This digital report offers an overview of the Seed Alliance’s work completed under the three-year program cycle 2012-2015, which was funded by IDRC and Sida. It outlines the results and achievements of the Seed Alliance’s three regional small Grants and Awards programs:
It also provides a comprehensive overview of the methodologies used, reporting practices, promotional and networking event management, communication activities, funding details, lessons learned, the challenges encountered and future work suggestions.
About the Seed Alliance
The Seed Alliance is a collaborative partnership between the FIRE Africa, FRIDA and ISIF Asia Grants and Awards programs and the Alliance’s various partners and sponsors. Together with its funding partners, IDRC and Sida, and various regional sponsors, these programs support innovation on Internet development across the global south. The Alliance identifies digital innovations and solutions (software tools, devices, research outcomes according to each regional set of criteria and categories) that make strategic use of Internet technologies in an innovative way. The Alliance offers opportunities to scale-up digital innovations to project teams that support economic growth and social development. It achieves this by offering:
- Funding (Grants & Awards)
- Capacity building activities (mentoring and coaching)
- Networking opportunities
To date, the Seed Alliance has supported 116 projects in 57 economies in the global south. Around US$ 2.2 million of funding has been allocated in Grants and Awards throughout Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, helping to strengthen and promote the Information Society within these regions. The Score Cards for each project outlined their performance against the evaluation criteria and the Results Assessment Framework interactive diagrams facilitate the understanding of the evaluation framework applied to the Seed Alliance as a whole.
Application and Selection Processes
The three regional programs’ applications processes vary although all follow the same principles. Each launches calls for applications for Grants or Awards from projects that are aligned with their funding categories. Over the last three years, all three regional programs worked towards the implementation of transparent selection processes, using technology to facilitate decision-making and promote participation from the Internet community. During the selection processes, special consideration was given to applications and nominations coming from developing economies or to initiatives where the majority of the funds requested were to be invested in developing economies.
Find out more about which projects have been supported in the last three years, average grant amounts and project durations, section processes and evaluation criteria in the Applications section.
Reporting and Evaluation
Since the Seed Alliance’s inception, AFRINIC (FIRE Africa secretariat), APNIC (ISIF Asia secretariat) and LACNIC (FRIDA secretariat) have supported the implementation of evaluation mechanisms that allow them to communicate a clear message to their own communities about the impact of their regional Grants and Awards programs, as well as the effectiveness of the support this funding provides to the program recipients. This has been achieved through financial and technical reporting, site visits, data collection and analysis, Utilization-Focused Evaluation (U-FE) processes and Research Communications (ResCom) as a framework to support communication strategies.
Find out more about the Seed Alliance’s reporting and evaluation activities in the Reporting Methodology section.
Over the last three years the Seed Alliance has conducted site visits and facilitated workshops, training courses, mentoring sessions and enabled several project leaders to attend global events to expand their networks and meet other entrepreneurs.
While maintaining autonomous programs in their respective regions, the FIRE Africa, FRIDA and ISIF Asia programs collaborate extensively globally as the Seed Alliance. Each regional program designs and defines its own strategies to enable it to reach the Seed Alliance’s objectives, which provides them with the flexibility and autonomy to operate in their own localities.
Challenges, Recommendations and Lessons Learned
Human and financial resources, as well as organizational issues, presented challenges for the three programs. Although the three programs work together under a common framework, each faces differing needs in their own regions. Preserving the balance between global needs and regional differences is crucial for success in the coming years.
Find out more about the challenges faced, recommendations and lessons learned in the Conclusions Section.