Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is an often overlooked aspect of humanitarian response. Providing safe, dignified and inclusive MHM programming will require the humanitarian sector to address a range of complex problems that no one product or service can solve.
In an emergency setting, women and girls often lack access to adequate menstrual supplies or materials, private and safe water and toilet facilities for changing and bathing, or spaces and mechanisms for privately washing, drying or disposing of used materials (Parker et al., 2014).
All of these constraints can lead to poor MHM and significant health and psychosocial implications for women and girls including social exclusion and vulnerability (VanLeeuwen and Torondel, 2018). Lacking access to safe and private spaces to manage menstruation can also increase exposure to the risk of sexual violence and exploitation in humanitarian settings (Sommer et al., 2014).
With nearly half of displaced populations consisting of women and girls, there is a growing urgency for the humanitarian community to better address such gender-specific needs. As part of our new strategy and ambition to be a responsive and adaptive actor in the humanitarian system, we are focusing this Challenge on tackling three elements of this systemic problem.
Across all three Calls, we’re looking for innovative solutions that bring together interdisciplinary teams. We encourage applicants to think holistically about their chosen Call in the broader context of MHM programming. To facilitate this, we expect to support coordination and learning between the grantees of the three distinct Calls.
We’re looking for projects able to shift humanitarian practitioners’ attitudes, behaviours and practices around the importance of MHM in emergency responses and ensure the uptake of existing good practice.
We’re looking for projects to design public and private spaces that allow women and girls to manage their menstrual hygiene safely and with dignity in a humanitarian camp setting.
We’re looking for innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions for menstrual waste management in emergencies to ensure women and girls can dispose of used menstrual materials safely and with dignity.
For further information about the three Calls, as well as criteria for solutions, expected deliverables and application timelines, and a glossary of key terms, please read the Challenge Handbook.
To apply for the Challenge, fill out the Expression of Interest (EOI) via our Common Grants Application platform.
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Yes, each applicant will be allowed to apply for one, two or all three Calls in this Challenge.
However, due to the fact that each Call addresses a distinct MHM problem, applicants will be expected to complete distinct EOIs on the Common Grants Application platform. You are welcome to copy-paste between your applications where the information/narrative is the same.
We have a total budget of £650,000 available for this Challenge (including all three Calls).
From this, we envisage funding a selection of solutions across the three Calls with varying budgets, generally between £50,000 and £300,000 per solution, with projects lasting between 12 and 33 months. The total duration of projects should cover implementation and measurement, as well as a dissemination phase.
The proposed budgets and timelines should align with the level of ambition of each individual project. For example, we expect larger proposals to include a range of partnerships – we are particularly interested in projects that establish collaborations with local organisations.
Each solution will be assessed on its own merit and potential for impact: this means that both smaller and larger projects will be on equal footing when being evaluated.
Please note that the grant amount requested at EOI stage can be indicative. Detailed budget plans will be requested at the full proposal stage.
The Challenge launches on 23 May 2019. The deadline for expressions of interest (EOIs) is 23 June 2019 (23:59 BST). Apply via the Common Grants Application platform.
For further information about the application process and timelines, see Challenge Handbook.
We welcome applications from any legally registered entity (eg, INGO, NGO, UN, academic, private company). Successful applicants must work in partnership with a humanitarian actor. Any partnerships can be indicative at the Expression of Interest (EOI) stage but must be formalised when your full application is submitted if your proposal is shortlisted.
For further information about requirements and success criteria, see Challenge Handbook.
We’re here to help. For any questions that are not covered by the Challenge Handbook or FAQ section, please email us at email@example.com, referencing ‘MHM Challenge’ in the subject line.
Take a look at our other WASH Innovation Challenge: Exploring the barriers to inclusion faced by people living with incontinence.
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