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Apply Now: $150,000 Grant Funding for Digital Social Insurance Solutions

By Wayan Vota on August 3, 2020

digital financial services

The informal sector is a primary driver of economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for 80% of total employment, 55% of total GDP, and 89% of employed women and girls. However, irregular and low earnings of informal workers leave them particularly vulnerable to economic shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, locust epidemics, or displacement.

Individuals in the informal sector also often fall through the cracks of existing social protection programs. They are often not poor enough to be eligible for social safety net benefits; and, being outside of the formal economy, are ineligible for social insurance programs mandated for the formal sector. They thus constitute the “missing middle”.

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Inclusive short-and long-term social insurance programs, such as unemployment insurance savings accounts and long-term savings accounts for pensions are critical instruments to safeguarding these communities, especially during crises. Increasing enrollment and participation in flexible social insurance schemes, tailored to the needs of informal sector workers, would pave the way for governments to preserve livelihoods and build resilience against future shocks.

Grant Funding for Digital Financial Services

The World Bank has launched the Mission Billion Challenge WURI West Africa Prize to surface human-centered digital financial services that facilitate contributions from and payments to informal sector workers with:

  • Continuity of contributions to social insurance schemes from informal sector workers, incorporating behavioral tools that incentivize and encourage financial savings, transparency, and accountability.
  • Contributions regardless of literacy and numeracy levels, including in contexts with limited internet coverage.
  • Regionally interoperable foundational digital ID systems, which can be accessed across borders, network providers, and languages, regardless of their origin or current location.

Mission Billion Challenge winners are eligible to receive a total prize of up to $150,000, participate in a high-level event at the World Bank, and receive mentorship and support from Google Developers Experts.

Apply Now! Deadline is August 14, 2020

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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6 Comments to “Apply Now: $150,000 Grant Funding for Digital Social Insurance Solutions”

  1. Ede Job says:

    Pls want to know, is it they are employing people as a workers or how does it work?
    Pls want to know.Thanks

  2. Muvondori Maxwell says:

    Am a Director for ZICOPE TRUST operating in Masvingo District. I intend to install a community digital platform. Does this fit with your available Grant’s.

  3. Elekia Mundia says:

    Hello, I would like to know how to apply and the procedure thereafter?

  4. Oketola Oluwole Sunday says:

    How can someone apply for grant?

  5. Wayan Vota says:

    Please click through the link in the post above to apply for World Bank’s Mission Billion Challenge WURI West Africa Prize to fund digital financial services for informal sector workers

  6. Benediktus Mwaamenange says:

    Application for grant