2021 Call for proposals Human Rights Fund and Shiraka Democracy Fund

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon is soliciting proposals for its Human Rights Fund and Shiraka Democracy Fund. The programmes aim to promote good governance, protect human rights and support meaningful change in Lebanon.

With this call for proposals the embassy would like to invite proposals for the topics below, please read the explanation and eligibility criteria carefully.

General information

This call for proposals combines funding from two specific funds at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: the Human Rights Fund and the Shiraka Democracy Fund. The below eligibility criteria apply for both funds:

  1. Organisation can only apply to one of these funds in this call for proposals. Organisations that submit a proposal for both funds will be excluded.
  2. Organisations need to have a proven track record in the particular field that they apply for, either based on the organisation’s history or the individuals that will be working on the proposed project.
  3. Gender equality and youth involvement are cross-cutting themes for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and should preferably be integrated in project proposals.
  4. The maximum remuneration of individual managers and board members of an applicant/ lead party and co-applicants must be in reasonable proportion to the seniority of their position and to the organization’s size and complexity.
  5. Applicants should be non-governmental and non-profit organisations. Consortiums of organisations are also allowed to apply.
  6. Preference will be given to organisations that are not already financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  7. Activities in the field of arts, culture and sports are unfortunately not eligible.
  8. The proposed activities are only implemented in Lebanon.

1. Human Rights Fund

Promoting and protecting human rights worldwide is a priority in the foreign policy of the Netherlands. The Dutch human rights policy in Lebanon focuses on three human rights priorities: Equal rights for women and girls, equal rights for LGBTI and freedom of expression and internet freedom. The aim of the Human Rights Fund is to support these priorities.

Eligibility criteria Human Rights Fund

Apart from the aforementioned general criteria, there are several specific eligibility criteria for the Human Rights Fund:

  1. Duration of the project is minimum two years and maximum three years.
  2. The total available budget for the 2021 human rights fund cycle is 800.000 EUR.
  3. Total project budget amounts to a minimum of 300.000 and maximum of 500.000 EUR.
  4. All organisations, both local and international, are eligible.
  5. Activities must relate to one of the following themes:
    • Freedom of expression and internet freedom
    • Equal rights for LGBTI
    • Equal rights for women and girls

2. Shiraka Democracy Fund

The Netherlands Fund for Regional Partnerships (NFRP) Shiraka supports sustainable transition in the MENA-region. The funds are intended for support initiatives of local organisations that contribute to lasting societal transformation.

Eligibility criteria Shiraka Democracy Fund

Apart from the aforementioned general criteria, there are several specific eligibility criteria for the Shiraka Democracy Fund:

  1. Duration of the project is minimum two years and maximum three years.
  2. The total project budget amounts to a maximum of EUR 300.000,-. Co-funded projects are also welcome to apply.
  3. Only local, Lebanese organisations are eligible or international organisations that have a local office and clear presence in Lebanon.
  4. Commercial and/or charitable activities cannot be supported through the fund.
  5. Activities must relate to one of the following themes:
    • Accountability, promoting transparency and free access to information; projects can focus for example on anti-corruption, countering fake news, the access to information law etc;
    • Political participation and representation, within this theme, there is a particular interest in project that focus on women and/or non-confessionalism;
    • Conflict resolution; within this theme, projects should focus on results that will or can lead to political change/reforms. As mentioned in the main criteria, projects focused on culture, arts or sports are not eligible.  

How to apply

Applicants are asked to fill out the attached application form and provide a concept note of the proposed activity of no more than 5 pages (excluding budget) in PDF-format. The concept note should at least contain the following topics:

  • Overview of the project and proposed activities
  • Explanation of track record of implementing organisation and/or staff
  • Estimated number of targeted beneficiaries, indication of expected results and how these will be monitored and reported
  • A preliminary budget

If eligible, organisations can apply by sending an e-mail with both the application form and concept note to bei-ic@minbuza.nl no later than Sunday April 18th 23:59 Beirut time. The subject line of the email should include the name of the applying organisation and which of the two funds you are applying to.(e.g. Call for proposals <name of Fund> <name of organisation>). The time when the email is received will be considered the time of submission. Any technical issues relating to electronic submission are at the risk of the applicant.

Selection procedure

The selection procedure for this call for proposals is split up into two different rounds. After this above mentioned deadline, the concept note together with the application form of each application will be assessed against the formal eligibility criteria and the priorities of the embassy. Please note that applications that are not fully completed or concept notes of more than 5 pages (excl. budget) will be excluded.

Successful bidders will be notified within 21 days following the announced deadline and these will be asked to hand in a full proposal. Unsuccesful applicants will also be notified within the same timeframe, unfortunately no further correspondence regarding unsuccessful applications is possible.

In the second round, for both funds five organisations will be asked to hand in a full proposal. Subsequently a final selection will be made on the basis of comparison by the embassy staff, where the embassy has full discretion.