Meet the first five winners from the USAID's Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (RISE): A Challenge to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment. These projects will do critical work in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, and Uganda. All five activities are designed to address gender-based violence in environmental programs and generate evidence on promising interventions.

USAID has reopened the RISE Challenge in order to identify and 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 resource.

On June 30, 2020, we hosted a webinar to talk about the RISE Challenge. The webinar recording and slides can be found in the Resources section of this page. All questions and answers from the webinar can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

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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 practices that have been used to effectively prevent and respond to GBV in other sectors to environmental programming. The challenge will draw insights from other development and humanitarian sectors that have proven or promising practices to address GBV. It incentivizes partnerships between environmental organizations, local communities, indigenous peoples organizations, 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. You can view the current winners of the RISE Challenge here.

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 three 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 by December 2020.

Participant Journey
Challenge Announcement
June 16, 2020
Apply for the RISE Challenge.
Deadline for Questions
July 25, 2020
Please submit questions to Questions will be answered during the webinar.

June 30, 2020

On June 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m ET, RISE hosted a webinar to discuss the challenge’s goals, components of a successful application, and answer questions submitted. The video recording of the webinar and the webinar slides can be found in the Resources section on this page. All questions have been answered in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Application Deadline
August 5, 2020
Submissions are due at 11:00 a.m ET on August 5, 2020. Late entries may not be accepted, and no additions and/or modifications to applications will be accepted after the submission deadline.

Judging Period
August - November 2020
After an internal eligibility screen, expert judges will review the remaining applications and assess them against the judging criteria listed on this website. Finalists will be interviewed by a panel of USAID staff and affiliated partners.

Winners Announced
December 2020
USAID RISE Challenge winners will be announced during 16-days of activism against gender-based violence.
Grantee Implementation
December 2020 - June 2022
Grant-funded implementation of solutions and approaches must be completed within 18 months.
How to Apply
Read About the Challenge:
Required Documents for the Application:

The documents required for your application can be found in the three tabs of the spreadsheet linked below. Download the spreadsheet to use it as a template.

Webinar About the RISE Challenge:
The Rise Challenge webinar took place on June 30, 2020. You can access the informational slides from the webinar here. All of the questions from the webinar have been posted and answered in the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Additional Resources and Information:

To ensure you get up-to-the minute details, please sign up for our email updates.

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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.