*PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE STARTING YOUR PROPOSAL, INCLUDING ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BELOW.*
1) Link to webinar recording (https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6922351877192818946)
2) Link to webinar slide deck (https://drive.google.com/open?id=188GDMoKIrdgnofnTt2BiwNH_dlz0J-sx)
3) Link to Round 1 workshop report (http://www.data4sdgs.org/sites/default/files/2018-06/Innovation%20Fund%20Learning%20Session%20Report.pdf)
A: To start your application, click the "Start" button at the top of this page.Q: Does the application have to be submitted in English? If yes, what about other documents, like support letters, deliverables and reports?
When you have finished your application, click the “Preview” button at the bottom of the last page of the form. If your application has any errors, a red error message will appear below the page header. Click the “View errors” button in this message to view the first error. If there are multiple errors in your form, continue to press “View errors” and resolve the errors until the message disappears.
If there are no errors in your application, clicking “Preview” will take you to a page where you can preview your application. Please review your application and click the “Submit” button to submit it. (You may edit your application after it is submitted, up until the application deadline.)
You will be able to save your proposal as you work on it but you must enter your email address in order to retrieve it at a later time. Click the “Finish this later” link in the page header of the form. A pop-up will appear, containing a URL with which you can resume your draft.
Alternatively, you can return to this page and click “View a previous submission or resume a draft” link below the “Start” button. On the page that follows, enter your email address and click “Email me the link.” An email will be sent to you with further instructions. If a proposal in our system is connected to your email address, the email you receive will include a link to it.
Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your proposal. At the moment of the deadline, a banner will appear over the form, informing you that you are no longer allowed to submit it. Applications can only be submitted via this online system. E-mailed or hard copy applications will not be accepted.
A: Yes, everything needs to be submitted in English. We would like to be able to accept applications in other languages but do not have the capacity to review them. However, only letters of support may be uploaded to the online application (no other types of documents). (Additional information added to this answer on July 23, 2018)Q: The deadline is August 15th. Will this deadline be flexible or is it fixed?
A: This deadline is fixed and will not be extended.Q: What do you mean by letters of support and what do you want to see in them?
A: You must submit letters of support from all collaborating organizations and end users. There is not a specific format, however the letters should be signed and on the (end user and collaborating) organizations' letterhead and should describe support of the project in question, not just support of an individual or organization. Letters should reflect the end user point of view, meaning that we want to see the project is actually requested/required by the end user(s). We’ll also be looking for a credible picture of what the partners will get out of the project, as well as what they will put into it. (Additional information added to this answer on Aug. 1, 2018)Q: Can such letters be signed electronically, i.e., through an official digital signature? (Question added Aug. 2, 2018)
A: We cannot share proposal documents but you can find out more about the projects we funded here.Q: What is the maximum length of an award?
A: Funding disbursements will start in March 2019. All implementation work must be completed within 16 months, or by June 30, 2020, with another three months available for evaluation and documenting lessons learned.Q: Who will review the proposals?
A: Proposals will be reviewed by a multi-stakeholder peer review committee. The committee will include members of the GPSDD Secretariat and Technical Advisory Group, representatives from the World Bank, and others with expertise in the focus areas.
A: No, we do not share reviewer comments or ratings.
A: We can’t give an exact number of awards because that is dependent on the budgets of the top ranked proposals. Last year twelve awards were given out.Q: Will future rounds of funding be offered?
A: While we would like to continue the Innovation Fund in 2019, that will be dependent on the availability of funding.Q: Is there a way to export the partially filled application form, e.g., to share with the collaborating agencies and end users who will write the letters of support? It seems that the only solution is to navigate to each of the proposal pages and “save as” a PDF. (Question added July 27, 2018)
A: By innovation, we mean doing things differently or doing different things. Doing things differently could involve doing something better, faster, cheaper, or with more disaggregation than it is currently done. Doing different things could mean collecting, producing or managing information in a way that doesn’t happen right now in a certain context.Q: Can the proof of concept be in middle income country and have it scaled to low income country?
