See the guide below for information on communications and ways to engage with Digital Square:
Slack | We invite you to join the Digital Square Slack channel #notice-c to learn about updates in the process, share or request information from other participants, and ask questions to the Digital Square team.
Open Proposal Website—Announcements | Updates will be posted to the Announcements section of the website.
Open Proposal Website—Commenting | During the concept note and proposal phases, you will have the ability to comment and connect with submitters via the comment section at the bottom of their concept notes or proposals.
Wiki | Digital Square has a dedicated wiki page where you can read FAQs and learn more about the proposal process and Digital Square.
Email | Digital Square can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Please note that all announcements will be posted across all platforms (Announcements page, Slack, email, etc.), so you will not miss Digital Square announcements if you choose only one channel.
Creating an account
If you have an existing account with the Digital Square Open Proposal Platform and Process (OPP&P), you will be logged in automatically. If you do not have an account, from the Digital Square home page, go to the Login/Sign Up. You will be directed to a page that provides you an option to log in or create an account. Select Create New Account, and fill in your information. When finished, select the Create New Account button. A request for an account will be sent to the Digital Square team. **Please note that requests for accounts can take up to 24 hours to process.
Guidance on collaborating
The Open Proposal Process and Platform (OPP&P) is meant to encourage collaboration in the digital health community. During the concept note phase, use the comment section located at the bottom of each concept note or proposal to offer feedback and suggestions. All OPP&P users are highly encouraged to comment on other proposals to establish these dialogues. In addition, authors and commenters are encouraged to use the tagging feature to help quickly identify the types of projects for simplified searching, collaboration, and organization of the concept notes and proposals.
The OPP&P provides a transparent process for the community to read concept notes, connect, and communicate about where collaboration is possible. During the concept note phase, if you identify an opportunity for collaboration between concept notes or if you want to join a concept note project team, use the comment section to contact to the authors. Contacting the authors provides you with an opportunity to connect and set up a call to discuss the concept note in further detail.
Digital Square can provide support to collaborators as requested. For example, if contact details of a submitter are needed or if a partner is needed in a certain domain, Digital Square can release the information (with permission) and make recommendations.
Concept note authors can insert tags for keywords relevant to their proposals. Tagging helps the OPP&P community search the platform’s content to identify similar projects and organize all submitted materials.
To create a tag
To create a tag for your proposal, go to the small box labeled tags at the bottom of the information input page. In the box, type the hash (#) symbol followed a word, abbreviation, or phrase related to your proposal. If a tag is made of multiple words, do not put spaces between the words, or the system will not recognize the whole phrase but rather will only capture the first word. Separate each tag with a comma. When you save and post your content, those tags become searchable throughout the OPP&P.
Some examples of tags include: #opensource, #Electronicmedicalrecords, #data. You can use the WHO System Categories as a guide for tagging.
To add tags after you have saved and posted your content, use the edit mode and add new tags in the same way you inputted your original tags.
To search using tags
Search for tagged content by typing a word in the main search bar. All concept notes and proposals with that tag will appear in the results area. For example, to view all open source-related global goods, type “open source” in the search bar.
During the commenting period, you are encouraged to comment on additional tags you think are appropriate. The authors can consider those suggestions and add new tags if they choose to.
Creating and uploading a concept note
Once you have logged in to your OPP&P user account toggle to the top, right side of the page to view “My Opportunities.” Click the “Add your concept note” link.
A new page will load with several submission boxes. Fill out the submission boxes as described including Title, Project Description, identifying the Primary Author, and updating the Revision Log.
To upload an attachment to your concept note or proposal, first ensure you are logged in. Next toggle to the My Opportunities section and click the link that says Add your concept note (if presently in the proposal phase, this link will say Add your proposal).
Scroll down the page until you see the Supporting Documents box. There is a button that says Choose File. Click the button, select the file from your desktop, and then click Upload. Please note that only the following file types are allowed: pdf doc xls ppt txt jpg jpeg gif png docx pptx xlsx ods odt odp.
Commenting on concept notes/proposals
Log in to the OPP&P. At the right side of the page, near the bottom, is a section titled Open Opportunities. From here you can view all or search for a particular opportunity. Once you have identified and selected the opportunity, scroll to the bottom of the page to the comment section. Write your comment and select Submit. The individual who posted the proposal will be notified and encouraged to read and respond. You will also receive notification of replies to your comment.
Code of conduct
Digital Square encourages collaboration and open commenting. This includes your right to express unpopular points of view, but we do not permit hate speech.
Hate speech refers to content that promotes violence against or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against individuals or groups based on certain attributes, such as race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
Comments, proposals, and all other materials posted to the Digital Square Open Proposal Process and Platform (OPP&P) must be within the code of conduct guidelines. There is a zero tolerance policy for hate speech or destructive comments on this platform. Comments or materials that fall into this category will be deleted, and the offending users will be banned from using the site.
Proposal Process Q&A FAQ
- Can my organization submit more than one concept note or proposal? Yes.
- Is Notice B restricted to those organizations who are pre-approved from the previous BAA process? No. Notice B does not have restrictions on who can apply.
- What is the maximum duration of an award? The longest duration is 3 years, but practically submitters should expect 1 year.
- Is this an entry point into a larger funding stream? Digital Square hopes this is an entry point into longer term funding and support, but this will depend on the individual proposal.
