This F.A.Q.’s page shows all questions Voice has received since the global launch at the 1st of September. Questions are sorted per subject. This page will be updated on a regular basis. Latest update: 4th of October.
- VOICE GENERAL
Q: Voice offers various types of grants. How can we apply for any of these grants?
A: Grant applications are accepted in response to a Call for Proposals. Each Call for Proposals will ask for applications for one or more of the various types of grants that Voice can offer. At this moment Voice has announced the first Call for Proposals. This is a global call and within the Innovate & Learn grants. In due course a schedule will be published on the Voice website with a general timeline for the other calls expected
Q: What is a call for proposals and how does this relate to the grants within Voice?
A: A call for proposals is an open invitation to apply for a grant from Voice. Grant applications cannot be accepted unless it is in response to a call for proposal. Calls for proposals can be made on global level or on country level and will always be for one or more of the four grant types. Calls for proposals will always be within the limits (duration and amount) of the grants type, but do not always have to cover the full possibilities of that grant type, meaning that exceptions can be made dependent on the needs of the programme, country or target group. Calls for proposals can have a specific deadline or can be rolling, which means organisations can apply any time. Decisions on applications will be made in accordance to the timeline outlined in the call for proposals. Within all calls for proposals eligibility criteria will apply. Eligibility criteria can differ per call for proposals depending on country or context analyses. The contextual analysis will inform upon the priorities and therefore, a call for proposals may not focus on all of the Voice target groups or themes.
Q: What are the Voice focus countries and what does it mean?
A: The Voice focus countries are Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia. All Voice funded programming (on both global and country level) must substantially benefit one or more target groups in the thematic areas in one or more of the Voice focus countries. If an application does not meet this requirement then it will not be funded.
Q: Can Voice support proposals in other countries then the Voice focus countries?
A: Yes, but only for a grant awarded under a global call for proposals and only when the proposal substantially benefits one or more target groups in the thematic areas in one or more of the Voice focus countries. Voice cannot approve any applications for projects in a single country other than Voice focus countries.
Q: Could you explain what you mean with a consortium?
A: When applying for a grant from Voice, organisations can partner with other organisations. If that happens we speak of a consortium. One of the consortium members will have to take the lead in the application and will therefore be referred to as the lead applicant or lead party. We can imagine that organisations use the word consortium in their own field of work. It should be noted that the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation “Dialogue and Dissent” Strategic Partnership are also called “consortium partners” and are ineligible for funding from Voice. This must both be seen separated from the meaning of a consortium for the application for a grant within Voice.
Q: We are an organisation specialised in one of the areas that Voice will work on. Can we assist in the context analysis?
A: We are very happy to invite organisations to the community of stakeholders that will work together with the Voice team on the context analysis, now and in the future. Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we can give you contact details of the country offices.
FIRST CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Learning from Innovation
- ELIGIBILITY FINANCE
Q: The eligibility criteria say that “This Call for Proposals is only open to organisations with a maximum annual turnover of €2 million”. Does it refer only to the applicant or lead partner or also to the other consortium members?
A: This eligibility criteria only applies to the lead applicant. For the Learn from Innovation Call for Proposals, the lead organisation must have a annual turnover of less then €2 million. For future calls for proposal this limit can be different.
Q: Is the maximum turnover of €2 million for the organisation as whole or can it be related to the country program only?
A: The lead applicant must not have an annual turnover exceeding €2 million. This maximum is measured as a total for the organisation not per country programme or budget.
Q: Could you explain the 30% income rule?
A: Applicants of the Learn from Innovation Call for Proposals must show that grants awarded from Voice derive no more than 30% of the total annual income of the applicant organisation. The applicant can show this by outlining the income of the prior year and/or awards and grants it has secured for future years. When in a consortium, this applies to the lead applicant always, but also to the consortium as a whole. If one organisation (not the lead applicant) derives more than 30% of its annual income from awards granted from Voice, this may be offset by the other parties in the consortium by looking at the income of the consortium combined. This income rule applies to this first call for proposals within the Innovate & Learn grant. For future calls this may be different.
Q: We feel that Voice is limiting local and small NGO’s since the project budget can only be 30 percent of the total income of the organisation. However, these NGO’s don’t have a lot of money, so 30 percent will be very little.
A: The 30 percent rule for now only applies to the first global call for proposals. Future calls will have different rules that will be decided on depending on the context analysis and purpose of the specific grants.
- ELIGIBILITY COUNTRIES/RESIDENCE OF ORGANISATIONS
Q: Is the current call for the Voice focus countries or (also) for the other countries?
