NetHope 2017 Device Challenge


Grant Application Instructions

The NetHope 2017 Device Challenge is aimed at achieving significant impact in humanitarian aid, international development and conservation efforts via internet connected devices. Such devices made available directly to the target population or in the hands of front-line staff can greatly amplify program impact.

The purpose of NetHope's grant program is to fund the procurement, integration, training, administrative overhead/support and connectivity costs for devices to be used in new and existing field programs. The devices can be phones, tablets or laptops/PCs. These are one-time cash grants with quarterly reporting on their usage required for one year.


The Google Foundation of Tides Foundation has provided grant funding to NetHope to make subgrants in the total amount of $5 million to nonprofit organizations that can incorporate devices (smart phones, tablets and/or personal computers) into their development programs for maximum social impact.    

NetHope, a membership-based nonprofit consisting of 50 of the world’s largest humanitarian, development and conservation organizations, will use grant funding from The Google Foundation of Tides Foundation to provide subgrant funding to NetHope member NGOs and other nonprofits that identify effective uses of technology that advance a variety of social goals. Funding will be targeted to those organizations working in vulnerable communities with the greatest need.

Who may apply?

Any nonprofit organization may apply. NetHope will actively promote the program to NetHope’s 50 international NGO members.

Where may the grant funds be used?

This is a global program and applications may come from any country. Preference will be given to grant applications for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia and Latin and South America.

How will grants be distributed to each nonprofit applicant/grantee?

Cash grants will be distributed to successful applicants. Grantee organizations will be expected to procure equipment and related programming resources in the country where the beneficiaries reside whenever possible.

What is the maximum size of each grant?

The maximum size of each grant is $1,000,000 (USD). The preferred minimum grant amount is $250,000. Applications in the size of $100k and above will be evaluated against evaluation criteria of scalable impact on vulnerable populations/communities. Grantees will be expected to spend at least 60 percent of grant dollars on device purchases. Remaining funds not spent on devices, may be spent on direct program expenses such as deployment, program integration, training, support and communications costs.

What is the process for grant application?

Formal applications will be accepted from January 30 through February 28, 2017. The grant application form is available below.

Primary Selection Criteria

Preference will be given to funding requests that demonstrate the impact that smart phones, laptops and/or tablets can have in amplifying the impact of education, economic opportunities, civic engagement, conservation, health, child protection and other development programs.

Grant applications will be evaluated based primarily, but not exclusively, on the following criteria:

  • Estimated number of the target population to be served.
  • Measurable social impact.
  • Applicant’s organizational strength and stability.
  • Strength of applicant’s programs.
  • Matching resources or “co-investment.”
  • Applications from organizations targeting and working with the most vulnerable populations, such as women and girls, will be prioritized.

While the review committee will consider all applications, preference will be given to programs that enable the use of devices by the target population (either through a direct or shared access model). 

Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants will be required to submit quarterly implementation reports which will include (but not limited to) the following information:

  • The number and type(s) of devices purchased (dated receipts will be required).
  • The number of devices deployed.
  • The location and number of people impacted/using the devices.
  • Improved or enhanced program impact as a result of deploying devices; quantitative (e.g. Estimates on total number of hours used) and qualitative data.
  • Written summaries and descriptions about how the devices are being used, stories representing the impact of the devices on individuals/groups/organizations, challenges encountered, and any other relevant information about the program (photos or videos encouraged).

Key Program Milestones

Grant Application Process

NetHope will open the grant application process for the program on January 30, 2017.  Due date for all applications was February 28, 2017. We are currently evaluating all submitted applications and outcomes will be communicated starting March 31st.

Grant Awards

A review committee comprised of NetHope staff will review the applications and target to announce awards beginning March 31, 2017. Execution of subgrant agreements with grant recipients will take place in April and May, 2017. Grant award funds will be transmitted to recipients at the earliest April 15, 2017.

Quarterly Reporting Requirement

Grant recipients will be required to submit brief quarterly implementation reports on June 30, September 30 and December 31, 2017, and an annual report on March 31, 2018. An online form ​will be provided on this webpage for grant recipients to submit these reports. NOTE: The current quarterly reporting format may change, the link to the form is made available here for review purposes only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Information – Questions & Answers

For the benefit of all organizations involved in the grant application process, NetHope will monitor questions submissions and maintain and update the FAQ section below.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the application process?

May applicants submit more than one application?

  • Yes. NetHope may ask organizations submitting multiple applications to prioritize their applications, but it’s possible that multiple awards will be made to the same organization. In order to reach the preferred minimum grant amount, organizations are encouraged to consolidate requests across multiple projects if warranted.

May I submit my Expression of Interest and Grant Application in my native language?

  • NetHope requires that all questions, Expressions of Interest, Grant Applications, quarterly reporting, and related documentation be submitted to us in English.

Should an organization submit separate applications for different projects located in different countries? Or is it better to submit a single application for a program which benefits different geographical locations?

  • NetHope prefers that organizations group applications together as much as possible.  For example, it would be sufficient to submit one application referencing a single program that covers multiple locations/countries. 

May an organization use the grant monies targeted for purchase of devices (phones, tablets, laptops, PCs) to purchase other types of equipment and services such as solar panels, internet service, networking equipment, robots or robotic kits, applications and software, etc.?

  • Expenses for these types of equipment and services would have to come out of the 40% of any award that “may be spent on direct program expenses such as deployment, program integration, training, support and communications costs."

Our needs are urgent. When are grant applications due and when will grant decisions be made? 

  • Grant applications may be submitted until the closing date which is February 28, 2017. NetHope will make best efforts to make all grant decisions no later than March 31, 2017.

Is there a reporting requirement?

  • Yes. Grant recipients will be required to submit brief quarterly implementation reports on June 30, Sept 30, and Dec 31, 2017, and an annual report on March 30, 2018. 
For additional FAQs: Please refer to the NetHope 2017 Device Challenge Program Q&A Document

We thank all applicants for their submissions. We are spending March 1-31 evaluating applications and will be back to you soon.

We thank

​for their Support
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NetHope’s mission is to act as a catalyst for collaboration, bringing together the knowledge and power of the leading international humanitarian organizations so that the best information communication technology and practices can be used to serve people in the developing world.

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