Call for Proposals: Pandemic Fund

Deadline Date: May 17, 2024

Donor Name: World Bank

Grant Size: More than $1 million

The Pandemic Fund has opened its second call for proposals and is inviting interested Eligible Countries, Regional Entities, and Implementing Entities to develop full proposals for potential projects to be supported by this initial funding.

In recognition of the high demand for funding under the first Call—considered a pilot Call, the second Call for Proposals will have a larger funding envelope and will again prioritize high-impact investments at national and regional level in early warning and disease surveillance systems, laboratory systems, and strengthening human resources and public health and community workforce capacity. Particular attention will be paid to community and civil society engagement, gender equity, and other broader equity considerations as cross-cutting areas of focus in proposal development and implementation.

The Pandemic Fund a multi-stakeholder partnership provides a dedicated stream of additional, long-term grant financing to strengthen critical pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR) capacities and capabilities in low- and middle-income countries. It has mobilized $2 billion to date from 24 sovereign contributors and three philanthropies. The Fund is a collaborative effort between governments, the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), other UN agencies, multilateral development banks (MDBs), global health initiatives, philanthropies, and civil society organizations. The Fund’s governance is inclusive, with balanced representation from the Global North and the Global South, and with governments, philanthropies, and civil society organizations as voting members.

Priority Areas

  • In recognition of the high demand for funding demonstrated in the first CfP, the second CfP continues to prioritize high-impact investments in the following three priority areas:
    • early warning and disease surveillance systems,
    • laboratory systems (human and animal), and
    • strengthening human resources/public health and community workforce capacity for human and animal health, to help countries prevent, prepare for and respond to health emergencies.
  • Proposals submitted to the Pandemic Fund must cover one or more of these three priority areas.
  • Within each of these three priority areas, countries and regions may have different investment needs.

Types of activities that can be financed under the Second CfP

  • Within each of the three priority areas for the second CfP, countries and regions may have different investment needs. A brief description of the types of activities that could be financed under the CfP in each of these areas is presented here, noting that proposals may cover one or more of these priority areas and may include activities at the intersection of the three areas:
    • Early Warning and Disease Surveillance Systems: IHR (2005) and WOAH Standards require rapid detection of public health threats, as well as risk assessment (including understanding of drivers of emergence), notification, and response. A sensitive, collaborative surveillance system is needed to ensure early warning and to provide information for an informed decision-making process during public health events and emergencies. This involves a multisectoral and integrated health system approach, including monitoring outbreaks and emerging diseases in domestic and wild animals, antimicrobial resistance, community-based surveillance, clinical surveillance, sentinel surveillance systems and contact tracing during health emergencies, among others.
    • Laboratory Systems: Laboratories are critical to surveillance, detection, and response. Strengthening laboratory systems requires investments across several areas and sectors, for example, in: a) specimen referral and transport systems to ensure that specimens can be shipped in a timely manner to appropriate reference laboratories, as necessary; b) developing and implementing national biosafety and biosecurity systems that allow for pathogens to be identified, characterized and monitored according to best practices, including activities such as a biological risk management training, country specific biosafety and biosecurity legislation, associated data management, laboratory licensing and pathogen control measures, and ensuring veterinary expertise is represented; c) strengthening lab quality management systems; d) building capacity to ensure reliable and timely testing including relay of results
    • Human Resources/Public Health and Community Workforce Capacity: A multisectoral workforce is key to enabling prevention, early detection, and rapid response to potential events of concern at all levels of health and community systems, as required by the IHR and WOAH Standards, at a minimum. The availability and accessibility of a quality health workforce for surge capacity in emergencies, including a workforce for surveillance (e.g., field investigation and contact tracing teams, logisticians, laboratory personnel, animal and environmental health experts, clinicians, communications and event managers, and experts in finance, human resources, supplies, etc.) and for early warning and awareness raising, is critical to prevention efforts, building the resilience of communities and for the continuity of health services during an emergency.
  • Further, regardless of priority areas for the second CfP and future rounds, the Pandemic Fund requires applicants to pay particular attention to community engagement, and in addition, to civil society engagement, gender equity, and other broader equity considerations, as cross-cutting areas of focus in proposal development and implementation, and that these considerations be reflected clearly in the proposals submitted.

Funding Information

  • The envelope for the second CfP is US$500 million.
  • Single-country proposals may request up to US$25 million. Multi-country proposals may request up to US$40 million for any one proposal. Regional Entity proposals may request up to US$40 million for any one proposal. Please note that proposal budgets will be assessed in the technical evaluation, bearing in mind principles of “value for money”.

