USAID's Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (RISE):
A Challenge to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government's international development and disaster assistance and supports partners to become self-reliant and capable of leading their own development journeys.

USAID is seeking to fund the innovative application of promising or proven interventions that prevent and respond to gender-based violence across programs that address the access, use, control, and management of natural resources.

Scroll down for more information

The Problem

Gender-based violence (GBV) is estimated to affect more than one in three women worldwide. This widespread problem takes a variety of forms, including sexual, psychological, community, economic, institutional, and intimate partner violence, and in turn affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life, including health, education, and economic and political opportunities. At the same time, environmental degradation, loss of ecosystem benefits, and unsustainable resource use are creating complex crises worldwide. As billions of people rely on these natural resources and ecosystems to sustain themselves, the potential human impacts are dire, with disproportionate effects on women and girls.

GBV and environmental issues are interlinked, and so their interactions are complex, diverse, and multi-layered. In some contexts, they form feedback loops where gender-based attacks, harassment, and discrimination worsens the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resources, and this environmental deterioration triggers new, more damaging forms of violence. In other contexts, preventing and responding to GBV unlocks opportunities for enhanced environmental action, as well as for women’s and community empowerment.

About the Challenge

Responding to GBV can provide opportunities for both enhanced environmental action and women’s empowerment, but tackling one issue without addressing the other is unlikely to succeed. USAID’s RISE Challenge aims to identify and implement interventions to reduce GBV in environmental programming.

This challenge aims to fund organizations to innovatively adapt and implement promising or proven interventions or practices that have been used to effectively prevent and respond to GBV in other sectors to environmental programming, or to integrate GBV prevention and response interventions into an existing environmental programming. The challenge will draw insights from other development and humanitarian sectors that have proven or promising practices to address GBV. It will incentivize partnerships between environmental organizations, local communities, and gender and GBV experts who can help bridge knowledge gaps and work to build an evidence base of effective GBV interventions.

We also aim to celebrate and spur a broad range of interventions that are sustainable and integrable into USAID and partners’ environmental programming and investments.

Why Participate?

For winners of this challenge, USAID will feature their interventions, facilitate access to funding and networking opportunities, and provide technical assistance to support the proposed activity in achieving measurable results and impact.

USAID will award up to eight Fixed Amount Awards (FAA) between $100,000 and $300,000, subject to the availability of funding. Each FAA will be funded based on milestones and an implementation plan that are mutually agreed upon. Grant-funded activities must be completed within one to two years.

Challenge winners will be announced in March 2020.

Participant Journey
Challenge Announcement
August 15, 2019
Applications for the RISE Challenge will be open for two months.
September 10, 2019
On September 10, 2019 at 8 a.m ET, we will host a webinar to discuss the challenge goals and milestones, the components of a successful application, and the application process, as well as to answer questions submitted both before and during the webinar. You can register for the webinar here. The deadline for submitting questions ( for the webinar is September 8, 2019. All questions and answers and a recording of the webinar will be posted to under the Resources below. Questions that are duplicative or not materially different from others may be condensed or generalized. RISE will not answer questions about an application’s quality or topicality. Sign up for email updates and follow #RISEChallenge on Twitter to learn how to participate in the webinar.
Entry Deadline
October 8, 2019
Submissions are due at 11:00 a.m ET on October 8, 2019 through the online application platform. Late entries may not be accepted, and no additions and/or modifications to applications will be accepted after the submission deadline.

Judging Period
October 9, 2019 - November 9, 2019
After an internal eligibility screen, expert judges will review the remaining applications and assess them against the judging criteria listed on this website. Up to the top 20% of applicants will pass to the Finalist Interview round and will be interviewed by a panel of USAID staff and affiliated partners. Winners will be selected following the interviews.

Winners Announced
March 2020
Winners of USAID’s RISE Challenge will be announced in March 2020.

Grantee Implementation
March 2020 - September 2022
Grant-funded implementation of solutions and approaches must be completed within one to two years.
Information About the Challenge:
Documents From the RFA:

Please download or copy these documents to fill them out.

The Rise Challenge webinar took place on September 10, 2019. This webinar featured a question and answer session where we answered questions from prospective competitors and publicly shared the answers. You can watch it below.

The webinar deck can be found here as a PDF and here as a Powerpoint.

A transcript of the webinar can be found here.

Global Health Sector Resources:
There are also proven and promising practices and guidance from the Global Health sector.

From the Passages Project:
From the Learning Collaborative for Advancing Normative Change:

Orientation to Social Norms
Competitions for Development

The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.