Omidyar Network India announces $1M rapid response funding for COVID-19

By Tarush Bhalla|24th Mar 2020
Omidyar Network India announced a rapid response window to fund proposals that support the lower 60 percent of India’s income distribution in managing and mitigating the challenges that come with coronavirus.
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Omidyar Network India on Wednesday announced a commitment of $1million to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation and the consequent socio-economic impact.


It announced a rapid response window to fund proposals that will support the lower 60 percent of India’s income distribution in managing and mitigating the challenges that come with COVID-19. 


Further, the global fund also said that it is accepting proposals requiring funds in the range of Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 2 crore.


Roopa Kudva, Omidyar Network India, Managing Director

Roopa Kudva, Managing Director of Omidyar Network India




In a statement, Omidyar said that it recognises that the slowdown will mostly impact the vulnerable sections of India’s population and large swathes of the country’s “next half billion” (NHB) whom it seeks to serve – the vendors, daily wage earners, the gig-economy workers, and small businesses.

Initiatives it looks to fund

The global fund is inviting proposals that can strengthen the containment, detection and treatment, support crisis management capabilities, and enhance resilience and recovery in the wake of coronavirus. To that effect, it will consider the following initiatives:


  • Data, apps, and other technological solutions: For example, real-time information apps, ‘symptom checkers’, vernacular ‘helpline’ chatbots, contact tracing applications, case reporting systems, etc.
  • Community outreach and mobilisation campaigns that may be particularly relevant to the current situation. For example, innovative approaches to mass messaging and feedback loops.
  • Proposals that seek to improve the economic resilience of NHB workers and small businesses whose livelihoods are impacted due to the novel coronavirus.
  • Actionable research that enhances the ability of the government and the public in dealing with the crisis. For example, enabling ‘social distancing’ in the Indian context.
  • Collaborative efforts by foundations, philanthropies, impact investing, and venture capital firms in the above areas.


It also said that priority will be given to proposals which exhibit scalable solutions that leverage technology, time-bound interventions that can be implemented quickly, and benefit a large number of Indians, especially the lower 60 percent of India’s income distribution.


Additionally, it will support those solutions that have received initial traction through government/community commitment to adopt the solution, completed pilots, available co-funding, etc.

 

Apart from this, Omidyar also said that NGOs, research organisations, social entrepreneurs, and for-profit businesses seeking to do this on a no-profit basis can apply for the rapid response funding initiative.


(Edited by Suman Singh) 

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