About the Czech Challenge Fund

The aim of the Challenge Fund: Czech Solutions for SDGs is to transfer the Czech expertise and innovations to partner countries, which are: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Georgia, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Moldova and Republic of Zambia.

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

What is the purpose?

The Czech Challenge Fund projects look for innovative solutions that leverage Czech know-how and generate improvement and value, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. We are looking for projects that assure viability in local conditions, long-term sustainability and tackle development challenges in other countries.

Who can participate?

Private or public sector entity, NGO, university, state institution, municipality or research center – all must be registered in the Czech Republic and have a local partner. The applicant is required to identify a suitable local partner in the Priority country and establish a partnership before the application is submitted.

Applicants are required to engage local partners for the sake of viability, sustainability and scalability of their solution.

Who can be a local partner?

The partners could be local private sector entities, NGOs, universities, state institutions or research centers – in the line with the proposed topic of the proposed project.

If you need advice regarding local partners, please contact the respective Embassies of the Czech Republic in SarajevoAddis AbabaTbilisiPhnom PenhChisinau, or Lusaka. You can also get in touch with the UNDP Country Offices in Bosnia and HerzegovinaFederal Democratic Republic of EthiopiaGeorgia, Kingdom of Cambodiathe Republic of Moldova, or the Republic of Zambia.

What do the selected projects receive and what can be covered from the project budget?

Estimated grant awards range between US$ 20,000 and US$ 40,000 for the period of up to 12 months.

In addition, the selected projects will have the possibility to get reference letters for other public procurement and tender (after successful project execution and completion) and possibility to access the UNDP global presence and networks to help support the selected solutions to scale-up and replicate to new countries.

Typical items that can be covered by the Challenge Fund: Czech Solutions for SDGs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Project staff salaries;
  • Consultancy fee for technology, design, business, development and other services;
  • Small equipment and supplies, e.g. software, toner, stationery;
  • Training and workshop expenses;
  • Travel costs provable related to the project implementation.

The applicants are expected to provide in-kind or financial co-funding of at least 20% of the total project costs. Co-funding can be in-kind.

Co-funding above the minimum threshold is preferred and will be taken into account during evaluation.

What kind of innovations?

Given that innovations come in many different forms, the Challenge Fund: Czech Solutions for SDGs co-funds innovative solutions, technologies, services, ideas, or products, and views innovation in its broadest sense including:

  • A new approach, product, idea or service that has not been tested anywhere;
  • A new approach, product, idea or service that is new or unique for a priority country;
  • A service or a business model being introduced to a target group where it has not been tried before.

All projects should have the proven potential for financial, social and environmental sustainability and scale-up.

Projects must be available for sharing, replicable, and must built on technologies or methodologies that are adaptable to various contexts. A feasibility study can also be considered under the Challenge Fund.

What are the basic rules for applications and projects?

The project has to bring an innovative sustainable solution to the development challenge for one of the priority countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Georgia, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Moldova and Republic of Zambia.

All projects must be inclusive in nature and benefit the target beneficiaries and contribute to the achievement of SDGs, rather than solely benefitting the participating entity.

All applicants must demonstrate capacity to implement the proposed project and adequate financial, material, human and other non-financial resources needed to implement the project within the set timeframe.

Co-funding from applicant’s side: at least 20% of the total cost of the project.

What are the evaluation criteria?

  • Degree of Innovation with Consideration of Risks
  • Development Impact and Project Quality, including Intervention Logic
  • Potential for Scale up and Replication
  • Long-term Sustainability
  • Value for Money and Cost-effectiveness
  • Availability of Co-funding

2023 Challenge Fund and next Call for Applications

Based on Call for Proposals UNDP-IRH-00048 Czech Challenge Fund, the UNDP Procurement announced the 2023 Call for Applications on 5 July 2023, with the deadline 20 August 2023. UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (UNDP IRH) received in total 47 applications.

Should you have any questions about the submission of the application or any related questions about the Challenge Fund, you can reach out to us at cup.applications@undp.org