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EIDHR 2019 Global Call for Proposals
Deadline: Jan 9, 2020  
- 34 days

 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Disadvantaged People
 Humanitarian Aid
 Victims of Torture
 Minority groups
 Justice
 Aid to Refugees
 Policy Evaluation and Governance
 Violence
 Human Rights

1.1. Background

The European Union (EU) is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Human Rights and democracy are important areas of EU co-operation, and activities in this sector are supported through a number of instruments.

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is one of these instruments and was established by Regulation (EU) No.235/2014 adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 11 March 2014 for the period 2014-2020, establishing a financing instrument for democracy and human rights worldwide through support to civil society initiatives.

This instrument is designed to support civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defence of human rights. In doing this, it complements both geographical programmes that focus on public institution-building as well as other thematic programmes, such as the CSO-LA programme. The EIDHR is also global in scope, operating at national, regional and international levels and supports actions carried out in third countries outside the European Union, throughout the world. The EIDHR offers independence of action, which is a critical feature of cooperation with civil society organisation at national level, especially in the sensitive areas of democracy and human rights. It offers great flexibility and increased capacity to respond changing circumstances or to support innovation.

 

1.2. Objectives of the programme and priority issues 

Objectives

The global objective of this call for proposals is to support civil society in protection and promotion of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.

This call for proposals has three lots:

Lot 1 – BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The EU has a strong interest to improve implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) worldwide to enhance the level playing field for its companies, ensure a better prevention of abuses connected to business activities and access to remedy when abuses occur. This focus is strongly linked to other important policies of the EU such as those related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). It is also a key priority of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2014-2019. In addition, as the role of the private sector in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and as a key player in the EU’s development cooperation increases, we must address any potential adverse risks on human rights.

 

Lot 2 – FIGHT AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT

Torture and other ill-treatment are among the most abhorrent violations of human rights, human integrity and human dignity. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Guidelines on EU policy towards third countries on torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment provide the general framework for the EIDHR support in this area. For the purpose of this call for proposals, torture and ill treatment mean any act as defined under international human rights norms and standards and existing jurisprudence.

 

Lot 3 – DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountability, transparency and access to information are essential for good governance, the bedrock of peaceful, resilient societies. Participatory democracy and improved oversight reduces corruption and improves public service delivery, whilst incentivising public officials to work in the public interest. Accountability, transparency have a positive impact on social cohesion, conflict prevention and the protection of minorities, and puts the rights based approach at the forefront of government actions. The New European Consensus on Development aligns EU policies and actions to the objectives of the 2030 agenda and stresses that good governance, democracy and rule of law are vital to sustainable development. This call follows up on the EU commitment to support initiatives to tackle corruption and introduce more transparency in public funding and the delivery of public services.


The specific objectives and priorities under each lot are as follows: 

Lot 1 - Business and Human Rights 

The specific objective of lot 1 is to support and empower civil society to collaborate with business and investment actors in the mitigation, prevention and remediation of adverse impacts of business activities on human rights and, where needed, hold them accountable, by in particular two sub-objectives:

 

  • a) supporting community-based actors and social partners to set up human rights due diligence mechanisms and push forward multi-stakeholder engagement with the objective of promoting accountability and good corporate governance; 
  1. b) improving access to justice for victims of corporate abuses by supporting those victims through the provision of legal advice and representation in order to bring cases before national jurisdictions and/or by developing non-State non-judicial grievance mechanisms with the private sector.


The priorities of lot 1 are:

 

  • • Give a voice to, help provide access to remedies, and empower victims of human rights corporate abuses with a specific focus on people living in the most vulnerable situations, women, children, youth, indigenous peoples, human rights and environmental defenders, civil society actors, internally displaced people;
  • • Broaden already established partnerships or forms of collaboration between business and investment actors, national authorities and civil society actors working on achieving common human rights objectives;
  • • Integrate a strong gender perspective in the methodology of actions, including gender equality and women’s empowerment. Whenever possible, gender indicators shall be developed for all target groups and data collection shall be gender disaggregated.

 

Actions must respond to at least one of the specific sub-objective and focus on at least one of the following themes:

 

  • • Workers‘ rights and decent work conditions, forced labour and child labour;
  • • Sectors covered by EU mandatory legislation (e.g.: EU Regulation on Conflict Minerals, EU Timber Regulation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) EU regulation);
  • • Sustainable business in respect to rights to a clean and healthy environment, rights to access to natural resources such as water and land, prevention of land grabbing and deforestation, respect to traditional land use rights and local livelihoods of land rights;
  • • Responsible business practices in relation to protecting civic freedoms and human rights and environment defenders.

 

This aspect will be evaluated in Section 1.1 of the Concept Note evaluation grid.

 

Lot 2 - Fight against torture and other ill-treatment

The specific objective of lot 2 is to provide support to civil society projects by contributing to the  prohibition and prevention of torture, ensuring accountability for torture and other ill treatment outside the EU, in particular by supporting civil society in the implementation of existing legislation, court rulings, regional statutes, and other forms of regulations on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

The priority of lot 2 is to foster coalitions and build synergies between civil society organisations and different non-state actors (such as national preventive mechanisms (NPMs), bar associations, etc.), and state actors (such as justice actors, penitentiary authorities, law enforcement officials, etc.) in the county(ies) covered by the proposal.

This aspect will be evaluated in Section 1.1 of the Concept Note evaluation grid. 

 

Lot 3 – Democratic accountability

The specific objective of lot 3 is to strengthen the role of civil society in contributing to democratic accountability by, inter alia, monitoring the work of state institutions, scrutinising the formulation and implementation of public policies, controlling the use of public expenditure, and raising awareness and advocating for the role of oversight institutions, notably parliaments, ombudsperson institutions, courts of auditors, audit bureaus etc. To this aim, a peer-to-peer approach is encouraged between civil society organisations conducting similar work. 

The priorities of lot 3 are:

 

  • • Strengthening parliamentary monitoring organisations (PMOs) in the field of accountability, including  anti-corruption;
  • • Strengthening organisations that monitor, raise awareness of, and demand strengthening of Ombudsmen or corresponding legislative committees, whistle-blower protection mechanisms, courts of auditors, audit bureaus and/or similar institutions and other oversight bodies;
  • • Strengthening organisations that review and scrutinise the implementation of public policies and promoting transparency and accountability of budget processes, including:
  • o Encouraging civic engagement and participation in policy review and budget processes by citizens at both national and sub-national levels, prioritising measures focusing on enhancing, in particular, the participation of disadvantaged and/or under-represented groups, such as poor households, women, youth, disabled people by creating an enabling environment for their participation;
  • o Monitoring and evaluating the levels of participation of different groups in different stages of the policy formulation and budget cycle, and setting targets for participation and response to the issues they raise.
  • • Strengthening organisations that promote accountability and/or contribute towards the prevention and fight against corruption, including:
  • o Facilitating mobilisation of civil society actors demanding government responsiveness and reforms, e.g. access to timely and transparent information, credible and effective sanctions for government inaction;
  • o Monitoring and advocating for the effective and impartial application of the rule of law, including application of administrative and criminal sanctions, in relation to anti-corruption measures;
  • o Providing capacity building, skills development, and networking capability to facilitate collaboration between relevant local and regional change agents and watchdog organisations with similar mandates, and also those of other sectors that are relevant for anti-corruption mainstreaming;
  • o Increasing the capacity of media outlets to investigate and report on corruption cases, as well as the collaboration with civil society and other change agents.
  • • Promoting use of new technologies in the oversight of state institutions, by reinforcing the NGO capacities to use digital tools.

