1 QUALITY ALTERNATIVE CARE FOR CHILDREN AND DE-INSTITUTIONALISATION
It is estimated that eight million children worldwide, around 90 % of whom are not orphans, are living in institutions where they are at high risk of physical and psychological violence, abuse and neglect, undermining their ability to reach their full potential and exposing them to further risks of social exclusion. Many more millions of children are deprived of the care of their family and lack the proper quality alternative care (be it informal or formal) that they need to grow up safely and well in extended families - foster - or community based-care solutions.
The promotion of the protection of the rights of the child is among core EU values and reflected in its legal and political framework. The EU’s 2017 Guidelines on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child4 reiterate its commitment to children through its external action. They are based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its four general principles of non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and respect for children’s views. Through the Guidelines, the EU seeks to promote and protect equally all the rights that children have, focusing especially on the most marginalised children in an effort to leave no child behind. The Guidelines stress the need to pursue a system-strengthening approach, based on the ‘general measures of implementation’ in UNCRC General Comment 51, to ensure that partner countries’ systems are better able to protect and fulfil children’s rights. A system approach to child protection requires states to protect the rights of all children with appropriate measures, structures and resources (legislation and policies, budget allocations, service provision, coordinating and monitoring bodies, data collection, awareness- raising and training). The action proposed in this document — providing quality alternative care for children deprived of parental care5, better meeting their emotional, social and development needs, and promoting a transition from institutional to community-based care — is seen as contributing in governments’ efforts to reform their child protection systems. The EU Guidelines refer specifically to the importance of promoting alternative care for children and providing them with appropriate support to participate in community life and access mainstream services.
In its Action plan on human rights and democracy 2015-2019, the EU commits itself to promoting, protecting and fulfilling children’s rights, prioritising support for partner countries’ efforts in this area, with a particular focus on: 1) strengthening child protection systems so as to protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect; 2) children’s economic, social and cultural rights (education, health, nutrition, social protection, etc.).
The European Structural Funds, for instance, are being used to support action to pre-empt the need for institutional care and to promote alternative care for children and community-based care services. Under its PROGRESS programme, the Commission supported a number of social innovation projects which sought new ways of supporting young children living in care, e.g. mentoring. The successor European programme for employment and social innovation is supporting a joint action on de-institutionalisation, led by the European Social Network. The instrument for pre-accession (IPA I)
also focused on this objective and IPA II links to the employment and social reform programmes, in which de-institutionalisation has been identified as a challenge for social reform. Under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, the EU has funded a number of transnational projects aiming at building child protection capacity in the area of alternative care.6
The EU’s social investment package and 2013 Recommendations on investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage provide guidance on de-institutionalisation and call for a broad approach combining prevention and quality services. They emphasise the need to prevent children’s removal from their family where possible and require Member States to stop the expansion of institutional care-settings for children. They underline that children without parental care should have access to quality services, e.g. as regards health, education and social assistance, and that their voice should count in the way these are run.
An expert group convened in 2009 by the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities delivered a report7 that identified common basic principles for promoting the rights of people living in institutions and issued the Commission and Member States with recommendations as to how to support the transition from institutional to alternative care. The group released Common European guidelines on the transition from institutional to community-based care8 and an accompanying ‘toolkit’.
United Nations Policy
The UN’s Guidelines for the alternative care of children support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They recognise children’s right to be cared for by their parents and set out the parties’ obligations in providing suitable alternative care when children are deprived of parental care. They provide an international child-rights framework based on principles relating to the protection of children without, or at risk of being without, appropriate care. They seek to:
support efforts to keep children in, or return them to, the care of their family or, where this has proved impossible, to find another appropriate permanent solution;
ensure that, where permanent solutions are not available or not in the child’s best interests, the most suitable forms of alternative care are identified and provided in a way that promotes the child’s full and harmonious development;
encourage and help governments to meet their responsibilities and obligations to protect children, bearing in mind the economic, social and cultural conditions families are facing; and
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) includes specific provisions on the rights of children with disabilities, in particular as regards independent living and inclusion in the community (Article 19), respect for the home and the family (Article 23), education (Article 24) and health (Article 25).
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME AND PRIORITY ISSUES
The European Commission intends to support initiatives to prevent family and child separation, take children out of harmful institutions and provide appropriate and quality alternative care for those deprived of parental care. These initiatives should be based on a careful assessment and determination of their best interests, according to the UN’s 2009 Guidelines for the alternative care of children. The aim, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions; and Target 16.2: Ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children) is to reach the most vulnerable children left behind and in need of such care.
The global objective of this call for proposals is to ensure better outcomes for children by ensuring better implementation of the UN's Guidelines for the alternative care of children in their entirety, so that children enjoy equal chances to reach their full potential in societies.
The specific objective of this call for proposals is to provide quality care for children through the following priorities:
Enabling governments to provide and take control of quality alternative care provision to children who are deprived of parental care, in line with UN's Guidelines on alternative care of children and/or
Regulating and monitoring the quality of the alternative care solutions provided to children who are deprived of parental care and/or
Supporting the transition from institutional to community-based care and
The action will help public national and local authorities to reform their alternative care systems and implement existing legislation in order to build stronger child protection systems.
In addition, the proposals should take into account the following working principles:
Focus on impact, outcome, specific and measurable results which make a concrete difference in the lives of children.
Apply a systems-approach to child protection as defined in EU’s Guidelines on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, cf. page 4.
Design and implement actions according to a Rights-Based Approach9. Please see section 2.1.4 "Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made" for additional information on the Right-Based Approach methodology.
Tackle, whenever relevant, inter-sectional discrimination faced by boys and girls from underserved groups and suffering from various layers of discrimination, such as internally displaced and migrants, members of ethnic or religious groups, etc. or discrimination due to age, disability or sexual orientation.
For any organisation or group that works with children or young people, have a clear set of guidelines about how they will keep children safe and 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 children10.
Be evidence-based and use robust monitoring and evaluation methods, operational research and disseminate results and lessons learned to facilitate opportunities for replications and expansions and ensure optimal use of results and resources.
Ensure sustainability and appropriation of the action by involving in the designing and implementation of the activities a public national or local authority in charge of child welfare.
These working principles should be implemented as appropriate in relation to the given project.
Geographical balance could be taken into account by the European Commission at any stage of the technical evaluation.
1.3 FINANCIAL ALLOCATION PROVIDED BY THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY
The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 13,000,000. The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds.
Size of grants
Any requested EU contribution under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:
minimum amount: EUR 1,000,000
maximum amount: EUR 4,000,000
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: 50 % of the total eligible costs of the action.
The balance (i.e. the difference between the total eligible 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 Fund11.
The requested EU contribution may cover the entire eligible costs of the action if this is deemed essential to carry it out. If a full financing is requested (100%), the lead applicant must justify it in Annex A.2. section 2.1 at Full Application step. 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 (90%) will be accepted.
Please note that the lead applicant can either ask for a maximum percentage of 90% or exceptionally 100% (under the conditions described above). A percentage between 90.01% 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 at http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/prag/document.do?locale=en).
2.1 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),
(2) the actions:
(3) the costs:
2.1.1 Eligibility of applicants (i.e. lead applicant and co-applicant(s))
In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must:
be a legal person; and
be non-profit-making; and
be a civil society organisation12 (this includes non-governmental non-profit organisations, community-based organisations, private-sector non-profit agencies, institutions and organisations and networks thereof at local, national, regional and international level); and
be established13 in an EU Member State14 or in a partner country as listed in Annex N to these guidelines (PART 1: 'List of eligible countries and territories referred in section 2.1.1'); and
International public-sector organisations set up under international agreements, specialised agencies set up by such organisations, and other organisations that form part of such international organisations (e.g. the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) are not eligible. United Nations agencies are not eligible under this call for proposals.
(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.
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.
In order to ensure national government's ownership and sustainability of the action, the lead applicant must act with at least one public national or local authority as co-applicant or associate (for associate please refer to section 2.1.3 below). The public national or local authority(ies) must be from the country in which the action takes place. The rationale for the choice of authority(ies) must be set out in the project description (section 1.1.2 of concept note; section 2.1.1 of full application). Please note that the absence of the rationale in the above mentioned sections may lead to the rejection of the application.
In order to be eligible for a grant, co-applicant(s) must:
be a legal person; and
be non-profit-making; and
be a civil society organisation15 (this includes non-governmental non-profit organisations, community-based organisations, private-sector non-profit agencies, institutions and organisations and networks thereof at local, national, regional and international level) established16 in an EU Member State17 or in a partner country as listed in Annex N to these guidelines (PART 1: 'List of eligible countries and territories referred in section 2.1.1');
In case the co-applicant is a public national or local authority, the public national or local authority must be from the country in which the action takes place. The rationale for the choice of authority must be set out in the project description (section 1.1.2 of concept note; section 2.1.1 of full application).
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 sign the mandate in Annex A.2., section 5.2.
If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the Coordinator).
Please note that 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 and 3 – co- applicants. Please make sure that there are no inconsistencies between the information in PROSPECT and those in the concept note text.
2.1.2 Affiliated entity(ies)
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.
Note that the fact of having a structural link with the lead applicant does not prevent an organisation from being co-applicant in the partnership. It is the lead applicant's decision to define the role of the actors composing its partnership and implementing the action: co-applicants or affiliated entities.
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":
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.
In case the associate is a public national or local authority, the public national or local authority must be from the country in which the action takes place. The rationale for the choice of authority must be set out in the project description (section 1.1.2 of concept note; section 2.1.1 of full application).
The associate must provide a letter expressing its support for the application. The letter has to be uploaded in PROSPECT, Section 4 – Documents. Please note that the absence of this letter may lead to the rejection of the application
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
An action is composed of a set of activities.
The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 24 months nor exceed 48 months.
Sectors or themes
Please refer to the "Priorities" in section 1.2 for the priorities and themes.
Actions must take place exclusively in one partner country among those listed in Annex N, PART 2: 'List of eligible countries and territories as action location referred in section 2.1.4'.
Geographical balance could be taken into account by the European Commission at any stage of the technical evaluation.
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;
one-off conferences: conferences may only be funded if they form part of a wider range of activities to be implemented over the life-time of the action. For this purpose, preparatory activities for a conference and the publication of the proceedings of the conference do not, in themselves, constitute such "wider Activities;
actions which consist exclusively or primarily in capital expenditure, e.g. land, buildings, equipment and vehicles;
actions involving proselytism.
Types of eligible activities:
The indicative and non-exhaustive list of activities which may be financed under this call include:
1/ Enabling government to provide and take control of quality alternative care provision in line with UN's Guidelines on alternative care of children:
advocacy for reform and implementation of child protection laws and support for quality care service provision, identifying gaps in policies and service provision;
engaging with governments on the proper regulation, inspection and supervision of alternative care provision;
supporting government to improve their knowledge of and control over systems of informal and unregistered care provision prevalent in their countries; to improve their collection of (at least) sex- and age- disaggregated data and the management of sustainable strategies for reform;
building the workforce (direct informal carers, care professionals and those in related social services) at national and subnational levels, in terms of training (conducting child and family assessments, case management systems, follow-up monitoring after reintegration, forms of alternative care, training of trainers, special care for children with disabilities), status and working;
training key decision-makers, such as the judiciary and the police, on formal alternative placements;
establishing functional ‘gatekeeping’ mechanisms vetting all potential admissions to the most suitable formal alternative care provision in the light of the situation, and ‘opening the gate’ by supporting and helping children who become too old for alternative care or leave when it is no longer necessary;
situating alternative care firmly within public local and national child protection systems, encouraging ownership and accountability by the authorities; and
in all strategies, assessing the specific circumstances and needs of girls and boys suffering or at risk of violence and discrimination due to their ethnic or minority background, disabilities, geographical location (remote and isolated areas), etc., in order to provide them with the right care.
2/ Providing quality alternative care for children who are deprived of parental care:
identifying and proposing the best alternative care for children (informal, formal, family-based, residential) depending on the child's individual needs, the cultural contexts and the circumstances, and to the highest possible standards;
assessing individual children’s needs; providing comprehensive quality care catering as far as possible to their needs, characteristics, situations and wishes until they can be reunited with their families and communities;
promoting children’s and adults’ participation in the care decision and service delivery review, and making sure the children’s voices are heard; and
preventing unnecessary or unsuitable care placements and proposing quality improvements in existing care settings.
3/ Supporting the transition from institutional to community-based care:
identifying and supporting strategies for closing the most unsuitable institutions and residential care facilities;
identifying and supporting long-term integrated strategies for the gradual de-institutionalisation of entire alternative care systems;
raising awareness at all levels (among citizens, authorities, civil society organisations, faith-based groups, fundraisers, etc.) of harmful and unsuitable forms of alternative care and associated practices; and
preparing and implementing family- and community-based solutions for the reintegration and rehabilitation of children taken out of institutions; providing access to essential services, with special attention to deprived and remote areas and to children facing discrimination (on grounds of disability, ethnic or minority background, etc.).
4/ Preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families:
analysing and addressing the push factors leading to the separation of children from their families, with a focus on combating violence and all forms of discrimination against children and ensuring that all children have inclusive access to basic services;
raising awareness among families and communities on the rights of the child and the importance of protecting boys and girls, and providing them with a stable nurturing environment; countering perceptions that institutional placement is necessary and raising awareness of the risks of unnecessary separation; reducing communities’ stigmatisation of, and discrimination against, children on the grounds of disability or ethnic or minority background;
strengthening inclusive local and national child protection systems to address children’s needs, by establishing effective ‘gatekeeping’ mechanisms and preventing separation;
helping to make vulnerable families more resilient so that they can care for their children better (e.g. social protection, conditional cash transfer, income-generating activities, etc.); and
The indicative and non-exhaustive list of results which may be expected under this call include:
Governments provide, rule and monitor the quality care that children need,
Adequate human resources are provided, with greater knowledge and national implementing strategies in line with the highest possible standards.
Quality alternative care are provided, with ‘gatekeeping’ mechanisms to ensure the right provision of care, follow-up and post-care preparation.
Decrease in the number of children separated from their families, as families understand the need to let children grow up safely in their home communities so that they can reach their full potential, and increase in the number of families that benefit from public support to provide care where needed.
Strong local and national child protection systems are put in place as families are better supported in their role as primary carers.
Decrease in the number of children that are placed in institutions which could be detrimental to their personal well-being and development,
A Rights-Based Approach encompassing all human rights, must be applied in the design of activities, whenever this is relevant. The following elements are necessary in order to apply a rights-based approach to development:
Assessment and analysis in order to identify the human rights claims of rights-holders and the corresponding human rights obligations of duty-bearers as well as the immediate, underlying, and structural causes of the non-realisation of rights.
Programmes and projects assess the capacity of rights-holders to claim their rights and of duty- bearers to fulfil their obligations. They then develop strategies to build these capacities.
Applying all rights (legality, universality and indivisibility of human rights) – Human rights are universal, inalienable and indivisible – all human rights, whether economic, political, civil, cultural and social, are of equal validity and importance.
Participation and access to the decision making process –Participation is the basis for active citizenship. Active, free and meaningful participation is both a means and an end in itself.
Non-discrimination and equal access – activities have to prioritise the most marginalised groups and avoid contributing to established patterns of discrimination.
Who are the rights holders? Have they been taken into account in designing the contribution? Is there unjustified formal or de facto restriction or exclusion of particular groups from access to resources, services or participation in decision- making processes? Have efforts been made to include the most marginalised? Is the development intervention accessible for persons with disabilities or indigenous peoples (in line with the EU's obligation under Article 32 Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD, and United National Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) )?
Transparency and access to information – activities have to be transparent, with information available in accessible formats (for example, in local languages). Transparency is paramount for ensuring the application of the other working principles – without transparency it is not possible to achieve accountability and participation will not be meaningful.
Financial support to third parties19
Applicants may propose financial support to third parties in order to help achieving the objectives of the action.
The maximum amount of financial support per third party is EUR 60 000.
Under this call, financial support to third parties may not be the main purpose of the action.
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:
(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 costs.
In all events, the mandatory conditions set above for giving financial support (points (i) to (vii)) have to be strictly defined in the grant contract as to avoid any exercise of discretion.
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
An organisation may not be participating more than once in the present call for proposals as lead applicant, co-applicant or affiliated entity. 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, co-applicant or affiliated entity in other proposals.
This rule does not apply to public national or local authority(ies). A public national or local authority may be participating more than once in the present call for proposals as co-applicant or associate.
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)
Simplified cost options may take the form of:
lump sums: covering in global terms all or certain specific categories of eligible costs which are clearly identified in advance.
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 amount20
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).
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.
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:
this data in PADOR is obligatory for this call for proposals:
Concept note step: Registration in PADOR is obligatory only for lead applicants and public national or local authorities whatever their role is (co-applicant or associate). Entities registered in PADOR get a unique ID (EuropeAid ID) which they must mention in PROSPECT (lead applicant/co-applicant) or in the letter (associate). Please note that the absence of PADOR registration may lead to the rejection of the application.
Full application step: Registration in PADOR is obligatory for all 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.
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 form21 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- ITemail@example.com via the online support form in PROSPECT.
Applications must be submitted in accordance with the concept note instructions in the grant application form22 annexed to these guidelines (Annex A.1). Applicants must apply in English, French or Spanish.
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
21 Which corresponds to sections 3 and 4 of the full application form – Annex A.2.
22 The grant application form consists of Annex A.1 – concept note and Annex A.2 – full application form.
2.2.1 Concept note content
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 (iv) of the grant full 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.
(1) 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.
(2) 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 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. 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.
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.
The outer envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with 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.
2.2.2 Where and how to send concept notes
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
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
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 27/03/2018 at 16:00 (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 timezones and winter/summer time changes (example available here)23 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 16:00 local time as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.
(TRUNCATED -- plese visit the publicl link for the full proposal)