2014 GSDI Small Grants Program Request for Proposals - Due Date 31 March!

The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association is pleased to announce its Small Grants Program for the year 2014.


  • Awards for spatial data infrastructure activities in economically disadvantaged nations
  • Application deadline is 31 March 2014
  • Proposal length - 2500 words maximum
  • Awards of $2500 USD in cash and (or) contributed volunteer professional services for the project


The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association is dedicated to international cooperation and collaboration in support of local, national, and international spatial data infrastructure developments that would allow nations to better address social, economic, and environmental issues of pressing importance. We are committed to bringing about an infrastructure that will allow users globally to access spatial data at a variety of scales from multiple sources that ultimately will appear seamless to all users. The GSDI Association supports the work of organizations to develop their own Web-enabled Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) initiatives, nationally and regionally, and collaborates with local, national, and international organizations to ensure that spatial data, services, and metadata are accessible through interoperable standards-based services, systems, software, and products that operate in a web-enabled environment. The success of the GSDI Association depends on the quality of its partnerships with public, private, academic, and non-governmental organizations. Through adoption of common, international standards, key architecture principles, and approaches for capacity building in developing countries, the GSDI initiatives also link national SDI efforts with the vision and goals of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and its Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS).

Additional information:

The GSDI is being advanced through the leadership of many nations and organizations represented by a GSDI Association Council and Board of Directors. The multi-national Board includes representatives from all continents and all sectors: government, academia, and the private sector as well as the following regional SDI initiatives:

  • Africa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST) – GeoInformation Sub-committee
  • Americas: Pan-American Institute for Geography and History (PAIGH)
  • Europe: European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information (EUROGI)
  • Please visit the GSDI Association website (www.gsdi.org) to familiarize yourself with the mission, goals, programs, accomplishments and priorities of the organization.

The GSDI Association has allocated resources from the Geoconnections Program led by Natural Resources Canada to fund a small grants program to support national or sub-national activities that foster partnerships, develop in-country technical capacity, improve data compatibility and access, and increase political support for spatial data infrastructure. The U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee Office of the Secretariat and the GISCorps of The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) also support the program.

The resources will be used to offer two types of grants this year:

  • Cash up to $2,500 USD
  • Professional Services to be determined

Professional Services will be coordinated by the GISCorps, an international initiative that offers volunteer GIS services (www.GISCorps.org). It is possible to request a combination of cash and professional services.

Support may be used for technical or institutional projects, as long as tangible outputs are achieved and several institutions collaborate on the effort. Please clearly indicate the staffing expected to perform the work and whether additional expertise from GISCorps may be useful. If GISCorps assistance is needed indicate the type that is needed. A list of typical projects follows - but this list is not exhaustive:

  • Convening of national or sub-national seminars or workshops related to SDI
  • Producing SDI-related training manuals and modules (these materials must not duplicate existing materials)
  • Establishing metadata and clearinghouse nodes (catalog services)
  • Establishing standards-based web mapping and data access services
  • Accomplishing geospatial data and/or SDI surveys or inventories
  • Producing and disseminating newsletters and awareness-raising materials about SDI
  • Drafting policy and legislation related to SDI

As a Participating Organization of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observation (GEO), the GSDI Association encourages the registration of SDI data and services in GEOSS portal registry system (www.geoportal.org/web/guest/geo_home_stp).

Priority will be given to projects in developing nations and countries with economies in transition. Grants can be awarded to SDI coordinating bodies (councils, committees) and GIS user groups, but the GSDI Association asks that one institution take responsibility for receiving/depositing the funds. Grants cannot be used to cover organization overhead expenses.

Proposals should include information under the following headings:

  1. Title of Project/Activity
  2. Focal Point Institution
  3. Contact Person (business street address, phone/fax, email, and website)
  4. Introduction and Background (include a description of the national or local institutional framework and what has been achieved thus far)
  5. Project Description
  6. Project staff including their responsibilities and skills (Indicate here whether GISCorps assistance may be needed and what staff and skills are needed.)
  7. Summary of Deliverables
  8. Period of Performance (time-line for overall project, deadline dates for deliverables, date of final project report to be submitted to grants@gsdi.org, Note: All projects need to be completed by December 31, 2014.)
  9. Indicate your preference for an award of cash or professional services or combination.

10.  Budget (itemize how the money is to be spent or the predicated extent of services needed for specific tasks)

11.  Details of additional or in-kind funds to co-finance the activity

12.  List of Collaborators (with contact information)

13.   Envisioned follow-up activities

14.  Appendix: Include ONLY the Final Reports from any previous GSDI Small Grant Awards.  The application should be a single document.

Proposals must be submitted digitally to grants@gsdi.org in English and should be preferably two pages in length but no more than five pages or 2500 words (excluding any appendices).

Please submit your proposal as a .pdf file (or alternatively .doc, docx or .rtf file) using 12-point Times Roman or Arial font.

We anticipate funding up to 4 Grants in Cash and up to 4 Grants in Professional Services.

Grant funds will be issued as paper checks in US dollars drawn on U.S. Banks or as wire transfers. If the recipient chooses to receive a paper check, up to $100 U.S. will be deducted from the award amount to cover the delivery charge for the check payment.  If the recipient chooses to receive funds by wire transfer, $50 U.S. will be deducted from the award amount to cover the processing costs for the wire transfer. The recipient institution will be required to provide a project report and an expense report upon completion of the project. The GSDI Association may include excerpts of the project reports in GSDI newsletters and/or on its website. Awardees are encouraged to publish a local press release highlighting the award from the GSDI Association as well as the proposed activities, and to send copies of these to the GSDI Association.

Proposals are due on 31 March 2014.  Please e-mail them to:

Societal Impacts Committee
GSDI Association

For more information about the GSDI or to subscribe to the GSDI News List, please see www.gsdi.org. For questions about this request for proposals, please contact grants@gsdi.org



Note: The Small Grants Program is intended as a benefit of "full membership" in the GSDI Association. Because the GSDI Association is fairly young, we are making this opportunity available currently to non-members as well. However, full members may obtain favored treatment in the instance in which two grant applications have been ranked similarly in the peer review process. Note that the annual GSDI Association membership fee for national organizations in low and very low per capita income nations may be as little as U.S. $100 or documented in-kind contributions in lieu of dues. Please see www.gsdi.org/joinGSDI

Financial support provided by GeoConnections, a national collaborative initiative led by Natural Resources Canada. GeoConnections supports the integration and use of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), an on-line resource that improves the sharing, access and use of open geospatial information.

Natural Resources Canada are valued members of the GSDI Association.