The action must address all of the above priorities. This aspect will be evaluated in Section 1.1 of the Concept Note evaluation grid.

 

Overarching and working principles 

This call for proposal will finance projects that respect the rights-based approach (RBA) methodology. The European Consensus on Development commits the EU and its Member States to implementing a rights-based approach (RBA) to development cooperation, encompassing all human rights. It thereby reinforces the EU's commitment to an RBA as outlined in the 2012 EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy, the 2014 Tool-box "A Rights-Based Approach, Encompassing All Human Rights, for EU Development Cooperation", and the respective Council Conclusions. In addition, the EIDHR Regulation stipulates that in its implementation, the EU shall apply a Rights-Based Approach (RBA) encompassing all human rights, whether civil, political, economic, social or cultural. Therefore, all proposals under all lots of this call for proposals shall be designed according to a Rights-Based Approach. Please note that this aspect will be assessed at both concept note and full application phases.   

The RBA is a working methodology based on internationally recognised human rights and is directed to promoting and protecting human rights in practice. A RBA integrates the norms, standards and principles of international human rights law into the plans, policies and processes of development programmes and projects and applies to all sectors, all modalities, and each step of the project cycle – identification, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. 

The RBA implies that target groups are considered as ‘rights-holders’ with legal entitlements, and government institutions are not mere service providers but ‘duty-bearers,’ who are under an obligation to deliver on people’s human rights. In line with a Rights-Based Approach, development cooperation should contribute to the development of the capacities of ‘rights-holders’ to claim their rights and ‘duty-bearers’ to meet their obligations. Programmes and projects therefore need to assess the capacities of rights-holders and duty-bearers and develop the appropriate strategies to build these capacities. At the heart of the RBA is the recognition that unequal power relations and social exclusion deny people their human rights and often keep them in poverty. The approach therefore puts strong emphasis on marginalised, disadvantaged, and excluded groups. 

The RBA methodology also reminds us that development projects can have unintended negative impact in terms of human rights such as disadvantaging certain groups, interfering with participation rights and labour rights or contributing to forced displacement. It is therefore important to abide by the 'do no harm' principle and carry out the required analysis and mitigation. 

Moreover, the RBA working methodology recognises that pursuing desired human rights outcomes is not, in itself, enough. The way these outcomes are achieved is equally important. Programmes therefore monitor and evaluate both outcomes and processes. 

The five working principles, applying all rights, participation and access to decision-making, non-discrimination and equal access, accountability and access to rule of law and transparency and access to information, should be implemented as appropriate in relation to any proposed project.

Cross-cutting elements

Gender equality is an integral part of the RBA, encompassing the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights. Gender equality constitutes a fundamental human rights principle and a common value of the European Union (EU Treaties, EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020). Each selected proposal will have to report against relevant "SMART" sex-disaggregated indicators mentioned in the mandatory EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020.

In addition, the paragraph below highlights important elements in order to guide you in the drafting process of your proposal, whenever relevant for the specific actions foreseen. Therefore, the whole list of issues/elements highlighted should not necessarily be integrated in your proposal. The selection procedure will evaluate proposals in their entirety depending on the context of the activities proposed and on the target groups and final beneficiaries/rights holders identified. 

Moreover, proposals should, whenever relevant, include conflict sensitivity and environmental issues. 

Focus on the needs and challenges faced by targeted groups/rights-holders living outside the capitals and in remote areas, and/or encourage the constitution and capacity-building of networks of local organisations and implementing actors, including at regional level should also be taken into account. 

Furthermore, it is important that any organisation or group that works with children or young people has a clear set of guidelines about how they will keep children safe and to respond to child protection concerns. Therefore, applicants and co-applicants working directly with or for children should demonstrate in their proposals that a child protection policy is in place for any project activities that involve interactions with children. 

These added value elements should be reflected both in the concept note and in the full application.

 

1.3. Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 18,000,000. The contracting authority reserves the right not to award all available funds. Equally, this amount could be increased should more funds become available.

Indicative allocation of funds by lot

 

  • • Lot 1 - Business and human rights: EUR 5,000,000
  • • Lot 2 – Fight against torture and other ill-treatment: EUR 8,000,000
  • • Lot 3 – Democratic accountability: EUR 5,000,000

If the allocation indicated for a specific lot cannot be used due to insufficient quality or number of proposals received, the contracting authority reserves the right to reallocate the remaining funds to (an)other lot(s). 

Size of grants

Any requested EU contribution under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:

Lot 1 - Business and human rights 

 

  • • Minimum amount: EUR 700,000
  • • Maximum amount: EUR 1,500,000

Lot 2 – Fight against torture and other ill-treatment

 

  • • Minimum amount: EUR 700,000
  • • Maximum amount: EUR 1,500,000

Lot 3 – Democratic accountability

 

  • • Minimum amount: EUR 5,000,000
  • • Maximum amount: EUR 5,000,000

Any requested EU contribution under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum percentages of total eligible costs of the action:

 

  • • Minimum percentage: 51 % of the total eligible costs of the action.
  • • Maximum percentage: 95 % of the total eligible costs of the action (see also Section 2.1.5).

The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the action and the amount requested from the contracting authority) must be financed from sources other than the general budget of the Union or the European Development Fund.

The grant may cover the entire eligible costs of the action (100%) if this is deemed essential to carry it out. If that is the case, the lead applicant must justify full financing in Section 2.1 of Part B of the grant application form. The validity of the justification provided will be examined during the evaluation procedure. The absence of any justification may lead to the rejection of the application. If the evaluation committee considers that the justification is not valid, only the maximum percentage allowed (95%) will be accepted.

Please note that the lead applicant can either ask for a maximum percentage of 95% or exceptionally 100%, under the conditions described above. A percentage between 95.01% and 99.99% is not allowed and it will lead to the rejection of the application.

 

2. Rules FOR thIS call for proposalS

These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this call, in conformity with the practical guide, which is applicable to the present call (available on the internet at this address http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?locale=en). 

Eligibility criteria

There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to:

 

(1) the actors:

  • • the ‘lead applicant’, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1),
  • • if any, its co-applicant(s) (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as ‘applicant(s)’) (2.1.1), 
  • • and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2);

(2) the actions:

Actions for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4);

(3) the costs:

  • • types of cost that may be taken into account in setting the amount of the grant (2.1.5).

 

2.1.1. Eligibility of applicants (i.e. lead applicant and co-applicant(s))

Lead applicant

(1) In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:

  • • Be a legal person or an entity without legal personality or a natural person and 
  • • Be non-profit-making and
  • • Be a non-governmental civil society organisation, 

Please note that the Evaluation Committee will take into consideration the different legal forms of registration in the respective countries. The applicant should attach a justification;

• Be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary.

No nationality restriction applies to applicants and, if any, to co-applicants and affiliated entities.

 (2) Potential applicants may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if they are in any of the situations listed in Section 2.6.10.1 of the practical guide (including articles 135 and 136 of the EU Financial Regulation);

 

Lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entities and, in case of legal entities, persons who have powers of representation, decision-making or control over the lead applicant, the co-applicants and the affiliated entities are informed that, should they be in one of the situations of early detection or exclusion according to Section 2.6.10.1 of the practical guide, personal details (name, given name if natural person, address, legal form and name and given name of the persons with powers of representation, decision-making or control, if legal person) may be registered in the early detection and exclusion system, and communicated to the persons and entities concerned in relation to the award or the execution of a grant contract. In this respect, lead applicants, co-applicants and affiliated entities are obliged to declare that they are not in one of the exclusion situations through a signed declaration on honour (PRAG Annex A14). For grants of EUR 60,000 or less, no declaration on honour is required. 

In Part A, Section 3 and Part B Section 8 of the grant application form (‘declaration(s) by the lead applicant’), the lead applicant must declare that the lead applicant himself, the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations.

  • ¬ For lot 1 and lot 2 only:
  • • The lead applicant may act individually or with co-applicant(s). However, to be eligible, an action must include at least one local organisation, as lead applicant or co-applicant.
  • A local organisation (with or without legal personality) must be understood as established in the country or one of the countries where the action is taking place. An organisation is considered “local” when its charter demonstrates that the organisation has been established by an instrument governed by the national law of the country concerned (only for entities with legal personality) and that its head office is located in that country;
  • • When the lead applicant is not a local organisation, it must act with at least one local co-applicant, except when the project's activities are taking place in a country in which local organisations cannot operate. In this case, a justification must be provided in Annex A.1 section 1.2 and Annex A.2 section 2.1. The validity of the justification provided will be examined during the evaluation procedure. Should the justification not be deemed valid, the proposal may be rejected on that sole basis.

In situations where registration in the concerned country is made impossible or might put the lead applicant or co-applicant in danger, the lead applicant or co-applicant may be registered in another country. In this case, a justification must be provided in Annex A.1 section 1.2 and Annex A.2 section 2.1. In addition, the lead applicant or co-applicant must prove in its statutes or through other supporting documents that the objectives and activities of the said organisation are for the benefit of the targeted country. In the absence of any justification, the proposal will be rejected. The validity of the justification provided will be examined during the evaluation procedure. Should the justification not be deemed valid, the proposal may be rejected on that sole basis.

¬ Under lot 3, the lead applicant must act with co-applicant(s), to ensure the coverage of all priorities specified above through the involvement in the action of entities with relevant expertise. The choice of co-applicants must be justified in the proposal and will be taken into account in the evaluation.

If awarded the grant contract, the lead applicant will become the beneficiary identified as the coordinator in Annex G Standard Grant Contract (special conditions). The coordinator is the main interlocutor of the contracting authority. It represents and acts on behalf of any other co-beneficiary (if any) and coordinate the design and implementation of the action.

Co-applicant(s)

Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant. 

Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant himself.

In addition to the categories referred to in Section 2.1.1, the following are however also eligible: 

• Under lot 1 and lot 2: National Human Rights Institutions and National Preventive Mechanisms .

For all lots:

Each member of a partnership must have a precise and clearly identified role in the implementation of the project. There is no upper limit on the number of members in a partnership. A partnership should be composed in such a way as to allow the achievement of the project objectives in the most effective and cost-efficient manner.

The role of each member of the partnership must be clearly explained in the proposal. It is strongly recommended that the applicant and its co-applicant(s) draw up an agreement defining their partnership as well as their respective technical and financial roles and obligations. A clear allocation of responsibilities and costs will contribute to the partnership’s success.

The composition of the partnership will be evaluated in section 4.3 of the full application evaluation grid. 

Co-applicants must sign the mandate in Part B Section 4 of the grant application form.

If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the coordinator).

(3) Applicants included in the lists of EU restrictive measures (see Section 2.4. of the PRAG) at the moment of the award decision cannot be awarded the contract.

2.1.2. Affiliated entities


The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies).

Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co-applicant(s):

Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.

This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:

(i) Control, as defined in Directive 2013/34/EU on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:

Entities affiliated to an applicant may hence be:

  • - Entities directly or indirectly controlled by the applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by the applicant (granddaughter companies or second-tier subsidiaries) and the same applies to further tiers of control;
  • - Entities directly or indirectly controlling the applicant (parent companies). Likewise, they may be entities controlling an entity controlling the applicant;
  • - Entities under the same direct or indirect control as the applicant (sister companies).

 

(ii) Membership, i.e. the applicant is legally defined as a e.g. network, federation, association in which the proposed affiliated entities also participate or the applicant participates in the same entity (e.g. network, federation, association, etc.) as the proposed affiliated entities.

 

The structural link shall as a general rule be neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation. This means that the link would exist independently of the award of the grant; it should exist before the call for proposals and remain valid after the end of the action.

 

By way of exception, an entity may be considered as affiliated to an applicant even if it has a structural link specifically established for the sole purpose of the implementation of the action in the case of so-called ‘sole applicants’ or ‘sole beneficiaries’. A sole applicant or a sole beneficiary is a legal entity formed by several entities (a group of entities) which together comply with the criteria for being awarded the grant. For example, an association is formed by its members.

What is not an affiliated entity? 

The following are not considered entities affiliated to an applicant:

  • - Entities that have entered into a (procurement) contract or subcontract with an applicant, act as concessionaires or delegates for public services for an applicant;
  • - Entities that receive financial support from the applicant;
  • - Entities that cooperate on a regular basis with an applicant on the basis of a memorandum of understanding or share some assets;
  • - Entities that have signed a consortium agreement under the grant contract (unless this consortium agreement leads to the creation of a ‘sole applicant’ as described above).

 

How to verify the existence of the required link with an applicant?

 

The affiliation resulting from control may in particular be proved on the basis of the consolidated accounts of the group of entities the applicant and its proposed affiliates belong to.

 

The affiliation resulting from membership may in particular be proved on the basis of the statutes or equivalent act establishing the entity (network, federation, association) which the applicant constitutes or in which the applicant participates.

If the applicants are awarded a grant contract, their affiliated entity(ies) will not become beneficiary(ies) of the action and signatory(ies) of the grant contract. However, they will participate in the design and  in the implementation of the action and the costs they incur (including those incurred for implementation contracts and financial support to third parties) may be accepted as eligible costs, provided they comply with all the relevant rules already applicable to the beneficiary(ies) under the grant contract.

Affiliated entity(ies) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria as the lead applicant and the co-applicant(s).  They must sign the affiliated entity(ies) statement in Part B Section 5 of the grant application form.

