Notice C

Promoting the collaborative development of proposals for investments in digital health global goods

Release date : June 19, 2018 

Digital Square Call for Proposals : Notice C

Digital Square is a partnership of the world's leading digital health experts and organizations working together with countries to strengthen digital health systems in emerging economies.  Our aim is to help strengthen national digital health systems by coordinating investments into scalable technology solutions and creating an environment in which they can be sustained. By helping to coordinate donor investments we can help maximize their impact. Funding for digital health global goods has not been coordinated across donor agencies and other digital health investors resulting in duplicative investments and limited reuse of existing digital health tools. These investments are typically short-term, volatile, and targeted at country-specific programmatic activities. This places an undue cost-burden on those programs and hampers long-term strategic planning, development, and productization of these global goods. It is an unsustainable and ineffective approach to improving health outcomes at the level needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage. Digital Square, which was launched to address these challenges, is a PATH-led initiative funded and designed by USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

With regards to global goods, Digital Square focuses on the following activities:

  1. Securing investment to increase the resilience, reuse, and sustainability of digital health global goods, which will ultimately reduce the cost of individual digital deployments while also increasing the effectiveness and impact of those deployments.
  2. Development of, and advocacy for, the adoption of common metrics to compare and prioritize future investments in global goods.
  3. The establishment of efficient governance processes and financial mechanisms, building trust in, and additional resources for, global goods.

We are also working with partners to create digital market readiness by building capacity with governments, local technology developers, and health workers to bring these technologies to scale. This RFA is published with activity 1, above, in mind.


Notice C has two open opportunities, Announcement C0: Open Call for Global Goods, and Announcement C1: Modular Transformation of OpenIMIS 


Proposal Submission Process and Deadlines

Submission of proposals will utilize the Digital Square open proposal process, which begins with a concept note. Proposal submission deadlines are detailed below and proposal materials must be submitted on Digital Square’s Open Proposal website. By submitting your proposal to Digital Square, you acknowledge and agree that your proposal, including overall budget amount and budget notes, may be shared publicly on Digital Square’s Open Proposal Process and Platform (OPP&P). This site and this process offers transparency with other submitters, Digital Square’s Peer Review Committee (PRC), and other organizations and individuals without obligation of confidentiality. By participating in this Open Proposal Process you agree that detailed budget breakdowns may be shared with Digital Square’s Governing Board.




Step 1: Concept Note Phase

Digital Square issues a call for proposals and submitters upload concept notes to Digital Square’s OPP&P.. The PRC and other submitters can provide feedback, comments, suggestions, and identify potential areas for collaboration.

 June 19 to July 31

Step 2: Proposal Co-creation Phase

Digital Square will determine which of the concept notes are in scope for Announcement C0 and in collaboration with GIZ for Announcement C1. Digital Square will communicate with submitters by July 31. Moving forward with identified collaborators and using feedback received during the concept note phase, submitters begin proposal development. Proposal submitters can post iterations of their proposal based on community feedback. The PRC and other submitters can provide feedback, comments, and suggestions on the posted proposals.

 August 1 to September 3

Step 3: Proposal Finalization Phase

Taking into account feedback, submitters finalize their proposal and budget and submit to the Digital Square OPP&P. The budget is not shared publicly on the platform and the PRC sees only the high-level budget and Level of Effort (LOE) percentages. Submitters are encouraged to structure their budget into discrete work packages.


Submitters should also fill out a self-assessment of their tool using the Global Good Maturity Model for digital health software tools and register their tool with the Digital Health Atlas.

 September 4 to September 18

Step 4: PRC Review Phase

The Peer Review Committee reviews proposals according to Prioritization Framework criteria and votes on green-, amber-, or red-lit status.

 September 19 to October 10

Step 5: Board Review phase

Digital Squares presents the proposals, budget, and Peer Review Committee votes to the Governing Board, which votes on which proposals should be approved and prioritized for investment.

Mid to late November

Step 6: Award Phase

The result of the Governing Board vote and Peer Review Committee feedback are communicated to the submitters.

 Late November to Early December