World Bank Announces a Call for Proposals to Fund Innovative Ideas to Improve Health, Nutrition and Population Outcomes for Poor People

October 3, 2006

Washington, DC, October 3, 2006 - The World Bank is looking to award at least US$4 million in grant awards to the most innovative initiatives that promote good health, adequate nutrition, and access to knowledge and services for reproductive health in developing countries that are targeted to poor communities.

Poverty is both a consequence and cause of poor health, nutrition, and high fertility. The theme of the 2007 Global Development Marketplace “Improving Results in Health, Nutrition and Population for the Poor,” aims to attract ideas that test and advance:

  • Innovative mechanisms to reach vulnerable groups;
  • Public-private partnerships to improve delivery of health goods and services;
  • Innovative inter-sectoral linkages, such as improving water supply, sanitation services, indoor air pollution, roads, etc., for illness/disease/injury prevention; and
  • Cost-effective approaches/methods/technologies to improve local capacity to gather, analyze and apply health, nutrition and population data.

Examples of previous Development Marketplace winners in health, nutrition, and population include a pilot health care system managed by commercial sex workers in Bangladesh, a project to improve distribution of vaccines and medicines in rural Mozambique, and one that enables community health workers in Kenya to collect and analyze public health information through handheld software tools, among others.

To date, the World Bank has disbursed roughly US$28 million in awards to over 200 winners around the world through its Development Marketplace Global Competitions. The competition is open to all—eligibility criteria, competition guidelines, and step-by-step instructions are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, at the Development Marketplace website.

Proposals will be accepted in English only through the on-line application form on the website. The deadline for submitting proposals is November 17, 2006. All eligible proposals will be screened by sector specialists in health, nutrition, and population and approximately 100 finalists will be selected to prepare a more complete proposal and to attend the Marketplace and Knowledge Exchange in Washington DC in May 2007. There, an independent jury comprised of leading representatives of academia, civil society, foundations, government, donors and the World Bank, will select 30 to 40 winners to receive grant funding.

Former winner at the 2003 Global Development Marketplace for his VillageReach project in Mozambique, Blaise Judja-Sato, says, “Our association with the World Bank increased our profile and proved critical for enlisting other great partners and donors around the world.” Since then VillageReach has raised an additional US$7 million in additional grant funding from the Gates Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Hunter Foundation and the Dutch government to extend the total number of people served to over 5 million.

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