2.1.3. Associates and contractors

The following entities are not applicants nor affiliated entities and do not have to sign the ‘mandate for co-applicant(s)’ or ‘affiliated entities' statement’:

• Associates

Other organisations or individuals may be involved in the action. Such associates play a real role in the action but may not receive funding from the grant, with the exception of per diem or travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in Section 2.1.1. Associates must be mentioned in Part B Section 6 — ‘Associates participating in the action’ — of the grant application form.

Under lot 1 and lot 2:

Private sector (including investors) and local authorities (including OECD National Contact Points) are encouraged to take part to the action as associates. This added value will be taken into account in the evaluation stage (section 1.4 of concept note evaluation grid and section 2.4 of full application evaluation grid).

• Contractors

The beneficiaries and their affiliated entities are permitted to award contracts. Associates or affiliated entity(ies) cannot be also contractors in the project. Contractors are subject to the procurement rules set out in Annex IV to the standard grant contract.

2.1.4. Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made

Definition: 

An action is composed of a set of activities.

Duration

The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 24 months nor exceed 48 months.

Location

Lot 1 - Business and human rights

Actions have to be implemented in least developed countries, low- and middle-income (upper and lower) countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Actions must take place in a minimum of one and a maximum of three countries within the same region. 

See Annex L for a detailed list of eligible countries and regions.

If the action is in more than one country, it must fall under a same sector, value or supply chain OR concern the same organisation in different countries AND demonstrate clearly the value added of regional replication of good practices and capacity building. 

Lot 2 – Fight against torture and other ill-treatment

Actions have to be implemented in least developed countries, low and middle-income countries.

Actions must take place in a minimum of one and a maximum of three countries within the same region. Priority will be given to actions implemented in low and middle-income countries (upper and lower).

See Annex L for a detailed list of eligible countries and regions.

If the action is in more than one country, it must address the same or similar issues, i.e. a multi-country issue-based approach, but in the same geographical region and demonstrate clearly the value added of regional replication of good practices and capacity building. 

Lot 3 – Democratic accountability

Actions must take place in at least fifteen countries outside the European Union. 

The lead applicant may propose, in the concept note and full application, an indicative list of ten countries where the action will take place. The definitive list of countries will be decided jointly between the lead applicant and the Contracting Authority, duly considering the inputs from the EU Delegations, during the implementation of the action. 

For all three lots:

Punctual activities may, if duly justified in the description of the action, take place in EU countries when they are directly related to situation arising in third countries and for the benefit of those countries, e.g., a seminar or conference, a specific exhibition or other similar events.

Under lot 1 and 2, geographical balance will be taken into account by the evaluation committee at any stage of the evaluation process. 

Types of action

The following types of action are ineligible:

  • • actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;
  • • actions concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses;
  • • actions supporting political parties, religious groups, groups and movements;
  • • actions concerned only or mainly with directly delivering social services to target groups;
  • • actions supporting political parties or proselytism and/or supporting violence;
  • • actions concerned only or mainly with procurement of equipment.

 

Types of activity

Indicative and non-exhaustive list of activities by lot:

Lot 1 - Business and human rights

  • • Actions improving local stakeholders ability to better understand their rights when facing corporate abuses;
  • • Building capacities of HRDs, trade unions or the judiciary to hold public and private sector accountable towards a more responsible business environment;
  • • Providing legal support to CSOs and communities victims of corporate abuse to engage in legal proceedings with the national judiciary, including strategic litigation;
  • • Integrate CSOs in the management by the private sector of risk of reprisals on HRDs monitoring and reporting adverse human rights impact in specific business sectors; 
  • • Actions empowering CSOs to establish effective reporting and monitoring mechanisms and facilitating how companies can effectively address internal and external human rights complaints in line with national and international legislation;
  • • Actions aimed at improving companies’ grievance mechanisms through local stakeholder’s participation. Actions placing CSOs as trusted third party intermediaries to help resolve disputes between local communities and business actors.

Lot 2 – Fight against torture and other ill-treatment

  • • Monitoring of and sensitisation on existing legislation;
  • • Monitoring the situation of places where people are deprived of liberty and where torture and ill-treatment might occur, in order to prevent ill treatment (overcrowded cells, lack of medical attention or other rights, denial of contact with family or lawyers, extended imprisonment without trial, minors imprisoned with adults, etc.);  
  • • Assistance to torture survivors or to individuals threatened with torture and their families, (excluding financial compensation for victims), including legal assistance to obtain reparation; psychotherapy and psychiatric assistance; other medical care, as well as social rehabilitation, such as advice on social assistance, employment, development of social skills, etc.;
  • • Providing capacity building to civil society organisations or networks of NGOs outside the EU, as well as National Preventive Mechanisms to carry out activities to fight against torture and impunity, its root-causes and/or consequences, e.g. including monitoring and reporting cases of torture, identifying and protecting vulnerable groups with a higher risk of exposure to torture and ill-treatment, submitting shadow reports to the UN system and to relevant regional mechanisms, etc.;
  • • Capacity building of relevant state actors and other stakeholders on how to prevent, identify and address torture and ill-treatment, including to investigate cases and give protection and tools to resist to those individuals experiencing pressure to execute torture or ill-treatments as part of their work or against their will.

Lot 3 – Democratic accountability

  • • Financial support to thirds parties for sub-actions conducted by local organisations to achieve the objectives and priorities under this lot;
  • • Capacity building, training, workshops, seminars and conferences;
  • • Peer-to-peer exchanges.

The above typed of activities should be intended to support the following actors in countries outside the European Union:

  • o Parliamentary monitoring organisations (PMOs) in the field of accountability, including anti-corruption;
  • o Organisations that monitor, raise awareness of, and demand strengthening of Ombudsmen or corresponding legislative committees, whistle-blower protection mechanisms, courts of auditors, audit bureaus and/or similar institutions and other oversight bodies;
  • o Organisations that review and scrutinise the implementation of public policies and promoting transparency and accountability of budget processes, including:
  • o Encouraging civic engagement and participation in policy review and budget processes by citizens at both national and sub-national levels, prioritising measures focusing on enhancing, in particular, the participation of disadvantaged and/or under-represented groups, such as poor households, women, youth, disabled people by creating an enabling environment for their participation;
  • o Monitoring and evaluating the levels of participation of different groups in different stages of the policy formulation and budget cycle, and setting targets for participation and response to the issues they raise;
  • o Organisations that promote accountability and/or contribute towards the fight against corruption, including:
  • o Facilitating mobilisation of civil society actors demanding government responsiveness and reforms, e.g. access to timely and transparent information, credible and effective sanctions for government inaction;
  • o Monitoring and advocating for the effective and impartial application of the rule of law, including application of administrative and criminal sanctions, in relation to anti-corruption measures;
  • o Providing capacity building, skills development, and networking capability to facilitate collaboration between organisations with similar mandates;
  • o Increasing the capacity of media outlets to investigate and report on corruption cases.
  • o Organisations that promote the use of new technologies in the oversight of state institutions, by reinforcing the NGO capacities to use digital tools.

