Call for Proposals: Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is HDIF?
The Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) is a challenge fund to drive and support innovative approaches to improving the quality, value for money, and sustainability of basic services in the education, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors in Tanzania.

2) What is innovation? How does HDIF define innovation?
The HDIF defines ‘innovation’ as an approach, idea, technology or service delivery method that is new to Tanzania and/or the world, or offers an improvement or scaling up of such an innovation. You may wish to refer to Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation (http://www.doblin.com/tentypes/#framework) which HDIF uses to frame and evaluate innovations.

3) My organization doesn’t work in education, health or water, sanitation and hygiene. Can I still apply?
The HDIF funding is solely for innovations in education, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene. The particular call is for innovations in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and WASH. However, this does not prevent organizations that have a proven innovation in another sector from applying, as long as it can be applied to one of the 2 key target areas for the call. Additionally, one of HDIF’s 5 criteria for selection is organizational capacity, which includes evaluating your organization’s ability to technically and practically support this innovation.

4) Do I have to be currently working in Tanzania to apply?
We are fostering local innovations. If you are not registered in Tanzania, you must have a local implementing partner located and registered in Tanzania, who is willing and able to sign the grant agreement with HDIF, in case the application is selected for funding.

5) My innovation is still in the testing phase. Can I apply for funding?
HDIF is not a research grant and requires applicants to submit innovations that have been tested and are ready for implementation. Prototypes must be production ready with an exhibited clear understanding of how and where manufacturing will take place. Ideas (whether business models, products or other types of innovations) that have not been developed and tested are not eligible for HDIF funding.

6) How do I apply to HDIF?
Refer to Application Guidelines for the application process http://www.hdif-tz.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2017/06/HDIF-Round-3-Application-Guidelines-Online-Application.pdf

7) Is an individual eligible to submit an application?
No. This call is only open to registered organizations only who meet all of HDIF’s eligibility criteria.

8) What size of an enterprise or organisation should apply for HDIF grants?
Eligible organizations should have at least five (5) employees and not less than a third (1/3) of the requested amount in annual turnover. For example, to request GBP 450,000 a lead applicant must have at least GBP 150,000 in annual gross receipts or gross revenue .

9) Can two or more entities apply jointly or as a consortium?
HDIF will only sign the grant agreement with one organization. The applicant for a partnership or consortium should be the organization the lead applicant who will manage the funds. The lead applicant must be willing and able to establish a GBP bank account in Tanzania to receive HDIF funds. The lead applicant will go through the fiduciary risk due diligence if funding is awarded and cannot be changed after the submission of the business plan.

10) Can I submit more than one application for different sectors?
Yes, we encourage innovation. However, HDIF can only award one grant per sector per lead applicant. Existing HDIF grantees may submit applications for innovations other than the innovations currently funded by HDIF. Notably, HDIF will take into consideration an applicant’s ability to implement multiple innovations in the funding process.

11) Can my organization be the lead applicant on one winning application in a sector and also be a partner (but not the lead applicant) on another project in the same sector?
Yes, noting that HDIF will consider your organization’s capacity to concurrently implement and partner on both projects. We strongly encourage larger organizations to communicate internally about submissions to HDIF. Often multiple, competitive applications are received from within the same organizations without internal coordination or awareness—thus create competition within the same applicant.

12) Does HDIF provide technical assistance to help entities develop a business plan?
Yes, but only selected entities can access HDIF technical assistance to refine their business plan or during implementation post-award.

13) How long does HDIF approval process take?
For this particular round, it will take approximately four (4) months from the call for proposal launch date to process the applications and select those who will be moving to the next stage. HDIF anticipates funding for winners of this particular round in early 2018.

14) How are successful application selected?
HDIF selects winners based on 5 criteria: innovation, development impact, viability, organizational capacity and results measurement. Refer to the Application Guidelines for more details.

15) What is the length of HDIF grants?
This third round is for projects that can be implemented during a period of 2 to 3 years.

