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CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants


deadlineAPPLICATION DEADLINE: 12.02.2021.
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The Swiss Government project “For an Active Civil Society Together – ACT” announces a Call for Innovative Partnership Initiatives between Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and Local Government units (LG).

The Call for CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants aims to promote and strengthen partnerships between civil society organisations and local governments through the launch, development, and implementation of joint initiatives that will create innovative solutions and tools for greater citizen participation in decision-making processes, improving public service delivery, and better monitoring of the work of local authorities. In addition, the Call aims to improve cooperation between citizens and decision makers, as well as to promote the role of new technologies and digital tools in the process of creating public policies that are more citizen-oriented and in line with their needs and requirements. Through this Call, the ACT project supports, advocates, and seeks to ensure the further development of a culture of civic and political dialogue at the local level.

For the purposes of this Call, innovation is defined as any good practice that promotes the principles of transparency, integrity, accountability, and citizen participation in support of democracy and good governance. At its core, innovation is a novelty for the organisation or institution in which it is applied (practice, model, service that did not exist before or was not used) and which has / can have the potential to make a measurable public impact in the local community.

Project proposals for innovative partnership initiatives between civil society organisations and local governments will be supported within four lots:

LOT 1: Innovative solutions and tools for citizen participation in decision-making processes (up to 10 grants)

LOT 2: Innovative solutions and tools for providing services to citizens (up to 5 grants)

LOT 3: Innovative solutions and tools for monitoring the work of local government units (up to 5 grants)

LOT 4: Democratic response to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (up to 10 grants)

Note: If the funds allocated for a particular lot cannot be used due to insufficient quality or the number of received project proposals, the ACT project reserves the right to reallocate the remaining funds to (other) lots.

The project proposal must be in line with relevant national and local legislation and/or strategies (e.g. laws, bylaws, strategies, action plans, etc.) and show a clear contribution to the realisation of the objectives of national and local strategic documents and action plans (gender equality, human and minority rights, environmental protection, social protection, local economic development, various services to citizens, etc.) Also, project proposals should offer creative and innovative solutions that will enable more efficient implementation of innovations from the Law on Local Self-Government when it comes to citizen participation in creating and making decisions at the local level. The submission of project proposals that introduce gender-sensitive approaches, tools and services, as well as those related to the issues of sensitive and marginalised groups, is especially encouraged and will be assigned additional value.

Basic information of this call:

  • Target group: civil society organisations (CSOs) and local government units (LGs)
  • Maximum amount per project proposal: RSD 1,400,000.00
  • Duration of individual contracts: 18 months
  • Indicative number of supported CSO-LG partnerships: up to 30
  • Geographical coverage of the Call: Sumadija and Western Serbia, Southern and Eastern Serbia (except Belgrade and Vojvodina)

Detailed information regarding the application can be found in the Guidelines for Submitting Project Proposals for CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants, which are included in the attached package of documents.

PLEASE NOTE that the pages in English are for information only, as grants are provided only for entities registered in Serbia, so full documentation can only be found on the Serbian pages of this website.

Applicants can be:

  • Partnership made up of one or more civil society organisations and one local government unit (city or municipality);
  • Mandatory partnership concluded between CSO (lead partner) and local government unit (mandatory project partner). The partnership must be formalised in writing (Annex C – Partnership Statement), signed by the competent signatories on both sides*;
  • Partners operating within the following geographical area: Sumadija and Western Serbia, and Southern and Southeastern Serbia (except Belgrade and Vojvodina);
  • A partnership whose proposal for a joint initiative focuses on some of the following key areas: involving and mobilising citizens in the decision-making process, monitoring the implementation of laws and policies, human and civil rights, good governance, gender equality and related topics, decentralisation, environmental protection, social inclusion, and marginalised groups;
  • Partnerships cannot submit more than one project proposal and can only receive one grant under this Call.
  • A CSO that is already supported through other grants under the ACT project (Institutional Grants, Local Advocacy Grants, Community Boost Grants, Network Advocacy Grants) may submit a project proposal under this Call. CSOs can be supported with up to two grants within the ACT project, but there can be no overlap of activities and resources.
  • The local government (municipality, city) can be an obligatory partner in a maximum of two projects, in which the project holder is a different civil society organisation, and the project proposal is not within the same lot.
  • CSOs can be the lead partner in only one project within one lot.
  • A CSO that is a lead partner in one project may be an additional partner in a maximum of one project within other lots where it is not a lead partner, but may not be a beneficiary of funds granted to the partnership.

* If this condition is not met, the project proposal will not be considered.

Detailed criteria for participation, as well as other information related to the application, can be found in the Guidelines for Submitting Project Proposals for CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants, which are included in the attached package of documents.

PLEASE NOTE that the pages in English are for information only, as grants are provided only for entities registered in Serbia, so full documentation can only be found on the Serbian pages of this website.

In order to facilitate and simplify the application process, we decided to conduct this process electronically.

You can apply for this grant at act.civicatalyst.org.

In the written Instructions included in the attached package of documents, as well as on the above-mentioned website, you will find all the most common concerns and their solutions when it comes to applying for this grant.

The application deadline is 12 February 2021 at 17.00h

PLEASE NOTE that the pages in English are for information only, as grants are provided only for entities registered in Serbia, so full documentation can only be found on the Serbian pages of this website.

Given the current situation, the Info Session on the Call for Proposals for CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants will be held online on 19 January 2021 at 10.00h, with the aim of introducing the participants to the ACT project and this call.

During the Info Session, the participants will have an opportunity to get answers to their questions concerning the Call from the ACT team.

Registration for the Info Session is mandatory, so please register here no later than 16.00h on 17 January 2021.

The video, presentation, and answers to the questions will be posted on our website.

Should you need any further clarifications regarding the Call for Proposals for CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants and the application procedure, please write to info@act.org.rs no later than 16.00h on Friday, 5 February 2021. Please make sure that your Subject line reads: Call for Project Proposals for CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grants. ACT team will answer all your queries by 16.00h on 8 February 2021 in Frequently Asked Questions, which will be updated every Friday on ACT website.

For the questions concerning the technical aspects of online applications, please write to support@civicatalyst.org

The CSO-LG Innovative Partnership Grant award process has three stages.

(1) In Stage 1, the ACT team’s internal committee will evaluate the submitted project proposals. This stage starts upon the expiry of the deadline for project proposal submission and will take up to 20 days.

(2) Stage 2 will begin by shortlisting the CSO-LG project proposals that will be evaluated by an independent evaluation committee (comprised of the representatives of organisations that are implementing projects supported by the Swiss Government in Serbia, people with long experience and relevant expertise). Stage 2 will take up to 15 days.

(3) In Stage 3, the ACT team will submit a final list of the CSO-LG partnership project proposals to the donor, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The SDC will review and verify the decision on the CSO-LG partnership project proposals that will be awarded grants. Stage 3 will take up to 10 days.

On completion of Stage 1 of the selection process, a shortlist of the CSO-LG partnership project proposals that have qualified for Stage 2 of the selection process will be published on this page. The final list of awarded project proposals will also be published on this page.

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