Grant Making

A. Application Requirements and E-Application Platform 
B. CSOs Eligibility and Partnership Arrangements 
C. GPSA Grant Funding Amounts
D. Focus Areas of GPSA Grants
E. Selection Criteria Questions
A. Application Requirements and E-Application Platform 

1) Does the application platform offer the chance to edit your application, or is it a “one time enter + submit”? 

Yes, you will be able to save your application as a draft and to submit it only when you’re ready. Please visit www.worldbank.org/gpsa and click on the link to the Global Call for Proposals. From there, click on the link to the GPSA E-Platform, which contains all the information required to prepare your proposal. 

 

2) What are the administrative documents required for this project application? 

Please visit http://www.thegpsa.org/sa/about/grant-making-process to download the Application Guidelines. You can also find a list of the required documents by downloading Part 1 of the Application: Proposal Basic Information. 

 

3) Would CSOs be disqualified for sending proposals only in the [name of country] language? 

All applications, without exception, must be submitted in English. We do not have the capacity to translate proposals from many different languages to English, as would be needed to allow the Roster of Experts to review them. Organizations can work off-line in their local language and get their own proposals translated before uploading them into the competition platform.

 
B. CSOs Eligibility and Partnership Arrangements 

4) My country is not listed among the ‘opted-in’ countries. Is my country eligible? Can I submit a proposal? 

No, only CSOs from opted-in countries are eligible to submit proposals for this Call. Several countries in all regions across the world are in the process of opting in. Those countries that have opted in by the time of the next Call for Proposals will be included at that time. 
 

5) Can more than one organization pair up in a joint proposal? 

Proposals should be submitted by ONE organization (the applicant CSO). The partnership/coalition scheme can be described in the proposal, but for operational reasons it is only the applicant which would be the recipient of GPSA grant funding and thus the one fiduciary responsible for the proposal’s funds, should it be selected.  The GPSA allows on-granting between the main applicant and partner/mentee CSO(s).
 
More information about partnership arrangements can be found in the Application Guidelines, in Parts 2 and 3 of the Application Form available at the GPSA website. 
 
 

6) In the case of a CSO legally established in one of the eligible countries could an international CSO participate as a partner (not being the main applicant)?

Yes, international CSOs may partner with the applicant CSO, but it is the latter, legally established in one of the participating countries which submits the proposal as the executing organization, and which will be the recipient of GPSA grant funding should the proposal be selected. 
 
More information about partnership arrangements can be found in the Application Guidelines, in Parts 2 and 3 of the Application Form available at the GPSA website. 
 
 

7) What entities and from what regions/countries can be the partners of the main applicant? What I understood is that they must be from the same countries that have opted in. Given the context of civil society in our country, it is doubtful that one local organization can partner only with other local organization for capacity building activities or mentoring activities. So, please clarify the eligibility of the partners. 

While the main applicant must be a legal entity in one of the GPSA participating countries, partner(s) may be from other regions/countries. Please refer to the guidance included in the Proposal Budget for more information about partnership schemes and other allowable budget categories (e.g. consultants).
 

8) Would the GPSA allow a project in which the project management structure is composed of a consortium of international non-governmental organizations; or various stakeholders who have decided that together the project would be more effective which in turn will work with grassroots organizations in the country. This set up would be led by one clearly identified and registered organization in the country which has opted-in. Would the GPSA allow/authorize a project based on such a project management structure? 

The GPSA encourages applicants to partner with one or more partner or mentee CSOs; as such, the consortium arrangement would be acceptable. Only the main applicant CSO would be the potential recipient of grant funding. The GPSA allows on-granting between the main applicant and partner/mentee CSO(s).
 
More information about partnership arrangements can be found in the Application Guidelines, in Parts 2 and 3 of the Application Form available at the GPSA website. 
 

9) Can one organization be both an applicant and a partner in a different project?

Yes.
 
 

10) Is there a limit of participating partners in a certain project? 

No.
 

11) The call for proposals states, ‘CSO networks based and operating in’. Can an organization apply if the organization operates in one of the designated participating countries, but has legal status in the United States?

Only CSOs with legal status in one of the participating countries can apply to the GPSA. In addition, the applicant CSO must comply with the following requirements related to management autonomy: 
 
(i) Prepare the Proposal Budget on the basis of the organization’s local budget only. 
(ii) Confirm that the organization manages its budget with autonomy (financial autonomy). The use of GPSA funds is restricted to the activities included in the proposal budget, should the proposal be selected.
(iii) The organization has a local bank account in the GPSA “opted-in” country in which it has legal status, and is authorized to receive grant funding directly from the World Bank, should the proposal be selected. 
(iv) The main applicant has a representative that is authorized to sign a grant agreement on its behalf with the World Bank, should the proposal be selected. 
 

