Call for Concept Notes Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity


Peacebuilding through Capacity Enhancement

and Civic Engagement (PeaCE)

 

CALL FOR CONCEPT NOTES

PEACEBUILDING FUNDS OPPORTUNITY

April 2017

 

Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Armenia (EPF-Armenia), Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Azerbaijan (EPF-Azerbaijan) through Caucasus Research Resource Centre in Georgia (CRRC-Georgia), and International Alert (Alert), hereinafter the Partners, announce a Call for Concept Notes for Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity. The Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity is part of the “Peacebuilding through Capacity Enhancement and Civic Engagement” (PeaCE) programme funded by the European Union under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).

Description:

The PeaCE programme aims to re-engage Armenians and Azerbaijanis from geographic areas affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in peacebuilding activities, as well as revive the peacebuilding process within and between these societies. The Partners expect that the PeaCE program will facilitate the engagement of interested civil society actors and grassroots in bridging the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict divide. 

The Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity is an instrument that enables individuals and organizations to implement innovative in-country, bilateral or multilateral peacebuilding initiatives that aim at building trust and confidence across the conflict divide. These initiatives should focus on (but not limited to) one or more of the following areas and target groups in random order: 

Target groups

  • Youth
  • Refugees and IDPs
  • Persons with disabilities (as a result of the conflict)
  • Ethnic and religious minorities
  • War veterans. 

Areas: 

  • Education
  • Human and leadership capacity building and development
  • Civic activism related to peace and conflict transformation
  • Human security and management of emergency situations
  • Women’s participation in and contribution to peace and stability
  • Peacebuilding awareness
  • Dialogue between different social groups
  • Policy relevant advocacy and research.

 

From the technical point of view, the Peacebuilding Fund is either a service contract or a grant award between a beneficiary and one of the Partners in the amount ranging from €5,000 to €40,000 to implement an in-country, bilateral, or multilateral project. The implementation period of a project should not exceed 12 months.

 

Eligibility of applicants: 

Non-profits (NGOs, foundations), for-profits (e.g. media outlets, small and medium enterprises) and individuals are eligible to apply for funding from the Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity. 

Preference will be given to local applicants (non-profits, for-profits and individuals) who come from geographic areas affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. International applicants will need to prove maximum value added in terms of engaging and empowering local actors. 

Non-profits and for-profits should be able to prove that they have: 

  1. Formal registration and availability of a bank account;
  2. Sufficient administrative, financial and technical capacity to implement a project;
  3. Demonstrable good track record of working with donors in the past.

Individuals should be able to demonstrate a suitable track record, e.g. educational background, professional affiliation(s), engagement in similar initiatives in the past (if at all). The Partners expect that individual applicants will propose smaller-scale projects that can be managed by one person, e.g. writing and publishing a book, doing a research, creating multimedia products, etc. In case an individual applicant proposes a larger-scale project involving a team of implementers, he/she should assume responsibility for a proper financial management of the project.

Application and selection process: 

Applicants are invited to submit Peacebuilding Concept Notes in the requested format (see Annex 1: Peacebuilding Concept Note Form) to awards@epfound.net before May 15, 2017.

The language of Concept Notes can be English or Russian. 

Submitted Concept Notes will be assessed by the PeaCE programme’s Evaluation Committee.  The selection criteria will include: 

  1. Relevance of the proposed project idea to the broader aims of the PeaCE programme;
  2. Feasibility of the proposed (future) project and absence of potential negative effects on implementers, stakeholders and donors;
  3. Capacity of the applicant to successfully implement the proposed (future) project;
  4. Clearly identified target groups and beneficiaries;
  5. Adherence to the principles of gender equality and inclusive participation;
  6. Absence of support to any political cause.

Preference will be given to those Concept Notes that a) engage new actors, i.e. those who have not participated in peacebuilding initiatives in the past; b) are cross-border, i.e. engage counterparts from across the sides of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict; c) are creative and innovative, and promise a certain level of sustainability. 

Interested applicants should briefly notify the Partners (at awards@epfound.net) about their intention to apply to the Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity before April 21, 2017. This brief notification (one sentence is sufficient) will make it possible for the Partners to build an e-mail list of interested applicants. The Partners will then inform the interested applicants about Information Sessions (to be held in late April or early May 2017) that will explain the technical aspects of the application process, as well as will discuss the eligible areas of engagement, and other relevant matters. Applicants that will not be able to attend Information Sessions will be able to receive on-line consultation in case they send their question(s) to awards@epfound.net.

