SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT
GOVERNMENTS

Sub-National governments in Pakistan are increasingly facing more complex and challenging governance problems. Issues arising from a rapidly rising population, lacklustre revenue growth, and increasing demands for services by citizens are constraining the effectiveness of traditional planning, management and operational models. The governments understand the need to create the ‘thinking space’ and ‘catalytic investments’ required to generate problem-driven, innovative ideas to address these challenges.

The SNG Innovation Challenge Fund, jointly with the government, identifies core governance issues, evaluates proposed solutions, and ensures their delivery and scale up of successful innovations.

The innovation pilots and Action Research interventions help build better planning and governance capabilities; manage public resources better; create fiscal space through efficiency gains and enhanced revenue mobilisation and promote a culture of transparency, accountability and inclusion.

ICF Process

01

Each Round of Innovation Challenge Fund is launched on a specific thematic focus. The SNG Programme Steering Committee (PSC),  approves the thematic focus for each Round, chaired by provincial Head of Planning. FCDO, is a member of the PSC, and their concurrence is necessary for any idea to receive a grant under the innovation fund.

02

Each Round is governed by a ‘Terms Sheet’ which PSC and FCDO approve. The document is placed on the SNG website for transparency which clarifies application process, terms and conditions.

03

The `Call for Proposals’ is advertised widely in national print media and SNG Social Media, besides approaching potential applicants through emails using an active database. Before launch, awareness sessions are held for potential applicants to discuss the approach and process.

04
  1. The first stage of application requires the online submission of the concept note. All logs of requests are recorded.
05

After submitting the concept notes, the names of all the applicants are displayed on the SNG Website. A specified period of time is provided if an applicant feels that their submission has been missed out.

06

The concepts are catalogued and shared with Senior Management of OPM and FCDO.

07

The SNG Innovation and relevant theme focused technical teams along with a group of concerned government department conduct the review of concepts. The entire evaluation exercise is then presented to the SNG Reform Working Groups established in all relevant Government Departments which are headed by the Secretary of the Department. Finally, the evaluated ideas are presented to the PSC which approves a shortlist of concepts for inviting detailed technical proposals.

08

All successful and unsuccessful candidates are informed about the PSC decision within five working days after the formal approval of minutes of the PSC. Each applicant is sent an individual response with general feedback. More specific feedback is provided on a case-to-case basis when requested.

09

Short-listed candidates are then invited to attend a pre-bid workshop where the application process for the second stage is explained. In addition, a one-to-one meeting with each applicant is then arranged with the relevant Government Department where the applicants get an opportunity to better understand the requirements and problem statements which the innovation is trying to address.

10

The short-listed applicants submit the technical and financial proposals on a pre-defined date for detailed scrutiny by SNG and relevant Reforms Working Group. External technical experts are also engaged for carefully reviewing the proposal for a 360-degree view. The department and external reviewers sign a ‘conflict of interest’ undertaking to ensure a transparent and unbiased evaluation. The RWG then finalizes the assessment which is presented to the PSC. The evaluation process includes a detailed presentation by applicants to the evaluation team. FCDO/PSC may request additional presentations if deemed necessary. The PSC makes the final decision for approval of grant applications. The award decision is then communicated immediately after the formal approval of PSC minutes. The unsuccessful candidates are given feedback on their submissions. The successful candidates are displayed on the website.

11

The process, as summarized above, is governed by an FCDO and PSC-approved Innovation Fund Manual, which is a key program document.

ICF Process

Each Round of Innovation Challenge Fund is launched on a specific thematic focus. The SNG Programme Steering Committee approves the thematic focus for each Round (PSC), chaired by Head of Planning. FCDO, UK, is a member of the PSC, and their concurrence is necessary for any idea to receive a grant under the innovation fund.

Each Round is governed by a ‘Terms Sheet’ which PSC and FCDO approve. The document is placed on the SNG website for transparency purposes and clarifies the application process and other terms and conditions.

The `Call for Proposals’ is published widely in national print media, advertised through SNG Social Media, and by direct emails to an active database of potential applicants. Before launch, awareness sessions are held with potential applicants to discuss the approach and process.

The first stage of application requires the online submission of the concept note. All logs of requests are recorded.

After submitting the concept notes, the names of all the applicants are displayed on the SNG Website. A specified amount of time is provided if an applicant feels that their submission has been missed out.

The concepts are cataloged and are shared with Senior Management at OPM and FCDO.

The evaluation of concept notes is an extensive exercise. The SNG Innovation team conducted the review, SNG Technical Team relevant to the thematic focus and by a group appointed by the appropriate government department, to which the concept relates. The entire evaluation exercise is then presented to the SNG Reform Working Groups established in all relevant Government Departments and headed by the Secretary of the Department. Finally, the entire evaluation process and ideas are presented to the PSC, of which FCDO is a member, and a shortlist is approved for submission of a detailed technical proposal.

All successful and unsuccessful candidates are notified about the PSC decision within five working days after the minutes of the PSC are formally approved. Each applicant is sent an individual response with general feedback. More specific feedback is provided on a case-by-case basis when requested.

 

The short-listed candidates are then invited to attend a pre-bid workshop where the application process for the second stage is discussed, and all questions are answered. In addition, a one-to-one meeting of each applicant is then arranged with the relevant Government Department where the applicants can better understand the requirements and problem statements of the government that the innovation is trying to address.

The short-listed applicants submit the entire technical and financial proposals on a pre-defined date. Each submission then goes through detailed scrutiny. In addition to the SNG Innovation Team, Technical Team with subject knowledge and department teams, external technical experts are also involved in carefully viewing the proposal from a 360-degree view. The department and external reviewers sign a ‘conflict of interest’ undertaking to ensure a transparent and unbiased evaluation. The RWG then finalizes the assessment, and that is presented at the PSC. The evaluation process involves a detailed presentation by applicants to the evaluation team. FCDO/PSC may request additional presentations if deemed necessary. The PSC makes the final decision on which applications will be funded. The award decision is then communicated immediately as the government and FCDO formally approve PSC minutes. The unsuccessful candidates are provided feedback on their submissions. The successful candidates for the award will be placed on the website.

The process, as summarized above, is governed by an FCDO and PSC-approved Innovation Fund Manual, a key program document.

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