Wehubit is...

A competitive fund which:

  • Identifies and supports digital social innovation in developing countries.
  • Is specifically looking for existing solutions that can be scaled-up or reproduced and that have proven to be effective.

A Knowledge Exchange Network which:

  • Learns, produces and shares from the funded projects in the field.
  • Brokers partnerships in the digital social innovation ecosystem and the D4D community.

Wehubit is implemented by the Belgian development agency, Enabel, together with its partner, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing countries, BIO, on behalf of the Belgian development cooperation.

The first 5 calls for proposals of Wehubit were funded by the Belgian development cooperation.

The 6th call on EdTech was funded by the European Commission’s department for International Partnerships under the “ACP-EU Digital Connectivity and Digital Solutions to Strengthen the Resilience of Education, Health and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ (MSMEs) Systems to COVID-19 in ACP Countries” intervention.

👉Discover Wehubit 2020 ANNUAL REPORT.

About Enabel

Enabel is the Belgian development agency. We support development projects across the globe to eradicate poverty. Doing so, we help build a world where women and men live under the rule of law, have equal access to quality public services and are free to pursue their aspirations.

Enabel is a public agency. For the account of the Belgian state and other commissioners we support and provide guidance to development programmes.

We work together with our partners by making available expertise, personnel and financial resources.

Transparency and integrity are basic principles in our activities. We strictly apply rules and methods to enable us to fight fraud and corruption.

Within its organisational development department, Enabel has put in place an innovation space called Develab. The major theme which Develab is to elaborate is digital transformation in general and digital for development (D4D) more specifically. Within Wehubit, Develab is responsible for quality assurance.

About BIO

The mission of the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) is to support a strong private sector in developing and/or emerging countries, to enable them to gain access to growth and sustainable development within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.

BIO is a private company whose capital is held by the Belgian State (Ministry for Development Cooperation).

BIO enjoys decisional and operational independence, which provides the autonomy and flexibility it needs when analysing and evaluating the financing applications.

BIO is careful to ensure the additionality of its investments to avoid entering into direct competition with the local established financial sector. BIO’s role is to provide long-term financial products that are generally unavailable or inaccessible on the local markets.

Policy & guiding principles


Sustainable development goals

In order to realise the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following the 2030 Agenda as set by the United Nations, tapping into new technologies is key and digitalisation will play an important role. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society.

Wehubit will support different SDGs, through its funded projects and financing instruments as well as through partnerships and knowledge brokering. Wehubit focus is on D4D initiatives and companies whose aim is to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.


Strategic Policy Note “Digital for Development” (D4D)

The data revolution and digital transformation which is moving forward at a fast pace in all world regions has provided numerous but unequally distributed benefits for development. The Belgian development cooperation does not consider digitalisation as a goal in itself but as a crosscutting enabler to achieve better results for more people who are in need.

As stated by its Strategic Note, our approach will be guided by two overarching principles, putting people first and do no harm.

The strategic priorities of the policy are threefold:

  • Better use of (big)data, drawn from traditional and innovative sources
  • Digital for inclusive societies
  • Digital for inclusive and sustainable economic growth

Principles for Digital Development

Wehubit adheres to the nine principles for digital development. Projects funded by the programme should be aligned with these principles.


Scaling-up or replication of innovation

We are looking for projects that have developed innovative digital solutions, exploring new ways to solve development challenges. The road from the inspiration of an innovative concept to scaling it up is far from linear and requires numerous iterations between the different stages. While applying for a grant, organisations will be asked to clearly demonstrate they have already gone through the “Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation” stages presented in the figure below, especially the previous pilot phase and its derived business model.

Wehubit will only finance: 

  • Projects that will scale-up existing digital solutions so that these are rolled-out at larger scale and become more available, affordable and performing; or
  • Projects that will replicate proven digital solutions in other contexts (sectors, regions...)

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Human Rights-Based Approach

At Wehubit, we commit to assess under the human rights based approach lens every proposal that reaches us.

We first assess if the project adopts a human rights-based approach in its analysis:
(i) understanding of the rights of the persons concerned, the legal and institutional framework relating to, (ii) analysis of the dynamics/relationships between rights holders and duty bearers, and (iii) focus on vulnerable groups. 

As a second step, we appraise to what extent the proposed solution will improve the enforcement of these rights, the dynamics between right holders and duty bearers, their respective capacities to exercise their roles; to what extent does the project take into account vulnerable groups, and if it is careful to reduce inequalities in rights or not to create new ones.