The White House established Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative is the first whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 by focusing on three pillars – Women Prospering in the Workforce, Women Succeeding as Entrepreneurs and Women Enabled in the Economy. W-GDP leverages a new innovative fund, scaling private-public partnerships, which address the three pillars. In its first year alone, W-GDP programs reached 12 million women across the globe.
The W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge (WCC) seeks to bridge the gender digital divide so that women can fully participate in the global economy. To help close this gap, W-GDP WCC Round 1 called for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women access and use technology and Round 2 focused on supporting the three W-GDP pillars. Between both rounds, there are 12 awardees working in 16 countries worldwide. Now launching Round 3, W-GDP WCC is aiming to apply Proven Strategies for sustainable impact, focusing on these four requirements:
Building upon Proven Strategies. Applicants will be required to base their interventions on known and tested Proven Strategies that have closed the gender and technology gap.
Private Sector Participation. Applicants will be required to include a private sector partner commitment letter in their application. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure long-term sustainability and to facilitate partnerships between the private sector and organizations hoping to bridge the gender digital divide at the grassroots level. The partner should be an organization that demonstrates a strong commitment to closing the gender digital divide and plays a unique role in the proposed project. The private sector partner (or partners) must financially match 100% of the USAID contribution; 75% must be monetary, up to 25% can be in-kind. Multiple partners may be included if needed to reach the 100% cost share match requirement. Proposed cost share funds may not be from other US Government sources.
Reach at least 1 million women, 18 and above. Round 3 will fund projects that will take these proven concepts and scale them ambitiously. Appropriate indicators and metrics will be required as part of an initial Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning plan at the time of submission, as will support of certain USAID- and W-GDP-required indicators.
Pathway to Sustainability. Round 3 will fund projects that have the potential to reach scale and viability to develop into long-term, self-sustaining projects and businesses. Applicants will be requested to address their long-term plans for sustainability and will be encouraged to identify pathways that include private sector investment and organic business growth in developing countries that are a consequence of their gender initiative.
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to participate in the W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge:
Organization Type: The W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge is open to registered US or non-US organizations regardless of type (for example: for profit, not-for-profit, civic groups and others). For-profit Applicants must be willing to forego profit per 2 CFR 700.13
The following are not eligible:
Local Presence: All Applicants must use W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge funds to implement a solution in a country with USAID presence. Applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must demonstrate that they will implement the solution in conjunction with a local partner. Countries excluded from eligibility include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Other countries may have additional restrictions due to USAID Mission-specific stipulations
Topical & Focused: Solutions must directly relate to the W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge goals and funding requirements
Language: Applications must be submitted in English