Following a successful round of pilot funding for development data innovation projects last year, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data has announced a second funding round for data for development projects, to open on August 1st, 2017.

As part of the ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development’ funding, which is supported by the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB), the Global Partnership will seek innovative proposals for data production, dissemination, and use.

This year’s call is anchored around two themes: ‘Leave No One Behind’ and the Environment. Once again, the focus is on work supporting low and lower-middle income countries, and on projects that bring together collaborations of different stakeholders to address concrete problems.

The new round of funding was announced by the Global Partnership's Executive Director Claire Melamed at ‘Leave No One Behind: Ensuring inclusive SDG progress’, an event held in the margins of the High-Level Political Forum at United Nations Headquarters in New York. She said:


“There was a fantastic response to ‘Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development Pilot Funding’ last year, with 400 proposals, from which 10 outstanding ideas were selected. This year we are opening a new round to source innovative projects to protect the environment and ‘Leave No One Behind’.  For the 2017 round we are raising the bar even higher by asking applicants to collaborate from the outset, providing evidence of support from an organisation that is a potential end user. With a wealth of data innovation talent out there, we are excited to see who comes forward.”

The World Bank’s Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships, Mahmoud Mohieldin, added:

“Innovation work doesn't happen in isolation, it requires a network of ideas, individuals, and institutions to come together to be more than a sum of their parts. We’ve found this network in the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and are pleased to be working together to identify and support new ideas to change the way development data are produced, managed, and used.”  


The amount of funding available for each project depends on whether the project is embryonic or ready to scale up. This phased approach to funding allows us to provide smaller amounts of funding (starting at $25,000) on riskier, unproven innovations at the pilot stage. Larger amounts of funding (up to $250,000) will be awarded to proposals which have a clear justification (for example, testing in multiple sites at the same time), strong evidence of prior success, and are ready to be replicated/adapted to other contexts.

The pilot funding round will open on August 1st, 2017 and close on 17:00 ET, Friday, September 1st, 2017. Proposals will be reviewed by a multi-stakeholder peer review committee and a portfolio of those will be selected for funding. The committee will include members of the Secretariat and Technical Advisory Group of the Global Partnership, representatives from the World Bank, and others from across sectors, disciplines, and regions. Final results are expected to be announced in January 2018. Funding disbursements will take place after March 1st, 2018. Follow @data4sdgs and @worldbankdata to receive notifications regarding the application process.

A webinar will be held to field questions regarding this call for proposals on Monday, August 7th, 2017, 09:30 – 11:00 ET. To participate in the webinar, please send an email to: indicating the names and email addresses of the participants. Each participant will receive an email with instructions for registering for the webinar. Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the scheduled webinar.


This year’s innovation topics relate to areas of need within the data for sustainable development community. The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data has created data collaborative groups on ‘Leave No One Behind’ and ‘Environment’ and the pilot funding initiative will further advance shared knowledge in these fields.

Gaps in environmental data for the SDGs is an issue commonly raised by governments as they seek to deliver Agenda 2030. The 2017 call for proposals requests innovations that bring together new sources of data (big data, geospatial and earth observation, citizen-generated, IoT, open data) to support key challenges on climate change and urban resilience (e.g., responding to natural disasters, meeting sustainable energy needs).

‘Leave No One Behind’ is a cross-cutting sustainable development issue. If data cannot be divided by categories such as gender, age, or race, it will not reveal the realities of people’s lives. This leads to policies that overlook the needs of specific cohorts, leading to worse life outcomes for them. The 2017 call for proposals requests innovations that will provide more detailed, disaggregated, in-depth information on groups that have been historically left out by traditional surveys and other data gathering tools. Specifically, we are looking for innovations that bring together new sources of data that focus on persons with disabilities and people who live outside of traditional households (e.g., slum dwellers, homeless, migrants, refugees, and institutionalized populations).