12) It does not seem to indicate in the guidelines that we need to be a 501(C) 3 organisation. Can you confirm if this is the case?  

Applicant CSOs do not need to be US-registered nonprofit organizations. They are required to be legal entities in any of GPSA’s participating countries.

 

13)Are international NGOs which are registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau, that is, which have an approved FD1, eligible to apply for the GPSA?

Only NGOs registered as legal entities in the opted-in countries are eligible to apply. Please note that the applicant would be the recipient of GPSA funding should the proposal be selected, and therefore, GPSA's counterpart for the purposes of the grant legal agreement, including fiduciary arrangements.
 
 

14) We [an International NGO] are considering applying for the GPSA in a number of countries. My understanding is that this [International NGO] would be entitled to apply for the GPSA in more than one country. Can you confirm this? 

International NGO affiliates in the participating countries would be eligible to apply, insofar as they are legal entities in those countries. A multi-country proposal would be eligible as long as the main applicant is registered as a legal entity in any of those countries; in addition, the proposed activities must be aligned with the priority areas indicated in each one of the country call for proposals.
 
 

15) Does the application, in the above instance (International NGO with national affiliates) come from the International NGO or from the national affiliate? 

The national affiliate. The applicant CSO must be a legal entity in any of GPSA’s participating countries, as such organization is the one considered to be the recipient of GPSA grant funding, and thus subject to fulfilling fiduciary requirements should the proposal result selected. 
 
In addition, the applicant CSO must comply with the following requirements related to management autonomy: 
 
(i) Prepare the Proposal Budget on the basis of the organization’s local budget only. 
(ii) Confirm that the organization manages its budget with autonomy (financial autonomy). The use of GPSA funds is restricted to the activities included in the proposal budget, should the proposal be selected.
(iii) The organization has a local bank account in the GPSA “opted-in” country in which it has legal status, and is authorized to receive grant funding directly from the World Bank, should the proposal be selected. 
(iv)The main applicant has a representative that is authorized to sign a grant agreement on its behalf with the World Bank, should the proposal be selected. 
 

16) Can a similar project be implemented simultaneously in two countries (for example Bangladesh and Moldova)? Can an organization submit more than one proposal for different countries?

Yes, as long as each project is aligned with the priorities defined in each country call for proposals. A CSO may submit more than one proposal for different countries as long as it complies with the eligibility requirements set out by the GPSA. The applicant CSO must be a legal entity in any of the GPSA’s participating countries.

 

17) In the case of an international non-governmental organization which is operating in a country that has opted in but is currently in the process of being registered with the official authorities: (a) Would you allow this international non-governmental organization to respond to the call? And (b) Would it be possible for this international non-governmental organization to apply through another international organization which is being officially registered? 

 
The response is no, as the applicant organization must be a legal entity at the time of applying. (b) The recipient of GPSA funding must be the executing organization who will actually implement the project. Therefore, the INGO cannot apply through another organization, as it is the latter that is legally responsible before the GPSA and considered to be the executing organization. 
 

18) Are universities considered as professional organizations or research institutions?

Universities are considered research or academic institutions as long as they qualify as non-governmental or not-for-profit organizations.
 

19)As Joint Stock Company acting in the field of [name of field], can we submit an application for the GPSA grant?

The call for proposals is open to civil society organizations (CSOs) only, which are legal entities in GPSA’s participating countries. CSOs include legal entities that fall outside the public or for profit sector, such as non-government organizations, not-for-profit media organizations, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional organizations, labor unions, workers’ organizations, associations of elected local representatives, foundations and policy development and research institutes. 
 

20)Regarding the ‘proven track record in Social Accountability: how many years does this mean exactly? 

The organization should have at least 3 to 5 years of experience in this field. The Application Package includes a question in Part 1 about Track Record which refers to the projects or programs on social accountability implemented by the organization in the past 3 to 5 years; the applicant may also include up to 2 optional attachments in the e-application that provide evidence of the organization’s track record on social accountability. In addition, Part 1 requires the applicant to include at least 3 contact persons that can provide references about the organization’s institutional capacity and track record.

21) Could you please indicate in which form an international CSO not being legally established in one of the priority countries, could apply for a GPSA grant for “off-cycle capacity building and knowledge grants”? 

The Call for Proposals is open to proposals that fall under the definition of GPSA’s “Grants for Social Accountability Window” as defined in the Application Guidelines, and does not cover “off-cycle capacity-building and knowledge grants”. CSOs from GPSA participating countries may include capacity-building activities in their proposals. All grant applications must include a Knowledge and Learning (K&L) component.
 
Please refer to the Application Guidelines.
 