NOTE:  the deadline for submitting Peacebuilding Concept Notes is May 15, 2017.

Successful Concept Note applicants will be notified by the end of May 2017. Each successful applicant will receive a message from the Partners with an offer to develop a Full Proposal for the Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity. The message will contain instructions on the format of the Full Proposal and the Budget, as well as on other required documentation. The deadline for the submission of Full Proposals will be July 31, 2017.

NOTE:  Only successful Concept Note applicants will be eligible to submit a Full Proposal; however, submission of a Full Proposal does not constitute a guarantee for funding.

Submitted Full Proposals will be evaluated by the PeaCE programme’s Evaluation Committee against the following criteria:

  1. Relevance of the project to the peacebuilding agenda of the PeaCE programme;
  2. Extent to which the project addresses the needs of people and local communities affected by the conflict and/or increases interaction among them;  
  3. Extent to which the project focuses on one or more of these target groups and areas indicated above;    
  4. Feasibility of the project: soundness of analysis of identified problem(s) and evidence of ability to contribute to solving the problem(s), analysis of beneficiaries, local and external stakeholders, etc.;
  5. Extent to which the project provides measurable and realistic long-term results/outcomes, and promises a certain degree of sustainability;
  6. Extent to which the project is creative and innovative;  
  7. Extent to which the project is cost-efficient; 
  8. Extent to which the project provides a relevant mitigation strategy to minimise potential negative effects resulting from the project activities;
  9. Formal or informal partnership with counterpart(s) from across the sides of the conflict;
  10. Completeness of the application. 

Based on the evaluation results, the Partners will make a decision on successful applicants to the Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity who are eligible to receive financial support to implement their in-country, bilateral, or multilateral projects.

In order to ensure that everyone has an equal chance, the Partners established a transparent and objective selection procedure. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a letter that will clearly explain the reasons for which the application was rejected. The letter will also describe an appeal procedure, which includes a written communication or meeting or phone conversation with the PeaCE programme’s Program Managers and Grants Managers who will provide immediate explanation.

NOTE:  In summer 2018, the Partners will announce an additional cycle of Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity. 

Pre-award and post-award process: 

The entire process from the time when the funding decision was made to the expected start time of the selected projects may take about one calendar month. In the course of this month, the successful applicants (non-profits and for-profits) to the Peacebuilding Funds Opportunity will be required to undergo a Pre-award Site Visit. PeaCE programme’s Program Managers and Grants Managers will pay a due diligence visit to interview future key staff in the beneficiary organization, assess organizational capacity and identify risk factors that may impact the ability to implement the project and to be fiscally responsible. Successful individuals will have an Interview with PeaCE programme’s Program Managers and Grants Managers. The award decision may be reverted in case the Pre-award Site Visit or Interview demonstrate that the applicant’s capacity to implement the project is questionable. 

The successful applicants (non-profits, for-profits and individuals) will also need to attend a Funds Management (FM) Seminar, which they will be additionally informed about by the respective Partner. The FM Seminar is a workshop that helps the award recipients (beneficiaries) to understand the Partner’s requirements with regard to the programmatic and financial management of the financial award.

Following the FM Seminar, the beneficiaries will sign an award agreement (either a service contract or a grant award) with a respective Partner.

The Partners expect the selected projects to start in September 2017. The implementation period of these projects should not exceed 12 months.

Throughout the project life cycle, the beneficiaries will submit to the Partners periodic financial and narrative reports. The Partners will make the next disbursement of funds only upon the approval of both the financial and narrative reports. The PeaCE programme’s Program Managers and Grants Managers will conduct occasional site-visits to assure adequate progress in the implementation of the supported projects. Along with other components of the PeaCE programme, the supported projects will undergo external (programmatic) evaluation and (financial) audit. 

The Partners will assist the beneficiaries with networking, as well as will advise them on the nuances of publicity regarding their engagement in the PeaCE programme. The Partners will also include the beneficiaries into the PeaCE programme’s mailing list to keep them updated on programme-related developments and opportunities.