The Foundation’s Grants Programme supports innovative project ideas and approaches that seek to strengthen the ability of civic voices to engage with governments to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation. In lieu of our annual grants call, we are launching a special grants call in response to the COVID–19 pandemic.
The purpose of the special grants call is to enable the Foundation to deliver support to Commonwealth civil society organisations in response to COVID-19 quickly, efficiently and in a way that both reflects and advances our broader mission. To that end, the focus will be on supporting national initiatives that aim to engage constructively with government in strengthening relevant institutions, policies and practices as communities and countries seek to recover and rebuild. The Foundation is also aware that the pandemic has created novel and urgent priorities for civil society action and engagement: from the emergence of acute vulnerability among certain groups to the need for insight into how new laws and policies are impacting on different groups of people. Proposals should address such priorities through the lens of participatory governance.
The call is open to eligible civil society organisations from all Commonwealth Member States. Grants of £10,000 – £30,000 will be awarded for a maximum 12-month duration.
Applications should relate to one or more aspects of the COVID-19 situation and response. Possible focus areas might include:
- Research into, and monitoring of, government and civil society responses to the pandemic that aim to identify gaps, weaknesses and good practices that could be used to inform current practice and future policy: including the impact of laws and policies in general, or in relation to specific groups such as women; workers in the informal economy; migrants and refugees or specific issues such as, for example, gender-based violence and access to treatment
- Support to civil society organisations, networks and coalitions to enable more effective engagement with government on development and implementation of policies and plans to address the pandemic in the longer term, or respond to new health emergencies
- Promotion of civil society engagement with national government, private sector, and academic institutions to innovate and develop quality products for vulnerable groups that reduce risks associated with pandemics
- Facilitating multi-stakeholder discussions or bodies (e.g. taskforce) to review and suggest reforms to policies and programs that can better protect: vulnerable populations; informal workers; and frontline staff during and after the pandemic
- Awareness raising and other forms of community engagement aimed at improving social and other protections, especially for vulnerable groups in collaboration with national government
- Convening and/or participating in discussions with national government aimed at improving transparency and strengthening institutions, policies, and practices.
Applications should ensure that gender is mainstreamed throughout the project, and may include the use of creative expression to achieve project aims.