Everyone is talking about digital transformation—especially now that digital processes and tools are a mandatory part of daily activities for most businesses, schools, and citizens across the world in response to the global COVID-19 outbreak. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and DAI have been working to enhance digital skills, improve connectivity, and enable locally led innovation for years. Today, we are all confronted with a new set of urgent challenges. How do we ensure that citizens can safely and effectively use digital technologies to advance their own economic livelihoods and those of their countries?

One of USAID’s most recent responses is the Digital Asia Accelerator, a three-year initiative implemented by DAI through the Digital Frontiers project. The Digital Asia Accelerator aims to increase the safe and appropriate use of digital technologies across the region. Even before the pandemic, digital technology was transforming lives and business functions across the Indo-Pacific region. This rapid internet adoption and increase in connectivity has enormous potential to help boost economic growth, access to jobs, and increased incomes.

The initial operating countries for the Digital Asia Accelerator are Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Thailand. The project’s objectives are to: (1) increase public awareness of digital safety issues, (2) strengthen digital skills of the private sector and civil society, and (3) strengthen the ability of private sector and civil society to engage on digital policy issues.

coding classes_Cambodia DI.JPGA coding class provided by the USAID Development Innovations project in Cambodia.

This week the Digital Asia Accelerator released a funding opportunity to address some gaps in Cambodia, especially related to challenges faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they work to digitize processes and systems, and ensure their teams have the skills they need to take advantage of Cambodia’s potential for digital growth. This Request for Applications (RFA) is a call for concepts from innovative partners in Cambodia to address the need for digital skills training and digital security support for SMEs.

Who Should Apply?

DAI is looking for organizations and businesses with the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge about digital skills gaps and the digital economy in Cambodia

  • Experience working on successful digital skills training and capacity building programs

  • Experience delivering successful support programs that address SME needs

  • Experience working with private sector partners to advance digital solutions and skills, especially U.S. companies, highly desirable

More information on qualifications and how to apply can be found in the full RFA.

Applications must be received via email to [email protected] by May 30 at 5pm EST. Please include the RFA number (2020-03) in the subject line of the email.

Requests for clarification or additional information must be submitted in writing via email to [email protected] by May 1 at 5pm EST. If you are interested in receiving updates and further communications regarding this RFA please email [email protected].

Digital Frontiers is a buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2022. DAI implements Digital Frontiers, which works closely with USAID’s Global Development Lab, the Center for Digital Development, USAID Missions, the private sector, and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally.

Kate Heuisler is a Principal Digital and Innovation Advisor for DAI.