Calls for Applications

RfA: Data Analytics for Benin, Senegal, Uganda, Zambia

  • December 31, 2015

  • Brussels, Belgium

Using mobile data for development is growing in importance to a wide range of development actors. There are a variety of different uses and considerations when using mobile data.

As noted by UN Global Pulse, call data records (CDRs) provide several dimensions of analysis that can be measured and used by the mobile network operators (MNOs) and other businesses and organizations to identify mobility, social interaction and economic activity. Beyond CDRs, information from one or more MNOs core network and switching system, value added services downloads and usage, and even handset information can yield valuable insights into individual and collective behavior.

This data can also be combined and analyzed with other data sets to identify deeper patterns and correlations such that mobile data can either identify or predict conditions or behaviors of individuals (such as business activity, creditworthiness, transportation habits or needs) or communities (such as the identification of poverty “pockets” or the likely spread of diseases).

The purpose of this exploratory request for applications (RFA) is to support UNCDF and its partners to engage in a data analytics for development results linked to UNCDF’s financial mandate to provide capital (grants, loans and guarantees) and technical support both public and private sector in the least developed countries to support low income individuals and communities.

This RFA will result in a shortlist of potential organizations with whom UNCDF will seek to develop more comprehensive project proposals. Therefore this RFA is intentionally brief and applicants will be evaluated based on a few key components. From this shortlist, UNCDF intends to approve one or more projects that result in a range of data analytics activities that will assist UNCDF and its public and private partners to use mobile data to determine investment opportunities in services that reach low income groups, particularly rural communities and women.

The expected result is that UNCDF will partner with one or more of the shortlisted organizations to (i) develop a series of uses cases for mobile data, (ii) analytics to support those use cases and (iii) a tool (i.e. dashboard), set of tools or platform for mobile phone data analysis that can assist UNCDF, its government and non-governmental partners, and other organizations in providing needed services to low income communities over the next several years.


Applications should be returned to the UNCDF by email no later than midnight on 20 January 2016 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It is anticipated that shortlisting will be completed within 2 – 3 weeks of application submission. The time needed for submission of revised proposals, if needed, will depend on the complexity and thoroughness of the initial proposals but should take no more than one month. UNCDF would like to conclude all agreements no later than mid- April.

The overall duration of the work is expected to take up to 18 months; the expected date of full completion is no later than 31 September, 2017. The applicant should propose their own timeline for completion of the different stages of the work, however it is expected that the project development should be completed in Q1 2016 and the use case development and some initial use case analytics by Q4 2016, allowing suitable time for the validation, use and development of the tools


Applications and any consultation about this RFA should be submitted via email at


All queries and submitted applications will be acknowledged. A FAQ document will be generated based on enquiries received on or before 8 January. The FAQs will be posted on the UNCDF website shortly thereafter.