ResilientAfrica Network

Collaborative Resilience Innovation Design for Recurrent Effects Of Drought (CRID4RED)

Pastoralist communities that experience recurrent droughts face multiple shocks and stresses arising from water scarcity, conflict, low productivity and non-diversified livelihoods, and being dependent on poor livestock rearing practices. ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) seeks to source, develop and scale transformative innovations that strengthen the resilience of communities against natural and human-made shocks and stresses, in line with RAN’s thematic areas of focus. In order to effectively tap into the immense innovation potential available not just on the African continent, but globally, RAN through its Resilience Innovation Labs (RILabs) supports resilience innovation challenges where the best ideas and/or solutions receive support to facilitate their refinement and development towards widespread adoption.

The Horn of Africa RILab (HoA RILab) is based at Jimma University, College of Public Health and Medical Sciences, in Jimma, Ethiopia. There are five (5) partner universities under this RILab namely Jimma University, Addis Ababa University, and Bule Hora University that are based in Ethiopia, Benadir University (Somalia) and University of Nairobi (Kenya). Within Ethiopia and Somalia, RAN has identified five partner communities: two districts (Arero and Dhas) located in the Borana Zone of Ethiopia, and three districts situated in the Benadir Region of Somalia (Hamarweyne, Hodan, and Wadajir).


Brief Overview of ResilientAfrica Network (RAN)

The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) funded by USAID is a partnership targeting 20 partner universities in 16 African countries. The main agenda of RAN is to strengthen resilience of communities vulnerable to shocks and stresses in Sub-Saharan Africa through university led-local African innovative solutions. ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) is led by Makerere University, with the secretariat at School of Public Health. It is one of eight university development labs under the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN) of USAID’s Global Development Lab. RAN’s core partners are Tulane University’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA), Stanford University, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). RAN comprises four Resilience Innovation Labs (RILabs) each working with Partner Universities and focusing on different thematic areas as summarized in in the figure below

For more information and to apply, please visit Applicants may email any questions on the call or on any aspect of the application process to or call +256 414 343 597

Through CRID4RED, RAN is looking to select a team of motivated, experienced and innovative resource persons who will then co-create a collaborative, complementary ecosystem of projects designed to impact water supply and quality, livestock production, livelihoods diversification, and building agency for change. The projects will fit together to deliver services on a common systems level platform. The projects will be co-created by a team of experienced stakeholders selected from the best applications submitted in an initial screening pitch. They will be developed based on the winning ideas submitted as well as the inputs from brain-storming sessions in the co-creation workshop.

Phase 1 grants ranging between US$ 50,000 to $100,000 are anticipated to be awarded to each team formed around the final micro-projects selected from those co-created by the co-creation team. Winners of Phase 1 Grants will then qualify to compete for Phase 2 grants (which will likely range between US$ 100,000 and $200,000). The grants will support development of complementary innovative approaches and technologies that will strengthen resilience to the recurrent effects of drought in the HoA region. [Note: Submission of initial ideas will not automatically mean that an idea is eligible for funding. Eligible ideas for funding will be co-created by the participants of the co-creation workshop. RAN reserves the right to change the projected award amounts or the number of anticipated awards.] More..

Based on data from the community consultations and the analysis of system level relationships at the ISWs, three priority intervention pathways emerged for the Horn of Africa.

Intervention Pathway 1: Water to drive development
Water is a scarce yet vital resource for the Borana pastoralist communities. The livelihood of pastoralists is dependent on the availability of pasture and fodder, both of which are highly dependent on the availability and proper management of water. The few available water sources are physically, chemically and biologically unsafe. The communities also lack proper water resource management and appropriate household water treatment methods. The Horn of Africa RILab therefore seeks innovative and locally relevant solutions to increase access to water for livestock and human beings, water bulking and storage for use in dryer seasons, as well as water purification technologies to increase availability of potable water. The pathway therefore seeks two main types of solutions: 1) Novel approaches to water resource development, bulk catchment and management (targeting both traditional and modern water sources) and, 2) new methods and technologies for water handling and purification to ensure safe water supply.

Intervention Pathway 2: Diversified and market-oriented livestock production
One of the pervasive cultural values amongst pastoralists is the keeping of large herds of livestock. Having large herds is not only associated with prestige and high social regard, but is also used as a coping strategy to losses that occur during the dry season. Unfortunately, keeping large herds is also associated with low quality livestock, low economic viability of stock, as well as damage to rangelands and the environment. The pastoralists have little or no market-orientation. Pastoralist communities are excluded from active participation in livestock markets and their level of leverage is low. The Horn of Africa RILab is therefore seeking solutions that will re-orient the mentality of pastoralist communities to embrace market-oriented pastoralism, diversify the cattle-dominated livestock production practices, and to maximize livestock productivity and gain leverage in livestock markets. The pathway therefore seeks two main types of solutions: 1) Novel approaches and technologies that take the communities beyond subsistence to improved stock quality, manageable herd size, diversified livestock, and increased livestock production; 2) Approaches that can spur pastoralists to access markets, and increase their leverage within domestic and international markets.

