Open Innovation Call for Proposal on Solid Waste Management in Bishkek


UNDP Kyrgyzstan is seeking to engage with and support innovators to address the Solid waste management (SWM) in Bishkek. SWM is a global environmental issue and major unsolved problem in many parts of the world. In the last years, Kyrgyzstan has strengthened environmental and technical safety controls over industrial and municipal waste. However, it also has accumulated about 100 million tons of production and consumption waste, which is spread across 35 tailing dumps and 25 mountain dumps. In Bishkek alone, UNCRD estimates that 1000 tons are collected daily, which increases 20% every year. Bishkek, as the main economic hub of the country faces many challenges related to the SWM.  The city’s population has doubled since 1989. Rapid urbanization, sprawling residential areas, and economic development largely in the informal sector / grey economy also put pressure on the city’s infrastructure, including solid waste management.

In the last years, there is a growing practice of using citizen- and private sector-driven innovation to address challenges in societies across the region & engaging citizens in actively solving problems. This allows tapping into innovative solutions coming from citizens and supporting public service delivery through community-driven interventions, like is the case of the Open Litter Map which prioritizes open data, allowing the general public to download its numbers for any use, from city cleanup to research; using geotagging, users can document anything from a single straw to an entire street-worth of trash or Literatti, which encourages people to pick up and document trash on their smartphones. In Kyrgyzstan, the Bishkek Municipal SW Life Cycle study highlighted the emergence of a number of interested citizens, institutions, businesses who are concerned about environment and solid waste management issues. These groups of concerned citizens can benefit from small grants projects to pilot/implement innovative waste management ideas.

To this end, UNDP is interested in supporting innovators working on solutions related to SW management, under the overall framework of the PAGE project (

We are looking for solutions in the following areas: 

  • Public awareness campaigns on separate waste collection;
  • Reduction of the amount of waste
  • Increase Percentage of Material Recycling and Reuse
  • Support Separate Waste Collection Infrastructure
  • Raise awareness on Composting
  • Testing various models for extended producer responsibility, tapping into private initiatives on creating alternatives to plastic shopping bags;
  • Introduction of new technologies to existing or new businesses related to recycling/sorting/production from recycled materials;
  • Turning wasteland into gardens;
  • Providing technical assistance and/or training to enhance operator skills in the operation and maintenance of active landfills.

The call is open to interested citizens, institutions, NGOs, businesses who are concerned about environment and solid waste management issues and winning ideas will have a chance to benefit between $3000 and 5000$ to pilot/implement innovative waste management ideas.

The first winner idea - $5000

The second winner idea - $4000

The third winner idea - $3000

Selection criteria

Grant Selection Committee will be established within UNDP to evaluate grant applications. The selection criteria are outlined below:

Originality – How original or unique is this idea? Has this already been tried?

Desirability – How desirable is this idea? Is this an idea that is clearly needed or desired by someone specific? If it comes to fruition, would it be valuable to someone and is that someone clearly defined?

Plan – How clear, logical and likely are the steps outlined in the submission to demonstrate the potential of the idea?



As usual it is a stumbling block of any initiative. But this innovation challenge will establish several change agents, who could pilot their ideas, and show other population effective and innovative ideas on SWM.

Eligibility & Application Process

All applications should be sent on the e-mail by August 7, 2020. Teams will be invited to pitch in front of a mixed jury from August 10 to August 14, 2020.

Application is open to interested citizens, institutions, NGOs, businesses and innovators. The application should include: 

  • A project plan
  • Budget 
  • Team capabilities
  • Related experience

All supported initiatives need to have demonstrated results by end of November 2020 and all winning initiatives will be required to produce at least 2 write ups of the learnings during implementation.

Ideas will be reviewed by a professional jury consisting of UNDP senior management & experts working in the area of SWM and innovation, such as representatives of Bishkek Mayor Office, and State Agency on Environment.