Call for Proposals: Civil Society Fund Plus (Ethiopia)

Grant Size More than $1 million   ,   Closing Date


The European Commission has announced a call for proposal to strengthen CSOs as actors of governance and development in their own right.

Objectives of the Programme and Priority Issues
  • The specific objective of this call for proposal is to strengthen capacity of local and grassroot CSOs to engage in policy dialogue and advocacy at national and sub-national levels and in implementation and monitoring of national development programmes and plans. 

  • The priorities of this call for proposals are:

    • Actions must focus on working with local and grassroot CSOs and strengthening the capacity of these CSOs and their networks to engage in structured, evidence-based policy dialogue and monitoring and effectively influence Government’s reform processes and nation-building interventions at Federal, Regional and lower administration levels;

    • Actions must facilitate partnership opportunities amongst CSOs (including Women and youth organizations), building on existing networks, supporting emerging networks, and encouraging the building of coalitions and the creation of platforms to exchange knowledge and create momentum andcollective positions on common issues of interest;

    • Actions must support the creation of an enabling environment to ensure the development of a credible, accountable, independent, inclusive civil society sector with the capacity and space to act as an interlocutor between citizens and the state, and undertake strategic engagement with all levels of Government in order to reinforce the democratic process of the country.

Funding Information
  • The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 3,439,500. The contracting authority reserves the right not to award all available funds.

  • Size of grants

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

      • minimum amount: EUR 2,550,000

      • maximum amount: EUR 3,439,500

  • The initial planned duration of an action may not be lower than 48 months nor exceed 60 months.

Types of Activity
  • Capacity development of local and grassroot CSOs should be at the core of project design. 

  • Under the responsibilities of the applicant are the activities listed below. These are expected to be covered in the application. Other activities could also be proposed as well:

    • Establish and manage a sub-granting scheme to local and grassroot CSOs within the framework of the EU programme support to Civil Society in Ethiopia and the objectives and priorities of this call for proposal, in coordination with the Contracting Authority;

    • Launch and manage at least two call for proposals to provide subgrants to local and grassroot organisations as per the requirements of this call for proposal (Management and administration);

    • Closely follow-up of progresses made by supported sub-grantees, both form the operational and financial point of view (Monitoring);

    • Identify capacity gaps of sub-grantees and support them via the provision of tailored technical assitance aimed at building their capacity to achieve their respective action results and perform sound financial and operational management of the sub-grants (Capacity development); 

    • Take all the necessary steps to publicise the fact that the European Union has financed the Action (Visibility).

  • Activities must be clearly designed to contribute towards achieving the objectives and priorities of this call for proposal. They can include, but not limited to the following:

    • Enabling civil society participation and contribution to policy dialogue on youth, disability and gender equality and women’s rights and monitoring of the implementation of policies;

    • Enabling the active participation of youth, persons with disabilities and women's organisations in decision-making processes at all levels;

    • Supporting CSOs contribution to actions aimed at preventing, addressing and mitigating risks and vulnerabilities, including those related to conflict, and in building communities resilience in relation to crisis and promote peace and conflict prevention. 

    • Technical and other support to strengthen CSO partners’ capacity and ability to uphold, preserve and promote an enabling environment;

    • Supporting CSOs organizational capacity related to internal governance, programme, project and financial management, advocacy, the use of digital tools, etc.;

    • Supporting CSO sector-specific technical, research, analysis and advocacy capacity;

    • Supporting local CSO networks and platforms to promote coordination, collaboration and exchange;

  • Actions must take place in at least three regional states and/or city administrations of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia excluding Afar, Amhara, Oromia and Benshangul Gumuz regions which are already covered by a similar programme funded from the same budget line.


  • Lead applicant

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

      • be a legal person and

      • be non-profit-making and

      • be a specific type of organisation such as: a Civil Society Organisation (such as non-governmental organisation) and/or their networks or associations, international (inter-governmental) organisation as defined by Article 156 of the EU Financial Regulation and

      • be established in a Member State of the European Union or in Ethiopia or any other countries stipulated under Article 28 of the Regulation (EU) N° 2021/947 establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe) 

      • This obligation does not apply to international organizations and

      • be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co- applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary and

    • Lead Applicants not established in Ethiopia must demonstrate:

      • They have funded or jointly implemented at least two projects with local CSOs. The lead applicant is expected to explain this in the proposal and present the experience of working with local CSOs in the 'experience in similar actions' section of the grant full application form.

      • The proposal should outline how Ethiopian CSOs will play active roles in the action's priority areas and how the action will build the capacity of Ethiopian CSOs.

    • The lead applicant should meet the following criteria

      • Has demonstrated experience in managing at least one EU grant above Euro 1.7 million in the past three years,

      • Have at least three years of practical experience in working with and capacity building of local civil society organizations, 

    • Have experience of management of at least one sub-granting schemes

  • Co-applicant(s)

    • Co-applicants participate in designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the lead applicant.

    • Co-applicants must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the lead applicant himself.

    • Co-applicants must sign the mandate form.

    • If awarded the grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiary(ies) in the action (together with the coordinator)

  • Affiliated entities

    • The lead applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies).

    • Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the lead applicant and/or to co- applicant(s):

      • Only entities having a structural link with the applicants (i.e. the lead applicant or a co-applicant), in particular a legal or capital link.

      • This structural link encompasses mainly two notions:

        • Control on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings:

          • Entities affiliated to an applicant may hence be:

            • Entities directly or indirectly controlled by the applicant (daughter companies or first-tier subsidiaries). They may also be entities controlled by an entity controlled by the 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).

        • 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.

Post Date: June 04, 2024

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