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Commonwealth Foundation Grants 2019 for Civil Society Activities

With more than 2.3 billion citizens, the Commonwealth provides a potentially huge pool of ideas for advancing societies.

Application Deadline: 7th January 2019 at 5pm GMT.

Eligible Countries: Commonwealth countries

About the Award: The Foundation offers grants of up to £200,000 over four years in support of innovative project ideas and approaches that seek to strengthen the ability of civic voices to engage with governments and that have the potential to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation.

The Foundation believes in the power of stories and storytelling for social change and will award grants for creative approaches that have the potential to influence public discourse.

All proposals must ensure that the cross cutting theme of gender is mainstreamed throughout the project.

Fields of Funding: We are interested in supporting projects that strengthen civic voice so that it:

  • Is more effective in holding governance institutions to account
  • Enhances involvement in policy processes
  • Shapes public discourse

Your project should address one or both of the following outcomes and may include the use of creative expression to achieve project aims:

  1. Stronger civic voices engaging in policy processes to hold government to account:

Your project will strengthen the capacity of civic voices in contributing to:

  • Monitoring government commitments and action
  • Supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals or other international agreements, and related local and national policy agendas
  • Advocating policy priorities to government that address gender and other power imbalances, disparities and discrimination
  • Strengthening participatory methods of engaging in regional national and local governance processes
  • Raising awareness and advocating for specific policy issues
  1. Public discourse more reflective of less-heard voices
  • Your project will support less heard voices to contribute to public discourse on development issues
  • Your project will support less heard voices to access policy spaces and/or platforms with the potential to amplify voices and influence public discourse

Type: Grants

Eligibility: To be eligible for a grant, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) are registered not for profit civil society organisations (CSOs).
  2. The applicant and, when applicable, partner(s) must be based in a Commonwealth Foundation member country and the project should take place in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country. A list of countries eligible under this call is available at Annex 1.
  3. The application is for funding for a maximum of £50,000 per annum
  4. The applicant is applying for funding for a maximum of four years
  5. The applicant does not have an existing grant from the Commonwealth Foundation at the time the application window is open.
  6. The average of the applicant’s total income over the last two years is less than £3m
  7. The project must address one or both Commonwealth Foundation’s outcomes
  8. The applicant will provide the following documents as part of the application:
    • a completed logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template
    • a copy of the organisation’s registration certificate1 (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
    • a copy of the organisation’s most recent audited accounts (it must include both the accounts and the opinion of the external auditor who has certified them; it should not be older than December 2016)
    • a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organisations

Selection Criteria: The application for a grant is a two-stage process: preliminary application and full application. Only shortlisted organisations will be invited to submit a full application.

Preliminary applications will be assessed on the criteria below:

1. The application has a clear problem definition.
2. The application clearly demonstrates that it is demand driven and relevant.
3. The project must address one or both Commonwealth Foundation outcomes
4. The application clearly shows how the planned activities will deliver outputs that lead to the project outcomes.
5. The organisation(s) has the capacity to deliver the submitted proposal.
6. The project must mainstream gender in the project design and project plan

Full applications will be assessed on the criteria below, in addition to the criteria used at the preliminary application stage:

1. The application clearly illustrates a strategy to sustain the positive outcomes from the project beyond the duration of the funding received from the Commonwealth Foundation
2. There is a clear Monitoring and Evaluation strategy for the project
3. The project includes a strong gender analysis of the problem, mainstreams gender and identifies how the anticipated change specifically impacts women and girls.

The selection process is highly competitive and selected projects will have been designed to undertake work that has the potential to lead to one or more of the outcomes in the Foundation’s strategic logic model.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: up to £200,000 over four years

How to Apply: To apply applicants will need to complete and submit an online application form using the online application system in the link below.

It is important to go through every helpful application detail before submitting.

Visit Programme Webpage for Details

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