Selection Criteria


Start and duration: The start of the 7th ISA program is planned for March 1st, 2024 in Hamburg:
1st March 2024 - 13th March 2024  Start of the program online
18th March 2024 - 30th November 2024, stay in Hamburg and 1 months project implementation in the home country*

Location: WÄLDERHAUS in Hamburg/Wilhelmsburg, Germany
Funding: The costs for accommodation in gender-mixed flat-sharing communities, the workplace, the costs for outward and return flights, the foreign health insurance and a German course are covered. In addition, each scholarship holder receives a sum of money for the research work.

Application pre-requirements:
  • Scholarship holders must come from the countries on the DAC List
  • English knowledge of at least B1/B2. Candidates who can proof having conducted their higher education in English do not need to present an English proof test result. 
  • Have a at least secondary school degree and relevant professional experience 
  • There is no age limit for the application.
ISA selection process 2022 to 2024
If you are working on a project related to at least one of the following SDGs, you can apply in the period of May 1st until May 31st 2023:  
SDG 1: No poverty
SDG 3: Health and well-being
SDG 4: Quality education
SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12: Sustainable consumption and production

Please note that SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 13 (Climate action) must also be considered. SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals) should be presented as well.

Where supporting documents are specified, they must be uploaded. In the case of nationality, for example, a copy of the passport. In summary, the following evidence is required:

● CV, 3-4 pages in tabular form
● English test result (TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge certification from A1-C2).
● Relevant title certificates and one other reference from an official body.
● Project description (Template provided)
● Passport copy
● Checklist to tick off (Template provided)
In addition to the general part, there is a content part. To establish comparability, the characters are limited and the project description is to be written exclusively in the form.
The application is divided into (in italics are the criteria for comparability and evaluation):
1. Short description of the project (1,000 characters). Precise and concise description of the project that is to be achieved through participation in the scholarship programme and which SDG the project can be assigned to. If it is clear that the idea does not fit into one of the SDGs and no reference to the cross-cutting SDGs (5 and 13) can be made, the application will be given lower priority.

2. Vision - What should change through participation in the ISA programme (1,000 characters) What should be achieved with the project, what visible improvements can be expected in the short and medium term

​​​​​​​​​​3. Framework conditions (12,000 characters)
  • 3.1. Description of the current situation, initial situation (max. 1,500 characters) Detailed description of the situation in the country in relation to the problem, how do the cross-cutting issues fit in?
  • 3.2. Who is the target group, addressees of the project (max. 1,000 characters) For whom should the project change the living situation on the ground, who must be involved if necessary, who could develop resistance and how should this be dealt with?
  • 3.3. How does the project distinguish itself from other, comparable projects (max. 1,000 characters) The aspect of innovation should be described, i.e. how the project is new for the region?
  • 3.4. What are my strengths and weaknesses in relation to the project, especially my own experiences, e.g. with the SDGs, stays abroad, civil society engagement, etc.? (max. 1,500 characters) Here you should describe your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the project and especially to your participation in the ISA. Where is the applicant particularly strong and where are competences missing? The advantages and risks should also be assessed.
  • 3.5.Which SDG is the focus of my work (max. 2,500 characters) Detailed description of the selected SDG with all sub-goals and why the SDG is relevant for the project.
  • 3.6. What advantages does my home country offer for the implementation (max. 1,000 characters) Description of the given conditions for the implementation of the project in the home country and why the participation in the ISA creates an added value for the region in terms of development policy.
  • 3.7. What contribution does my project make to gender equality (SDG 5) (max. 1,000 characters) Describe the connection between the project and gender issues. The connection must be plausible.
  • 3.8. What contribution does my project make to climate protection (max. 1,000 characters) Description of the project in relation to climate protection.
  • 3.9. What obstacles must be overcome in my home country (max. 1,500 characters) Possible obstacles to implementation and how they can be overcome
4. Objectives (detailed description and network plan with time sequence including participation in the ISA and implementation in the home country with milestones and sub-objectives) (max. 4,000 characters) Description of the objectives and sub-objectives to be achieved through participation. The chronological sequence should describe the steps that have already been taken or were taken before the start of the ISA programme as well as the time in the programme until after the return with successful implementation.

5. Concrete expectations of participation in the ISA programme and expected added value through cooperation with other scholarship holders (max. 4,000 characters). The expectations of participation in the ISA and the form of cooperation with other scholarship holders should be described here. It should be clearly recognisable that joint work will bring added value to one's own project and which new partnerships to achieve the goals (SDG 17) will be sought through the ISA.

6. Brief description of the financial means and other resources required for implementation in the home country and how these are to be obtained (max. 1,000 characters). It must be clear that the project can actually be implemented after the return and does not fail from the onset, e.g. due to a lack of funds. If applicable, a convincing explanation of the acquisition of funds that are not available can be positively evaluated.

Supporters and possible partner organisations in the home country and their respective role in the realisation of the project (max. 1,000 characters). If other organisations, authorities, universities are necessary for the implementation, they should be described and their respective roles - if there are no partners, it should be explained why the project can still be implemented.

Controlling (how will it be ensured that the project is realised in the home country and which instruments are used for measurable monitoring) (max. 1,500 characters).How will the applicants ensure that the project is monitored, and what role should the ISA play in this monitoring?

9. How will the project be presented publicly back home? How will the results be published for other interested parties? (max. 2,000 characters). Since the ISA is publicly funded, it is important to disseminate the results, including the individual projects. What ideas do the applicants have to make the results available to the public and especially to interested parties from other regions?

10. How will the sustainable implementation of my project be after I return to my home country? What will be different? (max. 2,000 characters) Description of how the further work will be structured and how the results of the ISA will be incorporated into the implementation in the home country and how success will be measured.  
Characters in each case including spaces.
Scoring system
 0 points:    The description does not meet the requirements in any way, no serious a
                           approaches are recognisable.
1 point: There are few good attempts in the text, only a few criteria are fulfilled.
2 points: Several criteria are described in the text, but some gaps are recognisable
3 points: Almost all criteria are evaluated positively, the work is substantial
4 points: All criteria fulfilled, plus many good approaches
5 points: All criteria fulfilled, plus many excellent ideas with a realistic chance of

The points are multiplied by the given characters (divided by 1,000) to establish comparability. In addition to the SDGs, gender and climate protection are also counted twice to give special recognition to ideas from these areas. Additional points are awarded for solutions that show that they improve the situation of disadvantaged minorities. One reviewer from the ISA and one external reviewer each evaluate the applications. The results are then compared and in the event of major discrepancies, a third evaluation may take place.
Evaluation example
Areas Multiplier Points Results Max. Score
1. Brief description 1 3 3 5
2. Vision 1 4 4 5
3.1.Current state 1,5 4 6 7,5
3.2. Target group 1 3 3 5
3.3. Distinction 1 2 2 5
3.4. SWOT-Analysis 1,5 5 7,5 7,5
3.5. SDGs 5 3 15 25
3.6. Country Situation 1 4 4 5
3.7. Gender 2 3 6 10
3.8. Climate Change 2 4 8 10
3.9. Constraints 1,5 2 3 7,5
4. Objectives 4 4 16 20
5. Expectation ISA 4 3 12 15
6. Implementation 7. Need 1 3 3 5
7. Partners 1 4 4 5
8. Controlling 1,5 3 4,5 7,5
9. Result Dissemination 2 5 10 10
10 Sustainability Implementation 2 4 8 10
Total 119 165
The candidates with the best results will be selected by the examiners for a video interview lasting approx. 30 minutes. You will receive an invitation and information from the ISA staff in due time. The experts will then jointly select the 13 scholarship holders.