Keep in mind that, for this call, innovation is not linked to a particular tool or technology.
A: No, there are no recommended or preferred type of project deliverables. It is up to each consortium to propose a schedule of deliverables. It will be important to justify what you are delivering and make clear how the deliverables advance the aim of the Call.
A: No. Please use whatever is most appropriate for your project.
A: The lead organization (and/or its bank account) does not need to be located in a low-income country, however project activities must take place in a low-income or lower-middle-income country (or countries).
A: We do not have a preference and work can happen in one or more countries.Q: What type of information are you expecting in response to question 9 of the application, “Please explain the sustainability of this project and provide supporting evidence?”
Q: I would like to propose a project in an upper-middle-income country. Will it be considered? (question added June 26, 2018)
A: According to our criteria for funding, the project must be implemented in a low- or lower-middle-income country.
A: We want to ensure that the projects we fund don’t end once the award is over and, thus, have a limited impact. Through this question, we are trying to get a sense of how the work will be ongoing and recurrent, following the award period. Some things that might be addressed here include:Q: Should the proposal be linked to a specific SDG indicator?
- Will the project be adapted by another organization or locale?
- If the project needs additional funding to continue, is that funding
- If the project is reliant on personnel are they available to carry the work
A: We’ve asked that proposals be linked to targets but not to specific SDG indicators, as defined by the SDG Framework. If a proposal is linked to a specific indicator please do mention this in your application, but it is not required. No specific SDGs are prioritized. (Additional information added July 23, 2018)Q: Is there a preference for a project that supports broad data generation or data for specific decision making?
A: We do not have a preference.Q: Can the proposed project focus on the development of the collaboration that will allow the data development and sharing to happen?
A: Projects can include some focus on the establishment and development of such a collaboration but would also need to include a component of data development. We would not be able to provide funding for a project solely focused on the establishment and development of a collaboration.Q: How would you define project outputs?
A: Project outputs can be a variety of things, including technical reports, academic papers, software, new methodologies, data sets, tools, pieces of technology, etc.Q: What level of government should applicants be working with? National? Local?
A: No, the project leader must be from the lead organization.Q: Which of the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services do partner organizations of the consortium need to follow?
A: Any partner receiving funds from the lead organization or vendor must accept the flow down terms for subcontractors, as stated in Article 43.Q: Should the project leader have a particular profile (education, work experience, etc.?)
A: No particular profile is required. However, project leaders with education and experience relevant to the proposed project will strengthen an application.Q: Can individuals apply for funding?
A: Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from individuals. We encourage applications from a minimum of two collaborating organizations, inclusive of the end data user.Q: Can one organization submit multiple proposals through different consortia?
A: YesQ: Can one consortium submit multiple proposals?
A: YesQ: Is there a limit to the number of proposals submitted by an organization, whether as the lead organization or a member of the consortium?
A: NoQ: We are considering being a part of multiple consortia. Would our chances of being selected for our main proposal be reduced if we are also selected for a project in which we have a smaller role?
A: Organizations can be a part of multiple consortia, whether as a lead or as a partner. Applications will be judged based on their individual merit so it is possible for an organization to get funding for more than one project, assuming the organization has the capacity to implement more than one project at the same time.Q: Our consortium is made up of different organizations and we need to select the lead organization. Are there any recommendations and preferences regarding what type of organization should be the lead?
A: As long as the organization can meet the criteria established to receive a World Bank vendor contract and is able to accept the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services, we have no preference as to the type of organization that is the lead within a consortium, with one exception. Governments cannot be lead organizations.Q: What are some of the different roles members of a consortium might play?
Please see the World Bank Vendor FAQ for additional details.
An established organization, regardless of type, with a track record of successfully implementing work similar to that being proposed by the consortium, would help strengthen an application.
