Challenge funds, grant funds and managed funds are used by international development partners and agencies to promote poverty reduction and achieve social change by working with civil society organisations and the private sector towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We have extensive experience in managing, delivering grant funding and challenge fund schemes through all stages of the funding cycle. From large, complex programmes to smaller, specific projects, we specialise in providing a set of comprehensive services to support successful programme delivery. These include designing calls for proposals, appraisal of applications, logframe refinement, risk management, financial management, capacity building support to applicants and grant holders, monitoring and evaluation and lesson learning.
Our commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability, local ownership, shared learning and value for money, is embedded in all aspects of our work in grant programme and fund management. We draw on our team’s expertise across key international development sectors throughout Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. Our highly effective and transparent application screening processes enable the identification and selection of the highest quality and most relevant proposals. We have in place cost-effective and cutting-edge performance and risk management systems to ensure that funded projects remain on track, and to ensure appropriate levels of accountability and financial control. Our performance and risk management systems are designed to ensure that the allocation of fund management resources is proportionate to the appraised level of risk.
Independent surveys of grant holders have demonstrated high levels of satisfaction with our approach, which is rooted in partnership. We provide one-to-one support to grant holders and national partners to support the successful achievement of their project outcomes as well as a wide range of relevant technical and financial capacity building activities.
Our commitment to continuous evaluation and lesson-learning guarantees a high standard of fund management service delivery and provides valuable opportunities for grant holders and potential applicants to learn from each other.
We have worked on grant funding schemes financed by a range of donor agencies including AGRA, DFID, IFAD, SIDA, DANIDA and DFAT as well as foundations such as MasterCard Foundation. Our fund management work has covered sectors including governance, empowerment and accountability, jobs and livelihoods, health, private sector development, education, environment, water and sanitation.
The Global Poverty Action Fund, worth £120 million, is a demand-led fund and aims to bring tangible changes through civil society approaches to poor people's lives and address off-track Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through service delivery, empowerment & accountability, work on conflict, security and justice. We have contributed to the evolution of the Fund with DFID in widening the remit and criteria to incorporate empowerment and accountability. We have also helped in defining key terminology for the Fund, which is important for any future work on empowerment and accountability – this includes a clear definition on innovation and principles of value for money (VfM). As a Fund Manager, delivering capacity building support to enable Civil Society Organisations to meet the requirements of the Fund including generating and sharing high-quality evidence and learning. In addition, assessing a variety of contextual analyses, the potential impact of civil society projects on poverty, project design and methodology, value for money, M&E systems and results frameworks, opportunities for sustainability and scaling up, risk assessment and project management and partnership.
The Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF) is a DFID grant funding mechanism providing grants to 171 UK-based civil society organisations that work with partner organisations in developing countries. Since its inception, it has supported 526 projects. CSCF was established to improve the capacity of civil society to engage in decision-making at local and national levels, globally. As a Fund Manager, we have been evaluating grant applications, performance assessment of ongoing projects including field visits, providing feedback and capacity building to the organisations on technical issues, project management, civil society and authority partnerships within the project, and monitoring & evaluation. Having being associated with CSCF funded projects over the past ten years, we have gained a deep knowledge and understanding of civil society interventions in empowerment and accountability, worldwide.
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Chilika Development Authority, Government of OdishaView Case Study
Department for International Development (DFID), UKView Case Study
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