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Intercultural Dialogue and Culture - EuropeAid/154498/DH/ACT/Multi
Deadline: 16 May 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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Intercultural dialogue and Culture

Background

 

This programme contributes to the implementation of the objectives put forward in the Joint EEAS-European Commission communication "Towards an EU Strategy for international cultural relations",  that indicates three strands to advance cultural cooperation with partner countries (culture as an engine for sustainable social and economic development; intercultural dialogue for peaceful inter-community relations; cultural heritage).

 

It is developed within the priority areas for culture in the Global Public Goods and Challenges 2014-2020 programme (DCI): intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and respect for the equal dignity of all individuals, which contributes to the overarching principles of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development such as global citizenship, pluralism and freedom of religion. More closely, it contributes to implementation of SDG 4 (Ensure inclusive and equality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), SDG 10 (Reduce inequalities within and among countries) and the SDG 17 dealing with multi-stakeholder partnerships. 

The globalised world and increased migration have brought richness in terms of diversity of languages, cultures and religions. However, this poses also challenges in terms of pluralism, understanding and respect among different individuals, groups and communities. Inequity, inequality and discrimination often lead to tension and in some cases even conflict and radicalisation. Experience shows that exchanges and co-creation between groups of people could serve to mitigate these challenges, thus using intercultural dialogue as a tool to increase understanding and tolerance. Intercultural dialogue occurs when individuals from different ethnic, religious, national or societal groups or communities interact and engage in a common learning experience to accept and cherish cultural diversity that form the conditions for inclusive and sustainable development.  

The programme seeks to help to overcoming stereotypes and negative perceptions, and in avoiding polarisation and discrimination along minority lines or belief or social divides. It will promote social inclusion and cohesion, tolerance and mutual respect. It aims to empowering people to participate in public life and live in peaceful coexistence that brings benefits to the society and the world as a whole.

For the purpose of this action, intercultural dialogue may include interreligious, intra-faith and/or interfaith dialogue. These have similar objectives, being about people of different religious identities seeking and coming to mutual understanding and respect that allows them to live and cooperate with each other in spite of their differences. 

Faith/religious/community leaders have a critical role in spreading messages of peace and respect and mentoring vulnerable individuals and supporting initiatives against intolerance and religious hatred. Scholars and institutions in the education sector have an important role in broadening literacy in the area of religions and cultural / worldviews diversity , developing and disseminating knowledge on diverse religions/beliefs and cultures. Target groups include youth organisations, students, community and religious leaders (including faith-based organisations), teachers, schools, academia and research centres, social workers, artists and culture professionals and women organisations.

 

 1.2. OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME AND PRIORITY ISSUES 

 

The global objective of this call for proposals is to promote intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and respect for equal dignity of all people in the project countries. 

 

This call has two lots. Each lot has a specific objective that corresponds to a theme/sector (see 2.1.4 Eligible actions: actions for which and application may be made):

 

The specific objectives of the programme are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.

 

Lot 1: Enhancing understanding and respect for cultural and religious diversity.

Specific Objective:  to enhance cultural pluralism and intercultural understanding, including aspects relating to religion or belief in the project countries;

The actions shall:

Foster interreligious and/or interfaith understanding.  Beneficiaries will learn how to accept and value diversity, deal with disagreements in a constructive, non-conflictual way and gain understanding of the similarities and differences between cultural, religious or belief communities.

- enhance knowledge and understanding of different cultures and religions/belief systems and contribute to respect of diversity and meaningful intercultural/interreligious dialogues. 

- reduce prejudices and potential for conflict and sectarianism, building common ground among people holding different worldviews.

- mobilise a variety of expertise and actors including cultural actors, actors in the education sector as teachers, academics and scholars, civil society organisations, religious /belief communities. 

In the area of Religion and Belief, the references are the Guidelines on Freedom and Religion and Belief (FORB), adopted in 2013.

 

Lot 2: Culture as an enabler for dialogue, social inclusion, skills development and cohesion 

Specific Objective:  to enhance dialogue and social inclusion (notably of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations such as persons belonging to minorities, migrants, women and girls, disabled) skills development and social cohesion in the project countries.  

