Rapid Response Mechanism

Providing fast resources in response to urgent, time-bound opportunities

What is the Rapid Response Mechanism?

The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) provides small grants to fund time-sensitive projects that will help FP2020 partners meet our overall goal of providing 120 million more women and girls access to contraceptives by 2020.

The RRM is used to fund projects that directly respond to opportunities for which an immediate intervention is needed. In other terms, RRM-funded projects must:

  • EITHER respond to a recent change in the family planning operational environment of a FP2020 focus country
  • OR work toward a specific upcoming opportunity to advance family planning in a FP2020 focus country

What types of activities does the RRM fund?

Typically, RRM projects fall into three categories:

Technical Assistance

Our definition: To provide expert assistance to the government in order to strengthen their capacity so that they can develop and implement stronger family planning policies and programs.

Technical assistance can either be provided by an organization with demonstrated expertise in a specific thematic area, or an individual (consultant).

  • The RRM supports technical assistance projects through either a deliverable-based contract or an activity-based grant. This is determined at the discretion of the FP2020 Secretariat based on the type of technical assistance provided.

Project highlight: Bureau Diocesain des Oeuvres Medicales (BDOM) in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Why their project was time-sensitive:

In 2016, a new budget line for family planning was created in the health budget of South-Kivu. It was formalized in December 2016, and at the time of funding this intervention, there was an urgent need to support the operationalization of this commitment by the provincial authorities to avoid any delays.

Why their results were catalytic to advance FP2020 in the DRC:

This project resulted in $21,000 disbursement by the provincial authorities to purchase family planning commodities in South Kivu in 2017. Further, provincial authorities procured a total of 2,000 units of Implanon NXT and 2,350 cycle beads based on the needs assessment conducted by BDOM. Crucially, political will was galvanized behind the new budget line, evidenced by the improved coordination between the provincial Ministers of Health, Budget and Finance; the authoring of a formal technical note by the provincial Minister of Health addressed to the governor; a number of local and national media stories that covered the disbursement of family planning funds; and a new budget allocation for family planning commodities adopted for 2018.


Our definition: To provide training and post-training activities on family planning to service providers and other key stakeholders

The RRM primarily supports the following types of training:

  • Training of trainers on family planning service delivery techniques and methods, at national and decentralized levels.
  • Training of individual health providers (public and private) on FP service delivery techniques and methods, with an emphasis on last-mile service delivery.
  • Training of key stakeholders in evidence-based advocacy, policy communication, and/or budget negotiation for family planning.

Project highlight: Marie Stopes Nigeria

Why their project was time-sensitive:

At the time of funding, a task sharing policy had recently been approved in Nigeria, allowing Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) to provide Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs). However, CHEWs did not have the skills and experience to provide LARC services due to lack of training. This training gap had the greatest effect on the rural populations that CHEWs serve, resulting in a huge proportion of women living in rural locations being denied access to safe and quality LARC services. It was considered essential to help operationalize this new policy through the immediate training of CHEWs on family planning including LARCs.

Why their results were catalytic to advance FP2020 in Nigeria:

This project built the capacity of 60 providers including 50 CHEWs and 10 Clinical Trainers to provide LARCs (implants and IUDs) in five states: Gombe, Kano, Katsina, Taraba, and Niger. Following the trainings, from October 2016 to May 2017, the trained health workers served 5,077 women with comprehensive FP information and services, including but not limited to LARCs. The project helped improve and expand access to family planning services for hard-to-reach women and girls, thereby closing the gap in terms of unmet need in the project areas. Collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Commissioner of Health and Human Resources across the five states further galvanized support around task shifting policy in Nigeria (project results were disseminated at national level through the Federal Ministry of Health).


Our definition: To educate and influence those who hold governmental, political, economic, or private power to create an enabling environment for family planning.

General awareness-raising or education on family planning are not eligible for funding by the RRM.

Find additional guidelines on advocacy and lobbying here (Word document). Please be aware that certain advocacy or lobbying activities are prohibited per the RRM’s policy.

