Expression of Interest (EOI) at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Posted by Future on Wed 02nd Mar, 2022 -

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) invites interested, eligible and experiences consultants / companies to express interest by submitting EOI documents for the following works:

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN agency aimed at improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide.[1] Its work includes developing national healthcare strategies and protocols, increasing access to birth control, and leading campaigns against child marriage, gender-based violence, obstetric fistula, and female genital mutilation.

Applications are invited for:

Title: Expression of Interest (EOI) - Innovations to Empower Women and Girls

The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed at least twenty years of progress for women and girls. The pandemic has overwhelmed health systems and supply chains across the globe and has derailed progress in sustainable development. In parallel, the pandemic has also catalyzed the acceleration of innovation, including in the booming health technology market. The world is emerging with more women-centered solutions than ever before.

Purpose of Challenge
In this context, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are launching the Innovations to Empower Women and Girls Challenge (the Challenge) to further develop and position to scale innovative solutions that can help disrupt inequalities and advance the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity.

The Challenge will support women-centered innovations, including those that i) provide affordable and sustainable access to essential reproductive health commodities, services, and information, with a focus on hard-to-reach areas and humanitarian settings, and ii) scale up prevention and response to gender-based violence and harmful practices.

The Challenge aims to support social enterprises (the Companies) registered in UNFPA programme countries to pivot from grant-making models to self-sustaining financial models, and from "doing innovation" to managing it. Thus, positioning innovation projects to scale through social enterprises facilitates that step towards self-sustaining solutions. The Challenge will provide a mentorship scheme to increase the potential/capabilities of the awardees to scale up innovations across developing countries. It will thus create and nurture an ecosystem of innovators, mentors, and key stakeholders who will then, in turn, support the solutions and their sustainability models.

Format of Challenge
UNFPA, in partnership with WIPO and ITU, will implement this joint Challenge. The partners will select up to 10 winning proposals from the applying Companies, and provide grants of up to $60,000 per award to position to scale. After the selection of awardees, winning Companies will sign a 9-month contract during which the awardees will fully develop and start implementing their plans to transition to scale, and will receive technical assistance in key focus areas, including intellectual property (IP) management and business modeling. WIPO will provide IP management support through a tailored workshop, including the use of WIPO IP Diagnostics. ITU will provide the bootcamp for winners, support mentorship, and support scale-up using its ecosystem development, initiatives sustainability, and scale-up frameworks.

At the end of the Challenge, Companies will report on their results and submit their plans and business model reflecting the next steps to scale up the innovative solution.

The Challenge will be open to all Companies registered and operating in UNFPA programme countries who are working on solutions within the mandate areas of UNFPA.

Eligibility Criteria
The following criteria will be used in assessing eligibility of proposals submitted for consideration:
  • The Company must be registered as a company/organization in a UNFPA programme country .
  • At the time of application, the Company, including any JV/Consortium members and any of its individual members, is not under procurement prohibitions derived from the Compendium of United Nations Security Council Sanctions Lists and has not been suspended, debarred, sanctioned or otherwise identified as ineligible by any UN Organization or the World Bank Group.
  • The innovation must be implemented in the UNFPA programme country in which the Company is registered in.
  • The proposed innovation should be contributing to one of the following challenges: ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths, or ending gender-based violence and harmful practices (see descriptions here).
  • The Company must have already tested a prototype, proof of concept, and have a minimum viable product (MVP) which has been piloted and is ready to be positioned to scale. The MVP must belong to the submitting organization.
  • The innovative solution must have a viable pathway to scale and sustainability via the market or public sector (definition as per UN Innovation Toolkit: driving adoption beyond the initial pilot’s target population).
  • There must be either no similar solution to the one being proposed, or the proposed solution delivers more development impact per dollar, or is more cost-effective, than other ways of achieving the same objectives. There must be evidence to support this claim.
  • Proposals must offer innovative solutions that promote the empowerment of women and girls, focusing on ending unmet need for family planning, preventable maternal deaths, or gender based violence.
In addition to the eligibility criteria, priority will be given to solutions submitted by women-led enterprises . However, this call is open for all social enterprises working on solutions that address issues within the focus areas (ending unmet need for family planning, ending preventable maternal deaths, and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices).

Application Closing Date
15:00 (GMT), 31st March, 2022.

Submission of Documents
Interested Companies that meet the eligibility criteria are required to complete and submit their response before the EOI submission deadline.

Interested companies should Click Here to submit EOI.

Additional Information
  • A response to this EOI does not automatically ensure that submitting Companies will be selected to participate in the subsequent RFP.
  • UNFPA reserves the right to change or cancel the requirement at any time during the EOI and/or solicitation process. UNFPA also reserves the right to require compliance with additional conditions as and when issuing the final tender/RFP document.
  • Any additional questions about this EOI should be submitted in writing to the contact person below: Diego Bragado Zapatero at:
  • The deadline for submission of additional questions is 17 March 2022, 13:00 Copenhagen time. Questions will be answered in writing and shared with parties by 24 March 2022, 13:00 Copenhagen time.
  • Only one submission per applying Company is permitted.
  • All submissions must be made in the English language only.
  • Applying Companies will be required to submit proof of their legal registration and proof of initial customers using their solution.
Click Here (PDF) for a detailed description of the EOI.