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USAID WomenConnect Challenge for Organizations Worldwide 2018

Deadline: May 4, 2018

USAID is accepting applications for the WomenConnect Challenge 2018. The WomenConnect Challenge is a global call for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women and girls access and use technology.

Technology is revolutionizing the world by providing tools for entrepreneurship, access to critical health and education, and life-enhancing information. Today, 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not own mobile phones, and the gap between the number of men and women using the internet has grown steadily over the past three years, resulting in a digital gender divide. This digital gender divide is reinforcing or even exacerbating existing socioeconomic gaps between men and women. By reducing this divide, women and girls will have access to information, networks, and services, driving inclusive economic growth and accelerating poverty alleviation.

USAID will identify and support solutions that empower women and girls via access to and the use of digital technology in order to drive positive health, education, and livelihood outcomes for themselves and their families in USAID presence countries.

The main themes:

  • Women’s access to technology is not an end, but a means to help address development objectives.
  • There is a need to build evidence for approaches that are working.
  • The scope of the digital gender divide requires local solutions that take into account complex cultural and socioeconomic factors.


Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to participate in the WomenConnect Challenge:

  • The WomenConnect Challenge is open to registered US or non-US organizations regardless of type. They encourage applications from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from around the world.
  • Individuals are eligible to apply with demonstrated organizational partnerships.
  • Government entities are not eligible to apply.
  • All Applicants must use WomenConnect funds to implement a solution in a country with USAID presence. Applicants must either already have a presence in that country or must demonstrate they have a local partner (supporting partnership documentation is required).
  • Solutions must directly relate to the WomenConnect Challenge goals and funding requirements.
  • Applications must be submitted in English.

WomenConnect encourages proposals from

  • Diverse groups that have clear, strategic, collaborative models to tackle the complexity of the digital gender divide
  • Private sector actors, entrepreneurs, and organizations with market-based solutions and/or clear plans for sustainability beyond the point of award
  • Proposals that promote more gender equitable access to and usage of existing digital infrastructure (as opposed to solutions that necessitate new infrastructure)
  • Organizations with women in leadership positions


  • May 4th, 2018 at 12:00 pm ET: Applications due
  •  March 28th, 2018 at 12:00 pm ET: RFA Question Submissions due

Do you have an innovative and holistic approach or proposal on how to close the digital gender divide?

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit WomenConnect Challenge.