Call for Concept Notes

The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment Request for Concept Notes is now live! The deadline to submit a Concept Note is February 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm (CET).

The goal of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment is to support robust and innovative ideas for creating or improving decent work prospects for youth, especially young women. Over the next 6 years, we’ll work with selected Implementing Partners across the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel/West Africa and the Horn of Africa to tackle the challenge of youth underemployment and unemployment in these regions. Our projects will enable 200,000 young people to access new or better employment, including wage or salary jobs, or self-employment.

Our ambitious targets mean we seek market-based solutions with innovative and scalable approaches. We will support projects that put youth, especially young women, to work in decent jobs that better reflect their aspirations and skills. The focus of this call is therefore to support the scale up of successful approaches or development and testing of new approaches to:

  1. increase youth access to new or existing decent jobs; and/or
  2. improve the quality of jobs for youth.

Read our scoping study to learn more about the youth employment challenges in Uganda, and the biggest opportunities we see for tackling them.

Read our selection criteria here to learn more, and start your application here (Internet Explorer users need to rightclick and choose “save target as”)!

Information Sessions

We will be hosting Q&A sessions on the following dates to answer any questions you might have about the application process:

  • 15 January 2020 – Kampala (Uganda)
  • 16 January 2020 – Utrecht (the Netherlands)
  • 17 January 2020 – Webinar

If you are interested to attend any of these Q&A sessions, please send an email to indicating which session you would like to attend. Please note that a maximum of two people per organisation can attend. After registration you will receive a notification with venue details one week ahead of the session or a link to join the webinar.

In the same week there will also be opportunities for potential applicants to meet separately with representatives of the Challenge Fund to discuss project ideas. If you are interested to discuss a project idea, please send an email to indicating your interest for a separate meeting with a brief description* of your project idea including:

  • Your contact details (name, email address, and phone number)
  • Project description (sector, stage, approach to job creation)
  • Indicative project size (budget amount, length, and number of jobs created)

*Due to the volume of emails anticipated, we will not respond to requests for meetings without a project description.

Application Timeline and Process

23 December 2019 Call for concept notes released
15 January 2020 Q&A Session Kampala
16 January 2020 Q&A Session Utrecht
17 January 2020 Q&A Webinar
20 January 2020 Deadline to send clarifying questions (as needed)
24 January 2020 Responses to clarifying questions will be available on the Challenge Fund website
15 February 2020 Deadline for submission of concept notes
March 2020 Notification of successful applicants and invitation for submission of detailed proposals/business cases
April 2020 Deadline for submission of business cases
May 2020 Notification and contracting of Implementing partners


Responses to clarifying questions.


Submission guidelines – all information for this call in one document

Uganda Scoping Study

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Concept Note: Application form (Internet Explorer users need to rightclick and choose “save target as”)

Responses to clarifying questions (PDF)

Webinar slides 17th of January (PDF)

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