22) In the GPSA guidelines and FAQ, it is repeatedly stated that an applicant CSO must be a legal entity in the country for which is applying.  I work for an international NGO which is registered and headquartered in the United States.  Our country offices/programs are not separate national affiliates from the parent organization but all of them have the appropriate and documented legal status to operate as an international NGO in the countries in which they do.  Would my organization therefore be considered a legal entity in the countries in which we work?

If your organization considers submitting a proposal, this would have to be submitted by the national affiliate(s) in a country that has opted-in to GPSA. This national affiliate(s) would have to show proof of its legal status in such country. If one of them were to be selected for a grant, the national affiliate would become the grantee entering into an agreement with the World Bank and be the fiduciary responsible for the funds. Please refer to the Application Guidelines including section C on Eligibility Requirements.
 

23) My organization is a non-profit international inter-governmental organization and not a CSO as such. Are we eligible to apply?

Based on the information provided, the organization is not eligible to apply for a GPSA grant, given its profile as an inter-governmental organization. The call for proposals is open to civil society organizations (CSOs) only, which are legal entities in GPSA’s participating countries. CSOs include legal entities that fall outside the public or for profit sector. 

 

24) We have a local bank account as per the requirement of GPSA. However, as we have only recently registered with the Board of Investment, it will be a number of months before we are able to receive funds into that account.  At the moment, although we are legally registered here, we need to have funds remitted through our Head office in London. Would we be able to transfer funds from our London office to Dhaka, should we win the grant award?

The funds should flow to a bank account in the country of application itself. Nonetheless, disbursement for this Round of GPSA will take place only by June 2014 or thereafter. If you are considering to apply, please be confident that you have your account active for receiving funds by that time. Please ensure to clarify this issue, when submitting your proposal.
 

25)According to the proposal format the suggested project manager needs to be an existing staff – a condition which we find difficult to fulfill as we do not usually have staff who has sufficient free capacities to take on the management of a complex project of the size that is required under this call. Even if we identify someone now it is difficult to guarantee that he/she will definitely be available once the project is approved. What do we do if the person we identify is eventually not available? Can we replace him with someone else with the same profile? Could we also recruit someone new at that point?

There needs to be a project manager assigned at all times throughout the period after the project has been preselected for a grant, if this were the case. The project manager plays an important role in producing the necessary documentation to get the grant finally approved. As stated in the Guidelines, the GPSA prioritizes investing in the capacity of the local CSO. In line with this, the GPSA encourages organizations to work with their existing staff, so that as the project progresses, capacity and experience are built and kept within the CSO. Therefore, we would encourage you to search for a project manager within your organization’s existing staff. However, hiring or replacing a project manager is allowed.

26) My organization which is part of a worldwide confederation is planning to submit a number of applications for various countries. The guidelines state that you are requesting audited financial accounts. In some of our countries, accounts are not audited as this is done at the global level by headquarters but accounts are presented to the national governments. In this case, will you accept global audited accounts?

It is fine to present accounts that have been audited by the worldwide organization and not by an audit firm in the affiliate's country; however, please note that the financial statements used as the basis for preparing the proposal budget must be solely that of the affiliate and not those of the worldwide organization. If the proposal were selected, the affiliate organization would undergo a fiduciary assessment, which may result in a recommendation by the WB's fiduciary experts to request that financial statements corresponding to the grant be audited by an external firm for the project's duration. 

27) Would you recommend partnering with a larger, internationally recognized organization, or are local NGOs given equal consideration if they fit the grant criteria and have relevant experience and expertise, as well as the capacity to undertake a project of this scale?  

 
All CSOs (local and international) will be given equal consideration in the competition, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements. 
 

28) Assuming all partners are based in the same GPSA 'opted-in' country, is it acceptable that one or more partners are not yet legally registered? And if this is not acceptable, is it sufficient that they are in the process of obtaining legal registration? 

An 'implementing partner' CSO (other than the main applicant CSO) needs to exist at the time of implementation of the project. If the CSO partner is a newly established CSO, as with all partner CSOs in the proposal, a strong rationale must be provided for selecting that partner that explains the value-added of involving that partner.

 

29) Please further explain the difference between CSO's working in Partnerships (formally) and Networks (informally). 

In the case of Partnerships, partners must be identified in the proposal; both in the project team template, and in the budget. Usually, partners add value to the proposal and are responsible for implementing components. In this case, an implementation agreement will need to be signed between the main applicant and the partner(s). In the case of networks, the proposal can benefit from the experience of the members of the network, and they can be included in some activities. However, they have no responsibility in implementing the project activities. In this case, there is no need to sign an implementation agreement. 
 
C. GPSA Grant Funding Amounts

30) Could you please explain if there is a ceiling for the grant amount that can be requested to the GPSA in relation to the organization’s budget?

Indicative grant funding range is between US$400,000-US$800,000. Requests below this range will also be considered. Please refer to the Proposal Budget guidance for more information. 
 
