Skip to main content


Accelerating Catalysing Solutions for Climate Change’s Impact on Health and Gender

Deadline: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Key Information

Application Announcement Date | 3 December 2023, 1:30 PM East Africa Time (EAT)  

Submission of Request for Proposals Close Date | 31 January 2024, 5.00PM East Africa Time (EAT)

Webinar for Applicants | Watch the Recording Here

Funding Level

The funding level is up to USD $200,000 for each grant. The period of performance is up to two years.


For any questions or clarifications kindly send an email to [email protected]. Responses will be shared on Monday – Friday from 0800 hrs – 1700 hrs EAT. 

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the SFA Foundation’s Grant Management System - Agaseke accessed here:  


Climate change threatens hard-earned progress global health and development and puts the well-being, and livelihoods of future generations in jeopardy, with a special impact on women. The 2015 Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals signalled a promise from global leaders to act—to limit global average temperature rise to within 1.5°C by 2040 and prevent the worst health and development effects of climate change. While no one is safe from these risks, the people whose health and well-being are harmed first and foremost by the climate crisis are also the ones who contribute least to its causes, and who are least able to protect themselves and their families against it—namely people in low-income and disadvantaged countries and communities. In low-income settings, rising heat, extreme weather events, changes in precipitation patterns, climate-related undernutrition, shifts in duration and climate event driven surges of malaria and other vector-borne diseases, foodborne and water-borne diseases, and increased potential for the emergence of novel diseases damage already weak primary health care systems and community structures for public health. This compromises accessibility, availability, provision, and uptake of essential health services for the most vulnerable populations.  Climate change can also disproportionately affect the health and financial well-being of women and girls: extreme heat increases the incidences of stillbirth, the rampant spread of vector-borne diseases worsens maternal and neonatal outcomes, and gender disparities amplified by climate change can decrease the women’s share of economic gains.  

Catalytic research and development (R&D), as well as innovations to scale the impact of existing green technologies are essential to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and address the unprecedented health and environmental challenges posed by climate change, which have an outsized impact on women. It is crucial to understand the emerging problems in health, directly triggered by climate change, or as a result of disruptions (e.g., operational) downstream of crises created by climate change. Consequently, there is an urgent need to invest in creative solutions to help vulnerable populations adapt and build their resilience to the existing and future climate-related challenges impacting health and build alternative livelihoods. This work will involve making those most affected, especially women, major stakeholders in discussions about how new climate-resistant and adaptive innovations will be deployed, as well as giving them a deliberate choice and advantage in the creation of new economic opportunities that result from these investments.  

In recent years, global leaders, philanthropies, and private investors have begun committing significant resources to climate change mitigation R&D. However, more is needed to unite partners across sectors and accelerate innovations addressing challenges at the intersections of climate, health and gender, particularly for underserved regions and groups.  

The Grand Challenges family of initiatives seeks to source and seed innovations and accelerate the development of transformational solutions. To this end, Grand Challenges Africa (The Science for Africa Foundation) supported by Wellcome, Foundation S-The Sanofi Collective and Rockefeller Foundation, are launching this call to identify and support promising innovations in climate and health. 

Note that this request for proposals is being launched in parallel with multiple partners, across multiple geographies and topic areas with variable funding levels. Please review the requirements for each RFP to determine your eligibility. The individual RFPs are listed separately here: If you are eligible for multiple RFPs, please choose the RFP that most closely aligns with your proposed project. 

The Challenge 

This Grand Challenges request for proposals seeks innovative research and pilot/feasibility projects utilizing transdisciplinary approaches to better adapt to, mitigate, or reverse the combined, deleterious effects of climate change on health and women’s lives in the geographies of interest. These innovations include early warning and disease surveillance systems to respond to climate-event-driven surges in malaria and other vector borne diseases, as well as improved mapping of expanded vector ranges and vector-borne disease transmission. Preference will be given to innovations that are formulated locally or adapted from other contexts. We are especially interested in 1) locally led, system-level innovations that are scalable and sustainable and 2) cross-cutting solutions at the intersection of multiple scientific and engineering disciplines. 

This RFP focuses on the two topic areas listed below. Under each of the topic areas, we provide examples of innovations we would like to see, but innovators are also encouraged to propose their own ideas related to these topics.  

