Eastern Partnership: Civil Society Engagement and Innovation Grants


 

 

About this Call

The Open Government Partnership is pleased to announce a call for proposals for two categories of grants:

  • Category 1: civil society engagement grants with a focus on using the OGP platform for  expanding civil society engagement and building cross-sectoral partnerships in the areas of integrity, anti-corruption, public service delivery, justice, COVID-19 response and recovery, and civic space;
  • Category 2: innovation grants to support the development or replication of online tools and platforms, complementary advocacy, and engagement strategies to enable civil society or citizens to hold their governments accountable.

This call is announced as part of the EU for Integrity Programme for the Eastern Partnershipfunded by the European Union and jointly implemented by the Open Government Partnership and the OECD Anti-Corruption Network.

Details about the application process and deadlines for each lot are provided below. 

Queries and applications should be submitted via email at eap@opengovpartnership.org. Please note which category your application or query pertains to in the subject of the email.

Background

The Open Government Partnership Support Unit aims to support government and civil society in member countries, including in the EaP region, to strengthen co-creation and implementation of nationally or locally-led commitments with potentially high impact that can lead to increasing government transparency, improving accountability, strengthening citizen engagement and government responsiveness. In late 2020, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) partnered with the European Commission and the OECD Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) on the EU for Integrity Programme, a multi-year initiative focused on providing assistance to the EaP countries in preventing and combating threats to the rule of law, supporting justice sector reforms, improving integrity in the delivery of public services, public administration reform – themes that are already part of the OGP national dialogue in most of the countries in the region.

This will be achieved by complementing the existing support available to these countries through enhanced technical assistance provided in conjunction with relevant partners, consultancies to support process design and facilitation, regular peer exchange and knowledge sharing activities (both on improving co-creation and on specific thematic policy areas), as well as small grants for coalition building, implementation support, and digital innovations in open government. 

These grants will be managed by the OGP Support Unit. Contracts will be signed between the OGP Support Unit and the grantees. The grantees will be required to collaborate with the OGP Government Point of Contact (POC), civil society groups engaged in the OGP process, and/or the multi-stakeholder forum (MSF) during the implementation of activities related to these grants.

Grant Category 1: Expanding Civil Society Engagement in Open Governance Reforms and OGP Processes

Objectives

The main objective of these grants (of up to EUR 30,000) is to expand and strengthen civil society engagement and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships for tackling relevant open government reforms in active OGP member countries and locals in the EaP region, using the OGP platform. 

The grants will be used for one of the following purposes:

  • propose and implement catalytic approaches to open governance reforms and advocate for their inclusion as commitments in OGP action plans;
  • co-implementation, monitoring and oversight of action plan commitments, ideally focusing on approaches that can be scalable across action plan cycles.

The grants will also be used to explicitly expand the base of civil society and other non-governmental actors engaging with OGP in the EaP countries and locals. Strong preference will be given to ideas that engage new actors like the private sector, media, or youth groups. 

Priority areas:

OGP is seeking proposals for strengthening civil society engagement in OGP around the following policy areas:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Justice
  • Public service delivery, including strengthening citizen participation and feedback mechanisms, or enhancing government responsiveness to users for improving public services
  • Civic space and media freedoms 
  • Business integrity and ease of doing business
  • Any other themes related to COVID-19 Response, Recovery or Renewal 

Who can apply?

  • The call for this category of grants will be open to registered civil society organisations and consortia from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Preference will be given to multi-stakeholder teams. Cross-country partnerships are allowed. 
  • Applications are welcome from organisations not engaged with OGP at this time. However, applicants should be willing to work closely with the OGP Support Unit, the country’s OGP Multistakeholder Forum (Coordination Council) and the official Point of Contact. Applicants will also ideally engage the EU delegation in the country for relevant activities. 
  • Applicants should be willing to document and share their approaches, methodologies and outputs, and participate in OGP-organised peer exchange and learning events.

Selected proposals will receive:

  • Up to 30,000 EUR for 4-12 months of the implementation period. Note that funds will be disbursed through a cost-reimbursable grant scheme, and financial reports must be accompanied by 100% receipting. Note: selected grantees will be asked to provide a roadmap of activities at the inception stage of the grant, a mid-term progress report, and a final report.
  • Access to technical support from the OGP Support Unit and relevant partners.

Note, grantees will be able to use the award funds for:

  • purchase, rental or leasing costs for equipment and supplies (provided that ownership is transferred at the end of the action when required);
  • goods and contractual services for specialised tasks (translations, production of documents, external consultants time, accountancy, etc.);
  • activities, including local travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, etc.;
  • cost of staff assigned to the action;
  • admin costs directly assigned to the action (supplies, rental of meeting rooms, etc.); 
  • general admin costs (overhead costs) up to 7% of the total eligible direct costs for the action (maintenance, utility bills, office furniture, etc.).

These funds cannot be used for:

  • costs that are not associated with the purpose of the grant;
  • costs incurred outside of the grant implementation period (with the exception of costs related to final reports and audit certificates);
  • costs already covered by another donor;
  • personal expenses, such as clothing and toiletries;
  • flight upgrades to first class;
  • alcohol;
  • currency exchange losses;
  • debts and debt service charges (interest);
  • provisions for losses or potential future liabilities;
  • purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action;
  • credits to third parties, unless otherwise specified in the special conditions; 
  • salary costs of the personnel of national administrations, unless otherwise specified in the special conditions and only to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the action were not undertaken;
  • in kind contributions (except for volunteers’ work);
  • performance-based bonuses included in costs of staff;
  • deductible VAT.

