New Cycle of the Ascend Learning and Innovation Fund

21 Oct 2020

Do you have an innovative idea to help beat neglected tropical diseases?

Following a successful initial cycle, the Ascend West and Central Africa programme is excited to announce the opening of the second Cycle of the Ascend Learning and Innovation Fund, to accelerate the control and elimination efforts for up to five neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

The fund can provide up to £350,000 to support a flexible range of NTD-focused projects in 13 countries in West and Central Africa. The aim of the fund is to seek to enhance the quality of effective NTD programming by testing innovative ideas and assisting the transition of programme learnings into scalable and sustainable outcomes.

Turn your idea into a life-changing project

If you have an impactful idea, the fund team want to hear it and help make it a reality. Successful project proposals will address one of the four following challenge statements:

  • Challenge 1: Challenge 1: COVID-19 – How can adaptive NTD delivery ‘build back better’ in the context of COVID 19 pandemic?
  • Challenge 2: Integration and multisectoral action – How can NTD interventions leverage synergies arising from collaborations across diseases, sectors and borders?
  • Challenge 3: Universal Health Coverage (UHC) – How can we enhance access to, and quality of, NTD treatment and prevention services in the context of UHC?
  • Challenge 4. Health systems strengthening – How can we ensure long-term, in-country sustainability for NTD programmes?
  • Challenge 5. Data systems – How can we increase the quality and availability of NTD data at all levels to better inform NTD programming?

If you want to address something outside of these challenges that is relevant to the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases, please send an email to: fundteam [at] ascendwest-innovationfund [dot] org discuss further.


The fund consists of 4 application windows. Applications for Cycle 2 open on 9th October 2020 and will close on 6th November 2020. All project activities and reports must be completed and submitted by 31st January 2022 at the latest.

For more information on the application process, fund guidelines and challenge statements please visit: or email the team: fundteam [at] ascendwest-innovationfund [dot] org.


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