Pristina Embassy: Call for proposals - MATRA for European cooperation Embassy programme 2020

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands invites non-governmental organizations to submit project proposals for the Matra Fund before the deadline of 7 November, 2019. Matra stands for maatschappelijke transformatie, meaning ‘social transformation’. It is part of our support to current and potential EU candidate countries and the countries of the Eastern Partnership in their attempts to fulfil conditions required by the EU accession processes (e.g. Copenhagen Criteria and/or Association Agreements with EU). The Matra Fund supplements the European Commission’s efforts and aims to help countries strengthen democracy and the rule of law, thus enhance stability.

The Dutch government attaches particular importance to the program, since it is all about reinforcing and promoting shared European values – values that connect European countries, bridging their cultural diversity. A strong and pluralist democracy under the rule of law, stable democratic processes and good governance are part of these values and of the agenda for the regions bordering on the European Union.

The Embassy in Pristina works on the basis of the following mission:

We work towards the Euro-Atlantic integration of a safe, prosperous, inclusive and democratic Kosovo that provides equal opportunities for its citizens as this forms the best guarantee for a mutual beneficiary relation with the Netherlands and the European Union.

What types of projects are eligible?

The Matra Programme is a demand-driven programme and therefore only supports target group initiatives. Our policy priorities and therefore, the project support is aligned with the mission statement. To be eligible for support, projects must promote the process of transformation in the following areas:

  1. Rule of Law

Your proposal should be in line with the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the European Reform Agenda, more specific Kosovo initiated and ongoing rule of law reforms. Overall, the project should focus on reforms that are part of the European Integration Reforms. Specific topics such as improving the functioning of the justice system, support to justice reforms, access to justice for citizens, and improving communication to the public are areas of interest for this Embassy.

  1. Good governance

Projects should directly improve governments service delivery to Kosovo citizens. The Embassy is focusing on the following policy fields: 1. Security, with a  focus on addressing root causes of violent extremism and radicalization; 2. Stability, with a specific focus on strengthening regional cooperation; 3. Strengthening of independent government oversight institutions and/or agencies (such as the Ombudsperson and the Anti – Corruption Agency).

Within these fields we give preference to projects that strengthen inclusiveness of the decision making process and connected to it, effective implementation. Strengthening cooperation between different stakeholders (national and local governments, civil society organisations, private sector and citizens) and a demand driven approach are general prerequisites. We specifically welcome initiatives that strengthen the role of women, both in decision making and effective implementation.

  1. Human rights [1]

We focus on strengthening the inclusion of different groups in society, with a special focus on the position of women and the LGBTI community. We also take proposal into consideration that focus on strengthening the role of media in regards to improving the accountability and transparency of the decision making process.

What are the minimum requirements?

  • Applications are only taken into consideration when the Embassy provided formats are used (Appendix A for the proposal and Appendix B for the budget overview. Please note that Appendix B contains an example of a project budget. Remove the example data and adjust the table as needed to your project)
  • Applications must be relevant to the specific Matra objectives as highlighted above.
  • The project needs to reinvigorate the local ownership of the issue that forms the business case / reason for the project.
  • The applicant should contribute to the project (financial or in kind). This needs to be specified clearly in the activities and budget overview.
  • The applicant must have a minimum yearly turnover of EUR 100.000 for at least three consecutive years.
  • The project has a maximum duration of 24 months.
  • When other donors are involved, you need to specify this in the application and budget forms. It needs to be clear which donor contribution goes to the different activities.
  • Beneficiary organisations need to provide a statement in which they underline their commitment

    to this project.

  • EUR 100.000 per project is our maximum support. Make sure the budget complies to the following minimum requirements. Use the enclosed budget template:
    • Not more than 30% of our contribution goes to salaries; for staff involved in the project (regular and contracted) provide information on the hours / percentage of the time,  that they are directly involved in the project activities and provide the hourly rate / wage for their involvement.
    • Not more than 10% of our budget contribution can be allocated to Administrative Costs (rent, utilities, office material, communication, bank fees). Only Administrative Costs directly involved in the project are eligible for financial support (ex. the proportion of the rental costs for the office space that is to be used directly for the project activities).
    • Not more than 10% of the budget can be used for study trips or tours. Please indicate in case of study tour why it is deemed necessary and specify why the location / country of destination is chosen.

Preference is given to proposals that

  • Are gender sensitive;
  • That take inclusiveness seriously and create equal access to project results for all groups in society. In this sense we encourage organisations to set up activities in areas where needs are higher, in some cases this means activities outside the capital;
  • That clearly states how the results will turn into sustainable improvements;
  • That are cost sensitive, whenever possible seek in kind contributions, use alliances with the business community, work with volunteers etc;
  • That use innovative ways to tackle issues (involve the private sector, use a broad coalition that share a common concern, make use of digital tools, have a clear media strategy).

Not eligible for funding under the Matra for European Cooperation Embassy Programme:

  • Humanitarian aid;
  • Commercial activities;
  • Business registered organisations;
  • Projects with a predominantly academic focus, i.e. feasibility studies, research etc.;
  • Projects that exclusively or largely include the delivery of goods or materials;
  • Infrastructural or construction projects;
  • Scholarships or education programmes;
  • Social programmes.

Co-financing with other donors is possible provided, when:

  1. That the applicant provides statements from the other donor(s) on their motivation to finance project activities.
  2. A clear, transparent description is given of the division of activities and how the different donors contribute to these activities;

The application procedure

  • The deadline for submitting project proposals is 7 November, 2019.The Embassy considers only proposals that are send with the Embassy provided formats (use Appendix A for the proposal and Appendix B for the budget overview);
  • Proposals must meet the minimum requirements;
  • Applications must be submitted to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo; at
  • Applications should be submitted by the project organisers themselves, though they may be assisted by third parties, such as Dutch NGO’s;
  • Applications should be submitted in the English language;
  • All documents submitted for the application must be signed by the applicant.

Approval, contract, payment and reporting

If the project is approved, the applicant will receive two copies of the contract, outlining the conditions of the grant. One copy must be signed and returned to the Dutch Embassy. Upon its receipt, the first instalment of the grant will be transferred.

The maximum duration is two years (24 months). The applicant is required to submit mid-term and final narrative and financial reports on the results achieved. The final narrative and financial reports are to be submitted within two months after the finalisation of the project. The report should describe activities carried out to date, activities still planned (if any), problems encountered, achievements, lessons learned, etc.

pon approval of these documents, the Embassy will pay the remaining instalment(s). The Embassy reserves the right to inspect the project accounts and activities at any time.

[1] It is possible that human rights projects will be funded by the Human Rights Fund