Selection criteria

  • Clarity and relevance of the proposal in relation to the objectives and priority areas of this call
  • A clear theory of change on how this one-off grant will positively impact the OGP process and plan in the country
  • Approach to cross-sector collaboration and bringing in new voices and actors to expand the base of civil society engaging with OGP
  • Value for money

Application process

  • Interested organisations must send completed application packages and any relevant supporting materials.
  • Application Package: Application form | Budget Form
  • Completed applications should be emailed to eap@opengovpartnership.org by the end of the day in the applicant’s location on July 9. Please reach out with any questions or clarifications by July 2. Decisions will be communicated on a rolling basis from mid-July. Activities should commence no later than on September 1. 

Grant Category 2: Innovation Grants

 

Objectives of the Innovation Grants

These grants aim to support the development or replication of online tools and platforms, complementary advocacy, and engagement strategies to enable civil society or citizens to hold their governments accountable. We want to encourage collaboration between civil society and government actors in creating innovations that do one of the following:

  • enable citizens to monitor budgets, expenditure and disbursement, including budgetary allocations for Covid-19 recovery and renewal programmes;
  • provide user-friendly interfaces for state-owned data, including data visualisation, analysis, or business intelligence tools to strengthen the ability of citizens to detect fraud or corruption (e.g. for using data on contracts, beneficial owners of companies, asset declarations, etc.);
  • enable citizen monitoring and feedback on public services and access to redress mechanisms.

Who can apply?

These grants will be open to those:

  • Working in active OGP member countries and local jurisdictions (OGP Local members and Local jurisdictions participating in OGP national processes) in the Eastern Partnership region.
  • Representing journalists, civil technologists, civil society, private sector-civil society partnerships, government-civil society partnerships pursuing a project that has potential for being carried forward through the national/local OGP process of a plan by either:
    • Showing a way forward for the proposal to be considered as a potential commitment in forthcoming OGP action plans;
    • Using outputs from an existing OGP action plan commitment (for example by using data released as part of an OGP commitment, or leveraging participation opportunities created by an existing OGP commitments);
    • Enhancing existing or proposed commitment in OGP action plans.
  • Able to dedicate significant energy and time to this project to pursue the idea and make consistent progress towards completion. Be committed to participate in activities to enhance the initial proposal, including working with other stakeholders.
  • Willing to have their idea replicated by others (willing to make your project: open source and openly-licensed).
  • Possessing a working knowledge of English or Russian to benefit from group seminars and exchanges.

We welcome proposals for prototypes, enhancements to existing tools and platforms, or replication of tools and platforms launched elsewhere (complying with any copyright requirements). We encourage submitting applications accompanied by prototypes, a clear development plan, and a clear, awareness-raising and engagement plan. 

Selection criteria

  • Relevance: proposals must be clearly related to furthering the objectives of the grant
  • Results orientation: be able to demonstrate how the tools will be applied to achieve real change
  • Added value: innovations are clearly added value to existing work and the funding provided is catalytic to the project
  • Collaboration: degree of involving stakeholders from government, civil society, private sector or media
  • Measurable: proposals must indicate clear plans for tracking progress and impact
  • Credentials: qualifications, capacity, and experience of the organisation/team

Participants will receive:

Grant support up to EUR 50,000 to the selected proposal. The selection proposals and the top three runners up will also have access to:

  • connections with potential mentors to further develop your solution
  • connections with peers working on similar solutions to foster learning
  • communication support

Note, grantees will be able to use the award funds for:

  • tool/platform development cost, including purchase, rental or leasing costs for equipment and supplies (provided that ownership is transferred at the end of the action when required);
  • goods and contractual services for specialised tasks (translations, production of documents, external consultants time, accountancy, etc.);
  • piloting/testing expenses, including workshops, local travel and transportation, etc.;
  • cost of staff assigned to the action;
  • general admin costs (overhead costs) up to 7% of the total eligible direct costs for the action (maintenance, utility bills, office furniture, etc.).

These funds cannot be used for:

  • costs that are not associated with the purpose of the grant;
  • costs incurred outside of the grant implementation period (with the exception of costs related to final reports and audit certificates);
  • costs already covered by another donor;
  • personal expenses, such as clothing and toiletries;
  • flight upgrades to first class;
  • alcohol;
  • currency exchange losses;
  • debts and debt service charges (interest);
  • provisions for losses or potential future liabilities;
  • purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action;
  • credits to third parties, unless otherwise specified in the special conditions; 
  • salary costs of the personnel of national administrations, unless otherwise specified in the special conditions and only to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the action were not undertaken;
  • in kind contributions (except for volunteers’ work);
  • performance-based bonuses included in costs of staff;
  • deductible VAT.

Application process

  • Interested organisations must send a completed application package and any relevant supporting materials.
  • Application PackageApplication form | Budget Form
  • Completed applications should be emailed to eap@opengovpartnership.org by the end of the day in the applicant’s location on July 9. Please reach out with any questions or clarifications by July 2. Decisions will be communicated on a rolling basis from mid-July.
  • Upon selection, a timeline for incubation and implementation will be agreed upon by the grantee, and the OGP Support Unit in consultation with the OGP Point of Contact/MSF and/or relevant government agencies or civil society organisations in the country of implementation.

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