Global Resilience Challenge’s ‘Water Window’ opens for submissions

Saturday, 2 April 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Untitled-8The Global Resilience Challenge’s “Water Window” is open for entrants to submit Concept Notes with innovative ideas and solutions to help flood prone communities across the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and South and Southeast Asia reduce their exposure to flood risks and to increase their ability to grow in the face of uncertainty.

Successful submissions will be eligible for up to $1 million scaling-up grants or up to $250,000 seed grants to realise their ideas. 

The submissions should offer innovative solutions to the very real issues affecting flood prone communities. Creative thinking is encouraged and ideas should focus on technology, risk transfer and community transformation. Proposals could include scaling up existing initiatives that are already working.

Luca Alinovi, Executive Director at Global Resilience Partnership, said: “Changing demographics and climate trends mean we need new ideas and approaches to help countries and communities prepare for, adapt to, and recover in the face of chronic shocks and stresses. The number of floods per year rose to an average of 171 in the last 10 years, up from an annual average of 127 in the previous decade. There is a real and present danger that needs addressing now.”

“We are incredibly excited to see what innovative solutions the flood pillar of the Water Window will reveal. We are expecting applicants from fields as diverse as meteorology, infrastructure design and finance. We know that each of them will be looking at seemingly unsolvable problems in new ways and from multiple perspectives – local, regional, and global.”

The Water Window has been backed by a $10 million commitment from the Z Zurich Foundation, as part of their investment in a global flood resilience program.  It is set to fund teams of social entrepreneurs, community based organisations, research, academic institutions, and international non-profit organisations and private sector organisations.

Proposals should focus on innovative solutions to real problems and demonstrate a basic understanding of the drivers of community resilience to floods; an understanding of the economic, environmental, social, and technical aspects of flood risk reduction, management, and recovery; and how flood resilience can truly be achieved without hampering other resilience or capabilities.

Entrants will need to complete a Concept Note and submit it online before an 8 May deadline. Finalists will be announced at the end of August 2016 and invited to submit a detailed proposal and receive mentoring from Global Resilience Partnership technical experts to refine their proposals. 

The evaluation panel will be drawn from a pool of technical resilience and grant specialists alongside Zurich Insurance Group and members of the Global Resilience Partnership. 

Linda Freiner, Program Manager for the Zurich Flood Resilience Program, said: “With an increasing number of communities being threatened by floods, it is clear that the old solutions are no longer fit for purpose. With the Water Window, we hope to support innovations that can become the next generation of solutions.

“The Water Window allows us to bring together a group with different skills but a common goal to tackle problems and find solutions for the most vulnerable people. What’s more, by working together, we can go beyond simply providing funds to become potential ‘investors’ in solutions.”