Guidelines on sub-grant applications

A sub-grant provision under the project name “Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Local Governance through Civic Engagement (STA Project)”
Project Number: 00114112

These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this call which are applicable to the present call (available at http://www.cpddcambodia.org/web/sub-grant-applications). 

Useful links:

In order to ensure women’s participation in policy development and their capacity development, at least 30 percent of each grant amount will be allocated to support women’s empowerment in their participation and voice to be reflected and at least one monitoring criteria on women’s participation. The sub-grantees are required to prepare and roll-out gender responsive project activities that create engagement and feedback opportunities and elevate the participation of citizens, especially the under-represented groups, to have their voices heard in policymaking, local planning, budgeting and monitoring in accordance with approved work plan and budget in three target Municipalities of Banlung, Kampong Cham, and Siem Reap. While it is anticipated that these procedures will be successfully completed, potential applicants are hereby notified of these requirements and conditions for award. Further, CPDD reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

Sub-grant Awards: The STA Project plans to award up to 3 sub-grants under this call for sub-grants for first cycle. The maximum amount for each grant is USD 20,000. Sub-grant funds may be used only for activities as described in this Call for Sub-grant Applications.

Period of Performance: The grant award under this call for sub-grants will be funded for up to 12 months, depending on performance and availability of funds. 

SECTION I - PROJECT DESCRIPTION

1. PROJECT OVERVIEW 

The project will address limited accountability and many remaining challenges in public sector reform by supporting the Sub-National Democratic Development reform. The National Programme on Sub-National Democratic Development from 2021-2030 identified remaining key challenges and relevant ones for the project are as follows.   

  • Vertical accountability and trust (National–Sub-National Administrations-People)  
  • People’s knowledge about their rights and how to hold SNA councils and SNA accountable  
  • Mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues such as digital governance, climate change, gender equality and social equality and inclusiveness 
  • Monitoring and reporting of Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals at the sub-national level. 

The project’s expected results are as follows.  

Output 1: Women and men, including the under-represented, marginalized, and vulnerable have more accessible information, especially on local services, development projects and rights to hold SNA accountable in three provinces 

Output 2: Women and men, including the under-represented, marginalized, and vulnerable have more opportunities and increased capacity and confidence to express their needs in local planning and monitoring 

The project applies the following three approaches:  

  • Human rights-based approach: The project strengthens accountability and participation, which are two of human rights principles.  For accountability works, there must be transparency/openness in the processes and procedures in performing and reporting on designated function, too. Other human rights principles (universality, indivisibility, inter-relatedness, and equality) are also integrated in the project. 
  • Adaptive programming: In recognizing needs to understand and learn more existing initiatives and local contexts, and test a new solution, the project includes activities gathering and analysing data and evidence as well as experimenting a new idea. The findings and learning will inform and adapt programming.  
  • Strategic innovation: For adaptive programming, innovation is needed to find out what works through ideation, prototyping, testing with collective intelligence. The project integrates this approach in all activities.
2. BACKGROUND

Support for strengthening accountability framework commenced early in the SNDD reform. Ombudsman offices in Capital, Province, District, Municipality and Khan have been opened throughout the country1.  Social accountability framework was introduced to improve local service delivery (health centers, primary schools, and administrative services) at communes and Sangkat first in 2016 with various development partners and NGOs’ support (please find more details in Section III). The social accountability framework has three main components: access to information and budget, citizen monitoring with community scorecard, and facilitation and capacity development.  

Regardless of the progress through implementation of social accountability framework, still challenges remain. One of them concerns limited knowledge about their rights as mentioned above in NP2. Other causes are related to Cambodia’s social, political, and cultural contexts. Dr. Eng et al. pointed out importance of existing power dynamics within society and state-society relations in which social accountability takes place.2 The same report explained challenges concerning people’s participation in the governance of public services using the political economy approach. In the Impact Evaluation of Cambodia’s Implementation of the Social Accountability Framework,3 it is also mentioned that the notion of social accountability contradicts to Cambodia’s hierarchical society and ‘accountability in Cambodia is traditionally defined as someone with low status being accountable to someone with high status’. Regarding youth participation, Ang and Young reviewed three different types of CSO’s strategies and their effectiveness in promoting youth participation (one of the organizations is implementing social accountability framework at the commune level)4. It informed challenges with young people’s active participation because of the way in which the organizations mobilized youth through local authorities. In Cambodian culture, obeying and listening to old people is a very important value and thus contribution by young people who were identified by a local authority would be passive. In addition, it found out the motivation for young people to participate was looking for employment opportunities rather than improving democratic participation and service delivery although there were young people who were committed to contributing to local development, governance, and service delivery.  

3. OBJECTIVES OF THE CALL FOR SUB-GRANT APPLICATIONS

This call for sub-grants will cover the following main outcome of the STA project: By 2023, women and men, including those underrepresented, marginalized and vulnerable, benefit from more transparent and accountable legislative and governance frameworks that ensure meaningful and informed participation in economic and social development and political processes. 

