Call for Proposals: GSDI Small Grants Program

The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association is pleased to announce its Small Grants Program for the year 2009-10.


  • Awards for spatial data infrastructure or EOS-related activities in economically disadvantaged nations,
  • Application deadline of 1 October 2009,
  • 4,000 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 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).


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 regional SDI initiatives referred to as permanent committees:

  • Africa: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Committee on Development Information: Geo Subcommittee (CODI-GEO)
  • Americas: Pan-American Institute for Geography and History (PAIGH)
  • Asia and Pacific: Permanent Committee for Geographic Information for Asia and the Pacific (PCGIAP) (ex-officio)
  • Europe: European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information (EUROGI)

Please visit the GSDI Association website ( to familiarize yourself with the mission, goals, programs, accomplishments and priorities of the organization.

The GSDI Association, along with partners and participants, has allocated resources from the U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee and the GISCorps of URISA, 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 and earth observations application development. These resources will be used to offer two types of grants this year:

  • Cash up to 2,500 USD to be used on your project, and/or
  • Professional Services applied to your project

Professional Services will be coordinated by the GISCorps, an international initiative that offers GIS services by qualified economies.  Support may focus on technical or institutional projects, as long as tangible outputs and several institutions collaborate on the effort.   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- and EO-related training manuals and modules (these materials must not duplicate existing materials)
  • Establishing metadata and clearinghouse nodes
  • Establishing web mapping services and applications
  • Accomplishing Geodata and/or SDI surveys or inventories
  • Producing and disseminating newsletters and awareness-raising materials about SDI
  • Drafting policy and legislation related to SDI

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 will not 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. Summary of Deliverables
  7. Period of Performance (time-line for overall project, deadline dates for deliverables, date of final project report to be submitted to
  8. Indicate your preference for an award of cash or professional services.
  9. Budget (itemize how the money is to be spent or the predicated extent of services needed for specific tasks).  If one or more GISCorps volunteers are requested please indicate that in your GSDI application and also provide a description of tasks requested of volunteer professional(s) and other information at Use the “New Project” link on this page to complete the request for GISCorps volunteer assistance.
  10. Details of additional or in-kind funds to co-finance the activity
  11. List of Collaborators (with contact information)
  12. Envisioned Follow-up Activities
  13. Appendix: May include the Final Reports from any previous GSDI Small Grant Awards

Proposals must be submitted digitally to in English and should be preferably two pages in length but no more than three pages or 4000 words (excluding any appendices). Please submit your proposal as a .pdf file (or alternatively .doc or .rtf file) using 12-point Times Roman or Arial font.

We anticipate funding up to 12 Grants in Cash and up to 4 Grants in Professional Services.  Grant funds will be issued as paper checks in US dollars drawn on US Banks or as wire transfers.  If the recipient chooses to receive funds by wire transfer, $50 US 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 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 1 October 2009.  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  For questions about this request for proposals, please contact

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 US$100 or documented in-kind contributions in lieu of dues.  Please see