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Improving Access to and Use of Safe and Appropriate Cesarean Section

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Agencies, Nonprofits, Businesses,
and IHEs to Improve Maternal Health in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Global Grand Challenges

Deadline Date:

04/22/20 11:30AM PDT


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and academic institutions to improve fetal and maternal health and safety in eligible regions. Funding is intended to increase access to and improve the quality and safety of medically indicated cesarean sections. Additionally, the Foundation seeks to reduce the rates of non-medically indicated cesarean section. Proposed activities should be implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh).

The Foundation seeks to identify and demonstrate the feasibility of interventions to address challenges related to safe, timely, and appropriate cesarean section in low and middle income countries. Proposals are invited for interventions to address the following challenges related to the cesarean section:

  • Increasing access to cesarean section where it is currently inadequate
  • Increasing quality and safety of cesarean section to reduce iatrogenic harm to both mothers and newborns
  • Reducing rates of non-medically indicated cesarean section.

Interventions addressing more than one challenge (e.g. quality and access) are encouraged. The Foundation is particularly interested in geographies with high fertility and weak health systems that will face challenges to ensure the provision of safe c-sections can keep pace with medical need, and will thus consider applications proposing activities to be implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks to make Seed Grants to generate proof of concept of novel interventions together with Validation Grants to generate further evidence of feasibility at a larger scale for existing interventions.

  • Seed Grants: These grants are intended to provide proof of concept of an intervention that is entirely novel at small scale (e.g., single facility or district). These grants should demonstrate the feasibility of a novel intervention and its impact on one or more of the c-section challenges identified in this call for applications.
  • Validation Grants: These grants are intended to demonstrate the feasibility of a single intervention or a combination of interventions at the scalable unit of a health system. Validation grants must replicate, confirm or more rigorously test one intervention - or multiple interventions - that have previously demonstrated proof of concept at a smaller scale.

All applications should:

  • Focus on health service or delivery innovation
  • Describe how the intervention will be tailored to the epidemiology and health system where it will be implemented
  • Ensure that women and newborns receive care that respects and preserves their dignity, including informed consent
  • Include participation from institutions based in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; applications led by institutions from these geographies are encouraged
  • Propose interventions that align with the attributes of scalable health innovations
  • Report impact on c-section rates disaggregated by Robson classification, and safety with indicators such as case fatality rates and rates of post-operative complication
  • Propose activities to be implemented in a country in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188398

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Seed Grants: $100,000
- Validation Grants: $300,000

Term of Contract:

Seed Grants and Validation Grants are for up to 24 months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grand Challenges is open to both foreign and domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, for- profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions.

Individuals and organizations classified as individuals for U.S. tax purposes are not eligible to receive an award from the foundation as part of the Grand Challenges initiative.

This call for applications excludes development of new medical devices and non-interventional analysis of data,

The Foundation will not consider funding for approaches that have been widely used and evaluated in LMIC settings to scale up access to cesarean section (e.g., task shifting); activities to improve quality of care that already have extensive evidence of effectiveness; emergency transport interventions; mass media campaigns; or development of new tools for surgery, anesthesia, or patient monitoring.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due no later than April 22, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time.

Key Dates:
- February 26, 2020: Application period opens
- Wednesday, April 22, 2020 11:30 AM US Pacific Time: Application deadline
- July 2020: Reviews completed
- By Oct 2020: Selections completed and notifications sent
Note, any changes to these dates will be posted on the Grand Challenges website

About Grand Challenges:

For more information, see:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Please direct all questions about this initiative, selection criteria or application instructions by e-mail to the following address:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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