- Does Digital Square have priority countries for global goods? No.
- Does Digital Square prefer to fund global goods that meet a certain maturity level? No. If this changes, we will share that update.
- Does Digital Square only invest in health? What about projects that cross into other domains? Digital Square’s focus is health. If you are looking at something tangential and wish to seek funding from Digital Square, we recommend you focus on the intersection between that sector and health. Digital Square serves as DIAL’s health sustainability advisory group and DIAL funds projects that are not health-specific.
- Can we apply for backfunding? No.
- Where can I find information on global goods currently being funded by Digital Square? On our Wiki. These investments were made with earmarked funding. Notice B does not use earmarked funds.
- Should my concept note build off of global goods that Digital Square currently supports? This is not necessary.
- Where can I find the Global Goods Maturity Model? Here. It is also accessible through our Wiki.
- Must proposals focus on interoperability? No. Not focusing on interoperability will not preclude a concept note from funding. However, please note one area of the Global Goods Maturity Model is interoperability, and interoperability is in line with Digital Square’s mission.
- One requirement in the final phase of the process for proposals in Notice B is to complete a self-assessment on the Global Goods Maturity Model. How do I do this? You can make a copy of the Google sheet and submit with a link or as an Excel document.
- What is the Open Proposal Process? There are 6 key phases in the process.
- How do I provide feedback on concept notes? Visit our Open Proposal Process Platform. You can create account and provide comments and feedback on the posted proposals.
- At what point in the process (phases 1-6) do I provide feedback (or, expect to receive feedback)? You can give and/or receive feedback on a concept note or proposal during any of the 6 phases of the process.
- Will my concept note and proposal definitely get feedback? Digital Square cannot control the amount of feedback provided by other submitters. Digital Square does strive, however, to provide a minimum amount of feedback from the Peer Review Committee.
- How and when do you submit concept notes for proposals? Digital Square will release Calls for Proposals which will begin the Digital Square Open Proposal Process, the first step of which is the Concept Note Phase.
- When Digital Square is ready to accept new concept notes, will you release guidelines or templates on how to develop them? Yes! Concept notes and proposals both have templates that you should follow.
- Are vendors and consortia submitting new proposals now/in the near future or is the focus solely on existing concept notes? Each open proposals process will have a call for proposals which will specify what global goods may apply (both new and existing).
- When proposing new concept notes, should this be done as a team or as individuals? In the spirit of reducing duplication of work and fragmentation, we encourage collaboration.
- How often will Digital Square issue calls for proposals? As often as funding permits. We anticipate twice a year.
- Are global goods specifically software? Review our definition of global goods.
- What level of budget detail should be included in proposal budgets? The Governing Board should have an idea of how funding will be spent. The budget should be a line item budget that includes activities, travel, staffing, and LOE.
- What visibility do other submitters have into my concept note? All concept notes and proposals can be viewed by all other submitters. Digital Square encourages submitters to provide feedback on other concept notes and proposals and look for potential collaborators. Other submitters will not see any budget information. The Peer Review Committeewill see high-level budget and LOE only.
- When - and how - does a concept note become a proposal? Visit the phases of the proposal process.
- Do all submitted concept notes progress to the proposal phase? Digital Square will not prevent the advancement of any concept notes into proposal phase unless they are clearly out of Digital Square’s scope.
- Can my organization submit more than one concept note or proposal? Yes.
- What does it mean if a proposal is labeled green-lit, amber-lit, or red-lit? A green-lit proposal meets all criteria for investment through the relevant Digital Square Notice. The proposal demonstrates a global good that aligns with country priorities, can adapt to different countries and contexts, and will scale easily across countries. An amber-lit proposal meets at least one of the criteria for selection for investment and a potential risk has been identified and will need to be addressed by the submitters of the proposal.A red-lit proposal does not meet any of the criteria for investment through the relevant Digital Square Notice, or there is high risk identified in the proposal’s ability to meet its objectives.
- Who determines if a proposal is green-lit, amber-lit, or red-lit? The PRC.
- What is the process to move green-lit concept notes forward? Green-lit and amber-lit proposals may be submitted to the Board to be vote on for investment during the Board Review Phase. Once approved by the Board, Digital Square will begin contracting/awarding, according to Board guidance.
- What are the next steps for green-lit proposals which do not have identified funding? The Digital Square Board can vote to mandate Digital Square to secure funding for the proposal.
- Will amber-lit proposals that were not approved for investment by the Board be revisited? You can submit an updated amber-lit note. Digital Square can work with submitters to improve their proposal.
- Can teams revised and re-submit red-lit concept notes? Red-lit notes are out of Digital Square’s scope, so we do not recommend resubmitting a red-lit note unless it has changed significantly in scope.
- What will the process be to ensure alignment and avoid duplicate HIS investment for concept notes that will be re-reviewed for relevance? Part of Digital Square’s mandate is to avoid this duplication. We are addressing this through the Peer Review Committee and Governing Board.
- What happens if my concept note or proposal receives conflicting feedback? Digital Square has no control over crowd-sourced comments. Submitters can expect consistent feedback from the PRC and a thorough review at the PRC Review Phase. In the event of conflicting comments, Digital Square can assist submitters to choose the best way to proceed.