 

The actions shall:

 

- offer neutral and safe space for encounters that seek to create an environment of mutual understanding and respect, and in promoting integration in society allowing all to participate and benefit from an inclusive development process. 

- improve access to culture, encompassing more members of the community to promote integration. 

In reaching these objectives, attention should be given to members of marginalised groups, minorities or disadvantaged social categories that would particularly benefit from intercultural dialogue outcomes (such as leaders who have an influence on other people's perceptions, teachers, youth at risk of radicalisation, women and girls, migrants and displaced persons etc.). Exchange programmes could be implemented; cultural content will be developed around intercultural dialogue, literacy about cultural and religious diversity could be developed including building intercultural competencies and skills, e.g. through arts and culture. 

The action will seek to mobilise cultural resources and actors, preferably in urban settings to reach a critical mass of the population. Cities and local authorities play an increasingly important role in developing countries, where socio-economic disparities, spatial segregation and other forms of inequalities are more concentrated. Local authorities have responsibilities in local development strategies, cultural institutions and venues, and urban public spaces. Moreover, the majority of increasing migratory flows across the borders tends to have urban areas as a point of final destination. 

The action aims to use culture as preferred means for intercultural dialogue. Experience shows that culture can be used to successfully address sensitive social issues for example fostering emotional engagement and reflexive thinking, and enhancing (non-verbal) communication between different groups.  

The expected results (R) for the programme (both lots) are:

 

R1 – Enhanced understanding, tolerance and respect for cultural and religious diversity among targeted groups;

R2 – Improved capacity of targeted actors to promote intercultural understanding;

R3 – Cultural material developed, used and disseminated to foster intercultural understanding.

 

Priority areas

1. The EU shall apply a Rights-Based Approach (RBA) for development cooperation (article 3.8 of the Development Cooperation Instrument) encompassing all human rights, whether civil, political, economic, social or cultural. The implementation of the five RBA principles: (i) legality, universality and indivisibility of human rights, (ii) participation, (iii) non-discrimination, (iv) accountability (v) transparency must be applied in each step of the project cycle from identification, formulation, implementation, monitoring to evaluation. Therefore, all proposals must be designed according to a Rights-Based Approach. 

 

2. Furthermore, 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 EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020.

 

3. Knowledge sharing: applicants should also propose mechanisms to contribute to the dissemination of good practices and results of the programme for capacity building purposes, allowing for eventual replication and upscale of successful projects. The European Commission may hold a seminar to disseminate results and lessons learned between beneficiaries of the programme and/or other relevant stakeholders. The applicants should make financial provisions for participation at 2 knowledge management events in Brussels in the course of the programme, to promote the development and sharing of resilient data collection mechanisms to inform policy making at various levels. 

These 3 priorities will be assessed during the Concept Note evaluation and in particular under criterion 1.1 (How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals). (see 2.3 of these Guidelines, Evaluation and selection of applications).

Geographical balance may be taken into account by the European Commission when determining the relevance of the actions.

 

1.3. Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority

 

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 9.700.000 The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds. If additional funds are available, the Contracting Authority reserves the right to increase the overall amount of the action and finance projects in the reserve list.

 

 

Indicative allocation of funds by lots:

Lot 1 - Enhancing understanding, tolerance and respect for cultural and religious diversity

EUR 4.000.000

and 

Lot 2 – Culture as enabler of social inclusion and cohesion of disadvantaged populations

EUR 5.700.000

 

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 another lot.  Likewise, this amount could be increased should more funds become available.

 

Size of grants

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

For Lot 1 

• minimum amount: EUR 1.500.000

• maximum amount: EUR 2.000.000

For Lot 2

• minimum amount: EUR 1.900.000

• maximum amount: EUR 2.850.000

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

Minimum percentage: 51%. of the total eligible costs of the action

Maximum percentage: 90 % 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 European Union Budget or the European Development Fund. 

The requested EU contribution may cover the entire eligible costs of the action if this is deemed essential to carry it out. If that is the case, the lead applicant must justify full financing in Annex A.2, section 2.1. 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.

Therefore the lead applicant can either ask for a maximum percentage of 90% or for 100% (under the conditions described above), but not for a percentage between 90 and 100%.

 

2. RULES FOR THIS CALL FOR PROPOSAL

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 at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?locale=en).

