2023 Challenge Fund is open!

We are happy to announce that the 2023 Call for Proposals for the Challenge Fund of the Czech-UNDP Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals is now open. 

The objective of the Challenge Fund: Czech solutions for SDGs  is to facilitate transfer of Czech know-how and innovative solutions that would address development challenges and contribute to the achievement of SDGs in six priority countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Georgia, Cambodia, Moldova and Zambia.  

This year Challenge Fund has following development challenges: 

Bosnia and Herzegovina    

  1. Circular Economy: circular business models in textile, furniture, metal, construction sectors; innovation in green consumer packaging; green chemistry; behaviour change approaches for sustainable lifestyles and consumer behaviours.  
  1. Inclusive Economic Transformation Targeting Youth: with focus on e.g., Innovation ecosystem, Digital Skills and Capacity Building, Critical Thinking, Entrepreneurship and STEAM. 

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia    

  1. Climate Resilience and Environment Sustainability: with focus on e.g., Access to renewable, affordable, and clean energy, Solar energy solutions, Sustainable urbanization and smart city technologies including strategic benchmarking tools for economic growth via Big Data usage, Dynamic traffic control and intersection coordination, Systems for inspection and maintenance of city infrastructure, Data crowd sourcing platforms. 
  1. Inclusive Economic Transformation: with focus on e.g., Strengthening the innovation ecosystem targeting the youth, Technologies and tools to facilitate technology transfer and cooperation between universities and industry, Inclusive and innovative finance, Digital payments and innovative finance tools/approaches, Support to SMEs, Sustainable agriculture. 


  1. Sustainable Growth: with focus on e.g., Green dimensions of urban development; Public infrastructure and public urban areas; Development to attract/support sustainable ecotourism and sustainable development of space and urban planning;  Support for community areas and inclusive spaces, spatial and urban planning development. 
  1. Good Governance: with focus on e.g., Building/support of inclusive society, Democratic participation, Support of the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged people.   
  1. Rural Development, Jobs and Livelihoods with focus on e.g., cultural heritage, preserving cultural heritage as a part of ecotourism. 
  1. Disaster Risk Reduction and Environmental Protection with focus on e.g., Development of Protected Landscapes and Areas, Waste Management; Exit Single-Use plastics, Air pollution and renewables, Green procurement, Circular Economy and Food Waste. 

Kingdom of Cambodia   

  1. Sustainable Growth: with focus on e.g., Youth employment, Job creation, Support of youth and women-led enterprises and livelihoods, Covid-19 socio-economic recovery. 
  1. Green Economy and Circular Economy: with focus on e.g., Climate resilience, Sustainable agriculture. 
  1. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: with focus on e.g., Innovative green solutions and energy affordability, Energy efficiency. 

Republic of Moldova    

  1. Sustainable Growth, with focus on e.g., Inclusive and Equitable economic growth, Support of markets, employment and encouragement of economic growth, Mitigation of negative impacts of economic decline in the sectors of agriculture, market, employment.  
  1. Sustainable Forest Management, with focus on e.g., management of forests and protected areas, diversification of income in forestry sector with focus on added value products and Sustainable Green Cities, with focus on e.g., Green Technologies & Affordable Energy Sources, ensuring energy affordability, and mitigating the impacts of energy poverty for local communities; and Innovation for Road Safety, including safety of pedestrians, smart solutions, AI-enhanced and other tools for monitoring of traffic violations. 
  1. Solutions on Digital Transformation, with focus on e.g., Digital Innovations & New Solutions for ICT Sector for local communities in and refugees from Ukraine; Digital Innovations in Farming and Agriculture including digital farmers registry (ID numbers, monitoring of results and output); and advisory group on compliance to EU rules and standards.  
  1. Climate Change with focus on e.g., Energy efficiency, Green Energy and Transformation (Based on EU Green Deal), including Development of national programs, Private sector engagement, Funding mechanism and development of financial schemes green public development; Environmental sustainability and resilience; Ensuring energy affordability and mitigating the impacts of energy poverty for local communities and refugees from Ukraine.   
  1. “Just Transition” – Environment; Anti-Corruption and Eco-Innovations in the Governance Line, with focus on e.g., Digital services and technologies to improve and support the public service delivery, increasing people’s engagement, enhancing transparency, accountability, inclusion.  

Republic of Zambia   

  1. Good Governance with focus on e.g., support of youth and women-led enterprises and livelihoods, local enterprise development. 
  1. Nature Resources Management and Renewable Energy with focus on e.g., innovative and new sources of energy, including production, packaging and distribution of the biogas and organic fertilizers. 
  1. Climate Change with focus on e.g., Climate Change resilience, adaptation and mitigation, Sustainable and climate resilient agriculture, forestry, agroforestry and production of timber, innovations for sustainable river fishing and fish farming, innovation for sustainable beekeeping and access to the markets, support of cooperatives. 
2023 CF static
2023 CF static, Source: Katalyst CF project

The eligible applicants include Czech private and public sector, NGOs, universities, state institutions or research centers. The applicants are required to engage local partners to assure viability in local conditions and to promote sustainability and scalability of the solution.  

Interested applicants should apply via system Quantum by Sunday 20 August, 2023. 11:00 a.m. CET. For application it is necessary to first register to Quantum. Please, find the guidelines for registration here and do not hesitate to contact us if you encounter any problems.  

The estimated beginning of contracts is October 2023, and each contract is expected to last up to 12 months. The Challenge Fund awards range between US$20,000 and US$40,000, with applicants providing a minimum 20% of co-funding of the total cost of the project.  

Interested applicants are also invited to attend: 

  1. Online Seminar “How to submit Challenge Fund application”, Monday 24 July 2023, 13:00 – 14:00 CET (in Czech language) Registration link for MsTeams 
  1. Online Seminar “How to submit Challenge Fund application”, Tuesday 8 August 2023, 13:00 – 14:00 CET (in English language) Registration link for MsTeams 

For more information on the Challenge Fund, please consult the Czech-UNDP website, see our LinkedIn page or message   

About Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs 

The Czech-UNDP Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals brings Czech innovations to six partner countries with the aim of contributing to the implementation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Cooperation takes place within two components – Expertise on Demand (EoD) and Challenge Fund (CF). As part of the Challenge Fund instrument, Czech know-how and unique innovative solutions are transferred to partner countries. Since 2018, CUP has supported 76 Challenge Fund projects with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic