Challenge Fund for South Asia: Innovations in Hydromet and Early Warning

Developing countries are often the hardest hit by floods, cyclones, droughts, and earthquakes, yet they are the least equipped to address them. Disaster risk management is a prolific field for innovative approaches to these challenges, but that’s not always enough. The most promising advances require collaboration and indeed co-creation between technological and methodological innovators and the at-risk communities who are uniquely capable of contributing the knowledge and insights to build resilient solutions. The Challenge Fund serves to foster this co-creation.

The Challenge Fund is an initiative of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). It is part of the World Bank's Program for Asia's Resilience to Climate Change (PARCC) and is managed by GFDRR Labs, a team with a mission advance innovation in disaster risk management.

Since 2015, the Challenge Fund has provided grant funding to dozens of private sector, academic, and non-governmental recipients develop experimental solutions to challenging problems in disaster risk management. Previous Challenge Fund programs have supported new approaches to risk assessment, risk financing, insurance, and more.

The Challenge Fund for South Asia: Innovations in Hydromet and Early Warning will be launched in November 2019. It will focus on piloting new, user-led weather- and climate-services products and tools for South Asia.

Eligible countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Eligible activities: Proposed activities should provide user-led weather- and climate-services products and tools that benefit users and stakeholders, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Co-creation with end users and at-risk communities should be a fundamental component. Funding is available for up to US$100,000 per proposal. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with national and local governments, the World Bank, and other donors. However, funding provided by the Challenge Fund may not finance those actors’ costs due to World Bank vendor guidelines. More detailed information will be provided in the weeks prior to the launch on the GFDRR Labs website.

GFDRR Labs consultations: In the months preceding the launch of this Challenge Fund, GFDRR Labs will conduct consultations with governments, NGOs, donor colleagues, community stakeholders, and others to define a specific set of topics that this Challenge Fund will support. In these consultations, GFDRR Labs will also identify related research that it will conduct to support this Challenge Fund’s objectives. Participation in consultations will not influence the likelihood of receiving Challenge Fund financing.

Download a PDF of this announcement.

For more information, contact Stephen C. Miller at smiller4@worldbank.org. (Revised July 15, 2019)