Making All Voices Count has announced applications are open for its Grand Challenge for Development, a rolling grant programme aimed at startups and innovators with projects that can give citizens a voice and enable effective e-governance in 12 African and Asian countries.
The initiative is a partnership between the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DfID), the Omidyar Network, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the United States (US) Agency for International Development.
It will offer funding of up to GBP100,000 (US$150,000) to innovative projects in 12 countries across Africa and Asia, including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
“The programme focuses global attention on innovative solutions and uses of technology that amplify the voices of ordinary citizens and support governments to respond effectively to them. Through this, we aim to contribute to the creation of more effective democratic governance and accountability,” Making All Voices Count said.
“We seek approaches that are new and challenging, leading to projects we can learn from: our current projects range from a multi-stakeholder collaboration that follows survivors of sexual assault through health and justice services in South Africa, to a data-driven public service monitoring system for health and education that is embedded in the Bahawalpur district government in Pakistan.”
The initiative is seeking specific solutions in a number of the 12 countries. In Ghana it wants ideas that improve the relationship between citizens and government at local and national levels, while in Kenya it is seeking ideas that promote more efficient service delivery at county level. In South Africa innovations are sought that promote freedom of information and expression.
Grants fall into three categories – innovation grants to support new ideas, scaling grants to boost proven concepts, and research grants to assist research that contributes to the evidence base and improved practice in the fields of transparency, accountability and voice, in-particular the sub-field of technology for transparency and accountability.