Eligibility criteria

There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to:

the actors:

The lead applicant, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1),

its co-applicants (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as "applicants)") (2.1.1),

and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2);

the actions:

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

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-applicants)

 

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

• be a legal person and

• be non-profit-making and

be a specific type of organisation such as: 

- non-state actor 

- network of civil society organisations (CSO); 

- public bodies, 

- networks and/or associations of local authorities, 

- international (inter-governmental) organisation as defined by Article 43 of the Rules of application of the EU Financial Regulation. 

be established in :

      a) Member State of the European Union; or

b) a Non-EU country of the European Economic Area; or 

c) an IPA II beneficiary country; or

d) a developing country or territory, (included in the OECD-DAC list of ODA recipients), which is not member of the G20 group;

i) Least Developed Countries (LDC's);

ii) Other Low Income Countries;

iii) Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories;

iv) Upper Middle Income Countries and Territories;

or

e) G-20 member developing countries (eligible only if they are also the (or one of the) beneficiaries of the action

 

f) an Overseas Country and Territory (OCTs) covered by Council Decision 2013/755/EU of 25 November 2013 on the association of the overseas countries and territories with the European Union; or:

 

g) a Non EU Member State of the OECD only when actions are implemented in a Least Developed Country or in a Highly indebted Poor Country)

and

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,

 

Note that with regards to the establishment place rule, the obligation does not apply to International Organizations.

Refer to Annex O for the list of eligible countries.

 

(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 2.3.3 of the Practical Guide;

In Annex A.2, section 5 (‘declaration 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.

The lead applicant must act with co-applicants as specified hereafter.

If awarded the grant contract, the lead applicant will become the beneficiary identified as the Coordinator in Annex E3h1 (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)

The participation of co-applicants is obligatory for this call for proposals. Partnerships between the lead applicant and co-applicant(s) must include: 

-at least two co-applicants and

            -at least one country where the action will take place must be represented in the partnership by at least one local.organisation. The organisation(s) can be either the lead applicant or one of the co-applicants;

 

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. 

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, with clear roles, responsibilities, communication lines, relations with local authorities (when relevant), and accountability, so that its quality and sustainability may be duly assessed. 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. 

 

Co-applicants must sign the mandate in Annex A.2., section 4.

 

If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicants will become beneficiaries in the action (together with the Coordinator).

 

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 applicant may hence be:

Entities directly or indirectly controlled by an applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by an 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) 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 delegatees for public services for an applicant,

Entities that receive financial support from an 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 Annex A.2., section 5.

 

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 Annex A.2., section 6 — ‘Associates participating in the action’.

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.

 

For Lot 1

Activities should favour the development of sustainable capacities in the area of religious studies and interreligious dialogue. 

Activities should promote inclusion of different cultural/religious/belief communities and individuals; women's and youth active participation and role as agents and facilitators of intercultural/interreligious dialogue; inclusive approaches with all religions and beliefs and secular/humanist perspectives taken into account. 

Use of culture and/or educational/academic resources will be assessed positively.

For Lot 2

Proposed activities should build on existing cultural resources and infrastructure, favoring participatory community approaches and joint creative work around freedom of expression and cultural diversity. 

 

Attention should involve socially marginalised people, such as women and girls, migrants and the displaced, the disabled, persons belonging to minorities, etc).

Duration

The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 36 months nor exceed 60 months.

Sectors or themes

The specific sectors or themes to which the actions must relate are described for each lot under section 1.2.

Location

Actions related must take place in at least two countries of the OECD/DAC list of ODA recipients.

 

Nevertheless, punctual activities may, if duly justified in the description of the action, take place in EU countries or other third countries (DCI eligible countries) when they are directly related to situations arising in third countries and for the benefit of those countries, e.g. a seminar or conference, a visit to the European Institutions, an opening or closing of a campaign in an EU Member State, a specific exhibition or other similar single events. These reasons will be examined during the evaluation process.

 

Priority will be given:

to actions whose location is in Burundi, Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya, Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Somalia; South Sudan; Sudan;

Yemen, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

 

This priority will be assessed during the Concept Note evaluation and in particular under criterion 1.1 (How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals).(See Annex P, DAC list of ODA recipients effective for reporting on 2014, 2015 and 2016 flows).