A: Every consortium will be different but some of the roles might include organizations responsible for methodology, statistics, data collection, advice, etc. For example, in a consortium an academic organization might take the lead on methodology, a private company might bring the data, a local NGO or government agency might have access to end users or field data collection.Q: Can a commercial organization be a member of a consortium or lead organization?
A: Yes. We would especially like to see commercial organizations that not only provide their expertise and technology but that also provide the data that is being used, like mobile data or financial services data.Q: If we partner with a government agency in a low or lower middle income country and other organizations and individuals located in higher income countries, is that acceptable?
A: Yes, this is fine. The important thing in this case is that the work takes place in and benefits the low or lower middle income country.Q: Is an organization that is already a consortium eligible to apply on its own or must that organization partner with others?
A: Yes, an organization that is already a consortium can apply on its own but you would need to explain this clearly in the application.Q: Is there any kind of threshold of funds managed/grants received in the past that applicants need to meet? (Question added July 23, 2018)
A: Electronic copies of bank statements, tax returns or audits are all acceptable evidence. Additionally, documentation of your registration or incorporation date with the government would be acceptable.Q: Are there any minimum requirements around the size or annual budget of the lead organization?
A: NoQ: If government agencies cannot be lead organizations and are ineligible to receive a vendor contract from the World Bank, can they get a subcontract through a consortium?
A: The World Bank would not object to a subcontract to a government agency if local laws allow government agencies to be subcontractors and the government agency can comply with all required World Bank flow downs. See Article 43 of the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services for more details on required flow downs.Q: What does end user mean?
A: Some examples:Q: Can members of a consortium also be the end user?
If you’ve developed a new method for collecting data, the end user would be the agency or organization that is currently collecting that data and would use your new method going forward.
If you’re producing data on a hard to reach population to inform a specific policy intervention, then the policy maker who would make that intervention would be the end user.
There can be multiple end users. We expect it to be an organization/entity with an institutional lead for the data or the insight of the action. An individual can be names as a part of that. We’d like to see a clear articulation of what the end use of the innovation is to the end user. Make it clear that they are an end user, they will be participating, and how they will benefit. (Additional information added July 23, 2018)
A: Yes, end users should be members of the consortium.Q: What, if any, will be the role of World Bank staff in country? (Question added July 23, 2018)
A: No, the amount of funding requested does not impact the chance of success. However, the budget does need to be reasonable in comparison to the work being proposed.Q: Does the amount of funding you get relate to the length of time of the award? If you just request $150,000 would your award be less than 18 months?
A: No, there is no link between the length of time of an award and the amount of funding requested. Having said that, it will be important for your timeline to be reasonable given the work being proposed.Q: Do all consortium members have to be funded through the contract or can some members contribute to the project but not receive funds?
A: Consortium members can contribute to the project without receiving funds.Q: Is co-funding required?
A: Co-funding is encouraged but not required. Proposals will not be penalized if they do not have co-funding.Q: Is the funding paid as a lump sum at the beginning of the project?
Should you include co-funding in your proposal, it is important to make sure that the project is able to comply with the copyright requirements of the World Bank. The World Bank will own all deliverables and will open source them so that both the consortium and the wider community can make use of what has been developed. See Article 21 of the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services for more details.
A: No, the contracts will be paid on a deliverables basis. Typically, 10% of the contract amount is paid at the signing of the contract. The remainder is paid around the submission of deliverables. The payment schedules will be unique to each project and will be discussed with finalists during the contract negotiation process.Q: Can organizations that receive funding in the past apply again? (Question added July 23, 2018)
A: Costs that are generally allowed, if they are reasonable for the work being proposed, include staff, travel, events, publication of reports, development of technology, hosting a website and M&E. This is not an exhaustive list; other costs may be allowable.Q: Can we include equipment in the budget?
We define indirect costs as overhead and administrative fees. These costs cannot be included in the budget.
