USAID’s RISE Challenge 2019 to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment

Deadline: October 8, 2019

Applications for USAID’s RISE Challenge 2019 are open. USAID’s RISE Challenge provides an opportunity to test approaches & build evidence on effective interventions that address Gender-Based Violence issues in environmental sectors.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance and supports partners to become self-reliant and capable of leading their own development journeys. USAID is seeking to fund the innovative application of promising or proven interventions that prevent and respond to gender-based violence across programs that address the access, use, control, and management of natural resources.

About the Challenge

Responding to GBV can provide opportunities for both enhanced environmental action and women’s empowerment, but tackling one issue without addressing the other is unlikely to succeed. USAID’s RISE Challenge aims to identify and implement interventions to reduce GBV in environmental programming.

This challenge aims to fund organizations to innovatively adapt and implement promising or proven interventions or practices that have been used to effectively prevent and respond to GBV in other sectors to environmental programming, or to integrate GBV prevention and response interventions into an existing environmental programming. The challenge will draw insights from other development and humanitarian sectors that have proven or promising practices to address GBV. It will incentivize partnerships between environmental organizations, local communities, and gender and GBV experts who can help bridge knowledge gaps and work to build an evidence base of effective GBV interventions.

They also aim to celebrate and spur a broad range of interventions that are sustainable and integrable into USAID and partners’ environmental programming and investments.


For winners of this challenge, USAID will feature their interventions, facilitate access to funding and networking opportunities, and provide technical assistance to support the proposed activity in achieving measurable results and impact.
USAID will award up to eight Fixed Amount Awards (FAA) between $100,000 and $300,000, subject to the availability of funding. Each FAA will be funded based on milestones and an implementation plan that are mutually agreed upon. Grant-funded activities must be completed within one to two years.
Challenge winners will be announced in Washington, D.C. in November 2019.


Prospective competitors must meet the following requirements to participate in the RISE Challenge. All applications will undergo an initial eligibility screening to ensure they comply with the eligibility criteria.

Organization type: RISE is open to all organizations regardless of type (e.g. NGO; for profit; not-for-profit; national, regional, community and indigenous organizations; universities; foundations; faith-based organizations; women-owned/women-led enterprises). US NGOs may only be funded up to $100,000. Non-US NGO’s may apply for funding up to $300,000.
Organization size: All organizations regardless of size are eligible to apply.
Partnership model: Applicants must demonstrate a partnership model and/or teaming intervention that leverages the capacity, expertise, and existing relationships across relevant environmental sector organizations, gender and GBV organizations, relevant experts, and local communities for the geography and sector of interest. The RISE Challenge requires supporting documentation to verify partnerships. Note that US NGOs who are requesting funding above $100,000 need to partner with a local NGO.
Local presence: All applicants must use the funds to implement interventions in geographies where USAID is currently operational. For the full list, click here. Applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must have a local partner, see partnership model requirement above. The RISE Challenge will require supporting documentation to demonstrate legal status to operate where the intervention is taking place.
Willingness to capture and share evidence and learning: All applicants need to describe a clear and actionable plan for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning that articulates how the applicant will test hypotheses, generate evidence, and use learning to adapt programming, which will feed into the evidence base that USAID is creating. Sharing learning includes sensitively balancing being transparent about sharing setbacks while protecting vulnerable populations from exposure to harm. Grantees will be expected to participate in ongoing reporting, peer-to-peer learning, and may be asked to contribute to the development of open-source tools. All people-level indicators must be sex disaggregated.
Topical: Applicants should present interventions that address the objectives of the Program Statement outlined in Section A of the Request for Applications.
Gender analysis: We strongly encourage all applicants to complete a rigorous gender analysis prior to applying (although this is not mandatory). Successful awardees who have yet to complete a gender analysis will be required to do so as one of their initial activities under the grant.
Eligible to receive USAID funds: Catalyst will conduct a responsibility determination prior to award, to ensure the applicant has the organizational and technical capacity to manage a USAID funded project.
Language: Applicants must submit their entries in English. While entries will be decided on the strength of the content, we encourage applicants to invest in translation or have someone with strong English skills review their submission to ensure they are showing their work to their best advantage.
Completeness and timeliness: Entries will not be assessed if all required fields have not been completed. This applies to any stage of submission and also relates to missing documentation that may have been requested. Late entries may not be accepted.


Submissions are due at 11:00 a.m ET on October 8, 2019 through the online application platform. Late entries may not be accepted, and no additions and/or modifications to applications will be accepted after the submission deadline.


After an internal eligibility screen, expert judges will review the remaining applications and assess them against the judging criteria listed on this website. Up to the top 20% of applicants will pass to the Finalist Interview round and will be interviewed by a panel of USAID staff and affiliated partners. Winners will be selected following the interviews.

Winners of USAID’s RISE Challenge will be announced in November 2019.


For more information: USAID’s RISE Challenge 2019 to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment

Israel Wellington Jeremiah
Israel Wellington Jeremiah is the Admin and publisher at Empowerment Opportunities. A seasoned online publicist and an entrepreneur.

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