Financial support to third parties 

Lot 1 - Business and human rights 

Applicants may propose financial support to third parties in order to help achieving the objectives of the action.

Lot 2 – Fight against torture and other ill-treatment

Applicants may propose financial support to third parties in order to help achieving the objectives of the action. This financial support should be aimed at reaching final beneficiaries and torture survivors directly.

Under lot 1 and 2, the maximum amount of financial support per third party is EUR 60,000.

Lot 3 – Democratic accountability

Applicants must propose financial support to third parties in order to help achieve the objectives of the action.

Financial support shall be provided to civil society organisations in third countries with the aim of achieving the specific objectives of lot 3, notably, strengthening the role of civil society in contributing to democratic accountability, as outlined in section 1.2 above. 

Under lot 3, financial support to third parties is considered essential to achieve the objective of the action.

The maximum amount of financial support per third party is EUR 200,000.

The total amount devoted to financial support to third parties under this lot shall be no less than 60% of the total EU contribution (not less than EUR 3,000,000) and must be clearly indicated in the budget of the action under item 4. If the amount of financial support to third parties is not indicated in the budget, the proposal might be rejected. 

For all lots:

In compliance with the present guidelines and notably of any conditions or restrictions in this Section, the lead applicant should define mandatorily in Section 2.1.1 of the grant application form: 

 

  1. (i) the overall objectives, the specific objective(s) and the outputs (i.e. the results) to be achieved with the financial support;
  2. (ii) the different types of activities eligible for financial support, on the basis of a fixed list; 
  3. (iii) the types of persons or categories of persons which may receive financial support;

(iv) the criteria for selecting these entities and giving the financial support; 

For lot 3, these criteria  include: (1) complementarity with other EU-funded programmes, (2) scale (e.g. extent and nature of corruption as indicated by international indices and EU reporting); and (3) practicality (e.g. presence of bare minimum of accountability architecture, and operating space for civil society).

 

  1. (v) the criteria for determining the exact amount of financial support for each third entity, and 
  2. (vi) the maximum amount which may be given;
  3. (vii) system of control set up to verify the eligibility of costs (relevant to the implementation phase).

In all events, the mandatory conditions set above for giving financial support (points (i) to (vi)) have to be strictly defined in the grant contract as to avoid any exercise of discretion.

The Contracting Authority and the EU Delegations in third countries shall be duly consulted in the process of selection of the entities to which financial support is given.

Visibility

The applicants must take all necessary steps to publicise the fact that the European Union has financed or co-financed the action. As far as possible, actions that are wholly or partially funded by the European Union must incorporate information and communication activities designed to raise the awareness of specific or general audiences of the reasons for the action and the EU support for the action in the country or region concerned, as well as the results and the impact of this support.

Applicants must comply with the objectives and priorities and guarantee the visibility of the EU financing (see the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU external actions specified and published by the European Commission at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/funding/communication-and-visibility-manual-eu-external-actions_en).

When judged necessary, the visibility requirements of projects financed under this call may be removed or limited due to the total or partial confidentiality of the action and/or safety of beneficiaries. In this case, the applicant is required to duly justify this requirement in its application.

Number of applications and grants per applicants / affiliated entities under this call for proposals:

An organisation may not be participating more than once in this call for proposals as lead applicant nor co-applicant or affiliated entities. Should this be the case, the EC will only consider the first proposal arrived (based on the date and hour of submission) and any other additional proposal will be rejected. It is the responsibility of each lead applicant to verify that its co-applicants and affiliated entities, if any, are not involved as lead applicant or co-applicant in other proposals.

2.1.5. Eligibility of costs: costs that can be included 

Only ‘eligible costs’ can be covered by a grant. The categories of costs that are eligible and non-eligible are indicated below. The budget is both a cost estimate and an overall ceiling for ‘eligible costs’. 

The reimbursement of eligible costs shall be based on the following form:

− actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies).

Recommendations to award a grant are always subject to the condition that the checks preceding the signing of the grant contract do not reveal problems requiring changes to the budget (such as arithmetical errors, inaccuracies, unrealistic costs and ineligible costs). The checks may give rise to requests for clarification and may lead the contracting authority to impose modifications or reductions to address such mistakes or inaccuracies. It is not possible to increase the grant or the percentage of EU co-financing as a result of these corrections.

It is therefore in the applicants' interest to provide a realistic and cost-effective budget.

Eligible direct costs

To be eligible under this call for proposals, costs must comply with the provisions of Article 14 of the general conditions to the standard grant contract (see Annex G of the guidelines).

The applicants (and where applicable their affiliated entities) agree that the expenditure verification(s) referred to in Article 15.7 of the general conditions to the standard grant contract (see Annex G of the guidelines) will be carried out by European Commission.

Contingency reserve

The budget may include a contingency reserve not exceeding 5 % of the estimated direct eligible costs. It can only be used with the prior written authorisation of the contracting authority.

Eligible indirect costs

The indirect costs incurred in carrying out the action may be eligible for flat-rate funding, but the total must not exceed 7 % of the estimated total eligible direct costs. Indirect costs are eligible provided that they do not include costs assigned to another budget heading in the standard grant contract. The lead applicant may be asked to justify the percentage requested before the grant contract is signed. However, once the flat rate has been fixed in the special conditions of the grant contract, no supporting documents need to be provided.

If any of the applicants or affiliated entity(ies) is in receipt of an operating grant financed by the EU, it may not claim indirect costs on its incurred costs within the proposed budget for the action.

Contributions in kind

Contributions in kind mean the provision of goods or services to beneficiaries or affiliated entities free of charge by a third party. As contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for beneficiaries or affiliated entities, they are normally not eligible costs. 

As an exception, contributions in kind may include personnel costs for the work carried out by volunteers under an action or work programme (which are eligible costs).

Volunteers' work may comprise up to 50% of the co-financing. For the purposes of calculating this percentage, contributions in kind in the form of volunteers' work must be based on the unit cost provided by the contracting authority. This type of costs must be presented separately from other eligible costs in the estimated budget. The value of the volunteer’s work must always be excluded from the calculation of indirect costs.

When the estimated costs include volunteers' work, the grant shall not exceed the estimated eligible costs other than the costs for volunteers' work.

Other co-financing shall be based on estimates provided by the applicant.

Notwithstanding the above and in the context of the present call for proposals, contributions in kind may not be treated as co-financing.

However, if the description of the action as proposed includes contributions in kind, the contributions have to be made.

Ineligible costs

The following costs are not eligible:

  • − debts and debt service charges (interest);
  • − provisions for losses or potential future liabilities;
  • − costs declared by the beneficiary(ies) and financed by another action or work programme receiving a European Union (including through EDF) grant;
  • − purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action, in which case ownership must be transferred in accordance with Article 7.5 of the general conditions of the standard grant contract, at the latest at the end of the action;
  • − currency exchange losses;
  • − credit to third parties;
  • − salary costs of the personnel of national administrations.


