Proposal Instructions

Your proposal must be submitted via the online platform by October 8, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Applications must be submitted in English. Complete instructions regarding how to submit applications are provided on the application platform.

Step One: Log in or Sign up

USAID's RISE Challenge is being implemented in partnership with Global Innovation Exchange (GIE). The first step in the process will require you to create a GIE login (or to log in if you already have one). You will then be directed to the application site.

On the application site, please find the program that is labeled RISE: A Challenge to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment. Select "More" and you will be directed to the RISE Challenge main page where you can read more about the challenge and click to apply.

Step Two: Apply to the RISE Challenge.

The full application and cost proposal requirements can be found in Annex A and B of the Request for Applications. Applicants will be expected to submit basic information, upload relevant forms, and answer a series of technical intervention questions that will total approximately ten pages.

Basic Applicant Information:

  • Organization information; Country where registered; Country where project will be implemented; Application Point of Contact; Title of Project.

  • Challenge Approach: Please note if your application responds to the Program Integration or Testing and Learning Approach (as noted in Section A).

  • Requested funding amount and duration: Please indicate the amount of funding your project requires and the proposed project duration in months.


Application Technical Narrative:

  • Project description & hypotheses: The Applicant must provide a detailed description of the problem, and proposed intervention, specifying its goal, activities and expected results, including clearly outlining how you are addressing the challenge. Your statement of both the problem and the intervention should draw on evidence and explain why you reasonably hypothesize that your intervention will make both a significant difference towards mitigating GBV and contribute to the evidence base USAID seeks to build. The Applicant must specify the type(s) of GBV they are proposing to address and provide a clear rationale as to why. Clearly articulate the evidence that support your proposed intervention. Explain any assumptions that are embedded in the intervention and conditions that must hold true for the project to succeed.

    Applicants should also address the following questions as applicable:

    Have there been any moments during your existing project that have informed your thinking on GBV and the environment? 

    Why are you seeking to incorporate GBV interventions into the suggested environmental program?

    If integrating into an existing program, why at this stage of your existing program? 

    If testing and learning from an existing approach, what evidence leads you to believe this will be effective through an environmental application?

    Do you intend to modify your existing partnerships, protocols, protections, or practices through the activities you are proposing for a RISE grant.  

    In what ways?

    What type of evidence leads you to apply this promising or proven approach in the environmental sector?

    What, if any, past experience has this activity had incorporating GBV interventions? Was it sustainable?

  • Contextual awareness, human-centered interventions, and sensitivity: Applicants should describe and demonstrate an awareness of the local context in which their intervention operates, and the measures in place to protect and collect sensitive information of vulnerable populations. For example, how does this intervention demonstrate an understanding of the local context, culture, power dynamics, and gender norms? If you are adapting a proven intervention or process that is used in a different sector or geography, explain how it will be adapted and why it is well-suited to both your intervention, geography, and target population(s). If you are applying a promising intervention, describe how it will be integrated into existing or new program in the field.

    In support of this requirement, we will be looking for tools, promising practices, partnerships, knowledge, and procedures that demonstrate contextual awareness, human-centered approaches, and sensitivity. These may include, but are not limited to needs assessments, gender analyses, amd partnerships that will furnish access or reduce barriers to sensitive and effective contextual engagement, actions the team will take to ensure responsible, ethical, gender-sensitive, and secure data and information collection, management and use, and referrals, protections, and protocols to identify, mitigate, and respond to vulnerable populations affected by both in the contextual environment and in project implementation.

  • Partnering plan and organizational capacity: Applicants must demonstrate a partnership model or teaming intervention that leverages the capacity, expertise, and existing relationships across relevant environmental organizations, gender and GBV organizations/experts, and/or local communities. See additional details in the Context Aware section. The Applicant should detail the role of each partner, and how the partners will work together to implement the intervention and achieve expected outcomes. Additionally, the applicant should outline the principal personnel on the project and their ability to perform the responsibilities outlined.

    This includes proposed engagement with GBV organizations, environmental organizations, women’s and girls’ organizations, indigenous communities/groups, youth, local partners, and other vulnerable populations. Partnerships with research, academic, or evaluation organizations with the capacity to support evidence collection are also highly encouraged. 

  • Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL): Describe how the proposed intervention will incorporate monitoring, evaluation, and learning to test the intervention’s hypotheses, evaluate progress and program effectiveness, and assess the effect of applying GBV interventions to environmental programming for both GBV and environmental outcomes. Applicants should describe practically and methodologically, how they will measure gender and environmental outcomes, and articulate specific indicators that will be used to evaluate change. The applicant should indicate in what timeframe they expect gender and environmental outcomes to be achieved. Applicants should also detail how the data and learning will be used to identify what interventions are and are not working and adapt program design accordingly.

    If applying through an existing environmental program (Program Integration), the applicant should also address the following question: What existing indicators and baselines are you using as part of your project? 

  • Pathway to integration: State how the learnings from your intervention will be captured and communicated to stakeholders, colleagues, organizational headquarters, and the challenge managers. Describe how your insights from your intervention could be applied to other contexts within your organization or beyond.

Application Cost Proposal:
  • Budget and Milestone Table (Annex B): Applicants will provide a summary budget, which will assist the judging panel and USAID in making determinations on awarded amounts. All budget lines must be clearly linked to specific project activities. The budget should detail all direct costs associated with the implementation. The budget should not include any indirect costs, unless your organization has a Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Catalyst will assess whether the overall costs are realistic for the work to be performed, whether the costs reflect that the Applicant understands the requirements of project implementation, and whether the costs are consistent with the technical application.

  • Budget Narrative: The detailed budget narrative provides the justification of the costs you are proposing. The combination of the cost data in your budget and the budget narrative must be sufficient to allow a determination of whether the costs estimated are reasonable. If you are submitting an integrated approach to an existing program, please indicate how you will manage USAID funds independently of current/existing project funding.

Concept Note Supporting Annexes:

  • Budget and cost notes (Annex B)

  • Activity Plan (Annex C)

  • Required Certifications (Annex D)

  • Past Performance (Annex E)

  • M&E reports, if any (for Integrated Approaches)

  • CVs

  • References

  • Organization’s Safeguarding Policy

  • Others


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

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