COVD-19 Challenge Grant: Local Solutions for Continuity of Government Functions

October 27, 2020


UNDP Ethiopia and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology are looking for innovative digital solutions for government service to be explored and tested in the challenge areas described below. We are looking for technology companies, start up and entrepreneurs to bring new technologies, practices, approaches or business models for government services that will support business continuity. The proposed solutions will be evaluated by the extent to which the applicant uses innovative strategies, including innovative technologies, innovative operations and identifies specific needs in the challenge areas mentioned  that can produce outcomes and knowledge of national significance and advance the state of the practice for e-government services  This challenge will provide a grant to the winning solutions and facilitate the connection with the government institutions to test and develop the solutions.

Deadline - 15 November 2020 


How might we create an HR administration system for easy transition from a paper-based system? 

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How might we create a way for employees to initiate and follow their court cases remotely?

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How might we create a way for companies and individuals to receive and manage their licensing faster and easier?

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How might we create a way for small and medium enterprises to file their taxes from their own devices?

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How might we create a communication tool for remote work that is effective on low bandwidth and connectivity.

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How might we create a transparent platform to effectively communicate, manage and monitor funding.

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How might we create a way to provide work permit documentations easily for foreign nationals? 

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Any other innovative digital solutions to support continuity of government / public services  



Any entrepreneur, startup, technology company, government agency, research institutions and academia in Ethiopia who believes to have a solution in idea phase, prototype phase or already built can apply for this challenge grant.

The process:

  1. Apply by November 15th with all the necessary documentation and information required
  2. The application will be reviewed by an evaluation committee
  3. The winning solution will be awarded a grant of up to $40,000 USD to further test and develop their solutions with the government institutions
  4. The winning solutions will get business development support based on the stage of idea


Application link:

Your application will be online and will consist of

  • Applicant profile
  • Narrative of the proposed solution (max 3 pages):  Briefly describe your idea, why it is an unconventional approach to the problem outlined in the challenge, and why you expect it to succeed. Describe the hypothesis for your proposal and your project plan. In addition, mention how will the work you describe be performed within the budget and time period allocated?  and lastly, If your experiments are successful, what are your scaleup plans?
  • Estimated Budget: using this format show a brief breakdown of allowable direct costs under personnel, supplies, consultants, travel and other expenses (such as IT equipment)
  • Demo version of the solution proposed

Note: Read the challenge description carefully to make sure that your proposed solution is a fit; otherwise your proposal may be disqualified. Proposals that do not adhere to the application guidelines may be rejected from submission and/or review.

Submit application here

If you have any questions, send an email to