Ethics clauses and Code of Conduct

a) Absence of conflict of interest

The applicant must not be affected by any conflict of interest and must have no equivalent relation in that respect with other applicants or parties involved in the actions. Any attempt by an applicant to obtain confidential information, enter into unlawful agreements with competitors or influence the evaluation committee or the contracting authority during the process of examining, clarifying, evaluating and comparing applications will lead to the rejection of its application and may result in administrative penalties according to the Financial Regulation in force. 

b) Respect for human rights as well as environmental legislation and core labour standards

The applicant and its staff must comply with human rights. In particular and in accordance with the applicable act, applicants who have been awarded contracts must comply with the environmental legislation including multilateral environmental agreements, and with the core labour standards as applicable and as defined in the relevant International Labour Organisation conventions (such as the conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining; elimination of forced and compulsory labour; abolition of child labour).

Zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and sexual abuse:

The European Commission applies a policy of 'zero tolerance' in relation to all wrongful conduct which has an impact on the professional credibility of the applicant.  

Physical abuse or punishment, or threats of physical abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation, harassment and verbal abuse, as well as other forms of intimidation shall be prohibited. 

c) Anti-corruption and anti-bribery 

The applicant shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations and codes relating to anti-bribery and anti-corruption. The European Commission reserves the right to suspend or cancel project financing if corrupt practices of any kind are discovered at any stage of the award process or during the execution of a contract and if the contracting authority fails to take all appropriate measures to remedy the situation. For the purposes of this provision, ‘corrupt practices’ are the offer of a bribe, gift, gratuity or commission to any person as an inducement or reward for performing or refraining from any act relating to the award of a contract or execution of a contract already concluded with the contracting authority.

      d) Unusual commercial expenses 

Applications will be rejected or contracts terminated if it emerges that the award or execution of a contract has given rise to unusual commercial expenses. Such unusual commercial expenses are commissions not mentioned in the main contract or not stemming from a properly concluded contract referring to the main contract, commissions not paid in return for any actual and legitimate service, commissions remitted to a tax haven, commissions paid to a payee who is not clearly identified or commissions paid to a company which has every appearance of being a front company.

Grant beneficiaries found to have paid unusual commercial expenses on projects funded by the European Union are liable, depending on the seriousness of the facts observed, to have their contracts terminated or to be permanently excluded from receiving EU/EDF funds.

e) Breach of obligations, irregularities or fraud 

The contracting authority reserves the right to suspend or cancel the procedure, where the award procedure proves to have been subject to substantial breach of obligations, irregularities or fraud. If substantial breach of obligations, irregularities or fraud are discovered after the award of the contract, the contracting authority may refrain from concluding the contract.

 

2.2. How to apply and the procedures to follow


To apply for this call for proposals the lead applicants need to:

 

I. Provide information about the organisations involved in the action. Please note that the registration of this data in PADOR is obligatory for this call for proposals:

Concept note (step 1): Registration is obligatory for lead applicants.

Full application (step 2): Registration is obligatory for co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies). Lead applicants must make sure that their PADOR profile is up to date. 

 

II. Provide information about the action in the documents listed under sections 2.2.2 (concept note) and 2.2.5 (full application). Please note that online submission via PROSPECT is obligatory for this call.

PADOR is an on-line database in which organisations register and update information concerning their entity. Organisations registered in PADOR get a unique ID (EuropeAid ID) which they must mention in their application. PADOR is accessible via the website: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/pador_en.

It is strongly recommended to register in PADOR well in advance and not to wait until the last minute before the deadline to submit your application in PROSPECT. Please note that once the ECAS account (EU Login) is created, the synchronisation/validation may take up to 24 hours before PADOR/PROSPECT recognize the user’s ID and allow the access.

If it is impossible to register online in PADOR for technical reasons, the applicants and/or affiliated entity(ies) must complete the ‘PADOR off-line form attached to these guidelines. This form must be sent together with the application, by the submission deadline (see sections 2.2.2 and 2.2.5). 

Before starting using PADOR and PROSPECT, please read the user guides available on the website. All technical questions related the use of these systems should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT.

2.2.1. Concept note content  

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the concept note instructions in the grant application form annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.1). 

Applicants must apply in English, French or Spanish. Applicants must apply in the language most commonly used by the target population in the country in which the action takes place.

Please note that:

  1. 1. All information encoded in PROSPECT must be exhaustive and in line with the content of the concept note. The administrative check will be performed taking into consideration only the information available in PROSPECT in sections: 1 - Contact; 2 - Project; 3 - Co- applicants; 4 - Documents. Please make sure that there are no inconsistencies between the information in PROSPECT and the content of the concept note;
  2. 2. In the concept note, lead applicants must only provide an estimate of the requested EU contribution as well as an indicative percentage of that contribution in relation to the eligible costs of the action. A detailed budget is to be submitted only by the lead applicants invited to submit a full application in the second phase; 
  3. 3. The elements outlined in the concept note may not be modified in the full application. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %. Lead applicants are free to adapt the percentage of co-financing required within the minimum and maximum amount and percentages of co-financing, as laid down in these guidelines in Section 1.3. The lead applicant may add, replace or remove a co-applicant or an affiliated entity only in duly justified cases (e.g. bankruptcy of initial co-applicant or affiliated entity). In this case, the new co-applicant/affiliated entity must be of a similar nature as the initial one. The lead applicant may adjust the duration of the action if unforeseen circumstances outside the scope of the applicants have taken place following the submission of the concept note and require such adaptation (risk of action not being carried out). In such cases, the duration must remain within the limits imposed by the guidelines for applicants. An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in an accompanying letter or email.

Own contributions by the applicants can be replaced by other donors' contributions at any time;

4. Only the concept note form will be evaluated. It is therefore of utmost importance that this document contains ALL relevant information concerning the action. No additional annexes should be sent.

Any error or major discrepancy related to the concept note instructions may lead to the rejection of the concept note.

Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is not sufficient to conduct an objective assessment. 

Hand-written concept notes will not be accepted.

2.2.2. Where and how to send concept notes

The concept note together with the declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1, section 2) must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the PROSPECT user manual.

Upon submission of a concept note online, the lead applicant will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in its PROSPECT profile. 

If it is impossible for lead applicants to submit their concept note online via PROSPECT for technical reasons, they must send their proposal in a sealed envelope and attach the concept note together with the declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1, section 2). In particular, the lead applicant must send, in a sealed envelope as described below the following items:

a. One original of the concept note. The signed declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.1 section 2) must be printed and stapled separately and enclosed in the envelope;

b. Two additional copies in A4 size, each bound;

c. An electronic version (pen drive of the items under point (a)). The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version enclosed. 

The envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with the lot number and title the full name and address of the lead applicant, and the words ‘Not to be opened before the opening session’.

To reduce expense and waste, we strongly recommend that you do not use plastic folders or dividers. Please also use double-sided printing if possible.

