The OPTions Initiative

The goal of the Options for Pregnancy Termination (OPTions) Innovation Initiative is to support Bold Ideas with Big Impact® for women’s and girls’ access to safe abortion in low- and middle-income countries. We seek innovative and transformative approaches that put women and girls in control of where, when and how they terminate their pregnancy. The focus of this call is therefore to support the development and testing of: 1) new approaches to increasing early access to existing abortion products and services, and 2) new methods of pregnancy termination.

The Problem

The impact of unsafe abortion is profound. There are more than 25 million unsafe abortions annually, the vast majority of which (about 97%) occur in the developing world. As a result, approximately 7 million women and girls are admitted to health facilities with complications and 22,800 to 31,000 women and girls die annually, making unsafe abortions one of the leading global causes of maternal mortality.[1]

Access to services is often limited due to a wide range of barriers, and there is often limited choice in terms of the method of abortion. These barriers collectively contribute to the staggering number of deaths and disabilities seen annually as a result of unsafe abortion, which are disproportionately felt by the poorest of the poor in developing countries.

The Role of Innovation

Innovation spurs new approaches to existing problems. This is needed to efficiently and effectively focus, develop, and test solutions that respond to this persistent, unsolved challenge in an equitable manner. The impact of integrating scientific/technological, social, and business innovation (known as Integrated Innovation) can transform the accessibility and effectiveness of safe abortion products and services by increasing access to existing methods of safe abortion, and developing new methods of safe abortion.

Feminist Investment Approach

The OPTions Initiative is in direct alignment with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, and applies a feminist investment approach that places an explicit focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in order to drive progress toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal Five: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Request for Proposals

The Options for Pregnancy Termination (OPTions) Innovation Initiative Request for Proposals is open until February 12, 2019! Successful proposals will be awarded seed grants of up to CAD $250,000 for 18 to 24 months.

The OPTions Initiative seeks innovative and transformative ideas that have potential to improve access to safe abortion in low- and middle-income countries where there are one or more legal grounds to support it. These ideas could originate from innovators worldwide and across a wide range of disciplines. We are seeking innovations that:

  • Increase access to existing abortion products and services for women and girls who have chosen to terminate their pregnancy.
  • Develop and test new methods of pregnancy termination that are an improvement over existing methods.

How to Apply

To apply for funding, applicants must use the online application form provided, which is only accessible via the Grand Challenges Canada’s Fluxx Portal, gcc.fluxx.io . Before starting an application, please carefully review the Request for Proposals and the FAQ. Please see Section 4.2 Application Instructions in the Request for Proposals for detailed instructions on how to apply.

DEADLINE: February 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm (ET).

Request for Proposals (12 November 2018)
Frequently Asked Questions

Demande de propositions (12 Novembre 2018)
La Foire aux questions (FAQ)

Request for Proposals – Arabic (14 December 2018)
Request for Proposals – Spanish (14 December 2018)
Request for Proposals – Swahili (14 December 2018)


Partnerships

The OPTions Initiative aims to increase gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by supporting innovative solutions that improve access to safe abortion. To reach our goal, we seek connections and strategic relationships with governments, funders, the private sector, sexual and reproductive health and rights institutions, and innovators that will help identify, promote, and scale up groundbreaking solutions for access to safe abortion. Please get in touch about partnership opportunities using the form below.


[1] Guttmacher Institute, Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access (March 2018)

Are you interested in partnering with OPTions Initiative?

Get in touch with us by using the form to the right.

Please note that applications for funding are not to be submitted through this form. Refer to Section 4.2 of the Request for Proposals for application instructions.