Governmental agencies, NGOs, private sector (including start-ups), academia, UN, and intergovernmental organizations are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible.
All applicant entities (private, NGO, etc.) should have an established legal basis in the country/ies in which they are based.
Project proposals must be implemented in and benefit stakeholders in developing countries but may be submitted by applicants in either developing or developed countries.
The application fields request information on co-financing but this is not mandatory nor is the amount/ratio of co-finance a selection criterion; OIC applicants may include start-ups which understandably may have limited initial financial resources.
Each concept proposal will be assessed based on the following criteria by an internal UNDP Technical Review Board:
Eligible entity (if not eligible, all scores = 0)
The OIC team will conduct a review of concept proposal to ensure that the proponent and concept proposal meets the eligibility requirements – the beneficiary country/countries must be developing countries and the proponent must not be an individual person, but an organization, institution, government body, agency, private sector company, or other legal entity. The result of this step is Yes/No, which means either the concept proposal will go to the assessment of the following criteria or it will be dropped from the process.
Technically feasible (0-3)
Is the project feasible technically and otherwise (politically, financially, etc.)? What is the technical approach being used and how will it be implemented?
o 0 = not technically feasible
o 1 = limited technical feasibility
o 2 = good technical feasibility
o 3 = high technical feasibility
Is the idea truly new and innovative? E.g. either: a. truly innovative, not attempted anywhere before, or b. bringing existing proven innovations from elsewhere to new geographies and/or contexts. How and why the project is innovative and, as appropriate, in the context of addressing SDG 14
o 0 = no innovation potential
o 1 = limited innovation potential
o 2 = good innovation potential
o 3 = high innovation potential
Is the proposed project easily replicable and scalable, e.g. it appears that there will be no significant barriers to replication and upscaling of the innovation once demonstrated and the proponent has a clear strategy for replication and upscaling.
o 0 = no replicability/scalability potential
o 1 = limited replicability/scalability potential
o 2 = good replicability/scalability potential
o 3 = high replicability/scalability potential
Potentially transformational (0-3)
Is the project potentially transformational, e.g. could its replication and upscaling transform a relevant ocean (or land-based) sector leading towards significant change SDG 14 Targets? What are the anticipated short, medium and long term impacts of this innovation?
o 0 = no transformational potential
o 1 = limited transformational potential
o 2 = good transformational potential
o 3 = high transformational potential
Potential for poverty reduction, livelihood creation (0-3)
Does the idea create the potential/likelihood to contribute to poverty reduction, and/or livelihoods creation, e.g. could the ultimate beneficiaries include the poor and marginalized stakeholders who depend on healthy ocean ecosystems for their livelihoods, food security, through blue economy approaches, etc.?
o 0 = no potential for poverty reduction/livelihood creation
o 1 = limited potential for poverty reduction/livelihood creation
o 2 = good potential for poverty reduction/livelihood creation
o 3 = high potential for poverty reduction/livelihood creation
Potential for gender equality (0-3)
Does the idea create the potential/likelihood to contribute to gender equality and gender mainstreaming in the management of the coastal ecosystem, e.g. could the ultimate beneficiaries include both men and women stakeholders who depend on healthy ocean ecosystems for their livelihoods, food security, through blue economy approaches, etc.?
o 0 = no potential for gender equality
o 1 = limited potential for gender equality
o 2 = good potential for gender equality
o 3 = high potential for gender equality
The total score will be from 0 to 18 points depending on the evaluation results. To be considered for short-listed status a concept proposal must receive at least 70% or higher (13 Points or higher).
The highest scoring short-listed proponents will be asked to submit detailed technical and operational proposals for their proposed project that will go for the second level of assessment and evaluation to select the final successful projects.
The proposals for UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge Call for Proposals must relate to the announced theme for the ongoing call, which will be one or more of the indicators for SDG 14. The theme for the ongoing 3rd Call includes conservation and sustainable use of ocean, seas and marine resources, and the Blue Economy (excluding sustainable fisheries and aquaculture).
Is it possible to present a draft before submitting, and ask for advices? Can we request for a one-on-one consultation?
The call for proposals is a competitive process, and due to a large number of applicants and procurement processes and rules, this is not possible.
Eligible items include project staff costs, consultant fees, travel, equipment, communications, publications/other media, meetings, training, audits. All payments are made on deliverables, not in advance.
Overhead costs, such as those associated with academic research, are not eligible for OIC support.
Here are relevant Qs and As which might help you.
Can we include overhead costs for our NGO’s operations? If so, what is the maximum percentage? Where do we list this?
Answer: Yes. The Overhead is acceptable. It depends on the service provider to determine the percentage. However, the Proposed percentage will be subject to financial review and comparison to the market benchmark to ensure the proposed percentage is acceptable, competitive, and provides value for money for the service that has been requested.