 

Types of action

Actions to provide "safe" and "neutral" virtual and physical spaces and opportunities for all groups to express their voice. Interactions will need to be framed, goal-oriented and moderated in a neutral manner and follow a rights-based, gender sensitive approach;

Actions concerning the capacity building of targeted actors to promote intercultural understanding or interreligious dialogue, and/or increased intercultural competence, for example through peer to peer exchanges and/or scholarships;

Actions that allow for the production/development of cultural material, used and disseminated to foster intercultural- understanding;

Actions that concern financial support to third Parties. 

 

Grant applicants will need to demonstrate an understanding of attitudes, beliefs and perceptions, and the prevailing gender and power relations among stakeholders, as well as knowledge of existing cultural interaction and conflict transformation resources used in communities.

 

The following types of action are ineligible:

actions supporting individual political parties;

actions including proselytism.

actions involving construction of infrastructure/buildings

 

Types of activity

The Action could finance the following indicative activities (non-exhaustive list): 

Promoting dialogue opportunities e.g. by the provision of physical or virtual "safe spaces" for moderated exchanges; fostering cohesion and social inclusion;

Joint public or restricted events / initiatives aiming at dedicated follow-up measures (

Interfaith/intrafaith conferences, meetings, peace marches, solidarity visits to affected communities etc)

Facilitation/moderation of dialogue processes (e.g. empathic listening through non-violent communication or other methods;

Measures to preserve the heritage of cultural and religious diversity (manuscripts, objects and sites) including in formal curricula and textbooks;

Dialogue processes and collaborative initiatives to stop escalation of incitement and to counter advocacy of religious hatred (cf. Rabat Plan of Action);

 Exchanges - including peer to peer and virtual groups - among students or scholars/teachers, exposing beneficiaries to diversity. Exchanges among partner countries;

Capacity-building,  exchanges/twinning among education institutions and scholarship programs to enhance  and  disseminate knowledge in the area of religious studies and related topics ;

Production/dissemination of internet, radio- or TV emissions using means such as drama/theatre, story-telling and/or other creative and artistic expressions;

Production and dissemination of virtual or printed material such as cartoons, videos, music, arts, catalogues, exhibitions;

Promoting networking and cooperation at local, regional or international levels, identifying and sharing of best practices and knowledge;

Awareness raising campaigns to inform the general public and authorities; 

Activities aiming at the documentation and collection of disaggregated data (including sex- disaggregated), research, studies, monitoring and reporting eg. on results in areas relevant for the call;

Developing media initiatives building on ethical reporting standards, including production and dissemination of material through internet/social media channels, or radio/TV emissions on topics relevant to the call;

 

Activities will be implemented in a mid- or long-term perspective allowing time for step-by-step approaches.

 

Financial support to third parties 

Applicants may propose financial support to third parties to the target groups and other stakeholders such as cultural actors, local authorities, academia and education institutions. Financial support to third parties may be used as a means to help achieving the objectives of the action to enhance sustainability and impact. The maximum amount of financial support to a third party is EUR 60.000. 

In the case financial support to third parties is proposed, the methodology should clearly outline the criteria for the selection of these third parties and how this financial support will be accompanied. 

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 full application form:

(i) the objectives and results to be obtained with the financial support 

(ii) the different types of activities eligible for financial support, on the basis of a fixed list

(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

(v) the criteria for determining the exact amount of financial support for each third entity, and

(vi) the maximum amount which may be given.

(vii) the system of control set up to verify the eligibility of third parties.

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 following specific conditions apply:

 

Applicants must propose the necessary documents to be kept, to demonstrate that the financial support has been used in accordance with the grant contract.

 

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 https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/communication-and-visibility-manual-eu- external-actions en).

Number of applications and grants per applicants / affiliated entities

 

Whatever its role in the proposal (i.e. lead applicant, co-applicant or affiliated entity),  an organization may not be participating more than once in the present Call for proposals, should this be the case, the European Commission will only consider the first proposal arrived (based on the date and hour of submission), the additional proposal(s) will be rejected. It is the responsibility of each lead applicant to verify that its co-applicants are not involved as lead applicant, co-applicant or affiliated entity 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 may be based on any or a combination of the following forms:

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

one or more simplified cost options.

