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Request for Concepts – Improving the Social Wellbeing, Economic Status and Resilience of the Youth


Christian Aid is an international development organization that has been working globally for over 70 years, in 37 countries, with people of all faiths and none, to stand up for dignity, equality and justice. Christian Aid Kenya’s focus (2019-2023) is on improving lives and livelihoods in rural and urban areas through Health &Nutrition, Climate Resilience & Energy, Gender Equality, Humanitarian Assistance and promoting Economic Justice & Inclusive Markets. We work with over 30 local partners across 29 counties to help the underserved, empowering them to identify their own strengths and resources and claim the services and rights they are entitled to.

Christian Aid in Kenya recognises the importance of investing in the youth as they are critical to global stability, economic growth and development. Millions of young people are entering the competitive labour market every year. In Kenya, there are 16.8 million youth aged 15-34; this population is expected to increase to 22.8 million by 2030. It is in this breath that we are seeking applications from qualified, locally registered organisations for a project supporting Youth and Enterprise development in Kenya. The award will be made to applicants who best meet the objectives of the partnership opportunity and selection criteria provided. The project will be implemented in 4 counties in Kenya that make up the Nairobi Metropolitan region. **


Despite their potential, most youth in Kenya continue to face unemployment, underemployment, inadequate life and business skills and limited access to capital. According to ILO (2017) there are about 71 million unemployed youth aged between 15-24 years globally; the youth unemployment currently stands at around 13.2%. With approximately 800,000 young Kenyans entering the labour market every year, youth unemployment has been on the rise and the situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenya is considered a youthful country with more than 70% of the population falling below the age of 35 years (UN 2017). While the youth bulge represents an asset for Kenya, it also presents a number of challenges; Kenyan youth continue to face economic challenges of unemployment and feeling marginalized in terms of access to opportunities, representation and participation. According to UN human development report the youth unemployment rate currently stands at 22.2% making Kenya one of the countries with the highest rates of youth unemployment. This further compounds the realization of economic and social pillars of Kenya’s vision 2030.

The World Health Organization reports that mental health problems affect 10–20% of children and adolescents worldwide. They also estimate that half of all mental illness begins by age 14, though most cases go undetected and untreated. In Kenya, there is limited mental health literacy, a dramatic shortage of human and other resources to effectively care for mental disorders and furthermore, stigma greatly limits access to care and decreases quality of life for individuals facing mental health challenges. Current social-isolation and quarantine under COVID-19 have greatly disrupted young people’s lives and routines, with schools closed and social and economic conditions changing rapidly. Research shows that poor youth mental health limits: health, education, livelihoods and the formation of positive relationships and communities.

The wellbeing of thousands of girls in Kenya is also at risk with reports of a huge upsurge in teen pregnancies since the start of COVID-19 lockdown. Since containment measures in Kenya were put in place, including closing schools and restricting movement, accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services has become very challenging for girls and women. Young people have already reported reduced use of SRHR services including decreased access to contraceptives. Experts have projected that COVID-19 will lead to over 15 million additional unintended pregnancies globally, many of which will occur among teenage girls.

Our Strategy

Christian Aid seeks to support innovative approaches that will to improve the Social Wellbeing, Economic Status and Resilience of young people aged 15 – 30 years. Projects may focus on one or more of three key objectives:

1. Enhanced economic status and resilience of youth

· Action research, learning and Knowledge management

· Improved vocational skills for labour market insertion

· Creating pathways to decent employment for the youth

· ICT, Business and entrepreneurial skills

· Financial education/Youth financial inclusion

· Business Plans/ideas competition for incubation, innovation and acceleration

· Business Strategy development, testing innovation, prototyping and Industry testing

· Coaching, mentorship and life/soft skills

· B2B and funding/investment linkages

· Capacity building on investments and investor readiness

· Linkages for funding: venture capital, debt or equity, government facilities

2. Improved Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (YSRH) and Youth Mental Health (YMH)

· Enhanced Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (awareness, access to services, addressing teen pregnancies)

· Youth Mental Health (Mental Health awareness, gender-based violence, stigmatization)

· Improved capacity to advocate for better policy and services

· Data, Research & Knowledge generation & dissemination

3. Strengthened Advocacy for Youth related issues (1&2)

· *Capacity building of Youth Led and youth focused organizations in research, knowledge management***

· Strengthen & Increase youth representation in advocacy and decision-making forums

· Advocacy for Youth employment and Youth businesses funding

· Advocacy for Increased transparency in sharing country resources to youth programmes Improved vocational skills, entrepreneurship and employability


Projects will be implemented initially within 4 counties that make up the Nairobi Metropolitan Area (Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado) targeting both young men and women aged 15- 30.


Christian Aid Kenya seeks partnerships with organizations seeking to strengthen new or existing programs and support their growth or expansion and are experienced in:

· Implementing youth employment and enterprise development programmes

· Youth programming around; provision of business development services; financing models, incubation of youth-owned start-ups and MSMEs; youth research and knowledge; youth health and gender inclusion

· Research, feasibility studies on youth related issues (financial/economic) studies

· Market research and analyses

· Investment/business plan development and readiness

· Product development, quality standards and certification

· Market and financial (credit) access

· Youth sexual and reproductive health (YSRH) and youth mental health (YMH)

Interventions should lead to new investments, enhanced productivity and completeness of youth-led start-ups/MSMEs and lead to new innovative ideas under incubation and increase in youth employment and improved YSRH and YMH in target counties. These interventions will also include direct capacity building resources to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to ensure their growth and expansion.

Projects are expected to work closely with registered TVETs, private sector institutions such as financial institutions, civil societies, government institutions and existing community structures among other stakeholders.


Christian Aid will review proposals using a two-stage process. Applicants must first submit a concept paper of no more than five pages before submitting a full proposal. Concept papers must meet the identified needs of this solicitation.

Note: Do not submit a full proposal. Christian Aid will contact selected applicants to request a full proposal for consideration based on the information provided in the concept paper.

In the first stage, all applicants are required to submit a short technical concept paper that is specific, complete and concise. The concept paper should demonstrate the applicant’s capabilities and expertise with respect to achieving the goals of this program. The instructions for developing the concept paper are listed in the next section.

Concept papers will be reviewed in terms of responsiveness to the program, appropriateness of subject matter, innovation and scalability.

How to apply

Concept Paper Instructions

The concept paper must be submitted in 11’ font size, and no more than 5 pages according to the format set forth below:

1. Cover Page (no more than one (1) page). The cover page must include:

· Name and Address of organization

· Type of organization (e.g., for-profit, non-profit, university, etc.) and Registration Status

· Contact point (lead contact name; telephone e-mail information)

· Names of co-applicants or other organizations who are funding the proposed activity; and

· Signature of authorized representative of the applicant.

2. Technical approach (no more than three (3) pages): should include:

· Title, concise summary and objectives of proposed activity;

· Discussion of the objectives, proposed activities, the method of approach, effort to be employed, anticipated results, and how the work will help accomplish the Christian Aid’s goals; and

· Proposed project duration and timelines

3. Supporting information (no more than (1) page):

· Brief description of applicant’s, relevant previous work or experience.

· Proposed total estimated cost; Brief cost breakdown (e.g., salaries, activities, travel, overheads etc.);

· Proposed optional amount of the applicant’s financial as well as in-kind contribution if applicable; and

Project Duration: Projects anticipated to the start September 2020 with a performance period of up to two years

Funding level: A maximum of USD 50,000 per year

Concepts must be submitted electronically (by email only) to [email protected] no later than 17:00 EAT on July 31, 2020.

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