Can overhead expenses be 20% as this is the standard practice in our organization as per government norms?
Answer: The overhead percentage depends on the case and service complexity, the market prices, and other factors associated with that case. The proposed percentage will be subject to financial review and comparison to the market benchmark to ensure that the proposed percentage is acceptable, competitive, and provides value for money for the service that has been requested. However, such a percentage is seen as extremely high and it indicates an overpriced running cost for an NGO, which will lead to a detailed review of all costs being proposed against the value of such costs.
Can you please clarify what the policy is on overhead rates? Is there a ceiling rate at 9% or can we claim our organization rate of 20.25%?
The UNDP financial evaluation team will review the proposed rates/prices, and depending on the internal evaluation and data provided, a decision will be made.
However, 20.25% as overhead rate indicates very high internal costs and expenses which will be considered during the financial evaluation of the offer. It is important to note that all UN awards are made on the basis of “competitive rates/ prices”. This concept should be presented clearly and applied when a bidder is drafting their offer as it will be a key criterion when the UNDP evaluation team provides its assessment of the financial proposal and recommendation.
Will there be any possibility to change the total budget figure in the submitted proposals when selected on the next stage of the process?
For the preliminary concept proposal, we only require the total amount requested from UNDP OIC. Although the detailed budget information will only be requested in the next round only from shortlisted applicants, all information that will be provided at the first round (preliminary round) in the concept proposals will be subject to assessment and evaluation by the Technical Review Board Members. Thus, the total budget reported in the concept proposal must be accurate.
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In this section we would like you to describe the management arrangements – specifically, how will the implementation of the innovation be managed? Who will have oversight and be responsible to ensure that the technical application and OIC reporting requirements are met? If the innovation is to be implemented in more than one country, who will be responsible in each country for the implementation? Or, if there are several organizations collaborating, what are the accountability and reporting lines?
Each concept proposal is evaluated based on its own merit. Regardless of the origin of the concept proposal, only those that score highest by the evaluation panel will be advanced to the next level and invited to submit a full proposal. There is no formal rule regarding the number of submissions allowed from a single organization. However, it is recommended that if an organization submits multiple proposals, these should come from different sections or departments of the organization.
The deadline for online submission has been extend to 29 April 2022, 23:59 Central European Time.
UNDP anticipates the announcement of its 2022 Ocean Innovators in early 2023. The announcement of its 2021 Ocean Innovators will take place in the coming weeks.
Please note that only proponents invited to submit a full proposal will be contacted, and those who registered for each call for proposal will receive key updates regarding the selection process.
Status (as of September 2022): SHORTLISTING COMPLETED. Shortlisted applicants have been contacted. If you did not hear from us, your proposal was not shortlisted for the next stage. We are grateful for your effort in preparing and submitting an application addressing the OIC's ambitions and demanding criteria.
Visit the UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge website and social media, and subscribe to the OIC Quarterly Newsletter for the latest updates and announcements.
I have already proceeded with an application, but I need to modify/update some information. How should I proceed?
You may resubmit your modified application up until the extended 29 April 2022 deadline. After that date, all applications will be considered final and only the most recent application will be considered.
You may contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any problems or questions.
For shortlisted applicants
Following the above assessment process and depending on available OIC financial resources, a limited number of the highest scoring projects will be invited to submit full proposals addressing each of the criteria in more detail. These full proposals will need to be accompanied by additional detail about the proposed innovation and implementation approach. Additional documentation includes organization legal status verification; quarterly workplan and itemized budget; results framework; risk register; financial statement; organization capacity assessments; and social and environmental safeguards screening. In addition, a full management review and external expert peer review will be conducted for all short-listed full proposals before proceeding to the final stage of submission of selected finalists to the UNDP Advisory Committee on Procurement. Please note that an invitation to submit a short-listed proposal does not imply acceptance and funding of that proposal.
Costs of proposal preparation cannot be charged to the OIC.
According to UNDP rules, the formal template can only be provided at the full proposal stage. In summary, among other requirements in the detailed proposal, a standard itemized line-item budget broken down by quarters of implementation to cover all expenditures covered by the OIC funds will be required. For short-listed proponents unfamiliar with UNDP practices, guidance will be provided.
For successful innovators, are there any circumstances in which advance payments may be possible during implementation?
The OIC Team understands that innovators may not have substantial resources available to fund large-scale investments. If that is the case, for pre-approved costs over $5000, UNDP can advance the payments based only on the very strict procurement rules of UNDP. These costs must be clearly identified and approved in the final detailed proposal selection process.
For successful proposals, once the contract is signed within the first month, an Inception Meeting is held to discuss detailed monthly workplans, risk registers, and social and environmental commitment plans. The first quarter payment is released based on the acceptance of the Minutes of that Meeting. Payments are made on a quarterly basis thereafter based on deliverables.