UNHCR Innovation Service is happy to announce a Call for Proposals that provides targeted financial support to country operations interested in tackling specific challenges relating to Digital Access, Inclusion and Participation. These challenges have emerged from the previous rounds of funds, operational experience across the organisation and research undertaken within the programme. Furthermore the impact of COVID-19 requires UNHCR to develop more creative and inclusive approaches to digital access and participation, as operations rely on remote channels to provide services in light of social distancing measures. This adapted approach gives space and resources to support UNHCR teams address key issues they may be facing in light of COVID-19.
Challenges will be issued on a rolling basis on different thematics. Only UNHCR country operations are eligible to submit Expressions of Interest to open challenges. Each challenge will have its own specific Background Note, evaluation criteria, and application process.
The financial and technical support included within each Call is generously provided by The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and managed by the Innovation Service. Successful applicants to any Call for Proposals are able to draw down on this fund in financial year 2020 – spending against the Innovation Service’s cost centre, per the details and timeline in each call.
This programme aims to enhance UNHCR’s approaches to ensuring refugees have access to digital technology and connectivity, and that when UNHCR is engaging with communities through such channels we do so in a way that is accountable to them, accessible to different groups, and facilitates meaningful participation in humanitarian action. Through this programme a broad spectrum of challenges and thematics have been identified – whether through operational interventions to date or novel research – that warrant further exploration through field testing and learning. The purpose of this call for proposals is to provide space for such exploration, at the same time providing opportunities for country operations to make progress along identified priority areas. The precise dynamics of the individual challenges within the Call for Proposals may differ but all come together to help UNHCR improve its understanding of how the agency can contribute to enhancing refugees’ digital access and participation, and undertake effective & creative humanitarian programming in this space with accountability and inclusion as core driving values.