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Applying for Vital Strategies’ Global Grants Funding? Learn What Makes a Successful Project

A new round of funding from the Global Grants Program is now open, dedicated to projects that strengthen the collection, analysis and use of high-quality data in public health decision-making. Applications are available online, now through January 15, 2021.

Through a competitive process, Vital Strategies’ Global Grants Program provides funds to government partners to implement focused, results-oriented projects that improve public health data in low- and middle-income countries. Since its inaugural grant in March 2019, the Program has supported government partners in addressing information gaps and improving data processes—a critical input for informed public health policy and investment.

What makes a successful project? To guide new applicants, the Global Grants Team took a look back at the previous three rounds of funding:

Targeted Approach

A key characteristic has been a targeted approach to addressing public health challenges. The most successful projects identify a single challenge that can be addressed with targeted activities and can communicate clear outcomes and objectives before the project launches—understanding that this is one step toward larger, more transformative change to their country’s public health system.

Clear Buy-In

Endorsement and support from key partners and stakeholders are critical. Many projects can identify a problem and devise a thoughtful solution, but successful implementation requires transparent collaboration from all relevant partners.

Pivot to Virtual

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a host of unique challenges. Successful projects have identified ways to pivot implementation towards a virtual format; new applicants should craft their proposal by designing activities that can take place within the context of COVID-19.

Leverage Local Expertise

Successful implementation requires leveraging local expertise. While the Global Grants Program connects project focal points with public health experts as part of our support, our in-country partners are intimately familiar with the needs of their local health systems and communities. The most successful projects call on local experts in adapting global best practices and innovative strategies to the national or sub-national context.

Overall, the Global Grants Program is designed to strengthen public health systems by providing financial support and technical assistance to interventions targeted toward data use for decision-making, innovations in non-communicable disease surveys, population-based cancer registries, civil registration and vital statistics, and using data to develop an informed public health response to COVID-19. The projects best suited for funding support will address one of these areas in a focused approach that demonstrates clear buy-in from stakeholders, leverages local expertise and which has enough flexibility baked in to move forward during the COVID-19 era.

For questions regarding the Global Grants Program or the funding application, please contact

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The Data for Health Initiative is a global effort supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It provides technical assistance to low- and middle-income countries worldwide to improve public health data systems at the national level, including improving civil registration and vital statistics systems, maximizing the use of data to enhance public health policymaking and decision-making, establishing and strengthening national cancer registries and more. Vital Strategies serves as an implementing partner.