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  • Grant

    Innovate and Learn Grant

  • Target Groups

    • Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities.
    • Age-discriminated vulnerable groups, notably the young and the elderly
    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people
    • People living with disabilities
    • Women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
  • Grant amount

    5.000-200.000 Euro

    Project duration

    12 - 24 Months

    Closing date

    07 Oct 2018
  • About

    Do you have an innovative idea to address the marginalisation and discrimination experienced by Voice target groups? Do you feel civil society needs to break from current practices and think differently? Do you have the ability to connect new ideas and approaches that can be leveraged to meet the challenges faced by your community? Are your approaches able to propel issues of excluded groups to the centre of political and social debates? Do you have an experimental mindset and willing to learn, improve and try to scale up disruptive approaches?

    If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this call is meant for you.

    For us at Voice, innovation is all about people. We seek to collaborate with bold and courageous change-makers who are not afraid of swimming against the current to challenge the status quo. Innovation thrives when communities are inclusive, compassionate, and willing to cooperate with unusual allies, in order to find new ways to push for social change. We believe that innovations are not just about designing new technologies, inventions or business ideas, Instead it is about creating value for society.

    What are we looking for?

    This call aims to generate new knowledge and evidence on new approaches that work best to foster inclusion of those who remain marginalised and underrepresented in Africa and Asia. Voice offers an opportunity for you to learn from your own and other experiences; to test and document which approaches, services or delivery channels can catalyse disruptive innovations to defy social exclusion, and to share these lessons with the wider community.

    This call is intended for groups, social enterprises organisations, networks (or a consortium of these) to test, learn and potentially scale-up new approaches. Partnerships and alliances are encouraged between public and private institutions, including social enterprises. But keep in mind that a government institution can be an ally but not be a co-implementing partner receiving funding directly from Voice.  

    The grant is available from €5.000 to € 200.000 for a minimum duration of 12 months to maximum 24 months.

    Priority is given to applications that work on, for and/or with the following intersectional target groups:

    • Elderly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and/or Intersex (LGBTI+) people
    • Elderly women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
    • Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and/or Intersex (LBQI+) women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
    • Young women with disabilities facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
    • Indigenous peoples and/or ethnic minorities with disability

    Your project can look at least one or more of the following impact themes:

    • Improved access to (productive) resources (finance, land and water) and employment,
    • Improved access to social services, health and education in particular, and
    • Open-up spaces for political participation and promote citizen engagement

    In terms of geographical focus, projects can be implemented in any country in Africa and/or Asia (considered least developed, low income countries, and/or lower middle-income range[1]) in Africa and Asia AND in at least one Voice focus country in any of the following regions:

    • East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda)
    • West Africa (Nigeria, Niger and Mali)
    • Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia)

    Preference is given to under-represented groups in regions, such as for example LGBTI people in West Africa.

    Building upon our own lessons learned

    The first Global Innovate and Learn call for proposals launched in 2016 was designed to help Voice, potential grantees, and the wider community of stakeholders to learn from inclusive social innovations. The new call Re-think, Improve, Disrupt! is based upon the lessons from that call,  and hence interested applicants should consider:

    • To describe how target groups are meaningfully involved and engaged in the project. Any proposal should state clearly how they are able to use the innovation for their own long-term benefit, empowerment, and influencing. Social innovation is more effective when driven and demanded by the target groups themselves, following the principle of “Nothing about us without us”.
    • To rethink what innovative approaches and methodologies actually are. Voice seeks to support effective and sustainable solutions to address current the root causes of social exclusion. Applicants are challenged to assess whether the proposed strategies are “business as usual” or breakthrough solutions.
    • To invest in time and resources to reflect, evaluate, document, and share, not only the results of your innovation, but also the change process (i.e. how you got there) and what can be done even better in the future. Learning needs to happen throughout the project period, not just at the end.

    On the role of technology…

    If any applicant wants to involve tech-based solutions as part of their project proposal, it needs to build upon previous lessons learned. For example, from Making All Voices Count, a 5-year international programme previously implemented by Hivos, one of the Voice consortium partners. Hence, we highly encourage potentials applicants to carefully read and reflect upon the document Appropriating technology for accountability: messages from Making All Voices Count , which summarises key 14 lessons learned that emerged upon evaluating the programme.

    What we won’t fund:

    • Funding of commercial services, investment or other commercial activities.
    • Project involving only one country or project that does not involve at least one of the Voice focus countries.
    • Lead organisations with a turn-over of over Euro 2 million without a presence in Africa or Asia.
    • Projects just focusing on technology such as apps for mobile phones. If these are a component of a project their added value needs to be proven by the applicant.

    [1] For an overview of these countries please click here.

  • How to apply?

    This call for proposals is closed, so application is no longer possible. Please come back here at a later stage to learn about the grantees that have been selected in this call for proposals.

    Calls for proposals for Influencing grants will be opened once a year, while for Empowerment, Innovate and Learn and Sudden Opportunity grants we accept proposals on a rolling basis. The current open calls for proposals can be found here.

  • Eligibility Test

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