Intervention Pathway 3: Livelihoods diversification beyond pastoralism
Communities in the Borana area of Southern Ethiopia primarily practice one form of livelihood - livestock. The form of livestock production practiced mainly rotates around subsistence, with limited income generating options or possible alternatives. Mono livelihood is one of the vulnerability factors that have reduced the Borana pastoralist communities’ resilience capacity, especially when adverse events like prolonged drought strike. Younger people who have no herds of their own are largely unemployed and dependent. The communities lack access to alternative forms of livelihoods and the means to engage with them themselves. The HoA RILab is seeking solutions that can build agency in pastoralist communities to adopt alternative livelihoods, innovative solutions on alternative livelihoods that are viable for pastoralists in general and youth in particular as mechanisms for building skills in youth to engage in alternative enterprises. The pathway seeks two main types of solutions: 1) Novel locally relevant approaches to livelihoods and income diversification especially for youth and 2) New approaches to increasing skills and financial inclusion for pastoralist communities to engage in alternative livelihoods and remarkably increase their incomes.

Click here for more about the CRID4RED Pathways

Download the complete CRID4RED Document

Pastoralist communities that experience recurrent droughts face multiple shocks and stresses arising from water scarcity, conflict, low productivity and non-diversified livelihoods, being dependent on poor livestock rearing practices. The HoA RILab innovation projects have the following objectives

General Objective

To strengthen resilience of target communities by building their agency to improve water supply and quality, improve livestock production, take more control of the agricultural value chain, and to diversify to profitable enterprises, in ways that are environmentally sustainable

Specific Objectives:

The specific objectives of the CRID4RED call are:

1. To transform livestock rearing practices of defined pastoralist communities through harnessing and leveraging the potential of reliable water sources

2. To transform livestock rearing practices of defined pastoralist communities through locally adaptable modern livestock practices

3. To transform the livelihoods of women and youth in pastoralist communities through creation of alternative livelihoods

CRID4RED Challenges

The Collaborative Resilience Innovation (CRID) workshop, conducted by a team of practitioners and experts from the Horn of Africa region, analyzed the three priority intervention pathways identified in the region’s Intervention Strategy Workshop (ISW) and developed innovation challenges. These three innovation challenges will be the basis for rallying innovators to generate innovative ideas to address the priority resilience challenges for the region. The three CRID4RED innovation challenges identified are:
Innovation Challenge 1: Multi-faceted water-centered agro-pastoralism transformation

Communities of Borana Zone in Southern Ethiopia rely on livestock for survival. The form of livestock enterprise practiced is subsistence-based pastoralism. This form of production is characterized by poor animal husbandry practice and chronically low productivity. Low productivity is attributable to five major factors: (1) Inadequate access to water in the long dry season and wastage of surface water during the rainy seasons; (2) Poor animal husbandry and rangeland management practices; (3) Low access to affordable animal health services and supplies; (4) Non-existent value addition with high wastage of livestock products; and (5) Low leverage in the livestock market. We are looking for innovation projects conceived in form of a platform, with the potential to spur end-to-end transformation in the practices of pastoralist communities, from production to markets, through a water centered approach as the main platform for change.

Innovation Challenge 2: Community-owned value addition

Borana pastoralists heavily rely on one source of livelihood. However, a lot of livestock products (including milk and hides) are wasted due to lack of market linkages, entrepreneurial skills and value addition. One plausible form of economic diversification could arise from building businesses around processing of non-meat cattle products (especially milk, hides/skins and blood). However, there is very low value addition to livestock products in Borana zone. This is due to a lack of access to processing facilities for livestock products in the zone. The promotion of community based value addition should therefore create opportunities for alternative income for traders and youth in these communities. We are looking for innovative approaches or technologies conceived in the form of a platform for creating economic diversity through value addition while catalyzing alternative enterprise among youth in pastoralist communities by tapping into wasted livestock products.