Results Framework

  • The Results Framework covers results, and associated metrics and indicators, along four key dimensions:
    • Building capacity/demonstrating capability
      • Proposals will be required to demonstrate how the project will help improve applicable JEE, PVS, and SPAR scores and lead to improved capabilities in comprehensive disease surveillance and preparedness to respond to health emergencies. Specifically, the proposal should articulate which, among the applicable JEE third edition indicators and PVS pathway critical competencies from those listed below, would be targeted for improvement through the project, using the grant requested from the Pandemic Fund and other associated sources, and how the project will contribute to progress towards a demonstrated level of capacity (goal of level 4 or 5) on one or more of the indicators
    • Fostering coordination nationally (across sectors within countries), and among countries regionally and globally
      • One of the goals of the Pandemic Fund is to foster a coordinated, coherent, and community-led approach to pandemic PPR. Accordingly, proposals will be required to clearly demonstrate how the project brings together key institutions, networks and regional platforms (as applicable) engaged in pandemic PPR to ensure a cocreated, coordinated, and coherent approach between and among the applicant(s) and partners (e.g., by aligning support of different partners around a government strategy or national or regional plan, leveraging innovation and/or triggering new policy commitments and actions).
      • In this context, while the involvement of at least one IE is a requirement, proposals will be required to:
        • highlight the engagement of other IEs that are involved in the space being covered by the proposed project and how collaboration will be achieved, as applicable;
        • articulate how various relevant sectors, including health and others, have and will contribute to the project;
        • demonstrate, with supporting evidence, the co-ownership and co-creation of the project by all relevant parties, and their joint commitment to implementation.
    • Incentivizing additional investments in pandemic PPR
      • The Pandemic Fund seeks to incentivize financial and policy commitments from countries, Regional Entities and IEs as well as attract additional, new funds from other sources. To measure the Pandemic Fund’s effectiveness in these areas, the Results Framework includes metrics to capture the extent to which Pandemic Fund resources complement and/or strengthen existing pandemic PPR/global health security efforts, the extent to which new funding sources are secured as a result of the Pandemic Fund grant, and the extent to which the capacities built by Pandemic Fund – supported projects can be sustained, following project completion.
    • Ensuring administrative/operational efficiency of Pandemic Fund resources
      • The Pandemic Fund will operate with high standards of transparency and accountability to ensure that resources are disbursed in a timely manner and used efficiently to address pandemic PPR needs. To this end, each project should include schedules for the commitment and disbursement of resources to projects and present project costs, including the cost of monitoring and evaluation of the outputs and impact of the work, and IE costs related to preparation, administration and supervision. The Results Framework includes metrics to capture these elements.

Types of Proposals that will be accepted

  • There are three types of proposals that will be accepted, which include:
    • Single-country proposal: This is a proposal submitted by one eligible country along with one or more approved IEs, where the activities of the proposal will occur in and benefit those at the national or sub-national level of the applying country.
    • Multi-country proposal: This is a proposal submitted by two or more eligible countries along with one or more approved IEs, where the activities of the proposal will occur in and benefit those at the national or sub-national level of each of the applying countries. A proposal from multiple countries in the same region would also be considered as a “multi-country proposal” and not a Regional Entity proposal.
    • Regional Entity proposal: This is a proposal submitted by a Regional Entity (or body or platform) along with one or more approved IEs, where the activities of the proposal will occur in and benefit those at the regional or sub-regional level. A Regional Entity proposal is different than a multi-country proposal because the primary grant beneficiary is a Regional Entity, and not countries. Some examples of Regional Entities include the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and West African Health Organization (WAHO). Other regional bodies such as regional development communities or economic organizations may also be considered (e.g., Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)). Regional arms of a global organization, generally consisting of Member States grouped within a geographical region of that global organization, would typically not be eligible.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any country that is eligible to receive funding from IBRD and/or IDA is eligible, in principle, to receive funding from the Pandemic Fund. It may be noted, however, that the 16 countries that were awarded single-country grants under the first CfP are not eligible to receive single-country grants under the second CfP. However, these countries may be included in “Multi-country” or “Regional Entity” proposals, as defined.
  • Countries that were part of successful multi-country grants and/or covered under successful Regional Entity proposals in the first CfP are eligible to apply for both single-country and multi-country grants in the second CfP.
  • Funding proposals (referred to hereafter as “proposals”) may be submitted by:
    • An Eligible Country, groups of Eligible Countries, or a Regional Entity or Entities, working with one or more IEs; or
    • IEs, working with a group of Eligible Countries or with a Regional Entity or Entities, for multi-country or Regional Entity proposals.
    • Unsuccessful Applicants from the first CfP are encouraged to re-apply during this CfP. It is recommended that applicants review the feedback provided to them on their previous submission before re-applying, and ensure their proposal reflects the considerations in this Guidance Note, as well as subsequent advice to be issued when the application portal is opened in late February 2024.

For more information, visit World Bank.

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