1 Million Youth Actions Challenge: Call for proposals

Apply by Jul 17 2023
Max. per project
5 000 $CAD
Closed call for proposal

This call for proposals is made possible thanks to the International Secretariat for Water, 1 Million Youth Actions Challenge, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, SDC Network Réseau, Agence de l'Eau Artois Picardie.


Youth between 15 and 24 years old represent 16% of the world’s population, and yet youth are too often excluded from decision-making processes that will have a significant impact on their futures. However, the inclusion of youth is essential for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, more and more young people are committing to a sustainable future through advocacy, lobbying, volunteering, or involvement in community or civil society organizations. Their actions are a means to achieve progress on the SDGs. Although young people are actors of change, they lack the technical and financial means to make their project ideas happen. According to a recent study by the ClimateWorks Foundation, foundation giving to youth-led climate justice initiatives is extremely limited — accounting for just 0.76% of climate mitigation funding from the world’s largest climate foundations across the three financial years 2019, 2020, and 2021. Young people are seen as “high risk” by potential funders because of their lack of experience, despite their unique innovative capacities and strong will to take action. It is crucial to enhance access to funding for young people and support their efforts by increasing access to technical support and guidance. (United Nations, 2020). 

1 Million Youth Actions Challenge (1MYAC): An initiative to stimulate young people around the world! 

Launched in September 2021 by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, 1MYAC is a great opportunity to promote youth engagement for the implementation of SDGs. The challenge aims at mobilizing youth from all over the world to implement concrete actions for a more sustainable future. 

1MYAC focuses on the following four United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address both climate change and the depletion of natural resources worldwide: SDG 6 on ‘clean water and sanitation’, SDG 12 on ‘responsible consumption and production’, SDG 13 on ‘climate action’ (climate change) and SDG 15 on ‘life on land’ (biodiversity). 

Youth for Water and Climate (YWC) is a platform developed by a consortium led by the International Secretariat for Water that aims to help turn youth ideas into reality by providing young people with financial and technical support and by connecting their initiatives with partners and mentors. After 5 calls for projects and more than 25 projects funded on the platform, YWC and 1MYAC are joining forces in this call for projects with one main objective in mind: Encouraging and supporting youth-led actions for t clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, climate action & biodiversity.


The main objective of this call for projects is to support the implementation of youth-led initiatives related to clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, climate action & biodiversity and to enhance the young leaders’ capacities as actors of change in the water and climate sector.


The call for projects will be structured around 4 main themes that are in line with the 4 SDGs targeted by the 1MYAC initiative: Clean water and sanitation, Responsible consumption and production, Climate action & Life on land. (source: United Nations, 2022

Admissible projects must cover one or several of these themes: 

  • SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation: Initiatives to improve water quality, promote universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and improve water use efficiency to mitigate water stress and ensure water security. 
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production: Initiatives that promote resource and energy efficiency, circular economy such as recycling and upcycling, sustainable infrastructure, and waste and pollution reduction.
  • SDG 13: Climate action: Initiatives that aim to help reduce gas emissions and improve adaptation to climate impact: such as reforestation, awareness, etc. 
  • SDG 15: Life on land: Initiatives that prevent and halt ecosystem degradation, protect critical biodiversity sites, and help reverse net habitat loss, like building a home for small animals or growing a community garden, etc.

To be eligible, participants and their projects must correspond to the following rules: 

  • The project must be conceived, led, and implemented by a 1MYAC Ambassador between 18 and 35 years old; If you are not yet 1MYAC Ambassador Click here to sign-up
  • The project must include youth between 10 to 30 years old across all aspects of the project;
  • The project must address at least one of the four SDG’s addressed by 1MYAC;
  • The project must be submitted either in German, Spanish, French, or English; 
  • The project must be a a newly registered action on the 1MYAC platform, but can be an ongoing project not already registered. (here’s how to register your action

The following criteria will be considered as an added value in the analysis of the project:

  • Projects from low- and middle-income countries,  projects led and/or benefitting disadvantaged people, projects developed by and for indigenous communities, projects led by young women and projects targeting women;
  • Projects with a direct impact on vulnerable communities;
  • Projects tackling socio-economic and  environmental challenges;  
  • Project Leader demonstrates his ability to lead the project within their community.
How to apply

1) If you are already a 1MYAC Ambassador, you’ve already completed the first step! You can go straight to step 2 and prepare a short video about your project. 

If you are not already a 1MYAC Ambassador, make sure to sign-up to join the 1MYAC family as an Ambassador. 

How? By completing the online questionnaire to apply as a 1MYAC Ambassador. Please note that you can still submit your project on the YWC Platform for the call for projects before receiving your official confirmation that you have been selected as a 1MYAC Ambassador. The important thing is that by the end of the call, you are in the process of becoming one. 

  • Complete the online questionnaire: Click here
  • The 1MYAC Team will contact you for an introduction session.
  • Attend the introduction session and confirm that you still want to be an ambassador.
  • You’re in! Please note that we expect ambassadors to remain active for at least two years.