Simplified cost options may take the form of:

unit costs: covering all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by reference to an amount per unit.

lump sums: covering in global terms all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance.

flat-rate financing: covering specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance by applying a percentage fixed ex ante.

The amounts or rates have to be based on estimates using objective data such as statistical data or any other objective means or with reference to certified or auditable historical data of the applicants or the affiliated entity(ies). The methods used to determine the amounts or rates of unit costs, lump sums or flat-rates must comply with the criteria established in Annex K, and especially ensure that the costs correspond fairly to the actual costs incurred by the beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies), are in line with their accounting practices, no profit is made and the costs are not already covered by other sources of funding (no double funding). Refer to Annex K for directions and a checklist of controls to assess the minimum necessary conditions that provide reasonable assurance for the acceptance of the proposed amounts.

Applicants proposing this form of reimbursement, must clearly indicate in worksheet no.1 of Annex B, each heading/item  of eligible costs concerned by this type of financing, i.e. add the reference in capital letters to "UNIT COST" (per month/flight etc), "LUMPSUM" or "FLAT RATE" in the Unit column. (see example in Annex K)

Additionally in Annex B, in the second column of worksheet no.2, "Justification of the estimated costs" per each of the corresponding budget item or heading applicants must:

describe the information and methods used to establish the amounts of unit costs, lump sums and/or flat-rates, to which costs they refer, etc.

clearly explain the formulas for calculation of the final eligible amount

identify the beneficiary who will use the simplified cost option (in case of affiliated entity, specify first the beneficiary), in order to verify the maximum amount per each beneficiary (which includes if applicable simplified cost options of its affiliated entity(ies))

At contracting phase, the Contracting Authority decides whether to accept the proposed amounts or rates on the basis of the provisional budget submitted by the applicants, by analysing factual data of grants carried out by the applicants or of similar actions and by performing checks established by Annex K. 

The total amount of financing on the basis of simplified cost options that can be authorised by the Contracting Authority for any of the applicants individually (including simplified cost options proposed by their own affiliated entities) cannot exceed EUR 60 000 (the indirect costs are not taken into account). 

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

 

The simplified cost option may also take the form of an apportionment of Field Office's costs.

Field Office means a local infrastructure set up in one of the countries where the action is implemented or a nearby country. (Where the action is implemented in several third countries there can be more than one Field Office). That may consist of costs for local office as well as human resources. 

A Field Office may be exclusively dedicated to the action financed (or co-financed) by the EU or may be used for other projects implemented in the partner country. When the Field Office is used for other projects, only the portion of capitalised and operating costs which corresponds to the duration of the action and the rate of actual use of the field office for the purpose of the action may be declared as eligible direct costs.

The portion of costs attributable to the action can be declared as actual costs or determined by the beneficiary(ies) on the basis of a simplified allocation method (apportionment).

The method of allocation has to be:

1. Compliant with the beneficiary's usual accounting and management practices and applied in a consistent manner regardless of the source of funding and 

2. Based on an objective, fair and reliable allocation keys. (Please refer to Annex K to have examples of acceptable allocation keys).

A description prepared by the entity of the allocation method used to determine Field Office's costs in accordance with the entity's usual cost accounting and management practices and explaining how the method satisfy condition 1 and 2 indicated above, has to be presented in a separate sheet and annexed to the Budget.

The method will be assessed and accepted by the evaluation committee and the Contracting Authority at contracting phase. The applicant is invited to submit (where relevant) the list of contracts to which the methodology proposed had been already applied and for which proper application was confirmed by an expenditure verification. 

At the time of carrying out the expenditure verifications, the auditors will check if the costs reported are compliant with the method described by the beneficiary(ies) and accepted by the Contracting Authority.

Adequate record and documentation must be kept by the beneficiary(ies) to prove the compliance of the simplified allocation method used with the conditions set out above. Upon request of the beneficiary(ies), this compliance can be assessed and approved ex-ante by an independent external auditor. In such a case, the simplified allocation method will be automatically accepted by the evaluation committee and it will not be challenged ex post.

When costs are declared on the basis of such allocation method the amount charged to the action is to be indicated in the column "TOTAL COSTS" and the mention "APPORTIONMENT" is to be indicated in the column "units" (under budget heading 1 (Human resources) and 4 (Local Office) of the Budget).

It has to be noted that the EUR 60.000 limit, otherwise applicable to costs declared on the basis of simplified cost options, is not relevant for costs declared following apportionment of Field Offices. 

 

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).

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 a 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 not eligible costs. 

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 

 

2.2. How to apply and the procedures to follow

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

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: Registration is obligatory for lead applicants applying for EU contributions of more than EUR 60 000.

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

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. 

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 or French. 

Please note that:

1. In the concept note lead applicants must provide only an estimate of the requested EU contribution, as well as an indicative percentage of this contribution in relation to the total eligible costs of the action. A detailed budget is to be submitted only by lead applicants invited to submit a full application in the second phase.

2. The elements outlined in the concept note may not be modified in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %. Lead applicants are free to adapt the requested EU contribution as a percentage of the total eligible costs within the minimum and maximum amounts and percentages provided in section 1.3. The lead applicant may replace 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 section 2.1.1 of the grant application form.

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

3. 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. 

 

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. Three (3)  additional copies in A4 size, each bound. 

c. An electronic version  (CD-Rom or USB stick) 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’.

Please note that "technical reasons" should be understood ONLY in a situation when PROSPECT is not responding. Paper submission when PROSPECT is working may lead to the rejection of the application.

The validity of the submission off-line will be examined by the Evaluation Committee .

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.

Postal address

European Commission

Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development - EuropeAid

Unit B6 Finance, Contrats & Audit
Attn. Head of Unit

Avenue du Bourget, 1

BE – 1049 Brussels

Belgium

Address for hand delivery or by private courier service

European Commission

Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development - EuropeAid

Unit B6 Finance, Contrats & Audit
Attn. Head of Unit

Avenue du Bourget, 1

BE – 1140 Brussels

Belgium

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 16 May at 16.00 pm (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 timezones 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 on 16 May at 16.00 pm (Brussels local time) 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

An information session on this call for proposals will be held on 11 April 2017, 10h00 pm (Brussels date and time) in Brussels. 

Questions may be sent by e-mail 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-154498@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 EuropeAid website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome as appropriate. 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 the full application form annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.2). 

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the full application instructions at the end of Annex A.2. Lead applicants must submit their full applications in the same language as their concept notes. 

Please note that:

1. The elements outlined in the concept note cannot be modified by the lead applicant in the full application form. 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 replace 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). An explanation/justification of the relevant replacement/adjustment shall be included in section 2.1.1 of the grant application form.

2. 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) 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)).

3.  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. No additional annexes should be sent.

Any error or any major inconsistency related to the full application instructions (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.

 

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. Three (3)  additional copies in A4 size, each bound.

c. An electronic version  (CD-Rom or USB stick) 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.

Please note that "technical reasons" should be understood ONLY in a situation when PROSPECT is not responding. Paper submission when PROSPECT is working may lead to the rejection of the application.

The validity of the submission off-line will be examined by the Evaluation Committee .

 

Postal address

European Commission

Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development - EuropeAid

Unit B6 Finance, Contrats & Audit
Attn. Head of Unit

Avenue du Bourget, 1

BE – 1049 Brussels

Belgium

 

Address for hand delivery or by private courier service

European Commission

Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development - EuropeAid

Unit B6 Finance, Contrats & Audit
Attn. Head of Unit

Avenue du Bourget, 1

BE – 1140 Brussels

Belgium

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 16:00 Brussels time as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt (as previously mentioned, the date of the deadline will be indicated in the letter sent to the lead applicants whose application has been pre-selected). 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-154498@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 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 EuropeAid website, as appropriate. 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.

 

STEP 1: OPENING & ADMINISTRATIVE CHECKS AND CONCEPT NOTE EVALUATION

During the opening and administrative check (including the eligibility check of the action) 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 the instructions included in Annex A.1. 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 in line with the evaluation grid below. The evaluation will also check the compliance with the instructions on how to complete the concept note (Annex A.1).

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.

 

(TRUNCATED -- please visit the public link for full proposal)



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