Women harvest tea in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh © Dana Ward / Shutterstock

8 January 2016

Help us improve water security for the poor: apply for a Catalyst Grant!

Do you have a new idea for tackling water insecurity and poverty in Africa or South Asia? Today we open applications for Catalyst Grants of £10,000-50,000.

This isn’t a standard research funding call. Everything we do is geared towards our goal of making five million poor people ‘water secure’ by 2022. So we want to hear from people that can help us achieve this.

You don’t have to be an academic. All you need is a good idea and capacity to develop a new tool, technology or approach which can be used by policy makers, practitioners, civil society organisations or enterprise, to have real impact on the lives of the poor.

As Katrina explains in the video below, these Catalyst Grants are open to people that might normally find it difficult to apply for research funding, such as civil society organisations, early career researchers, and applicants from Africa and South Asia.

There are three themes:

Water security for vulnerable people. This might include people living in urban slums, conflict–affected areas, or fragile environments. We’re especially interested in vulnerable children, women, refugees, the sick, handicapped, or small-scale entrepreneurs.

Water security risk science. This could involve developing existing risk-science methods or applying successful approaches from other sectors, to water security challenges. We would welcome new analysis of existing and large data sets to shed light on the relationship between water security and poverty.

Water security partnerships. This theme provides the opportunity to develop new partnerships with implementing programmes, private sector initiatives or research institutes working on water security in Africa and South Asia.

The Catalyst Grants will run for up to a year, and will be followed by a call for Major Grants which will last two years and may attract funding of up to £500,000.

We’re excited to be expanding the programme and look forward to hearing from you!

Visit the Partnership Funding page to download the Guidance Note and make an online application. The deadline for EOI applications is Monday 15 February 2016.

There will be two webinars – on 20 and 22 January – to answer any questions about the application process. More details will be available soon on the Partnership Funding page.

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Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Section, Programme Division, UNICEF

'Our partnership with REACH recognises science has a critical role in designing and delivering effective policy and improving practice on the ground.'

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