Concept notes must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by hand-delivery (a signed and dated certificate of receipt will be given to the deliverer) to the address below. Where lead applicants send several concept notes (if allowed to do so by the guidelines of the call), each one must be sent separately:

Postal address:

European Commission
Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development
Unit DEVCO B6 - Finance and Contracts

Attn. Head of Unit L-41 03/110 

Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Brussels
BELGIUM

Address for hand delivery or by private courier service:

European Commission
Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development
Unit DEVCO B6 - Finance and Contracts

Attn. Head of Unit L-41 03/110
Central Mail Service
Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Brussels
BELGIUM

Tel: +32 2 2997916 

Concept notes sent by any other means (e.g. by fax or by e-mail) or delivered to other addresses will be rejected.

Hand-written concept notes will not be accepted.

Please note that incomplete concept notes may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their concept note is complete by using the checklist for concept note (Annex A.1, Instructions).

2.2.3. Deadline for submission of concept notes 

The deadline for the submission of concept notes is 09/01/2020 at 12:00 (Brussels date and time).  In order to convert this deadline to local time you can use any online time converter tool that takes into account time zones and winter/summer time changes (example available here). The lead applicant is strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit its concept note, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The Contacting Authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such afore-mentioned difficulties. 

 

In the exceptional case of submission by post or by hand delivery (see section 2.2.2), the date of submission is evidenced by the date of dispatch, the postmark or the date of the deposit slip. In the case of hand-deliveries, the deadline for receipt is at 12:00 as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.

 

Any concept note submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

 

However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may also reject any concept note sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the concept note evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2).

2.2.4. Further information about concept notes


Questions may be sent by e-mail [or by fax] no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of concept notes to the address(es) below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:

E-mail address: EuropeAid-166151@ec.europa.eu

The contracting authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for submission of concept notes. 

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the contracting authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities.

No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure will be published on the website of DG International Cooperation and Development: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome as the need arises. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

All questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT: Please note that the working languages of the IT support are: English French and Spanish. Therefore users are invited to send their questions in English, French or Spanish should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.

 

2.2.5. Full applications 

Lead applicants invited to submit a full application following pre-selection of their concept note must do so using Part B of the grant application form annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.2). Lead applicants should then keep strictly to the format of the grant application form and fill in the paragraphs and pages in order.

Please note that:

  1. 1. All information encoded in PROSPECT must be exhaustive and in line with the content of the full application. The administrative check will be performed taking into consideration only the information available in PROSPECT in sections: 1 - Contact; 2 - Project; 3 - Co- applicants; 4 - Documents. Please make sure that there are no inconsistencies between the information in PROSPECT and the content of the full application;
  2. 2. The elements outlined in the concept note cannot be modified by the lead applicant in the full application. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %, although lead applicants are free to adapt the percentage of co-financing required within the minimum and maximum amount and percentages of co-financing, as laid down in these guidelines under section 1.3. The lead applicant may add, replace or remove a co-applicant or an affiliated entity only in duly justified cases (e.g. bankruptcy of initial co-applicant or affiliated entity). In this case the new co-applicant/affiliated entity must be of a similar nature as the initial one. The lead applicant may adjust the duration of the action if unforeseen circumstances outside the scope of the applicants have taken place following the submission of the concept note and require such adaptation (risk of action not being carried out). In such cases, the duration must remain within the limits imposed by the guidelines for applicants. An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in an accompanying letter or email (or included in section 2.1.1(iv) of the grant application form). The validity of the justification provided will be examined during the evaluation procedure. Should the justification not be deemed valid, the proposal may be rejected on that sole basis;
  3. 3. Lead applicants must submit their full applications in the same language as their concept notes. A copy of the lead applicant’s accounts of the latest financial year (the profit and loss account and the balance sheet for the last financial year for which the accounts have been closed) and of the external audit report must be uploaded in PADOR by the full application deadline. A copy of the latest account is neither required from (if any) the co-applicant(s) nor from (if any) affiliated entity(ies)).

Please complete the full application form carefully and as clearly as possible so that it can be assessed properly. 

Any error related to the points listed in the checklist (Part B, Section 7 of the grant application form) or any major inconsistency in the full application (e.g. if the amounts in the budget worksheets are inconsistent) may lead to the rejection of the application.

Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is unclear and thus prevents the contracting authority from conducting an objective assessment.

Hand-written applications will not be accepted.

Please note that only the full application form and the published annexes which have to be filled in (budget, logical framework) will be transmitted to the evaluators and assessors, if used. It is therefore of utmost importance that these documents contain ALL the relevant information concerning the action. 

With the full application, the lead applicant also has to submit the completed PADOR form (Annex F) for the lead applicant, each (if any) co-applicants and each (if any) affiliated entities.

No additional annexes should be sent.

2.2.6. Where and how to send full applications 

Full application forms together with the budget, the logical framework and the declaration by the lead applicant must be submitted online via PROSPECT https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/ europeaid/prospect following the instructions given in the users’ manual.

 

Upon submission of the full application online, the lead applicants will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt in their PROSPECT profile. 

(a) If the lead applicant submitted the concept note by post / hand delivery (see section 2.2.3) it must send the full application by the same means (by post or hand delivery);

(b) If the lead applicant submitted the concept note online via PROSPECT but it is technically impossible for the organisation to submit the full application online:

In the above two cases the lead applicant must send by post the application, i.e the full application form, the budget, the logical framework and the declaration by the lead applicant. The lead applicant must send, in a sealed envelope as described below, the following items:

a. One original signed copy of the full application form, the budget and the logical framework. The declaration by the lead applicant (Annex A.2, section 5) must be printed and stapled separately and enclosed in the envelope;

b. Two additional copies in A4 size, each bound;

c. An electronic version (pen drive of the items under point (a)). The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version enclosed. 

To reduce expense and waste, we strongly recommend that you use only paper for your file (no plastic folders or dividers). Please also use double-sided printing if possible.

Applications must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by hand-delivery (a signed and dated certificate of receipt will be given to the deliverer) to the address below. 

Postal address:

European Commission
Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development
Unit DEVCO B6 - Finance and Contracts

Attn. Head of Unit L-41 03/110 

Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Brussels
BELGIUM

Address for hand delivery or by private courier service:

European Commission
Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development
Unit DEVCO B6 - Finance and Contracts

Attn. Head of Unit L-41 03/110
Central Mail Service
Avenue du Bourget, 1
B-1140 Brussels
BELGIUM

Tel: +32 2 2997916 

The envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with the number and title of the lot, the full name and address of the lead applicant, and the words ‘Not to be opened before the opening session’.

Applications sent by any other means (e.g. by fax or by e-mail) or delivered to other addresses will be rejected. Hand-written applications will not be accepted.

Please note that incomplete applications may be rejected. Lead applicants are advised to verify that their application is complete using the checklist (Annex A.2, Instructions).

2.2.7. Deadline for submission of full applications 

The deadline for the submission of full applications will be indicated in the letter sent to the lead applicants whose application has been pre-selected. This letter will appear online automatically in the PROSPECT profile of the lead applicant. 

Lead applicants who, in exceptional cases (see section 2.2.6) had to submit their application by post or hand-delivery, will receive the letter by email or by post if no e-mail address was provided.