A: No, according to the funding source of the Innovation Fund, equipment (defined as any durable good with a value of US$1,000 or more) may not be included in your budget.Q: Can we purchase a vehicle with the funding?
A: No, but you can include the costs of a driver or rental vehicle in the budget to reach remote areas.Q: Can we include funding for the evaluation period in our budget?
A: We would prefer budgets that only include funding for the project period.Q: Can we use funding to buy telecom data or other forms of data?
A: While we are sympathetic to the desire to use funding to buy this type of data, we would like to fund consortium models that bring owners of this type of data into the consortium to share data for a project that is beneficial to all involved. We have not ruled out funding to buy data but would prefer applicants find other ways to access data.Q: Would funding for data collection be allowable or are you only interested in funding the innovation needed to collect the data?
A: Funding can be used for both data collection and methodological work but we cannot fund a project only focused on data collection.Q: Are there spending caps on certain types of expenses?
A: No. (Note that equipment may not be purchased with funding from the Innovation Fund.)Q: What is the scope of dissemination in the project? Can budget funds be used for dissemination? (Question added July 23, 2018)
A: Please carefully review Article 21 of the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services for details on copyright.Q: What type of open source license will the World Bank release the deliverables under?
Also, please note that the World Bank does not necessarily have plans to use the deliverables themselves. Rather, they will be published under an open source license in order to benefit the community at large.
A: The World Bank will use a Creative Commons License that allows for maximum reuse for any purpose, including commercial, as we believe that this type of license will encourage use by both the public and private sector.Q: What about pre-existing IP?
A: Any pre-existing IP would remain the property of the owner and the owner would retain all rights to that IP. The Innovation Fund recipient would have to grant the World Bank an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, disclose, reproduce, publish, distribute or display copies to the public, or modify or prepare derivative works of such pre-existing IP, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the owner.Q: Given that the World Bank will own all of the deliverables produced via this funding, what use rights would the consortium and end-users have to the work developed?
A: Deliverables produced via this funding will be open sourced by the World Bank, according to the parameters laid out above. These parameters will allow Innovation Fund recipients to continue to use the deliverables, further their work and produce derivative content.Q: If we developed software through this funding, would the World Bank own the code?
A: Yes, if the funding paid for the development of the code and associated software, the World Bank would own the code and it would be published under the open source license described above.Insurance
A: The requirements do vary by country. For work in the U.S. or for organizations incorporated in the U.S. the requirements are laid out in Article 13. Organizations incorporated outside of the U.S. and working outside of the U.S. are required to have insurance coverage reflective of local market conditions for their country of incorporation or of the country in which the Services are rendered, whichever is higher. More details can be found here.Q: Are all members of the consortium required to have insurance or only the lead organization?
A: Only the lead organization is required to have insurance.UN Agencies, the World Bank & International Organizations
A: No, for this call for proposals, the terms and conditions cannot be adjusted.Q: Can UN agencies get a vendor contract or be one of the partners in the proposal?
A: UN agencies are not eligible to receive a vendor contract, and therefore cannot be a lead organization. However, we would welcome them as members of consortia, ideally contributing their own funds to the project. In order to receive funds as a member of a consortium, they would have to accept the required flow downs from the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services. See Article 43 for more details.Q: Is a World Bank Unit eligible to apply for this funding?
A: YesQ: Can other international organizations apply for this funding?
A: International organizations can be a part of a consortium. In order to receive funds as the lead organization, they would have to accept the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services. In order to receive funds as a member of a consortium, they would have to accept the required flow downs from the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services. See Article 43 for more details.Q: Can Partnerships hosted by UN organizations act as vendors?
A: Yes, if they are independent legal entities that can agree to the World Bank Group General Terms and Conditions for Consulting Services they can act as vendors.Q: Partnerships hosted by UN agencies and UN agencies themselves often charge fees for any funding received. Are such fees considered administrative fees and therefore excluded from funding?