Project highlight: Likhaan Philippines

Why their project was time-sensitive:

The Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (started mid-2015 and upheld twice, in August 2016 and April 2017) on the approval and government distribution of contraceptives, which they deem to be abortifacients. The TRO quickly caused partial shortage of certain types and brands of contraceptives that women use, with the potential to cause total shortage if the TRO is not lifted by the end of 2019. As a member of the Reproductive Health Law’s National Implementation Team (NIT) technical committee working on the FDA Guidelines, Likhaan was given a formal responsibility by the FDA to provide evidence on the abortifacient nature for the Board of Consultants that will be reviewing public comments and evidence briefs.

Why their results were catalytic to advance FP2020 in the Philippines:

Through providing this research and participating on several meetings and panel discussions with the FDA, Likhaan supported the body of evidence on which the FDA based its November 12 resolution to re-certify all 47 types contraceptives as non-abortifacients, enabling the 6.02 million women and girls in the Philippines with an unmet need for modern contraception to access a full range of methods across public and private facilities. This decision ended the partial shortage on modern contraception caused by the TRO and averted a total shortage of modern methods by the end of 2019.


The RRM cannot be used to fund the following:

  • Purchase of contraceptives
  • Government staff salaries or honorariums
  • Scholarships to individuals
  • Fees to attend a conference
  • Basic research, academic studies or surveys
  • Capital equipment (such as machinery, vehicles, IT equipment, and office furniture)

Who is eligible?

In order to receive funding from the RRM, your organization must meet the three criteria below:

  • Be a registered non-governmental organization, a government body, a United Nations agency, or a private contractor.
  • Have a bank account registered to the organization’s name.
  • Implement your proposed project in an FP2020 focus country.

When and how to apply?

The FP2020 Secretariat accepts new RRM applications on an ongoing basis. This means there is no deadline to apply to the RRM.

Prospective organizations can apply through two distinct channels:

  • On-line application form on the FP2020 website (recommended, see “Apply Now!” below)
  • Off-line application forms, which can be downloaded here

The FP2020 Secretariat strongly encourages applicants to use the forms and templates provided on our website.

Selection of RRM applications is competitive, based on how relevant the proposed project is to fulfill the RRM mandate and how much funding is available at any given time. Applicants must demonstrate that the grant will help address an unanticipated need or urgent opportunity and that there are clear benefits or need to secure rapid funding.

Selection of RRM grants will be handled by the FP2020 Secretariat, in consultation with our country partners as appropriate.

All proposals will undergo a degree of validation and due diligence. The following documents must be provided by the applicant (templates available in the “Resources” section below):

  • Registration Documents (always required, unless the applicant is a government body)
  • Audit report or Bank Letter (always required, unless the applicant is a government body)
  • Commitment Letter (only if the applicant plans to implement its proposed project jointly with one or several partner organization(s)
  • Support Letter from a FP2020 commitment entity (only if the proposed project budget exceeds US$25,000) 
  • Workplan


Before submitting your application through FP2020’s on-line system, please:

  1. Download the Narrative proposal template and prepare your responses “off-line” with the rest of your team.
  2. Download the Budget template and prepare your project budget “off-line” with the rest of your team.
  3. Download the Workplan template and prepare your project workplan “off-line” with the rest of your team
  4. Have your application’s attachments ready (bank/audit letter, support letter, registration documents, commitment letter depending on your situation). You can find templates for these documents in the section below. We accept files in a wide range of formats (Word, Excel, PDF, jpeg, etc.).

If you are using the offline forms, please submit your narrative proposal, budget, workplan, and all required attachments to rapidresponse@unfoundation.org.


If you have any questions on the RRM, please feel free to contact the FP2020 Secretariat at rapidresponse@familyplanning2020.org. Thank you!

Special thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies for establishing the Rapid Response Mechanism.

Can we help you find something?
Advocacy & Awareness
Beyond 2020
Contraceptive Security
ECHO Study
FP in Humanitarian Settings
Policy and Enabling Environment
Service Delivery & Quality
Young People
Commitment Maker
Commitment Maker