A: All Voice funded programming must substantially benefit one or more target groups in the thematic areas in one or more of the Voice focus countries. If an application does not meet this requirement then it will not be funded. For the “Learning from Innovation” Call for Proposals, activities can be proposed and can be implemented in countries that are not Voice focus countries, if it helps to meet the objectives of the proposal.
Q: Are NGOs based/registered outside of Africa or Asia eligible to apply to your call (as long as of course our work is implemented in the target countries)?
A: An organisation based outside of Africa or Asia, may apply for the Learn from Innovation Call for Proposal, but only in consortium with at least one organisation based in either Africa or Asia that operates in one or more of the Voice focus countries. It does not matter which organisation is the lead applicant.
Q: The applicant (or a consortium member if the application is made by a consortium) must be based in Africa or Asia. Does ‘Based’ means ‘have an office’ in?
A: The applicant (or at least one consortium member if the application is made by a consortium) must be founded and registered in Africa or Asia as an independent not-for-profit civil society or community-based organisation with an operational bank account in the applicant’s name.
Q: Our organization in not based in one of the Voice Focus Countries. Can we still find a way to apply, maybe through partnership with other organizations?
A: Yes, organisations may make applications in consortium with other organisations. Voice does not facilitate matching or connecting organisations for this purpose. All organisations are encouraged to apply regardless of where they are registered so long as the applicant (or at least one consortium member, if the application is made by a consortium) is based in Africa or Asia. Also, the applicant (or a consortium member) must operate in one or more of the Voice focus countries. Further all Voice funded programming (on both global and country level) must substantially benefit one or more target groups in the thematic areas in one or more of the Voice focus countries. If an application does not meet this requirement then it will not be funded.
Q: We are an organisation based in the UK. If we partner with an organisation based in one of the Voice target countries, can we apply for the first Call for Proposals. Would we be eligible to apply as a consortium with UK-based organisation acting as the lead, or does it need to be listed as a co-applicant or vice-versa?
A: Consortium applications are eligible for the Learn from Innovation grant. The lead applicant may be based outside of Africa or Asia. However, at least one consortium member must be based in Africa or Asia.
Q: Can an application propose activities in countries that are not Voice focus countries?
A: To foster learning, some activities can be proposed for implementation in countries that are not Voice focus countries. It should be noted that a successful application will substantially benefit one or more target groups in the thematic areas in one or more of the Voice focus countries.
Q: Do you have preference for how many countries a project focuses on?
A: We do not have a preference, but we are looking to fund projects that are of interest for the Target Groups in the Voice Focus Countries.
Q: Would it be okay to focus on one country and one target group within this call?
A: Yes, that is possible. The global call however is the only opportunity we have to work with countries other than the Voice Focus Countries. If you decide to focus on only one of the Voice Focus Countries, the possibility to scale up in other Voice Focus Countries would be very much appreciated.
- ELIGIBILITY CONSORTIUM
Q: Consortium partners of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation “Dialogue and Dissent” Strategic Partnership are ineligible for funding from Voice. Does this also include local/overseas programme partners, or the consortium partners based in the Netherlands only?
A: Consortium Partners of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation “Dialogue and Dissent” Strategic Partnership are ineligible for funding from Voice whether as a lead applicant or a co-applicant. Overseas or local programme sub-partners or sub-grantee can apply, but only for projects that are not funded by the Strategic Partnership.
Q: Would it be possible for a government agency to apply, even in a consortium?
A: A government agency is not eligible to receive funds from Voice. The applicant (and all consortium members) must by non-governmental organisations, although we recognise that (local) governments can be an ally for positive change.
Q: Can the consortium include a private sector actor such as a research or communications firm?
A: Consortium Members may be a private sector actor, however profits cannot be derived from Voice grants nor can the proposed grant fund commercial services, investments or other commercial activities.
Q: Can we create partnership or consortium with Oxfam Novib or Hivos to apply for a grant?
A: Oxfam Novib and Hivos are contracted to manage Voice and can never be a consortium member in an application for a grant within Voice.
Q: What if the consortium is a group of new actors? Will they be disqualified based on experience even when as individuals they have been working on the issues informally?
A: The lead applicant of a consortium must be a legally registered not-for-profit civil society or community-based organisation with an operational bank account in the applicant’s name. Other consortium members may be informal groups, movements or unregistered organisations.
- ASSESMENT OF PROPOSALS
Q: Will Voice seek to approve projects in different geographical areas, and covering all target groups? Or doesn't that play any role in the selection process and will the highest scoring proposals be approved regardless of their region/country/target group.
A: In principle the best applications are funded by Voice. However we always seek a balanced distribution. This will be depending on the specific goal of the call for proposals and the applications made within that call.
Q: How competitive is the call? Could you give more information on what is the funding ceiling is for the call for proposals or how many projects you expect to be approved? And what is the range of expected project budgets?
Since this is the first call for proposals it is hard to foresee what to expect. For 2016 we have a budget of one million EURO that we are looking allocate within this first call for proposals. But all is depending on the proposals that we will receive. We could decide to adjust the budget when we feel the need for that. We expect that most of the budget will be allocated to bigger grants.
Q: Could you outline the assessment process?
A; The assessments will always be done in two layers. For country calls the assessment will be done in country. The first assessment will be done by the country team of Voice and then by the country or regional director of Oxfam Novib or Hivos. For global calls the assessment will be done by the Voice Coordination Team in The Hague and then by the Voice programme manager.
Q: What can be a proposed start date for the projects? Is January 2017 okay?
A: The assessment of the proposals will be finished by the end of November 2016. We are expecting most proposals will suggest the implement their projects within 3 months.
Q: When will results of the applications be announced?
A: All applicants will receive the results of their application within 6 weeks after the closing date of the call for proposals.
Q: Will the awarded grants be published?
Yes, a list of the grants that are accepted will be published. An exception will be made for grants that have requested and received confidential treatment, because of safety issues.
Q: As for the size and duration of INNOVATE AND LEARN GRANT, the website says Max 200K, Max 24 months. On the other hand, the call for proposal PDF says 25,000 to 200,000 Max 12 months. Could you please clarify the size and duration of INNOVATE AND LEARN GRANT.
A: In general Innovation and Learn grants can be implemented for a maximum of 24 months. However, for the 1st Call for Proposals, the maximum implementation period is 12 months so as to encourage learning which can be applied to the remainder of Voice.
Q: Is it possible for an organisation to be part of 2 applications. For example in one application as the lead applicant and in the other application (for another region) as implementing partner?
A: Organisations can apply for multiple grants, whether this is in a consortium or not. This can be within the same grant type and even within the same call for proposal, but also within all future calls for proposals.
Q: Can we submit a project that will be co-financed by another donor? Could Voice award a cover of for example 50% of the entire project?
A: Voice can provide a grant to co-fund a project that meets the other requirements of the call for proposals.
Q: Our partner in Kenya applied for the HIVOS call: making all voices count. They are still waiting for the outcome, but would they be able to submit a similar application to this call for proposals?
A: Yes, that is possible. But if funding by one of the two organisations is approved, the application will need to be updated. For future calls for proposals we will add a question in the application form about applications that are submitted with other donors.
Q: Can the application only be submitted in English?
A: For this first global call within the Innovate and Learn grants, the application can only be submitted in English. For future calls for proposals we will accept English or French and for smaller grants even local languages. The languages allowed to be used for applications will be decided and communicated per call for proposals.
- LEARNING & INNOVATING
Q: This question is about ‘importing’ innovative methods to test. For instance in one area an organization has used innovative methods. A CSO in another area knows about this and wants to test and try these themselves. The outcomes will be interesting for the organizations in both areas, and one learning organization makes use of the innovative approach of another. We ask because the proposal format seems to ask only about one organization, its learning capacity and the dissemination of what has been learnt within the same organization.
A: An application can learn from innovation from within one organisation or between organisations. For consortium applications, we ask that each consortium member to provide an “organisational background” using the template found within the application format.
Q: What is the scale of dissemination required? Is it only for the organization itself and the ‘surrounding’ target group, or can it also be: making it known to the world, or spreading it over the 10 Voice countries, or spreading it within networks of target groups, or…?
A: The scope of the dissemination of the findings is dependent upon the objectives of the project and the needs of the target audience.
Q: Would you kindly clarify, what exactly is meant by "programming"? is this only IT and other technology-related programming, or could it be policy-related programming too, which, e.g. informs advocacy activities of civil society?
Programming in the referred text refers to all type of programming, the designing and planning of a project or programme. "Implementing innovative programming" therefore refers to strategies, approaches, methodologies, and tools that are innovative. Technology can be part of that but not necessarily. Innovative means not necessarily new but in a different, creative or new way addressing issues.