16) What is the minimum and maximum grant I can get from HDIF?
For this particular funding round the minimum is £500,000 and the maximum is £1,000,000. However, compelling applications of less than £500,000 but not less than £200,000 will be considered on exceptional basis.

17) What is the difference between pilot and scale up projects?
A pilot is a new initiative with a proven feasibility assessment or prototype that has been used by customers / beneficiaries and determined preliminary appropriate and effective. A scale-up project is an existing pilot project that seeks to expand.

18) What is matching or counterpart funding?
These are the additional resources to be contributed by grantees demonstrating they are committed to the innovation and are prepared to take risks.

19) Is there a minimum of co-financing that applicants are required to raise?
There is no minimum level of co-financing. However, eligible applicants that will demonstrate the highest commitment to their proposed project through raising additional fund will be given a priority.

20) Does the counterpart funding need to be in financial terms?
Not necessarily. Applicants can commit a mixture of financial and in-kind counterpart contributions as long as they can be quantified.

21) I submitted my application in an earlier round, but was not selected. Can I re-submit in next rounds?
Yes, as long as you have made improvements to the earlier application and it is still relevant for the current round. All applications will be subject to the same process with no preference given to prior applicants or innovations, including those applicants that made it to later stages in earlier funding rounds.

22) Can early applicants progress to the stage 2 before the application deadline?
No. All applications will go through the same process with no preference given to prior applicants or innovations, including those applicants that made it to later stages in earlier funding rounds. Notifications of who progresses to the next stage will be sent at the same time.

23) Can you share a list of previous award winners? I am interested to see the kind of organizations that have received this grant in the past.
Please visit our website at www.hdif-tz.org for this information.

24) Can you send the Business Plan template to my email?
No. The template is supposed to be downloaded from the HDIF website at www.hdif-tz.org

25) Should the project proposal be in Tanzanian shillings or British Pounds?
It is advisable to indicate your project budget in British Pounds. All HDIF funded organizations are required to establish a GBP account in Tanzania to receive and report HDIF funds. Other accounts may be used to operational purposes (e.g., a Tanzanian Shilling account), however the funds transfers and reporting to HDIF must be in GBP.

26) Can the project budget include purchasing of vehicles for field trips?
Yes, but only if the purchase of such assets is indispensable for the implementation of the proposed innovation. Purchase of fixed assets will only be allowed after a written consent from the Fund Manager. HDIF funding is subject to DFID’s procurement rules.

27) Can the project include salaries for project staff? If yes, what percentage of budget should be allocated for this?
Yes. The amount depends on the design of the project. HDIF applies DFID’s Value for Money standards in assessing the appropriateness of grantee expenditures.

28) Is there a ceiling on the indirect / overhead percentage that is recoverable?
All indirect costs must be allocable to the project being funded. There is no specific ceiling as long as the overheard costs are reasonable and linked to what we fund.

29) Our organization was registered recently and has no background of managing a grant from any funding institutions. Can this hinder us from submitting our proposal in your organization?
Applicants need to prove that they have the capacity to implement the proposed project, and this includes a demonstrable track record. So, a newly registered entity may not be eligible for this call, unless it partners with another eligible entity.

30) Does HDIF have any requirements for what constitutes “key personnel” during the proposal process or implementation or is “key personnel” used primarily to identify senior level staff supporting the project?
By “key personnel” we mean those people who will be indispensable during the project implementation. These are people who, if anyone of them leaves during the project implementation, there is some adverse impact that will need immediate attention

31) I wonder if you could advise what level of referencing you require within the initial business plan – do you expect to see full details of source?
We do not expect a “thesis” kind of business plan. You can provide references where available, but the substance of the application is what matters most.

32) We understand that HDIF grants cannot be made directly to multilateral agencies. Can you please clarify whether a multilateral agency can be included in an HDIF proposal as a sub-recipient, assuming that the primary applicant is an NGO?
Much as we do not award grants directly to multilateral or government agencies, we do accommodate partnerships that involve those institutions, as long as they are not the lead grantees.