Zambia Innovation Fund Call For Proposals 2014

DEADLINE: First Round of Submission: July 11th 2014

Introduction and Background

The Zambia Innovation Fund is jointly implemented by the Expression and Engagement programme; Governance and Human Rights programme of Hivos Foundation and Free Press Unlimited media programme.

Hivos_e465b16987066870bbf8ad64be379680Hivos is a Dutch non-governmental organization whose work is based on humanist values, that wants to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world where citizens, women and men, have equal access to resources, opportunities and markets and can participate actively and equally in decision-making processes that determine their lives, their society and their future. Hivos’ basic commitment is to the poor and marginalized people – and their organizations. A sustainable improvement of their situation is the ultimate benchmark for the work and efforts of Hivos. The empowerment of women in order to achieve gender equality is a primary directive in Hivos’ policy.

To that end Hivos offers financial and technical support to civil society organizations and initiatives that share Hivos’ goals. The organizations that Hivos supports cover a broad scope with respect to both substance and size, ranging from grassroots organizations to intermediary organizations. In addition to funding, Hivos is networking, lobbying and sharing knowledge in the international arena. Hivos specializes in two main policy domains i.e. civil society building and economy and sustainable development. In these domains the following sectors are supported: Green Entrepreneurship, Rights and Citizenship and Expression and Engagement

In Southern Africa Hivos’ Regional Head Office is based in Harare Zimbabwe, but programme in four countries in the region, i.e. Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Free Press Unlimited Free Press Unlimited is a Dutch Media development organisation that is active globally in about 40 countries among which also Zambia. Free Press Unlimited works to ensure that reliable news and information are and remain available to people across the globe. Particularly people in countries where there is little to no press freedom.

By supporting local media professionals and journalists, Free Press Unlimited helps to enable as many people as possible to gain and keep access to the information they require to survive and develop. Free Press Unlimited focuses on strengthening the capacity of local media professionals and media organisations. Together with these partners, we create room for people to speak freely, debate social issues and find out what is going on in their immediate environment.

Free Press Unlimited is a partner in the Expression and Engagement programme, which is one of the components of the People Unlimited 4.1 alliance headed by Hivos.

The Fund

This programme was developed out of a realization that there is scope to create a platform using creative arts and innovative use of ICTs and media to stimulate civic engagement.  Free exchange of information, room for expression and active citizen participation are essential conditions for a dynamic and democratic society.  Arts, Culture and Media play a vital role in this process, as they give citizens a voice, help them to form an opinion, encourage participation and stimulate governments and businesses to provide transparency and accountability.  The programme is being jointly implemented with the HIVOS Governance and Human Rights programme and Free Press Unlimited.

The primary aim of this project is to support organisations wanting to explore innovative and unique approaches in the work that they do to support the programme criteria listed above. Organisations and/or projects that want to step out of the usual methodology/status quo and find new ways of working.

Currently in its third year, this programme has supported 25 different projects across Zambia ranging radio and television programming, curricula development, unique youth development initiatives and developing of satirical comic books.

An important aspect of this fund is that of creative mentoring and guidance. Projects selected will be partnered with a creative/innovation consultant who will support, challenge and ensure partners engage in current and relevant innovation strategies in realising their projected goals.  

The long-term aim of this fund is to support the creation of more platforms to give citizens a voice, help them to form an opinion, encourage participation and stimulate governments and businesses to be transparent and accountable.

Thematic areas

Hivos Southern Africa and Free Press Unlimited through the Zambia Innovation Fund seek engaging and innovative project proposals that:

  • initiate dialogue and debate amongst Zambian citizens,
  • promote freedom of expression & good governance,
  • increase access to information and participation of citizens
  • promote inclusivity of marginalised groups such as women and youth
  • empower civic driven processes
  • promote human rights,
  • increase transparency & accountability.
  • improve the quality and diversity of art and media productions
  • strengthen independent media

Successful projects will be awarded a grant not exceeding Euro 50,000.

Application process and Selection Criteria

Projects selected for an award through the fund will:

  • demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues that the project aims to address and is specific in outlining steps to be taken,
  • demonstrate a high level of creativity and innovation both in methodology and expected outcomes,
  • expand spaces for public dialogue or open new platforms for expression,
  • are scalable and can easily be adopted by the masses,

In terms of project management, projects selected will

  • show that the submitting organisation has the capacity to successfully implement the project,
  • clearly identify target audience,
  • have a detailed and well organised budget. The budget demonstrates that the organization has devoted time to plan and assess actual expenses associated with the project instead of providing estimates;
  • be able and willing to explore new methodology and practise and want to step out of the usual status quo to find new ways of working,
  • be of a maximum duration of 9 months

The applications process will be in two parts as follows:

In the first part, applicants will be requested to submit a concept note, as per the attached Concept Guidelines Document. This Concept document cannot be longer than 3 [three] pages.

Please attach also a detailed budget that corresponds to your project activities [max 2 (two) pages].

Both documents need to be submitted for consideration.

After the first round, shortlisted projects will be invited to submit a detailed proposal from which final selected

projects will be awarded grants.

Please note, projects submitted that are longer than 3 [three] pages for Concept and 2 [two] pages for Budget will not be considered for review.

The fund will accept applications from new and existing projects. In the case of existing projects, only proposals aiming to consolidate the work after the first year of designing will be eligible for funding. Projects that have been supported already twice by previous calls of this fund are not eligible to resubmit a proposal.

Eligible applicants

Applicants eligible to apply consist of either individual or a consortium of non profit organisations from the arts& culture sector,  human rights and good governance sector, ICT and media sector. Partnerships among the mentioned eligible organisations are highly encouraged and will be given preference.

In the case of a consortium, the lead applicant will be a registered Zambian based organisation, whilst partner organisations can also be based elsewhere. Commercial enterprises and individual professionals can only participate as partners of Zambian legal entities.

Organisations can submit more than one proposal but only one project per organisation will be selected for support.

Applications should be forwarded to: [email protected], c.c. [email protected]

Please download the application form here.