2) Prepare a short project presentation video (max. 3 minutes) in which you shall reflect upon the following questions: 

  • 1MYAC Ambassador: Specify if you are already an ambassador or not. If so, what have you done so far as an ambassador? If not, why do you want to become one (max: 45 seconds)
  • Relevance: How relevant is the issue in the chosen community? How practical is the implementation of the project? Does the project appear meaningful in terms of issues to be addressed and could achieve real change?
  • Youth inclusion and leadership: Is the project conceived, led, and implemented by young people? Is youth participation included across all aspects of the project?
  • Impact: How has/will the project support needs at the local level?
  • Innovation: Does the project have ‘thinking outside the box’ elements? Is the project multidisciplinary in nature?
  • Local partnership and multi-stakeholder integration: Does the project consider stakeholders and actors involvement?
  • Finance: Is the project financially feasible?
  • Sustainability: How sustainable is the project and its ability for future adaptation? Is it possible to upscale or replicate the project?
  • Implementation: Does the implementation plan appear credible and adapted to the ambitions set out for the project? Does the implementation plan respect local public health rules and regulations?

IMPORTANT: In this video, you must clearly demonstrate that this project is conceived, led and implemented by young people aged between 18 and 35. 

Tips for the video: 

  • Be clear and concise!
  • Be dynamic and convince us that this project will have an impact and can be implemented
  • The technical video quality is of no importance, we simply want to clearly hear what you have to say

3) Upload your video on YouTube

To facilitate the video transmission, we ask that you upload your presentation video on YouTube. This video can be private (unlisted). Only people who have the link to the video will be able to see it. It does not appear in any public area of YouTube such as search results, your channel, or the navigation page. 

For more information on how to upload your video on YouTube, click here

4) Visit the Youth for Water and Climate platform to submit your project online. Follow the Submit a project steps and make sure to answer all questions!

  • In the Contributors section of the application form, we want to know a little bit more about you! 

The call is open until July 16, 2023. 

Selection criteria

A team of reviewers will review the project proposals. The proposals will be assessed and scored according to a scoring grid based on the following criteria: 

  • The applicant 1MYAC Ambassador history (5 %)
    • The applicant was already a 1MYAC ambassador before June 2023.
    • The applicant is an active ambassador and contributes to the challenge.
  • Relevance of the project (35 %)
    • Project leaders are from low and middle income countries or the project targets indigenous communities/low and middle income countries.
    • The project is led by young women and/or targeting women.
    • Goals and objectives are defined clearly.
    • Proposals contain explanations of the situation that needs to be changed, and why and shows how the project would contribute to the needed change. 
    • The project is relevant for the chosen community.
  • Youth inclusion and leadership (10 %)
    • Youth participation is included all across the project.
    • Youth leading the project appear to have capacity to lead it (prior experience, analytical capacity). 
  • Impact (20 %)
    • The project plans for stakeholders and actors involvement.
    • The impact of the project (e.g. stronger community cohesion, transfer of technology, knowledge).
  • Innovation (5 %)
    • The project is innovative. 
  • Feasibility (20 %)
    • The project is financially feasible
    • The project has an implementation plan and appear credible and adapted to the ambitions set out for the project
    • The promoter partners with other institutions, stakeholders, etc. to implement the project.
  • Sustainability (5 %) 
    • The project is sustainable, it’s possible to upscale or replicate the project.

Please refer to the LEARN section of the website to find out more about what makes project proposals strong.

Gender and regional balance will be taken into account in the final selection of projects.


If you want to learn more about this call for proposals or to ask your questions, join one of our 3 webinars (Montreal time)!

Contact information

Should you need additional information please contact: Michael Daoust (Elle/she), ISW Project Officer 1MYAC: info@1myac.com 

This call for projects is an initiative of the International Secretariat for Water and supported by:


Submission deadline – July 16, 2023, 23:00 CEST


1) All applicants will receive a confirmation e-mail that their project has been well received.

2) All applicants will be notified whether they have been pre-selected or not until 15 August 2023 at the latest.

3) Pre-selected applicants will be invited to submit a complete project plan (detailed budget, logic model, schedule of activities). 

4) Winners will be notified and announced on the 1MYAC and YWC websites in September 2023.

Projects must be completed by February  2024. Financial and operational reports will need to be submitted at different stages of the project (mid-project & end of phase reports).

Prize & Incentives

The selected projects will receive financial support up to 5 000 $ CAD each and technical support regarding project management, partnerships and much more . Please note that the amount is in Canadian dollars ($ CAD). Click here to convert to another currency.

The financial support can cover the following expenses: Costs of purchasing material or services directly related to the project. This includes transportation, supplies and equipment specifically for the project, experts, and services (other than labour cost of lead applicant and collaborators).

Selected projects will also be featured on the YWC Platform and on the 1MYAC website for additional visibility. Selected projects will also benefit from support in the realization of their project, receiving continuous support and training from the 1MYAC team, and by consulting sessions in groups with the other selected projects.

Related documents
EN_Call for Proposals
FR_Appel à projets
ES_Convocatoria de proyectos