Q: We would like to clarify precisely what the Learn and Innovate Grant is designed to fund. Your website states that the grant is designed to help applicants ‘document, review, analyse, research and test their programmes, approach and/or methodology’. Can I clarify if the Leaning from Innovation grant includes the actual implementation of activities (i.e. service delivery)? Are applicants being asked to test/evaluate a new innovation by implementing it? Or are they asked only to learn from a strategy/approach that has already been innovated, prior to the commencement of the project cycle? In other words, does the grant ask applicants to learn and innovate (as its title would suggest), or is it evaluation-only?
A: In general this grant type could include all the options mentioned. This grant is not for the implementation of the approach per sé. We are looking for learning trajectories to learn from innovation that has taken or is taking place. Some implementation could take place, e.g. to test some adaptations or test the approach or methodology for a different audience / target group. It is not evaluation-like, but should go deeper. Think of learning by doing in different or specific circumstances, or a research to understand what works when and how, but building on the local success or specific experience.
Q: Speaking about the learning aspect of a grant. To what extend should this be research based?
First of all this depends on how you would identify research. Research for Voice, but also learning could be many things. It is important that an applicant can describe how they see learning and research. It may be including a university as a project partner, but it could also be an assessment of why a certain approach of project was a success or failure.
Q: The Voice programme facilitates linking and learning. Looking at this call for proposals and the application form the focus seems to be on independent learning. Could you explain how you see this?
Since this is the first call for proposals is it hard to predict what the proposals will be focussing on. We would first like to review the proposals and see if linkages can be made. We do understand that linking and learning should not always be designed and will discuss this with the grantees. For future calls for proposals we will add a question in the application form about how and with what type of organisations grantees would like to link and learn with.
Q: The duration of the projects awarded with a grant can have a life span of 12 months. Learning and innovation usually takes longer. Can the outcomes be integrated in an application for a grant in a next call?
Yes, that can very well be the case. We will however always look at the context analysis and needs of the programme at that moment. It is not said that a second application will be rewarded.
- FUTURE CALLS FOR PROPOSALS
Q: Is there an application format for organisations seeking grants under the "Influence grant?" The format available on the website seems to be tailored to the "Innovate and Learn" Grants.
A: This call for proposals is limited to learning from innovation. In the future Calls for Proposals will be published related to Empowerment and Influencing programming. All future Calls for Proposals will be published on www.voice.global
Q: When is the call for proposal for the Influencing Global grant expected to be launched?
A: This call for proposals is designed to enable learning from innovation. Future Calls for Proposals will be related to Empowerment and Influencing programming. In-country Calls for Proposals (for programming related to only one of the Voice focus countries) will be announced annually, with the first in-country Calls for Proposals expected before the end of 2016. Global Calls for Proposals will be announced on occasion. All Calls for Proposals will be based upon ongoing country contextual and Voice programming analysis. All future Calls for Proposals will be published on www.voice.global
Q: There are some eligibility criteria listed on the website in connection to the Learning and Innovation Grant call. Will the same criteria apply to the other funding streams or whether it is likely to differ? More specifically, in the eligibility criteria it states that “this Call for Proposals is only open to organisations with a maximum annual turnover of €2 million” – for our organisation this would rule us out in applying but would look to support partners in their applications. We are interested to know whether this same criteria would relate to the Influencing stream?
A: The Learn from Innovation Call for Proposals is designed to enable small and medium-sized organisations to document, review, analyse, research and test your programming, approach and/or methodology. These organisations usually do not have the resources to capture and stimulate learning of these methods. Therefore, the criteria related to limiting the maximum turnover is only for the call for proposals. Future Calls for Proposals may target different organisation for different reasons and will be based upon ongoing country contextual and Voice programming analysis.
- INFORMATION & CONTACT
Q: Please inform me of the dates and venues for learning sessions about VOICE activities and programs. I was not able to find that on your web site.
A: Voice will publish a Calendar outlining expected future Calls for Proposals.
Q: Could you provide us please with the addresses of the country offices of HIVOS/ OXFAM NOVIB? We would like to inform our partner organizations in the ten VOICE countries to introduce or present themselves. Is it also possible to provide a contact person or an e-mail?
A: Unfortunately not all of the Country Teams have been recruited at this time. Very shortly, we expect to have all contact information available on our website. For now, you may direct them to www.voice.global or to email@example.com
Q: How can the country teams be contacted?
A: Voice focus country teams are in the process of being recruited. All contact information will be posted on our website in due course.
Q: Will Voice have a newsletter or notification system for new calls for proposals?
A: Yes. Please keep an eye on the website. Signing up for this will be possible shortly.