Innovation Challenge 3: Skills for change

One of the key factors affecting the livelihoods of the people of Borana is the low level of their agency for change to more diversified and profitable livelihoods. This is rooted in their culture, low levels of knowledge and lack of life skills to initiate and support the change needed to transform their life into a modern and viable society. Pastoralists’ culture emphasizes large numbers of cattle as a symbol of wealth, instead of quality of herd. Cultural values, which are transferred over several generations, impede the local people’s desire to rear other animals or to participate in agriculture. Their lifestyle also promotes early withdrawal or dropping-out from school as well as dependency on livestock. We are searching for innovative platforms for providing information to ignite agency and impart the essential life skills necessary for livelihoods transformation among pastoralist communities. The proposed mechanisms ought to have a high impact in order to change practices that are hardly intertwined with the normative beliefs of this pastoralist community.

These three innovation challenges will therefore form the core themes for CRID4RED. A detailed description of the challenges is presented here in the CRID4RED Document

Eligible applicants

Entities or organizations working in similar domain areas in the target communities of Borana Zone of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia are eligible to apply. Entities or organisations willing to partner with those working within Oromia region (as may be identified through the co-creation process) are also welcome to apply. Potential applicant organizations may include colleges, universities, autonomous or semi-autonomous research institutes, foundations, NGOs, faith-based organizations, community based organizations and civic groups. All applicants in this category must be legally recognized entities, formally registered under applicable law, and they should attach evidence to that effect on their application.

Other General Requirements

Entities that are ineligible to apply include: Governments (local and foreign) and their agencies, non-incorporated entities (informal organizations), and individuals not affiliated with any legally recognized entity as specified in Sec. 4.1.1. Other entities ineligible to apply include any individuals or organizations participating in, linked to, or sponsoring subversive activities including criminal acts, terrorism or related activities. A responsibility determination will be conducted on all teams applying for the grants for their status regarding United States Government (USG) sanctioned individuals and entities and for the legal nature of their affiliate organization.

Grants may not be awarded to an organization from, or with a principal place of business in, a country subject to trade and economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of Treasury or to any individual or entity subject to targeted trade and economic sanctions administered by OFAC. For more information see OFAC website: The current list of OFAC restricted countries includes Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. However, the list of countries subject to OFAC restrictions may change, and RAN will conduct a final eligibility determination prior to award. All USAID restrictions pertaining to US Government funding apply.

CRID4RED seeks applications that have an operational focus in low-income and middle-income countries, as defined by the World Bank ( The implementation of the project including pilot and testing will be done primarily in Ethiopia, under the Horn of Africa RILab.

Read More about Eligibility

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications at the three different stages of the CRID4RED call. For mroe information on he judging and selection criteria, please click here.

Phase I (Application)

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Aspects

Maximum Score

Alignment to CRID4RED pathways and RAN’s theory of change for strengthening resilience

Does the proposed solution address the desired resilience outcomes for each innovation challenge?

Does it strengthen human capacity development?


Technical Approach and Methodology

Is the proposed solution innovative? Does it have the potential to disrupt/transform current practices and approaches? Does it constitute a paradigm shift? Is there a plan for awareness creation, imparting knowledge and skills, and skills transfer (capacity building)? Does the applicant demonstrate willingness and ability to collaborate with other project teams to create a platform-oriented solution?


Viability and applicability to local communities

Is it viable for the target communities? Can it be replicated in similar contexts?


Environmental sensitivity

Are proposed approaches and technologies (where appropriate) green and pro-natural resource conservation?


Phase II (Eligibility)

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Aspects

Maximum Score

Technical feasibility

Is the approach or technology technically feasible? Is the solution cost-effective and innovative compared to existing alternatives? Does it have transformative potential? Has it been optimized for efficiency? What evidence is there from Phase 1 that this proposed solution is feasible/impactful? [By optimization, we mean that the prototype or concept is developed to a model with acceptable or better efficiency than the existing technical standard (e.g. 75% validity for screening tests, 75% efficiency for engines, sufficiently acceptable aesthetics, dexterity and ergonomics (for technology based prototypes) or sufficiently proven cause-effect linkages, input and process considerations and clearly established potential confounders (for a conceptual approach based solution)]

Does project significantly contribute to the associated system-level innovation challenge? Have any applications or other innovation projects been able to leverage the approach or technology? Have unintended consequences been identified and strategies to amplify or mitigate these been put in place?


Business model and Market viability

Have market assessments been done? Has the business model been refined to reflect the market trends? Is the refined diffusion strategy sufficiently plausible?


People (user) aspects

Is the solution user-friendly? Is it easily adoptable? Is it acceptable given the socio-cultural dynamics? Have aspects that require human behavior change been addressed? Has the desired behavior been adequately cultivated? Have agency aspects been promoted?


Evidence of Impact Potential

Is there evidence that the solution has had impact or has the potential to create impact? What format is this evidence? How does it compare with trends of other projects/programs addressing similar challenges?


