FRIDA Fund Announces New Funding for ICT Projects in LAC
Last year, the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) provided, for the first time, a new form of financial support for ICT related projects submitted to the Awards+ program.
These additional funds were aimed at upscaling projects that were already underway but had generated new activities or were looking to replicate their success within different regional contexts.
Lara Robledo, Institutional Cooperation Officer at LACNIC, announced that, in order to have access to this new form of funding, a project must be the result of a partnership between different organizations, one of which must have already received FRIDA funding during prior editions of the program.
Why did the FRIDA program decide to finance project scale-ups?
FRIDA has been providing financial support in the form of small grants of approximately USD 15,000 since 2004. In 2010 we implemented the FRIDA Awards in order to recognize outstanding initiatives throughout the region. This made us realize the importance of continuing to support successful organizations beyond the initial awards and research grants. Recognition is important; supporting a project’s continuity, however, is even more important.
How are these projects selected?
There are two selection mechanisms. In 2013 we added the Awards+ program through which those organizations applying for an award could attach a proposal to upscale or expand their project. This year we will open a call so that organizations that have already participated in prior editions of the FRIDA initiative can submit a proposal to upscale their projects. This second form of support requires that the project have an impact on more than one organization or country.
How many projects have received this new form of financial support?
Four projects have already been selected and will be executing their activities until August 2014. Two of them had previously received a FRIDA Award.
What can you tell us about the selected projects? What kind of support will they receive?
Selected projects include Virtual Videobooks Using Sign Language, by Asociación Civil Canales of Argentina; Willay: Governance and Citizenship using ICTs in Rural Areas of Peru, by AWA NGO of Peru; Joven Salud, a project for the promotion of health among Central American teenagers by TeenSmart International; and Active Internet by the Karisma Foundation of Colombia
Each project receives USD 6000 to upscale or expand its activities.
Are these projects monitored after they no longer receive FRIDA support?
Yes. Project activities are monitored throughout their entire period of execution. They are also included in FRIDA’s ongoing evaluation process.
Will this form of funding continue in 2014?
Yes. As I mentioned earlier, not only will we continue the Awards+ program, but we will also add a scale-up program aimed at organizations that have already received financial support from FRIDA. This second form of the program will provide up to USD 10,000 to each project and requires partnering with a second organization that has not participated in FRIDA before.
The Seed Alliance has reached an agreement to share the experiences of the projects selected in each RIR. What can you tell us about this agreement?
Originally, the joint project did not include this initiative. We realized, however, that project leader meetings allow ideas and spaces for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
How will this knowledge sharing be implemented?
We are currently developing the corresponding mechanism. The idea is that an organization that is selected in one of the regions will partner with one that is selected in another and prepare a joint proposal that will be evaluated by a representative of each of the regions involved. The goal is that the Alliance will become a channel to facilitate, support and contribute to development.