Topic Areas:  

Health Outcomes - including systemic and compounding impacts of climate change on health. We are seeking solutions targeting:   

  • Early Warning and Disease Surveillance: We seek proposals that build resilient systems to mitigate health impact of climate change. Solutions may include accurate surveillance systems for early detection of vector-borne, waterborne, and zoonotic diseases; that predict the impact of climate-related events (heat, flood, population, vegetation, and zoonotic migration) and vectors and diseases introduced to new localities. Where possible, employment opportunities should be created for rural women.  
  • Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: Women are disproportionately impacted by climate-sensitive health risks. Women are themselves a vulnerable group, and they can also fall into many other vulnerable groups. As such, we seek solutions that address the increased risks related to maternal, newborn, and child health. Solutions should address gender disparities in access to food, health care, education, and economic well-being. Also of interest are solutions that address the vulnerability to forms of gender-based violence and post-traumatic stress disorders arising from climate change-driven conflict.  
  • Resilient Health Systems: We are looking for proposals that strengthen the resilience and adaptability of health care service delivery and supply chains to climate related changes.  These solutions can include anticipatory action, adaptation of provisions, quality, and accessibility of essential services to vulnerable communities, especially women, and capacity building for healthcare professionals and community health actors.  We are also interested in solutions that help individuals and families respond locally to new ailments and challenges brought about by climate-related events. E.g. mental health stresses of living with the effects of climate change.  
  • Measurement & Evaluation (M&E): We encourage proposals focused on the development of harmonised M&E frameworks and systems for programs that better incorporate climate considerations.  

Knowledge Management and Data Integration of Climate and Health Databases - Many vector-borne diseases may increase in localities that were not prepared for them before the advent of climate change. We seek solutions that integrate data from climate scientists, disease modelers, and government health officials to help address the rise of specific diseases.  Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  • Facilitating community participation in/crowd-sourcing data collection to track climate change impact at the local level (e.g., changes in weather patterns or detection of invasive vector species)  
  • Integrating commercially available databases and local data into early warning systems that can drive decision-making, working to ensure sex-disaggregated data when relevant.  
  • Researching the relationship between climate change and the spread of vector-borne diseases (e.g., changes to vector populations or disease transmission dynamics) to develop early warning systems to prevent outbreaks.  
  • Accelerated integration of climate and health policies in Africa. Interventions that accelerate the design and adoption of health and climate change-associated policies. These should be designed to consider the risks of climate change and promote adaptation and resilience.   

Funding Level, Period of Performance, and Geography of Interest 

The funding level is up to USD $200,000.00, for each grant. The period of performance is up to two years. The geography of interest for this RFP is Africa within the two topic areas for Health outcomes and Knowledge Management and Data Integration of Climate and Health Databases. This means that the effort needs to be led by investigators in Africa. Global collaborators may be included, but at least 80% of the funding must go to an organisation within Africa. Application budgets should be commensurate with the scope of work proposed. 

If you are ineligible for this application, please check for eligibility and fit for purpose. 

We are looking for proposals that: 

  • Demonstrate that projects are led by LMIC investigators, local stakeholders, or community-led organisations. Global partners may be included, but proposals must demonstrate at least 80% of the funding is going to an investigator in an LMIC institution within the geography of interest. Teams comprising multiple LMIC institutions will be given preference over applicants from single institutions. We also encourage multi-country collaborations. 

  • Come from women-led organisations or involve projects led by women and focused on reaching women. 

  • Articulate how the project will lead to near-term impact and how the impact will be sustained over the lifetime of the project and beyond. 

  • Articulate the scalability of the solution beyond a small local region or population. Strong consideration will be given to approaches that can scale to multiple geographic areas, demographic groups, etc. 

  • Demonstrate engagement with local and/or regional communities, decision-makers, and adopters.  

  • Promote inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration. 

We will not fund proposals that: 

  • Do not support communities and countries to adapt and be resilient to the effects of climate change on health and gender in the geography of interest. 

  • Do not demonstrate that the majority of the work proposed will be undertaken by investigators and/ or local stakeholders living in the geography of interest.  

  • Do not plan for or demonstrate a pathway to sustainable impact and scalability. 

  • Are not linked to or have no plan to engage relevant key stakeholders and decision makers from the affected communities. 

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the SFA Foundation’s Grant Management System - Agaseke accessed here: