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Women and sustainable energy - EuropeAid/155118/DH/ACT/Multi
Deadline: 25 Apr 2017   CALL EXPIRED

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 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Start Up
 Energy Efficiency
 Intelligent Energy
 Renewable Energy
 Sustainable Development
 Gender Equality

1 SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

1.1 BACKGROUND

This call for proposals is based on the unexpressed potential of increasing access to sustainable energy (SE) by fostering women's involvement, recognizing past and current efforts at redressing gender imbalances women are facing with regard to access to resources, including energy. It will contribute to the EU Gender Action Plan, SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) as well as SE4ALL objectives.

It aims at selecting partnerships (the direct beneficiaries) which will be in charge of implementing a comprehensive action supported with an EU grant targeting at increasing the involvement of women in SE value chains, boosting their active role, their entrepreneurship and improving their access to energy services. To this end, women will be supported to access affordable finance and energy services through appropriate models. They will also be trained and educated through suitable and appropriate schemes. Advocacy and awareness campaigns will also be addressed as supportive measures where necessary. The main focus of the action is on fostering micro, small or medium size entrepreneurial activities of women in or thanks to the sustainable energy sector in developing countries. It fosters development of private sector and jobs creation in particular for women. The action should lead to implement suitable models which could be scaled up in the future and possibly streamlined into the EU ElectriFI initiative (www.electrifi.org). Synergies with the ElectriFI initiative will be sought for large size projects potentially eligible.

The final beneficiaries are mainly women in developing countries benefitting from the action, but also targeted entities, communities, etc. that can benefit from the expected results. As part of the action, the Beneficiaries must propose financial and energy support/services to final beneficiaries directly or indirectly in order to help achieving the objectives OF THE ACTION.

 

1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME AND PRIORITY ISSUES
The global objective of this call for proposals is to promote women's entrepreneurship and economic

empowerment in the sustainable energy sector/value chain.

This should contribute to gender equality, to the eradication of poverty and to job creation, improving women’s lives and status.

The scope of the action is focussing on the sustainable energy sector, integrating financial services, skills improvement and soft measures for women empowerment.

The specific objectives of this call for proposals are:
1. To create jobs and/or entrepreneurship opportunities in developing countries for women;

2. To increase capacities of women to operate in the sustainable energy sector;

3. To raise awareness within communities, society and local/regional/national authorities on the potential and benefits of sustainable energy and women’s role in sustainable energy value chains.

Priority under this action will be given to projects having an important component of access to financial services targeting women in particular. In practical terms, the action should dedicate a significant part of its budget (indicatively 70%) to providing access to affordable finance or to affordable finance and sustainable energy services (see Evaluation grid of concept note, point 1.1).

A monitoring activity shall support and demonstrate the effective results of the action, using indicators relevant for SDG 5, 7 and EU Gender Action Plan but also including quantification of final beneficiaries as well as clear results on jobs creation, entrepreneurship opportunities created, etc. It will also help to draw conclusions to ensure set up of sustainability measures and potential replication of the action.

Due to the scope of this action and the multi-component approach, a partnership between entities that together can ensure all different competencies needed to implement the various aspects of the action is mandatory to address the objectives of this call. This partnership must be constituted by at least 3 entities (one lead applicant and at least two co-applicants) and possibly affiliated entities (see definitions in section 2.1).

The quality of the partnership will be of particular importance during the selection process (see evaluation grid section 3.4 of full application). Complementarity between the partners is considered essential to successfully implement the action. Different types of partners (such as academia, civil society, NGOs, international or local organisations, financial institutions, government - local, regional, national -, private sector, etc.) may bring added value to a comprehensive approach. The ability to demonstrate local involvement in order to ensure targeted and sustainable activities is also essential, possibly through local partners or local third entities. The composition of the partnership and the added value of each proposed partner will be evaluated in view of ensuring effectiveness and sustainability of the action (see Evaluation grid of full application, point 3.4).

The beneficiaries (lead applicant, co-applicants) and the affiliated entities (if any) should have in the last five years a solid demonstrated aggregated/cumulative experience of working in all the following areas:

  •   Renewable energy (including services or products); and

  •   Women’s entrepreneurship, in particular in the sustainable energy value chains; and

  •   Financial services for micro, small or medium businesses or financial services for the development of sustainable energy value chains; and

  •   Knowledge, skills development, vocational training, mentoring or similar activities; and

  •   Advocacy and awareness-raising for gender equality; and

  •   Implementation of projects or activities in the countries eligible for the action location (see section 2.1.4 Eligible action), possibly through local network/branches.

The role and activity(ies) implemented by each implementing entity shall be clearly described in the proposal.

The geographical coverage of the action has to ensure appropriate impact in relation with the objectives of this call for proposals as set in the above. The action must take place in multiple countries which are recipients of Official Development Aid, in Sub-Saharan Africa (mandatorily) and possibly in other regions of the world (such as Northern Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Pacific, Central or South America). The maximum number of countries where activities are proposed to take place is not prescribed, and proposals will be evaluated with the aim of maximising impact and value-for-money.

The selection of countries should be properly justified. The partnerships shall implement all necessary activities related to the objectives of this call. The choice of activities to implement in each country will be duly substantiated and evaluated (see Evaluation grid of concept note, point 1.2).

 

1.3 FINANCIAL ALLOCATION PROVIDED BY THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 20 000 000. The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds. Likewise, this amount could be increased should more funds become available.

Size of grant
Any requested EU contribution under this call for proposals must fall between the following amounts:

  •   minimum amount: EUR 4 000 000

  •   maximum amount: EUR 8 000 000

Any requested EU contribution under this call for proposals must cover maximum 80 % of total eligible

costs of the action (see also section 2.1.5).

As per section 6.3.10. of the Practical Guide, the grant must not give rise to profits for neither the Beneficiaries (Coordinator/lead applicant and co-beneficiaries/co-applicants) nor any affiliated entity (in the context of this call, profit is defined as a surplus of the receipts over the eligible costs approved by the Contracting Authority when the request for payment of the balance is made). Expected revenue of the action may be accepted as co-financing. However, action revenues in excess of the total costs will be considered as profit. As such, it will need to be deducted when calculating the final amount of the EU grant.

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 any sources other than the European Union Budget or the European Development Fund4.

 

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) 5.

The direct beneficiaries are the applicants (the lead applicant (also called Coordinator) and the co- applicants (also called co-beneficiaries)) whose proposal will be selected in the process of this call for proposals and will implement the action. The European Commission is the Contracting Authority who will provide a Grant for the selected action. The beneficiaries of the grant contract can act with additional entities such as affiliated entities and/or associates (see sections 2.1.2 and 2.1.3).

2.1 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to:

(1) the actors:

  1.   The lead applicant, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1),
  2.   its co-applicants (where it is not specified otherwise the lead applicant and its co-applicants are hereinafter jointly referred as the "applicants") (2.1.1),
  3.   and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the lead applicant or to a co-applicant. (2.1.2);

(2) the action:

  1.  action for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4);

(3) the costs:

  1.  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)

Lead applicant

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

1. be a legal person; and

2. 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; and

3. be established in 6 (this obligation does not apply to international organisations) (See Annex O) :

  1. a)  a Member State of the European Union; or

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

  3. c)  an IPA II beneficiary country; or

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

    1. i)  Least Developed Countries (LDCs);

    2. ii)  Other Low Income Countries;

    iii) Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories; iv) Upper Middle Income Countries and Territories; or

  5. e)  a G-20 member developing country only if they are also the (or one of the) beneficiaries of the action; or

  6. 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

  7. g)  a Non EU Member State of the OECD only when contracts are implemented in a Least Developed Country (LDC) or in a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).

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- applicants and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations.

The lead applicant must act with at least two 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 and coordinates the design and implementation of the action.

Co-applicants

Minimum 2 co-applicants are to be involved in the action.

Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant. However, in addition to the categories referred to in section 2.1.1, the following are also eligible:

 entities without legal personality7;

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 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-applicants 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): 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:

  1. (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).

  2. (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 neither 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 4 — ‘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. In this respective call, the action may be implemented differently in each country where the action will take place.

 

Duration
The initial planned duration of the action's implementation may not be lower than 36 months nor exceed

60 months.

Sectors or themes

The proposal shall reply to all the objectives set for this call for proposals in section 1.2 and the action must relate to the sustainable energy sector & gender equality. This call for proposals intends mainly to promote women's entrepreneurship and job opportunities in the sustainable energy sector/value chain.

For activities to be included see section below on Eligible Activities.
The logic of intervention of the Proposal should be presented, explained and supported by a logical

framework which will also include the number of targeted beneficiaries. Location

The action must take place in multiple countries which are recipients of Official Development Aid (see list in Annex N).

The action must be implemented in at least 3 countries of which at least 1 in Sub-Saharan Africa (See Annex O).

Geographical coverage objectives are stated in section 1.2. Ineligible activities
The following types of activities are ineligible (non-exhaustive list):

  •   action concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses;

  •   action concerned only or mainly with individual scholarships for studies or training courses;

  •   one-off conferences: conferences can only be funded if they form part of a wider range of activities to be implemented in the life-time of the action. For these purposes, preparatory activities for a conference and the publication of the proceedings of the conference do not, in themselves, constitute such “wider activities”;

  •   activities intended to raise funds or promote the visibility of the applicants, its affiliates, its associates or contractors;

  •   activities which consist exclusively or primarily in capital expenditure, such as infrastructure, land, equipment;

  •   activities which discriminate against individuals or groups of people on grounds of their sexual orientation, religious beliefs or lack of them, or their ethnic origin;

  •   activities supporting directly political parties;

  •   activities which include proselytizing activities Eligible activities

Activities must reply to the objectives (as set in section 1.2 Objectives of the programme and priority issues) and must be related to the types of activities below:

 

  1. Providing affordable finance to facilitate opportunities for women as entrepreneurs/providers in the sustainable energy value chain, or to facilitate their access to modern and sustainable energy services for productive uses;

  2. Developing women's technical and entrepreneurial skills in the energy sector and in energy business through adapted training, education, capacity development, exchange of good practices, etc.;

  3. Improving the general environment (institutional and societal) for women's entrepreneurship through political advocacy and/or awareness campaigns;

  4. Running an adequate system of monitoring and results dissemination, replication of the action.

Financial support to third parties8

Under this call, financial support to third parties is the main purpose of the action.

A particular focus is expected on the Eligible activities type 1. Indeed, the lack of affordable finance is identified as the main barrier to boost women's entrepreneurship and business opportunities, therefore the majority of the total budget of the action should be dedicated to Activity type 1 (administrative and operating costs needed to implement the activities can be included in the activity budget).

In practical terms, the applicants shall award financial support to third parties (women entrepreneurs and/or local operators). This activity type can be implemented with possible set-up or contribution to funds providing adequate financial products, services and/or business support directly to women entrepreneurs and/or through local, regional, national operators for further distribution to final beneficiaries. The activities related to financial support to third parties should represent indicatively 70% of the budget of the action. A budget distribution not respecting this requirement should be duly explained and justified or the action will be deemed ineligible.

To allow the appropriate verification, an indicative budget distribution per activity should be presented with the proposal in the worksheet 4 of Annex B. This includes an indicative percentage of the global budget of the action per type of activity and the approximate amount channeled directly to final beneficiaries which should be clearly stated as well for type activity 1.

In compliance with the present guidelines and notably of any conditions or restrictions in this section, the lead applicant should define mandatorily in section Annex A.2, section 2.1.1:

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

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

  3. (iii)  the types of persons or categories of persons which may receive financial support

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

  5. (v)  the criteria for determining the exact amount of financial support for each third entity

  6. (vi)  the maximum amount which may be given

  7. (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 proposal for grant contract as to avoid any exercise of discretion.

The logic of intervention of the Proposal should be presented, explained and supported by a logical framework.

Proposals will be assessed against both quantitative and qualitative criteria as describe in the evaluation grids (page 19 and 21).

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

An organisation shall not be participating more than once in the present call for proposals as lead applicant. Should this be the case, the contracting authority will only consider the first proposal arrived (based on the date and hour of submission) and any other additional proposal will be rejected.

 

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 beneficiaries 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 amount9

  •   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.

9 Examples:- for staff costs: number of hours or days of work * hourly or daily rate pre-set according to the category of personnel concerned;- for travel expenses: distance in km * pre-set cost of transport per km; number of days * daily allowance pre-set according to the country;- for specific costs arising from the organization of an event: number of participants at the event * pre-set total cost per participant etc.

 

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).

Salary costs of the personnel of national administrations may be eligible to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the action were not undertaken.

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;

HOW TO APPLY AND THE PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW

To apply for this call for proposals the lead applicants need to:
I. Provideinformationabouttheorganisationsinvolvedintheaction.Pleasenotethattheregistrationof

this data in PADOR is obligatory10 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.

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 form11 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 form12 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. An electronic version 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 full name and address of the lead applicant, and the words ‘Not to be opened before the opening session’ and «Ne pas ouvrir avant la séance d’ouverture».

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

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

European Commission
Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development Unit B6 Finance, Contracts & Audit
Attn. Head of Unit L-41 03/110
Avenue du Bourget, 1
1049 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).

The deadline for the submission of concept notes is 25/04/2017 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)13 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 16H14as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.

Any concept note submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

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

 

2.2.4 Further information about concept notes

Questions may be sent by e-mail 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-155118@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 the co-applicants 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. An electronic version of the items under point (a). The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version enclosed.

 

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

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

Postal address

European Commission
Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development - EuropeAid Unit B6 Finance, Contracts & Audit
Attn. Head of Unit L-41 03/110
Avenue du Bourget, 1
1049 Brussels
Belgium
Tel : +32 2 2997916

The envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with the number and title of the lot, the full name and address of the lead applicant, and the words ‘Not to be opened before the opening session’ and ‘ Ne pas ouvrir avant la séance d’ouverture'.

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 16H15 as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt.

Any application submitted after the deadline will be rejected.

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

 

2.2.8 Further information about full applications

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

E-mail address: Europeaid-155118@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), 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.

2.3 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.

STEP1: OPENING & ADMINISTRATIVE CHECKS AND CONCEPT NOTE EVALUATION

During the opening16 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.

 

Evaluation Grid

________________________________________________

1. Relevance of the action :  30 points

1.1. How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals?* :  5x2** points

 

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

Including coherence of proposed activities with local context and existing framework and initiatives :  5x2** points

1.3. How clearly defined and strategically chosen are those involved (final beneficiaries, target groups)? Have their needs been clearly defined and does the proposal address them appropriately?* :  5 points

1.4. Does the proposal contain specific added-value elements, such as environmental issues, promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities, needs of disabled people, rights of minorities and rights of indigenous peoples, or innovation and best practices [and the other additional elements indicated under 1.2. of these guidelines]?* : 5 points

2. Design of the action MAX : 20 points

2.1. How coherent is the overall design of the action? In particular, does it reflect the analysis of the problems involved, take into account external factors and relevant stakeholders? : 5x2** points

2.2. Is the action feasible and consistent in relation to the objectives and expected results? :  5x2** points

Maximum total score : 50 points

________________________________________________

**these scores are multiplied by 2 because of their importance Concept notes with a score lower than 30 will be rejected.

The Evaluation Committee may re-evaluate the relevance of concept notes in order to ensure a geographical balance when determining the final list of selected concept notes.

Concept notes that reach the above threshold will be ranked by score. The highest scoring applications will be pre-selected until the limit of at least 200% of the available budget for this call for proposals is reached.

The amount of requested contributions of each concept note will be based on the indicative financial envelopes for each lot, where relevant.

 

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

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

STEP 2: OPENING & ADMINISTRATIVE CHECK AND EVALUATION OF THE FULL APPLICATION

During the opening17 and administrative check (including the eligibility check of the action) for full applications the following will be assessed:

  •   If the submission deadline has been met. Otherwise, the application will automatically be rejected.

  •   If the full application satisfies all the criteria specified in the checklist in Annex A.2. This includes also an assessment of the eligibility of the action. If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the application may be rejected on that sole basis and the application will not be evaluated further.

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

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

 have stable and sufficient sources of finance to maintain their activity throughout the proposed action and, where appropriate, to participate in its funding (this only applies to lead applicants);

 have the management capacity, professional competencies and qualifications required to successfully complete the proposed action. This applies to applicants and to any affiliated entity(ies).

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

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

 

 

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



Public link:   Only for registered users


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