Selection Protocol


IWMI will follow an open and transparent competitive process for selection of  awardees for the SoLAR Innovation Funds. Based on the proposals received and screened, a maximum of 4-5 grants per year will be made during the first two years of the project through annual invitation calls. The call for proposals will be made once a year. The call will be disseminated through IWMI and SDC channels and through our partners and other associated stakeholders such as ISA and SAARC.

Approximately 4-6 weeks of time will be given for receiving proposals from the applicants from the date of issuance of the call. The Project Management Unit (PMU) will invite the proposals and coordinate the process.

Innovation fund grantees will be chosen through an open competitive process. The SoLAR-IF Grant will be open to all NGOs, universities, technical institutes, research institutes, public and private sector enterprises, public and private sector research laboratories, and government agencies, including local government institutions working in any of these four countries who are eligible for this grant. These grants are not research grants, and as such all innovations have to be tested on the ground, under real life situations. Applicants must already have the required registrations and permits needed to work in the country they propose to work in and provide proof of such registration along with the application letter. Collaboration with Swiss firms/organisations is encouraged, though not mandatory.


Shortlisted proposals will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Nature and scope of the innovation its relevance to the aims of this call
  • Its strategic and innovative value for meeting the challenges set out in the call
  • Logic and clarity of the innovation and its design
  • Technical, social, institutional and financial feasibility
  • Potential for replication and scaling up
  • Relevance to climate change concerns
  • Financial viability of the innovation and exit strategy
  • Value for money and cost-effectiveness of the project
  • Expertise and qualifications of the project team
  • Background and experience of the project team in handling similar projects


Innovation teams led by women, or teams that have adequate representation of women and youth, will be given priority.

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