Call for concept notes - Shiraka Programme

Call for concept notes 2023 for a project(s) focusing on creating local economic development opportunities that foster green growth and empower youth and women in their local communities.  

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Jordan is soliciting concept notes for its Shiraka Programme Fund.  In Arabic, Shiraka means partnership. With the Shiraka programme, the Netherlands supports societal development in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. The social contract between government and citizens is the main focus. Shiraka focuses on the involvement of civilians in governance and the service delivery of governments towards citizens. In Jordan the Shiraka Programme has worked with local organisations to support initiatives that are focused on local economic development. 

In the newly adopted Multi-Annual Country Strategy 2023-2026 of the Netherlands in Jordan, the Shiraka programme will continue to be the innovation hub of the Dutch portfolio and create and promote local income generating activities at the grassroot/community level, testing different approaches and learning lessons that can feed into the rest of the programming. Shiraka will be the tool to stimulate innovation and creativity throughout and across policy objectives. Shiraka will be utilised to experiment new ideas, engage in special dialogues and provide space for interventions that combine both governance and developmental elements.

We invite concept notes for the topics below, please read the explanation and eligibility criteria carefully.

General information

We are looking for (a) new project(s) to be implemented under the Shiraka Programme Fund. The project(s) should focus on creating local economic development opportunities that foster green growth and empower youth and women in their local communities.

Goals, outcomes and priorities

The goal is to achieve economic development (i.e., income generating) opportunities in local communities that foster green growth. By doing so, innovative approaches should be identified and pursued to create green jobs, promoting green business models, improve sustainable livelihoods in poorer or remote communities and empower youth and women.

Green jobs are defined by the International Labour Organisation as “…decent jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. Green jobs help improve energy and raw materials efficiencies; limit greenhouse gas emissions; minimize waste and pollution; protect and restore ecosystems; support adaptation to the effects of climate change.” 1

Where possible, the use of nature-based solutions (e.g., for sustainable land use management and conservation practices) and solutions supportive to strengthening biodiversity is encouraged. 

Measuring progress, learning from the innovative approach will be key factors of success. The project will therefore establish a baseline with qualitative and/or quantitative data and will measure progress on the agreed basis.


Alignment with the Netherlands programmes in Jordan

Addressing climate change is an integral part of the Netherlands’ Multi-Annual Country Strategy (MACS) 2023-2026 for Jordan. In our efforts, we closely cooperate and coordinate with the Government of Jordan. The Netherlands will provide support to Jordan to achieve its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) climate ambitions. Specific mitigation measures that the Netherlands will continue to contribute to energy efficiency in the water sector, nature inclusive solutions in agriculture and investment in renewable energy. The Netherlands will contribute to adaptation by reducing water use through the promotion of water and climate smart agriculture and by making new water sources available through desalination, rainwater harvesting and treating wastewater. The Netherlands will also support exploring innovative green finance options. The Netherlands is keen to identify new and innovative approaches, closely linked to our interventions in the water, private sector development and agriculture sectors. With this call for proposals, the Netherlands aims to incorporate considerations of climate change impacts (including climate adaptation) to achieve local economic development opportunities that foster green growth.

Reaching vulnerable groups, including refugees and host communities, women and youth, and having their needs at heart, is centre stage in the Netherlands’ strategy. During the design phase, the project should be finetuned towards the greatest possible impact in terms of empowering women and youth.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants should be local non-governmental and non-profit organisations. Consortia of organisations are also allowed and encouraged to apply.
  • Organisations need to have a proven track record in the field that they apply for, either based on the organisation’s history of interventions or the individuals that will be working on the proposed project.
  • The proposed budget is realistic and cost-effective; and the remuneration of individual managers and board members of an applicant must be cost-effective, and in reasonable proportion to the seniority of their position and to the organisation’s size and complexity. The maximum overhead allowed is 7% of the total budget.
  • The proposed activities are only implemented in Jordan.
  • Duration of the project must be at least 2 years and maximum 3 years.
  •  Requested budget can range from 800,000 to 1,400,000 EUR.  
  • Charitable activities, research studies, academic courses, workshops/training abroad and equipment are ineligible for funding.

Framework and instructions for the Shiraka Programme Fund

  • Project must relate to Embassy themes mentioned earlier in this document.
  • Project must avoid duplications and create synergies with any existing Dutch funded activities and interventions, and other donors.
  • Project must be aligned with or supporting policies of the Government of Jordan, such as the Economic Modernization Vision, and encouraged to work closely with relevant ministries or municipalities.
  • Preference for projects which generate innovations, which will have important impact and have the potential for scaling up.
  • Gender sensitivity, optimising equal opportunities for young men and women, refugees and vulnerable individuals are cross-cutting themes for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The project must clearly show the integration of these themes, wherever possible.

How to apply?

Applicants are asked to fill out the below 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, including their innovative character
  • Explanation of track record of implementing organisation
  • Indication of expected results and how these will be monitored and reported
  • A programme risk paragraph
  • A preliminary budget in Excel format 

If eligible, organisations can apply by sending an e-mail with both the application form and concept note to no later than Sunday 26th March 2023 by 10:00 AM Amman time

The subject line of the email should include the name of the applying organisation and fund you are applying to: Call for Concept Notes Shiraka 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 concept notes is split up into two 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 (excluding the budget) will be excluded. 

Only qualified bidders will be notified within 60 days following the announced deadline and those organisations will be asked to hand in a full proposal. Unsuccessful applicants will also be notified within 60 days; unfortunately, no further correspondence regarding unsuccessful applications is possible. 

In the second round, a final selection will be made by the Embassy. The Embassy reserves the right to cancel the call for concept notes and/or not to select any of the concept notes submitted.

Application Form Template

Please use the template below to submit your application.