Open Data Innovation Fund to Foster Access and Use of Data for Development

Call for Open Data Innovations

Evidence based decision-making, planning and monitoring is key for the effective resolution of Nepal’s development challenges. To enable this, development data needs to be accessible and used by a wide range of actors in Nepal, including government, civil society and the private sector. Recent advancements in technology, increases in production and storage of data, and the growing use of the internet in Nepal present new and growing opportunities for data to be harnessed for development purposes. The significant data resources generated by government, civil society, and the private sector at national and sub-national level, if made accessible and if used, have the potential to make development decisions more effective - data can be used to inform development planning, policies and interventions and monitor Nepal’s development progress, thereby bringing new benefits to society.

In the past few years Nepal has made significant advancements in the production, sharing and use of development data. On the technical front, progress has been made in digital data collection, the release of official data sets, and development of governmental data sharing platforms. On the policy front, progress has been made with the development of a government endorsed open data action plan, and via growing engagement from civil society groups in discourse around data for development. However, challenges still remain in the accessibility and use of data. These constitute an opportunity for Nepal’s innovators to design and implement solutions that improve (open) development data accessibility and use to address Nepal’s development challenges.

Funded by UK aid from UK government, the “Data for Development in Nepal” program implemented by The Asia Foundation in partnership with Development Initiatives is launching an Open Data Innovation Fund. This Fund will support Nepal’s development innovators to pilot innovative data-focused solutions that seek to address key development challenges while improving the accessibility and usage of (open) development data in Nepal.

The Open Data Innovation Fund invites proposals for (open) development data innovations from interested and eligible organizations.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Eligibility:

Any Nepalese organization may apply i.e. non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, academic organizations and media organizations.

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR APPLYING?

Criteria:

  1. Contribution to increased accessibility and/or use of (open) development data in Nepal: The proposal needs to demonstrate how the proposed innovation will contribute to the increased accessibility and/or use of (open) development data in Nepal.

  2. Innovativeness of the proposal: Proposals will be assessed on whether they are innovative in terms of solution, approach or in technology. Organizations need to define the specific development challenge or problem in Nepal that they are seeking to address while increasing the accessibility or through the use of (open) development data and how their proposed innovation will provide a solution to this problem. Proposals can either focus on innovation in terms of interventions, approaches or in technology, or a combination of these three:

    • Innovative interventions: a novel activity that has not yet been undertaken in the context of Nepal to improve the accessibility and use of (open) development data. For instance, innovation might relate to a new type of training or action research;
    • Innovative approaches: new approaches that improve existing processes relating to increasing access and use of (open) development data, building capacity on (open) development data, or minimizing data gaps in Nepal. For instance, innovation might relate to new ways of conducting policy engagement, awareness raising, research etc.
    • Innovative technical solutions: new tools or applications such as innovative software to create data visualizations, infographics and/or make development data open, an application to track data related to a specific development challenge etc.

  3. Sustainability/Scalability: Being a part of wider ecosystem of data generation and usage, the organization needs explain how the proposed innovation will be sustainable and scalable and where relevant will include linkages to national stakeholders such as government.

  4. Timeframe: The proposed innovation need to be completed within 5 months after the award and at the latest by March 31st, 2018.
  5. Sectors:

    The competing organizations’ proposed innovation may relate to any sector as long as it addresses the accessibility and/or use of (open) development data in Nepal. For instance, competing organizations can focus various development issues such as education, health, environment, economic development, public service delivery.

    WHAT IS THE DURATION OF IMPLEMENTATION AND THE AMOUNT OF FUNDING AVAILABLE?

    Time frame:

    The proposed innovations need to be implemented within a timeframe of 5 months i.e. before March 31, 2018.

    Funding:

    The Open Data Innovation Fund will have a total amount of USD 30,000 available for seed funding. It is envisioned that 3-5 applications will be selected. Awards will be made up to a maximum amount of USD 10,000 depending on the budget proposed by an organization.

    WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS?

    Selection Process:

    1. Initial proposal submission: (September 1st, 2017 – September 30st, 2017) Following the submission of the written proposal using the proposal template, the selection committee comprised of representatives from The Asia Foundation, Development Initiatives, and the Department for International Development of the UK Government will review the proposals based on the application criteria as detailed above.
    2. Full application: (October 1st, 2017 – October 16th, 2017)
    3. Innovations that match the objectives and criteria of the Open Data Innovation Fund will be selected to submit a full application. The application will need to encompass a detailed plan to implement the project, details of the team composition and a detailed budget.
    4. Concept validation: (October 17st, 2017 – October 23rd, 2017) Selected applicants will be invited to present their ideas to a decision panel involving the selection committee and external experts in an event. The decision panel will award the funding after analyzing the application and assessing it against the application criteria.
    5. Award: (October 31st, 2017) The final award will be made in an award ceremony, where the decision panel will award the applicant with the funds to proceed with their proposed innovation.
    6. Project execution: (November 1st, 2018 – March 31th, 2018) Organizations selected will be supported where required with technical advice and guidance to strengthen implementation of the innovations. Lessons learned from the innovations will be documented to create case studies which will be disseminated among the open data community in Nepal and beyond.

    HOW TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL?

    The proposal must be submitted as a pdf file and sent via email to pranaya.sthapit@asiafoundation.org

    WHEN IS THE DEADLINE?

    The proposal must be submitted by September 30th, 2017 at 5 pm.

    INTERESTED TO APPLY?

    Proposal Requirements and Template

    To apply for the Open Data Innovation Fund, organizations should complete the proposal template that is shown in the link below.

Download template