Request for Applications (RFA) - SARDI Digital Policy Activity

Request for Applications (RFA) -  SARDI Digital Policy Activity

Organization: DAI

Apply By: 27 Jan 2021

Grant Amount: 225000 USD

RFA No. 


Issue Date 

23rd Dec 2020


SARDI Digital Policy Activity

Issuing Office & Email

Digital Frontiers c/o DAI DigitalFrontiers@dai.com 

Deadline for Receipt of Questions

January 13, 2021, 5pm EST, to DigitalFrontiers@dai.com 

Deadline for Receipt of Applications

January 27, 2021, 5pm EST, to DigitalFrontiers@dai.com 

Point of Contact 


Anticipated Award Type 

Standard grant 

The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to solicit applications for funding. DAI through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from organizations working with urban youth- and women-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Haryana regions of India to help them translate “digital policies into action”.


Digital Frontiers is a $74.4 million buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2022. DAI implements the Digital Frontiers project, which works closely with USAID’s Global Development Lab (GDL), the Center for Digital Development (CDD), USAID Missions, the private sector, and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally. 

Digital technology is transforming the Indo-Pacific region. As the world’s fastest growing region for internet adoption and digital connectivity between people and businesses, this has the potential to spur tremendous economic growth while creating high-value export opportunities. USAID’s South Asia Regional Digital Initiative (SARDI) aims to increase the digital capacity of the private sector and civil society by strengthening their ability to engage on digital and ICT policy issues.


The selected partner will work with urban youth- and women-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Haryana regions of India to help them translate “digital policies into action”. The focus of the project will be to help these SMEs better understand, comply with, take advantage of, and think critically about the technology policy environment which governs their businesses’ actions, ensuring they have the right digital tools and frameworks to help grow their business and keep them secure, while also supporting increased collaboration between these businesses to develop their skills to advocate and articulate opinions about key digital policy issues.

This activity will help the target SMEs operate more efficiently and effectively, and take advantage of beneficial public incentives and programs, while complying with all the policy guidelines set out under the various digital policies being finalized by the Government of India.


The selected partner will be expected to incorporate the following activities into their application, at a minimum:

  1. Engage with various institutions/forums – private and public - that work with SMEs at the national and state levels to identify and form the target SME cohort from tier 1[1] (developing cities with a rapid growth rate in industrial and allied sectors) and tier 2 cities (cities having sub-optimal connectivity and other infrastructure facilities) of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Haryana, and obtain buy-in from the central and state level MSME departments to support and sustain the program.
  2. Develop training curriculum and organize virtual or in person trainings, mentoring, and/or coaching programs (COVID restrictions permitting) for the SME cohort on topics such as (i) relevant digital policies including but not limited to cybersecurity, data localization and data protection policies/regulations, ecommerce, collaboration tools and their relevance and impact on their businesses, (ii)  cyber security processes and techniques including, cyber hygiene best practices for digital secured payments, user access/passwords, cloud computing, IoT etc., and (iii) digital transformation strategies for their businesses to strengthen processes and enhance efficiency.
  3. Raise awareness on new or upcoming relevant state or national level Digital Policies (e.g. cyber hygiene and cybersecurity, data protection policies/regulations, ecommerce, cloud computing infrastructure, etc.) and digital transformation benefits/requirements and their implications for SMEs through awareness raising and social media campaigns. 


Preferred qualifications for applicants

  • Applicant team should include at least one team member located in India
  • Must have experience with digital development
  • Must have deep experience working with central/state govt of India
  • Experience working with SMEs/microenterprises preferred
  • USAID experience preferred


To receive the full Request for Application (RFA) with application instructions, please email DigitalFrontiers@dai.com.


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