Lead applicants are strongly advised not to wait until the last day to submit their full applications, since heavy Internet traffic or a fault with the Internet connection (including electricity failure, etc.) could lead to difficulties in submission. The Contacting Authority cannot be held responsible for any delay due to such afore-mentioned difficulties. 

In the case of submission by post, (see section 2.2.6), the date of submission is evidenced by the date of dispatch, the postmark or the date of the deposit slip. In the case of hand-deliveries, the deadline for receipt is at 12:00 Brussels time as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.

Any application submitted after the deadline will be rejected. 

However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may also reject any full application sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the full application evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2)

2.2.8. Further information about full applications 

Questions may be sent by e-mail no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of full applications to the addresses listed below, indicating clearly the reference of the call for proposals:

E-mail address: EuropeAid-166151@ec.europa.eu

The contracting authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date.

Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for the submission of full applications. 

To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the contracting authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of lead applicants, co-applicants, affiliated entity(ies), or an action.

No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure, will be published on the website of DG International Cooperation and Development: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome, as the need arises. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published.

All questions related to registration in PADOR or the online submission via PROSPECT should be addressed to the IT helpdesk at EuropeAid-IT-support@ec.europa.eu via the online support form in PROSPECT. Please note that the working languages of the IT support are: English French and Spanish. Therefore users are invited to send their questions in English, French or Spanish should they wish to benefit from an optimum response time.

 

2.3. Evaluation and selection of applications

Applications will be examined and evaluated by the contracting authority with the possible assistance of external assessors. All applications will be assessed according to the following steps and criteria.

If the examination of the application reveals that the proposed action does not meet the eligibility criteria stated in Section 2.1, the application will be rejected on this sole basis. 

 

(1) STEP 1: OPENING & ADMINISTRATIVE CHECKS AND CONCEPT NOTE EVALUATION

During the opening and administrative check the following will be assessed:

  • • If the deadline has been met. Otherwise, the application will be automatically rejected.
  • • If the concept note satisfies all the criteria specified in the checklist in Section 2 of Part A of the grant application form. This includes also an assessment of the eligibility of the action. If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the application may be rejected on that sole basis and the application will not be evaluated further.

The concept notes that pass this check will be evaluated on the relevance and design of the proposed action.

The concept notes will receive an overall score out of 50 using the breakdown in the evaluation grid below. The evaluation will also check on compliance with the instructions on how to complete the concept note, which can be found in Part A of the grant application form.

The evaluation criteria are divided into headings and subheadings. Each subheading will be given a score between 1 and 5 as follows: 1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = adequate; 4 = good; 5 = very good.

Evaluation Grid

Section

Maximum Score

1. Relevance of the action

20

1.1. How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the call for proposals and to the specific themes/sectors/areas or any other specific requirement stated in the guidelines for applicants? Are the expected results of the action aligned with the priorities defined in the guidelines for applicants (section 1.2)?

5

1.2. How relevant is the proposal to the particular needs and constraints of the target country(ies), region(s) and/or relevant sectors (including synergy with other development initiatives and avoidance of duplication)?

5

1.3. How clearly defined and strategically chosen are those involved (final beneficiaries, target groups)? Have their needs (as rights holders and/or duty bearers) and constraints been clearly defined and does the proposal address them appropriately?

5

1.4. Does the proposal contain particular added-value elements (e.g.innovation, best practices) ? In particular as indicated under 1.2. of the guidelines for applicants.

5

2. Design of the action

30

2.1. How coherent is the overall design of the action? Does the proposal indicate the expected results to be achieved by the action? Does the intervention logic explain the rationale to achieve the expected results? 

5x2**

2.2. Does the design reflect a robust analysis of the problems involved, and the capacities of the relevant stakeholders? 

5

2.3. Does the design take into account external factors (risks and assumptions)? 

5

2.4. Are the activities feasible and consistent in relation to the expected results (including timeframe)? Are results (output, outcome and impact) realistic? 

5

2.5. To which extent does the proposal integrate relevant cross-cutting elements such as environmental/climate change issues, promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities, needs of disabled people, rights of minorities and rights of indigenous peoples, youth, combating HIV/AIDS (if there is a strong prevalence in the target country/region)? 

5

Maximum total score

50

**: this score is multiplied by 2 because of its importance

Note: A score of 5 (very good) will only be allocated if the proposal specifically addresses more than the required minimum number of priorities as indicated in Section 1.2 (objectives of the programme) of these guidelines.

Once all concept notes have been assessed, a list will be drawn up with the proposed actions ranked according to their total score. 

Firstly, only the concept notes with a score of at least 30 will be considered for pre-selection. 

Secondly, the number of concept notes will be reduced, taking account of the ranking, to the number of concept notes whose total aggregate amount of requested contributions is equal to at least 200% of the available budget for this call for proposals. The amount of requested contributions of each concept note will be based on the indicative financial envelopes for each lot, where relevant.

Lead applicants will receive a letter indicating the reference number of their application and the respective results. This letter will automatically appear online in the PROSPECT profile of the lead applicant. Lead applicants who, in exceptional cases (see section 2.2), had to submit their application by post or hand-delivery will receive the letter by email or by post if no e-mail address was provided.

The pre-selected lead applicants will subsequently be invited to submit full applications.

    1. (2) STEP 2: EVALUATION OF THE FULL APPLICATION 

Firstly, the following will be assessed:

    • • If the submission deadline has been met. Otherwise, the application will automatically be rejected.
    • • If the full application satisfies all the criteria specified in the checklist (Section 7 of Part B of the grant application form). This includes also an assessment of the eligibility of the action.  If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the application may be rejected on that sole basis and the application will not be evaluated further.

The full applications that pass this check will be further evaluated on their quality, including the proposed budget and capacity of the applicants and affiliated entity(ies). They will be evaluated using the evaluation criteria in the evaluation grid below. There are two types of evaluation criteria: selection and award criteria.

The selection criteria help to evaluate the applicant(s)'s and affiliated entity(ies)'s operational capacity and the lead applicant's financial capacity and are used to verify that they:

    • • have stable and sufficient sources of finance to maintain their activity throughout the proposed action and, where appropriate, to participate in its funding (this only applies to lead applicants);
    • • have the management capacity, professional competencies and qualifications required to successfully complete the proposed action. This applies to applicants and any affiliated entity(ies).

For the purpose of the evaluation of the financial capacity, lead applicants must ensure that the relevant information and documents (i.e. accounts of the latest financial year and external audit report, where applicable) in their PADOR profile are up to date. If the information and documents in PADOR are outdated and do not allow for a proper evaluation of the financial capacity, the application may be rejected.

The award criteria help to evaluate the quality of the applications in relation to the objectives and priorities set forth in the guidelines, and to award grants to projects which maximise the overall effectiveness of the call for proposals. They help to select applications which the contracting authority can be confident will comply with its objectives and priorities. They cover the relevance of the action, its consistency with the objectives of the call for proposals, quality, expected impact, sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

Scoring:

The evaluation grid is divided into Sections and subsections. Each subsection will be given a score between 1 and 5 as follows: 1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = adequate; 4 = good; 5 = very good. 

 



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