Innovation Fund for Resilience in Ethiopia

The RESET Plus Innovation Fund for resilience is an initiative of the European Union to foster social innovation that enhances resilience-building in five regions in Ethiopia. The fund is managed by ICCO to help social entrepreneurs in realizing innovations that improve the livelihoods and resilience of 20,000 vulnerable people (50% women).

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Ethiopia is an emerging economy facing dynamic and recurring challenges such as climate induced shocks, land degradation, unemployment, limited diversification in agriculture, and absence of strong and long-term social support mechanisms.

The 2015/16 drought in the highlands and the 2016/17 drought in the eastern lowlands made evident that while contributions made by resilience-building programs were important, there is an urgent need to address the root causes of vulnerability and instability in rural areas. Moreover, there has been a growing call for resilience programs to go beyond “business as usual” and therefore, address the new trends and challenges that are occurring in the country.

Resilience can no longer be only understood in terms of traditional farming, disaster risk management or basic social services at community level. The Innovation Fund puts more attention and invest on social innovation in the development and humanitarian sectors in the country. The Fund is integrating the transformation of traditional rural livelihoods systems with the opening to markets, growing urbanization process and new demands from youth and women.


The RESET Plus Innovation Fund aims to foster social innovation that enhances resilience-building in Ethiopia. Actions under this Innovation Fund are expected to influence existing systems by introducing and adopting new and appropriate methodologies, approaches, technologies and practices, in partnership with public and private stakeholders. The priority beneficiaries are women and youth.

The fund is composed of two components:

  1. € 6,000,000 for the component 1 (innovators) in grants ranging from € 25.000 to € 500.000
  2. € 600,000 for the component 2 (research) in grants ranging from €100.000 to € 300.000

Since 2012, the European Union has invested more than 200 million euros on different resilience building programs in Ethiopia. The EU RESET Program (Resilience Building Ethiopia) is funded by the Trust Fund for Africa.

The Innovation Fund is one of the four components of RESET Plus Program and it is implemented by ICCO Cooperation.


Global objective: promote social innovation in the resilience-building sector in Ethiopia by providing financial support for innovation.
Specific objective: support both innovative initiatives and action researches through the establishment of an Innovation Fund.

Thematic Areas

  • Sustainable climate smart production systems.
  • Livelihood diversification related to agro-livestock business and value chains related to productivity and access to market.
  • Livelihood diversification related to proximity services to communities.
  • Transforming agricultural technology transfer and adoption • Rural job creation – self or waged employment.
  • Water supply development and sustainable management.
  • Long-term nutrition.
  • Disaster risk reduction techniques/approaches.
  • Sustainable natural resource management.
  • Demography – family planning.

How innovation will bring change?

How innovation will bring change? Reset plus

Target Regions

41 woreda in eight cluster regions located in 5 regions Amhara region: Cluster 1 Wag Himra - Sekota, Ziquala, Abergele, Sahla, Dehana, Gaz Gibla; Afar region: Cluster 2 Afar - Chifra, Adar, Ewa, Dewe, Telalak, Aysaita, Elidar, Afambo; Somali region: Cluster 3 Siti - Ayisha, Miesso, Afdem, Erer, Shinile and Cluster 4 Liben - Dheka Suftu, Mubarek, Dolo Odo, Moyale(S); Oromia region: Cluster 5 Bale - Dawe Kachen, Gura Damole, Rayitu, Meda Wollabu and Cluster 6 Borena - Dillo, Moyale (O), Miyo, Dire, Dehas, Arero; SNNPR region: Cluster 7 Wolayta - Kindo Koysha, Damot Pulasa, Boloso Sore, Diguna Fango and Cluster 8 South Omo - Hamer, Dasenech, Gnangatom.

Publications and FAQ

The closing date for concept note submission is December 16th 2019, 16:00.

Following the questions addressed during the public meetings in Addis Ababa, Semera, Sodo, Dire Dawa, Sekota, Yabello, Jinka, Filtu and Robe, the fund management team has compiled the first version of the Frequently asked questions. If you still do not find answers to your questions, please address them by email to before December 5th and check the website for updates.

Please also note the amended version of the Guidelines for Applicants and the evaluation grid for concept notes for reference.


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Improve livelihoods & resilience
20,000 vulnerable people
Women & Youth


Announcement of Call for Concept Notes RESET Plus Innovation Fund

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Read more about Announcement of Call for Concept Notes RESET Plus Innovation Fund

RESET Plus Innovation Fund Launched in Ethiopia

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Read more about RESET Plus Innovation Fund Launched in Ethiopia

Register for one of the RESET Plus Innovation Fund events in Ethiopia

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Read more about Register for one of the RESET Plus Innovation Fund events in Ethiopia


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