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Lacuna Fund Invites Proposals to Develop Inclusive Health and Climate Datasets

7 March 2023

Lacuna Fund Invites Proposals to Develop Inclusive Health and Climate Datasets  

Lacuna Fund is pleased to announce two new calls for proposals to develop open and accessible machine learning (ML) datasets that will improve Sexual, Reproductive & Maternal Health and Rights (SRMHR) and illuminate the relationship between Climate & Forests to help identify interventions that could mitigate or adapt to climate impacts. Read more below and access the full requirements and submission portal from our website.


ML datasets hold great promise to advance efforts across the forestry domain to understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. However, particularly in low- and middle-income contexts globally, the effective use of ML is hampered by a lack of ground truth data. Solutions created by and for local communities are crucial to address the climate crisis globally. Lacuna Fund will help fill these gaps by providing funding to experts in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Proposals for Climate & Forests datasets are due on 1 June 2023. 


Issues affecting Sexual, Reproductive & Maternal Health and Rights (SRMHR) are crucial to the health and survival of people across all genders, as well as to social and economic development. Well-designed SRMHR interventions have proven to be extremely cost-effective. However, the SRMHR of many people, particularly in low- and middle-income contexts are far from realized. Lacuna Fund will help fill these gaps by providing funding to experts in Africa.

Proposals for SRMHR datasets will be accepted in two rounds:  

Round 1 – due 19 April 2023 | Round 2 – due 20 June 2023


Lacuna Fund is pleased to partner with Deep Learning Indaba to offer mentorship opportunities for applicants. The Deep Learning Indaba is an organization whose mission is to Strengthen Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Africa and works towards the goal of Africans being not only observers and receivers of the ongoing advances in AI, but active shapers and owners of these technological advances.

On a one-time basis for this Lacuna Fund call, the Deep Learning Indaba will offer applicants from around the world a special opportunity to join the Deep Learning Indaba community and match those who are interested with a mentor who will review your draft proposal and discuss avenues for strengthening it. Interested parties may apply for a session with a mentor by visiting the Indaba Mentorship Programme – Deep Learning Indaba and selecting to participate “As a mentee”. When prompted, select for assistance “Writing a research proposal”. In the field “Please tell us more about your draft proposal”, please type LACUNA FUND, followed by a detailed description of your proposed dataset. Providing a detailed description will support with matching applicants to mentors that are aligned in your interest area. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for a mentorship session after you have a detailed outline or draft proposal and at least 4 weeks before the proposal due date. We will do our best to identify a mentor for everyone who requests one, but we cannot guarantee that mentors will be available for all. Mentors will be assigned on a first come, first-served basis. All applicants are expected to read and abide by the mentorship programme’s code of ethics and conduct

If you are able, please take a moment to help us spread the word and ensure quality responses to the RFP: 

1 – Amplify the RFP announcements on Twitter and LinkedIn.
2 – Send the RFP to your networks—check out a template email here.

Thank you for your dedication to making ML equitable and accessible to all. We are excited to continue #ClosingDataGaps with the next calls for proposals!