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Polish Challenge Fund

The Polish Challenge Fund (PCF) is jointly hosted by the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

This activity is an effort to identify promising innovative solutions that facilitate transfer of the Polish know-how to have a positive impact at scale and address development challenges in selected Polish Aid programme countries: Republic of Belarus and Ukraine (1st and 2nd PCF edition) and Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine (3rd PCF edition).

What is the purpose?

The purpose of the Polish Challenge Fund is to identify promising innovations that leverage Polish know-how and generate greater efficiency of UNDP programmes in selected priority countries.

  1. Identify solutions that generate improvement and value, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
  2. Support solutions that assure viability in local conditions, long-term sustainability and potential for scale-up.
  3. Promote solutions to share knowledge and tackle development challenges in other countries.

What kind of innovations?

We recognize that innovations come in many different forms and welcome different types of innovations, including products, services, programming approaches, operational changes, finance and market innovations or technology driven innovations, among others.

Both programmatic and operational ideas are welcome!

At what stage should the innovation be?

  • Proof of Concept

To test the proposed solutions and/or to be able to tailor-make them. When the intellectual concept behind an innovation is field-tested to gain an early, ‘real-world’ assessment of its potential.

  • Transition to Scale

When innovations that have demonstrated small-scale success develop their model and attract partners to help fill gaps in their capacity to scale.

Who can participate?

  • Eligible Applicants include private sector entities, research institutes and universities registered in the Republic of Poland.
  • The Applicants are required to engage local partners from the partner country to assure viability in the local conditions. Partnership needs to be documented by Letter of Intent or Contract.

What are the basic rules for applications and projects?

  • 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.
  • The proposed project must have a potential for financial, social and environmental sustainability and scale-up.
  • The project must be inclusive in nature and benefit the target beneficiaries and contribute to the achievement of SDGs rather than solely benefitting the participating entity.

What are the evaluation criteria?

  • Degree of Innovation (10%)
  • Impact and Project Quality (20%)
  • Experience of the Team (10%)
  • Potential for Scale-up and Replication (10%)
  • Long-term Sustainability (10%)
  • Scope of Bid Price (30%)
  • Availability of Co-funding (10%)
Minimum threshold of 50% will be set for the evaluation of the Applications. Only Applications that pass the minimum threshold in the evaluation can be considered for Award.

What does the winner get?

  • Price funding ranging between US$20,000 and US$40,000 for the period of 712 months.
  • Possibility to access the UNDP global presence (+170 countries) and networks to help support the selected solutions to scale-up and replicate to new countries.
  • Possibility to get reference letters for other public procurement and tender (after successful Project execution and completion).

How to apply and join the network of innovators?

Based on the announced Call for Proposals, the applicant submits a project proposal and all relevant documents to the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub Procurement Unit.

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