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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (RISE)

A Challenge to Address Gender-Based Violence in the Environment

U.S. Agency for International Development

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $1,200,000
Type of Challenge: Ideas; Business plans
Submission Start: 08/15/2019 3:00 PM ET
Submission End: 10/08/2019 11:00 AM ET


Gender-based violence (GBV) is estimated to affect more than one in three women worldwide. This widespread problem takes a variety of forms, including sexual, psychological, community, economic, institutional, and intimate partner violence, and in turn affects nearly every aspect of a person's life, including health, education, and economic and political opportunities. At the same time, environmental degradation, loss of ecosystem benefits, and unsustainable resource use are creating complex crises worldwide. As billions of people rely on these natural resources and ecosystems to sustain themselves, the potential human impacts are dire, with disproportionate effects on women and girls.

GBV and environmental issues are interlinked, and so their interactions are complex, diverse, and multi-layered. In some contexts, they form feedback loops where gender-based attacks, harassment, and discrimination worsens the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resources, and this environmental deterioration triggers new, more damaging forms of violence. In other contexts, preventing and responding to GBV unlocks opportunities for enhanced environmental action, as well as for women's and community empowerment.

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.

Key Dates:

  • Launch: 15 August 2019
  • Questions due: 8 September 2019
  • Webinar: 10 September 2019
  • Application deadline: 8 October 2019
  • Finalist interviews: 23 October - 1 November 2019
  • Winner workshop: 18-22 November 2019
  • Winners announced: 20 November 2019
  • Implementation: 22 November 2019 - 31 December 2021


Total Prize Pool



Awards are available in amounts of $100,000-$300,000. U.S.-based institutions proposing global work are not eligible for grants of more than $100,000.

Non-monetary Prizes

Winners will also obtain a trip to a Washington D.C. conference, mentoring, networking opportunities, technical assistance, monitoring, evaluation, and learning support, and communications and co-promotion support.


The RISE Challenge rules are available in the Request for Applications:

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel

Expert judges from among USAID's Missions and Bureaus and affiliated partners will review the remaining applications and assess them against the judging criteria.

Judging Criteria

There are five judging criteria, ranked in order of priority. The judging panel will assess each eligible application across these weighted technical criteria, and recommend the up to the top 20% of submissions to be invited for finalist interviews. Note the budget will be reviewed for cost reasonableness, but will not be weighed in the evaluation criteria.

Intervention rationale (30%): Applicants will be judged on their articulation of the challenge, hypothesis for change and rationale for how their intervention will prevent or respond to GBV in environmental programming.

  • Does the applicant demonstrate a clear, evidence-driven understanding of the problem?
  • Is there a clear, evidence-driven rationale for why the applicant believes the intervention will be effective in preventing or reducing GBV?
  • How will the intended output of this intervention be valuable to beneficiaries, USAID and other stakeholders?
  • Is this intervention plausible given the timeframe and budget allotted?

Contextual awareness, human-centered, and sensitivity (20%): Applicants should describe and demonstrate an awareness of the local context in which their intervention operates, how they intend to meet their target population where they are at, and the measures in place to protect and collect sensitive information.

  • How does this intervention demonstrate an understanding of the local context? Has the team conducted a needs assessment and gender analysis (if so, they should be scored more highly)? Has the team developed partnerships that will furnish access or reduce barriers to sensitive and effective contextual and human-centered engagement?
  • Has this intervention considered the specific needs and everyday lives of the people who will be affected?
  • What measures are in place to protect any sensitive data or information (or the sources of that information) as well as the providers of that information as it is collected through the implementation process?

MEL (20%): Given the nascency of the evidence base at this nexus, applicants will be judged on how their proposal will advance the international community's understanding of challenges and potential interventions at the intersection of GBV and environmental programming.

  • What indicators will your intervention use to evaluate outputs?
  • How will this intervention translate data into accessible and actionable insights for the evidence base?
  • How will learning and evidence be shared with stakeholders?

Partnership plan and organizational capacity (20%): Applicants will be judged on the degree to which their partnership model demonstrates the ability to leverage the diversity of expertise required for successfully innovating new interventions to challenges at the intersection of GBV and the environment. This includes proposed engagement with specific partners, including environmental organizations, gender-based violence organizations, women's and girls' organizations, indigenous communities/groups, youth, and other vulnerable populations and local groups. .Partnerships with research, academic, or evaluation organizations with the capacity to support evidence collection are also highly encouraged.

  • How will the partnership's management plan credibility leverage existing work across the team?
  • What experience do the partners bring to this intersection of GBV and environmental programming?
  • Do the key personnel have the requisite expertise and experience to successfully implement this intervention?
  • What is the organization's GBV safeguarding policy?

Pathway to integration (10%): Applicants should demonstrate a plan for understanding how this intervention can be applied in new contexts beyond the initial application.

  • How can this intervention be tailored to fit the needs of new contexts, geographies?
  • How can this intervention be generalized into a broader organizational or sectoral policy?
  • What is the potential for this intervention to become sustainable or replicated in future programming?

How To Enter

For instructions on how to apply, visit:

Point of Contact

For questions about this challenge, please contact: