Participatory Governance Grants
Call for applications now open: deadline 31 January 2013 (5pm GMT)
At a glance:
•The Foundation will give grants to fund activities or projects of registered CSOs
•Beneficiaries will be from a Commonwealth Foundation member country
•Grants will be up to £30,000 per year
•Grants are available for multi-year funding (up to three years)
•Grant applicants are encouraged to show clear evidence of counterpart resourcing
•Up to 10% of the total grant will fund a monitoring, evaluation and learning element
•Up to 15% of the total grant will fund indirect and overhead costs
For the announcement of our new grants programme we are inviting CSOs to submit an application addressing either Dialogue or Collaboration within the broader theme of Participatory Governance or a combination of the two areas.
Participatory governance is about how the state, the market and Civil Society interact to effect change. These interactions involve the inclusion of Civil Society in decision-making processes, enabling citizens to exercise voice and vote and engaging in policy formation among others. “Citizens are engaged in public venues at a variety of times…thus allowing them to be involved in policy formation, selection and oversight”.
1.Dialogue: One of the cornerstones of participatory governance is dialogue. Dialogue requires facilitation so that people listen, learn and discuss to foster an environment of active, inclusive participation. It enables community members to constructively address issues that affect them in their daily lives. At the same time, public dialogue offers an effective means for policy makers to be informed about community concerns, needs and priorities. It also serves to find ways in which community demands can be addressed meaningfully. Subsumed in participatory governance is participatory communication which promotes a bottom up approach and includes communication for social change and development strategies. It gives importance to “resurrecting” voices, particularly of those who are marginalised, and facilitates processes that are inclusive, build consensus and promote social cohesion.
2.Collaboration: The participation of CSOs in governance processes such as in enhancing service delivery, participatory budgeting, performance management systems of government and peace building /reconciliation processes among others contribute to more effective, responsive and accountable governance. CSOs bring innovative ideas and solutions, as well as participatory approaches, to solving local problems. Inclusion of citizens in governance forums and consultations bring about new forms of interaction between citizens and government, including other stakeholders in governance.
The grants programme will be particularly supportive of proposals that mainstream the Foundation’s cross-cutting outcome areas in their project design:
•Cultural respect and understanding