Phase II (Final evaluation)

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Aspects

Maximum Score

Technical Feasibility

Has the technical approach been optimized? Has approach demonstrated potential for adoption and efficacy in transforming lives of the target community? Has the approach served as a launch pad for different applications or for strengthening the impact of the other innovation projects targeting positive changes in the target community?


Evidence of adoption

Is there evidence that a critical number of users adopted and continued to use the solution? Does the solution demonstrate additional positive spin-offs and/or a paradigmatic shift?


Market viability assessment

Is there evidence that the solution viable given the operational context? Has the business model been refined to maximize scaling potential?



Awareness of and strategies to address/comply with policy and regulatory requirements

Does the team demonstrate sufficient actionable knowledge on the policy and regulatory environment that could impede or catapult scaling of the innovation? Have appropriate strategies to address policy or regulatory impediments been designed?


Stakeholder buy-in

Have critical partnerships for implementation and scale been identified? Has commitment to participate been sought and received favorable response?


What is the objective of this resilience innovation challenge?

The CRID4RED call focuses on sourcing innovative ideas that contribute to resilience building in areas affected by recurrent effects of drought such as the Borana Zone of Southern Ethiopia. The ideas submitted will be used as the basis for selecting a team of co-creators from different disciplinary backgrounds and organizations. The selected team members will then collaborate to transform their ideas into a set of fundable projects that have shared platform integration features (e.g. the ability to use the same mobile-based customer payment system).

The call has 3 priority intervention pathways for resilience building around recurrent drought and its associated shocks and stresses;

  • Pathway 1: Water to drive development
  • Pathway 2: Diversified and Market-oriented livestock production
  • Pathway 3: Diversified and sustainable livelihoods

What are the levels of funding available under this call?

In the first phase, grants ranging between US$ 50,000 to $100,000 will be awarded to each team formed around the final projects selected from those co-created by the co-creation team. For more information please click Grant Structure

How can I learn more about the effects of recurrent drought in Horn of Africa?

Links to useful online resources that provide background information on Horn of Africa RILab thematic focus and the resilience dimensions for the Horn of Africa region are available here.

What are the CRID4RED Grants Call timelines?

Applications for the CRID4RED Grants Call will be accepted from March 28, 2016 until April 29, 2016 11:59 pm EAT May 16th, 2016 11:59PM EAT. Details are on Timelines

What are the levels of funding available under this call?

In the first phase, grants ranging between US$ 50,000 to $100,000 will be awarded to each team formed around the final projects selected from those co-created by the co-creation team. For more information please click Grant Structure

Who is eligible to apply for the Challenge?

Entities or organizations working in similar domain areas in the target communities of Borana Zone of Oromia Regional State in Ethiopia are eligible to apply. Entities or organisations willing to partner with those working within Oromia region (as may be identified through the co-creation process) are also welcome to apply. See more at: Eligibility

If I’m not from Horn of Africa RILab can I apply for this Grant?

This Call is OPEN to all applicants with innovations that can solve challenges faced by communities in the Horn of Africa Region. See more about Eligibility section

How do I register to apply for the CRID4RED Grants Call?

To register for the CRID4RED Grants call, an applicant selects CRID4RED among the open calls, or on the home page, by clicking on the Apply button. The applicant is advised to first read through the different tracks and select the one they wish to apply for. On Apply Now, click to register and you enter details required to start the registration process

How will the sub-challenges be judged?

A number of members of the Expert Panel (herein referred to as Judges) will review all the applications under each track. The Panel may decide to invite shortlisted applicants to a pitch if deemed necessary. The Expert Panel will recommend to RAN and thereafter to USAID the selected teams to participate in the co-creation process from which fundable projects will be developed for support by RAN. Phase 1 applicants to participate in the co-creation process will be announced in June 2016.

How do I choose the specific track to apply for?

Applicants can apply for the grants as long as their innovation fits any particular track. You can also submit more than one concept to a track.

I cannot access the application form, please help

If the applicant experiences any difficulty submitting a proposal through the Online Application Platform, or failure to receive a confirmatory email from the online platform as proof that their proposal has been successfully submitted, the applicant should send an e-mail to the Horn of Africa RILab CRID4RED support team at: It is also important to check for the confirmatory email in your spam folder should it not be located in your primary inbox.

CRID4RED Time Lines

Activity Date
Call for Applications 28th March – 16th May 2016
First About CRID4RED Webinar 7th April 2016
Application submission deadline 29th April 2016. Extended to 16th May 2016
Implimentation Period 29th Aug 2016 – 3rd Mar 2017
Phase I Evaluation 6th - 17th Mar 2017
Phase II Implimentation 20th Mar - 1st Dec 2017

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