The expected output of this call is Women and men, including the under-represented, marginalized, and vulnerable have more opportunities and increased capacity and confidence to express their needs in local planning and monitoring. In order to ensure women’s participation in policy development and their capacity development, at least 30 percent of each grant amount will be allocated to support women’s empowerment in their participation and voice to be reflected and at least one monitoring criteria on women’s participation. The sub-grantees are required to prepare and roll-out gender responsive project activities that create engagement and feedback opportunities and elevate the participation of citizens, especially the under-represented groups, to have their voices heard in policymaking, local planning, budgeting and monitoring in accordance with approved work plan and budget in three target Municipalities of Banlung, Kampong Cham, and Siem Reap. 

4. GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS

Activities are expected to take place at the in three target Municipalities of Banlung, Kampong Cham, and Siem Reap. 

SECTION II - APPLICATION AND BUDGET 
  1. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
  • An Application Form of no more than 15 pages (See Section B Below); 
  • A budget in US Dollars, with budget notes (See Section C Below);
  • Authorized signatory statement: Each application must be signed by a person authorized to submit an application on behalf of the applicant and to bind the applicant to the application. The application should include the name, title, e-mail and telephone number of the person or persons in the organization who are authorized to discuss and accept a grant if awarded. 
  • Copy of registration certificate as per RGC policies, if applicable; 
  • Copy of tax exemption certificate, if applicable; 
  • Copy of organization’s by-laws/Constitution including the personnel salary scale; 
  • Copy of organization’s personnel and financial policy; 
  • Copy of latest audit report, if applicable; 
  • Copy of most recent two board meetings’ minutes, if applicable; 
  • Copy of organization’s strategy planning paper; 
  • Copies of the organization’s last three years’ annual reports, if applicable. 
  1. Application Form 

The Application Form (15 pages maximum) can be found in Annex I. Please provide complete answers to all parts of the Application Form/Technical Proposal: A. Application Information and B. Full Proposal Information. 

  1. Budget 

The Budget should show estimated costs. The budget application should include a budget narrative that provides a narrative description of the estimated costs listed in the budget.  Please use the attached budget template in Annex II of this Call. 

The applicant shall include the following in the Cost Application: 

  • Budget Breakdown. The Applicant shall break down proposed costs in sufficient detail in the budget template to permit cost analysis. The budget shall be denominated in United States dollars (USD).  

Cost estimates must be submitted in MS Excel format using the budget template. The file must be unprotected and there should be no hidden columns/rows/cells. Each cost element must include a basis for estimate or rationale. Any budget submitted without explanatory notes or in a different template will not be accepted and the application will not be considered. Cost applications will be judged based on cost efficiency and reasonableness.  

SECTION III - ELIGIBILITY AND HOW TO APPLY

  1. ELIGIBLE CRITERIA
  • Applicants shall be Local NGOs, and CBOs and Women-Led CSOs are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must operate as independent non-politically affiliated organizations.
  • Applicants must have been active for a minimum of the last 1 year. 
  • Applicants must have at least 3 full-time staff members (if applicable), comprising program management and finance staff and active governing board members.
  • Applicants may apply either individually or as a consortium (as per institutions or individuals partnering institutions). In the case of a consortium, the application will be submitted by the lead applicant. Partner applicants’ status and division of labor should be highlighted in the application documents.
  • All local NGOs and CBOs in the 3 targeted provinces and Phom Penh i.e. Ratanakiri, Kompong Chhnang, and Siem Reap, and Phnom Penh.
  • All provincial NGO networks members in the above 3 targeted provinces and Phnom Penh 

Sub-grant applications will first be checked for eligibility. Applications that are not eligible will not be considered by the Sub-grant Evaluation Committee. 

  1. HOW TO APPLY  
  • Timing: Applications are due by 5:30 pm on May 15th, 2023 (Cambodia Time).
  • Questions:  Questions and requests for clarification will be accepted by email until March 31, 2023, to sectariat@cpddcambodia.org or call at +855 (0) 23 23 83 36
  • Pre-proposal information Sessions: Shortly after issuing this Call for Sub-grants will hold a pre-proposal information session with interested CSOs and CBOs. The session will be conducted virtually to allow potential applicants with an opportunity to raise queries relating to the Call for Sub-grants on March 28, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Interested applicants are requested to send an email to sectariat@cpddcambodia.org to confirm their participation.
  • Language: Applications should be submitted in English.
  • Formatting: Please use Times New Roman 12 font type, with single space and one-inch margins on all sides. (budget should be prepared in excel sheet using the formula for calculation). 

SECTION IV - SELECTION PROCESS, NOTIFICATION, PRE-AWARD STEPS AND REPORTING 

  1. SELECTION CRITERIA  

The selection process will be administered by a Sub-Grant Evaluation Committee (S-GEC) established by CPDD for the purpose of this Call. If an application is short-listed for potential funding, the respective applicant may be requested to provide additional information. 

Awards will be made based on the ranking of applications by the Sub-grant Evaluation Committee (S-GEC) according to the evaluation criteria and 100-point scoring system identified below: 

I. Technical Approach [55 points]

  1. Project Design and Feasibility [30 points] 
  • The potential of the project to successfully and efficiently achieve the objectives outlined in the Scope of Work.
  • The extent to which the activity introduces innovative and potentially replicable approaches. 
  • The degree to which the proposal advances STA Project’s priorities as outlined in this Call.  
  1. Implementation Plan [15 points] 
  • The proposed implementation strategy and timeline is reasonable and realistic. 
  1. Collaborative and Inclusive Posture [10 Points] 

The extent to which the applicant demonstrates capacity or existing presence within the sector, and existing relationships and capacity to work with governments, other CSOs, community groups including women, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and youth and/or private sector representatives within their geographic areas of focus. Demonstration of composition of a diverse cluster of organizations to implement proposed project intervention.  

II. Organizational, Technical and Management Capability [35 Points] 

  1. Technical and Management Capacity [25 Points] 

The technical and managerial capacity of the applicant to successfully carry out the project implementation on a timely basis, and to produce the targeted results. This includes an assessment of: 

  • The track record and demonstrated commitment of the applicant to engage in 
    organizational capacity; 
  • Experience with conducting research and monitoring and evaluation activities; and 
  • The experience and expertise of the management team and proposed project 
    personnel. 
  1. Organizational Capability [10 Points] 
  • The general financial strength of the applicant; and 
  • The organizational structure and good governance practices of the applicant. 

III. Past Performance [10 Points] 

  • Past performance in achieving positive results when implementing activities 
    similar to those proposed; and 
  • Experience working with USAID/other donor funds and ability to meet reporting 
    and accountability requirements.

Budgets are not assigned a score. A lower budget does not necessarily mean a positive factor, but the Sub-Grant Evaluation Committee will evaluate budgets to ensure: 

  • Budget summary, detailed budget, and budget notes included.  
  • Cost-Effectiveness (costs have been reasonably set in the budget and are the most economical amount to allow attaining the project objectives);   
  • Proposed costs reflect a clear understanding of the requirements stated in this Call;  
  • Proposed planned costs ensure optimal delivery of the proposed activities; 
  • The detailed line-item budget, budget narrative, and supporting documentation clearly describe how the budgeted amounts are calculated and support the applicant’s budget.   

The sub-grantees may be required to give a presentation of their project design, implementation plan, strategies, and so on. Prospective grantees will be notified of their selection by email.  If you would prefer to be notified by telephone, please let us know in your application. This initial notification does not guarantee that a prospective grantee will receive a grant. First, the prospective grantee will work together with CPDD to complete additional steps (see below, “Pre-Award Steps”) that must be successfully completed in order for it to qualify for a grant.   

B.  Pre-Award Steps: Once the Sub-Grant Evaluation Committee has notified the prospective grant recipient, Sub-grant staff will work with the prospective grantee to complete the remaining steps, including: 

  • Clarifying any technical aspects of the proposal that are unclear; 
  • Undertaking a Financial Pre-Award Assessment to clarify the prospective grantee’s financial capacity; 
  • Supplying audited financial statements, if available. If no recent audit has been conducted, a revenue and expense statement and balance sheet for the previous financial year can be supplied instead; 
  • Providing the names of the prospective grantee’s Board Members or equivalents; 
  • Signing Mandatory Certifications (which the project will provide); 
  • Having Debarment and Terrorist Financing searches done (by project team members); 
  • Developing an agreed upon MEAL (monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning) plan. Project team members will provide guidance as needed to ensure that the MEAL plan includes defined project results and objectives; measurable performance indicators, with definitions; baselines, benchmarks, and targets; and the name of the team member responsible for the timely collection of data; 
  • Ensuring GESI, Conflict Sensitivity, and Sustainability. Project team members will provide assistance as needed to help prospective grantees mainstream GESI, Conflict Sensitivity, and Sustainability principles into their project activities. 

Completing these steps is expected to take around 30-days. When they have been completed, CPDD will let each applicant know whether its application will be funded. The final award may consist of full or partial funding, with or without conditions.  

C. Project Reporting: After completing the Pre-Award Steps and signing a grant with CPDD, grantees will be required to submit regular project progress reports and budget reports to CPDD.  Grantees will be required to provide monthly updates, quarterly narrative reports, annual reports, MEAL data collection and reports, and a final report, as well as monthly financial reports. The Project will provide successful applicants with more information about their reporting requirements when their award is confirmed.

SECTION V - DISCLAIMERS

  • CPDD reserves rights to revoke the Call and/or not make awards. 
  • Issuance of a Call does not constitute a commitment by CPDD to make awards. 
  • If an applicant fails to follow Call instructions, CPDD reserves the right to disqualify its application. 
  • CPDD will not reimburse applicants for the cost of preparing and submitting an application.  
  • CPDD reserves the right to issue an award on the basis of an initial evaluation of offers without further discussion. 
  • CPDD may award grants for only part of the activities listed in a Call. 
  • CPDD reserves the right to check an applicant’s donor references.

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