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Eligibility Criteria

Prospective competitors must meet the following requirements to participate in the RISE Challenge. All applications will undergo an initial eligibility screening to ensure they comply with the eligibility criteria.
  • Organization type: RISE is open to all organizations regardless of type (e.g. NGO; for profit; not-for-profit; national, regional, community and indigenous organizations; universities; foundations; faith-based organizations; women-owned/women-led enterprises). US NGOs may only be funded up to $100,000. Non-US NGO’s may apply for funding up to $300,000.

  • Organization size: All organizations regardless of size are eligible to apply.

  • Partnership model: Applicants must demonstrate a partnership model and/or teaming intervention that leverages the capacity, expertise, and existing relationships across relevant environmental sector organizations, gender and GBV organizations, relevant experts, and local communities for the geography and sector of interest.  The RISE Challenge requires supporting documentation to verify partnerships. Note that US NGOs who are requesting funding above $100,000 need to partner with a local NGO.

  • Local presence: All applicants must use the funds to implement interventions in geographies where USAID is currently operational. For the full list, click here. Applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must have a local partner, see partnership model requirement above. The RISE Challenge will require supporting documentation to demonstrate legal status to operate where the intervention is taking place.

  • Willingness to capture and share evidence and learning: All applicants need to describe a clear and actionable plan for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning that articulates how the applicant will test hypotheses, generate evidence, and use learning to adapt programming, which will feed into the evidence base that USAID is creating. Sharing learning includes sensitively balancing being transparent about sharing setbacks while protecting vulnerable populations from exposure to harm. Grantees will be expected to participate in ongoing reporting, peer-to-peer learning, and may be asked to contribute to the development of open-source tools. All people-level indicators must be sex disaggregated.

  • Topical: Applicants should present interventions that address the objectives of the Program Statement outlined in Section A of the Request for Applications.

  • Gender analysis: We strongly encourage all applicants to complete a rigorous gender analysis prior to applying (although this is not mandatory). Successful awardees who have yet to complete a gender analysis will be required to do so as one of their initial activities under the grant.

  • Eligible to receive USAID funds: Catalyst will conduct a responsibility determination prior to award, to ensure the applicant has the organizational and technical capacity to manage a USAID funded project. 

  • Language: Applicants must submit their entries in English. While entries will be decided on the strength of the content, we encourage applicants to invest in translation or have someone with strong English skills review their submission to ensure they are showing their work to their best advantage.

  • Completeness and timeliness: Entries will not be assessed if all required fields have not been completed. This applies to any stage of submission and also relates to missing documentation that may have been requested. Late entries may not be accepted.
Ineligible applicants:

The following organizations are not eligible for the RISE Challenge:
  • Political parties, groupings, or institutions, or their subsidiaries or affiliates;

  • Organizations that appear on the List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Non-procurement Programs, U.N. 1267 list, or have an active restriction or exclusion on the SAM list;

  • Organizations that advocate, promote, or engage in illegal activities or anti-democratic activities;

  • Any entity that has been found to have misused USAID funds in the past;

  • Any entity affiliated with USAID or Resonance, its officers, directors, employees, the Catalyst Project, or their family members;

  • Any governmental organization; and

  • Individuals.


When you're ready to apply, click the link below
to go to the Application Intake Portal and get started.

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.