success of their innovation and demonstrate plans for sustainability of impact.
Assessment of the applications will be based on the strength of the idea, its ability to lead to impact, and the feasibility of implementation. Applications must relate to innovations aimed at improving the use of data for development. Applications are expected to demonstrate the following:
1. Use of a problem-driven approach: The proposals will need to identify a specific development challenge and articulate how this can be addressed through data, and how the proposed interventions will enable this.
2. Adoption of a user-centered focus: The proposals will need to outline the target data users, what their data needs are, and how they will use data to address the articulated development challenge.
3. Level of innovativeness: The proposed interventions will need to be a novel activity, approach, or technology that has not yet been undertaken in Nepal to improve the use of data. This may include a new type of action research, new ways of conducting policy engagement or awareness raising, activities for engaging new data users, new tools to enable the use of data etc.
4. Contribution strategic, long-term or widespread impact: The proposals will need to consider sustainability(and scalability if appropriate) of impact beyond the time-frame of the funding and how strategic involvement with other stakeholders can support this.
5. Value for money: The proposals will need to demonstrate value for money based on economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
Who Can Apply?
Nepali civil society organisations, academic organisations, companies, and media organisationscan apply. The Data for Development Innovation Fund is for organisations who do not have alternative sources of funding (such as unrestricted grant funding orre-investable profit)available to them to take forward their ideas. An organization may propose more than one idea, but the Innovation Fund will support only one innovation per organization. Awardees of the previous 2017 Open Data Innovation Fund are not eligible to apply.
Applicants must have a strong commitment towards the principle of open data as a public good and ensure their innovations do not lead to any restrictions on the sharing or use of data. By accepting funding from the Data for Development Innovation Fund, awardees are expected toincorporate strategic guidance from The Asia Foundation and Development Initiatives throughout the project and secure formal permissions and/or agreementswhere other stakeholders are involved (e.g. government or NGO partners). If the Feasibility AssessmentPhase is deemed successful and implementation funding awarded, the awardee is expected to enter into a contractual agreement with The Asia Foundation that lays out a mutually agreed set of activities, deliverables and timeframe; conduct monitoring and impact evaluation throughout and after the project period; and communicate on project progress regularly in person and in writing. Please note that payment of funds will be based on the reimbursement of actuals.
Interested to Apply?
- To apply please complete the proposal template.(Page 5, 6 and 7)
- The proposal must be submitted in Word Format and sent via email to D4Dnepal@gmail.com
- The application must be submitted by October 15th, 2018 at 5 pm.
About the Data for Development Program
The Data for Development Innovation Fund is being managed by The Asia Foundation and Development Initiatives under their Data for Development in Nepal (D4D) Program with funding from UK Aid. The D4DProgram aims to improve the sharing and use of data to inform decision-making, implementation and monitoring of development efforts. The D4D Program has a specific focus on promoting open data as a tool for supporting evidence-based development. Through the D4D Program, the Asia Foundation and Development Initiatives want to contribute to the increased demand, supply and use of open data by government, civil society, and the private sector.