In addition to the above indicative range, the requested amount broken down by year must be equal to or below the average annual budget of the last three years. The average amount requested by year will be taken as reference to check the proposal’s compliance with this criterion.
 
The rationale of this funding cap is to encourage CSOs to broaden their funding base and to avoid situations where GPSA funding becomes the organization’s main source of funding. For example:
 
  • An organization with an average budget of $100,000 may request up to $100,000 per year or 50% of the projected average annual budget for the proposal’s duration, adding to $200,000 for the organization’s total projected annual budget [= average total funding from other sources + GPSA funding] .
  • An organization with an annual budget average of $150,000 may request up to $150,000 per year or 50% of the projected annual budget average, adding to $300,000 for the organization’s total projected annual budget.
 
For smaller CSOs lacking the fiduciary capacity to manage large grant amounts, GPSA also offers the possibility of putting forth a proposal under a "mentoring" arrangement. In this case, a smaller CSO (the "Mentee") would partner with a larger, well-established CSO (the "Mentor"), whereby the latter would be the main applicant and the recipient of GPSA funding. On-granting arrangements with the Mentee(s) CSO(s) in such a case are allowable and encouraged. However, the Mentor organization should be a registered legal entity in one of GPSA participating countries. 
 
If your organization is a nascent organization with limited experience on social accountability, and has an idea or project that is aligned with the priority areas defined in one of the country calls for proposals, we suggest that you contact the World Bank Office in your country in order to seek assistance in looking for a Mentor-partner CSO that could be a good match with your organization. Alternatively, you could seek for partners outside your country that would complement in some way what your organization would like to implement. You should also check the list of GPSA Global Partners available at the GPSA website: www.worldbank.org/gpsa to look for a potential mentor. 

31) What percentage of the project is covered by the World Bank (what are the criteria)?

The GPSA may cover 100% of the project cost. However, requested amounts’ breakdown by year should not exceed 50% of the organization’s projected annual budget for the project’s duration. You should also check the guidance included in the Proposal Budget template which includes the criteria used to assess the proposal budget. See also answer provided to question above.
 
 

32) Funding amounts: Does the funding range represent the total envelop for [name of country] or what one CSO can get?

The funding range refers to available funding for CSOs’ projects, not to the total envelope for each country.
 

33) From your guidelines it is clear that the applying organization must be a legal entity based in one of the opted-in countries, but we could not find (financial) guidelines related to possible consortium partners from outside these countries or the percentage of the project budget that could be spent on non-opted-in country staff costs. Is it allowed to include NGO's or consultants from outside the opted-in countries in the project budget?

Please refer to the Proposal Budget guidance for an explanation of the allowable budget categories, including for operating costs (staff, etc), consulting, training, goods and on-grants. Funding for international staff, other NGOs and consultants is allowable under the provisions included in the Proposal Budget guidance. 
 
 

34) Can we subcontract work? Should we readily indicate this in the proposal?

Yes. Allowable expense categories include international and national-based consultants (individuals or firms). Please refer to the guidance included in the Proposal Budget template for more information.

 

35) Will you be expecting us to do only this work in order for you to cover 50% of our organization budget? Can we actually hire more staff to manage this program?

GPSA grant funding is intended to support an organization’s specific project and not the overall organization’s budget, although institutional strengthening activities (which would benefit the organization as a whole, may also be included, as long as they are duly justified and linked to the organization’s capacity on social accountability. If your proposal requires hiring additional staff you may include this in the Proposal Budget. 
 
 

36) Will we be expected to report to Government what we are doing and account to them on financial expenditures?

Recipients of GPSA funding will be responsible for reporting on grants’ activity and financial progress to the World Bank only.
 
 

37) Can a CSO hire government officials or pay public institutions for service provision? 

No. GPSA grants follow World Bank fiduciary guidelines; procurement guidelines do not allow grant funds benefitting civil society organizations to be used for the purposes of hiring public officials or public institutions. 
 

38) In Part 1 (section 1.5) – applicants are asked to describe other funding sources including name of source, amount, planned/secured, and the portion with outside funding. What sort of auditing/reporting requirements there will be on additional funds?

None. Additional funds that are put into the project from elsewhere do not need to be audited. However, GPSA should be kept in the loop if any change occurs regarding the additional funding scheme. 
 

39) Can we allocate required budget for rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities without which they can't effectively participate? 

No, this is not allowed with GPSA funds.
 

40) The item 4, paragraph F of the Guidelines (Activities ineligible for GPSA funding) runs: "direct services, such as educational and health". Does this mean that the future project does not include provision of legal services and legal education or legal awareness raising activities for the target groups?

Provision of legal services is not eligible. Legal education and legal awareness raising activities can be eligible, as long as they are an intrinsic part of the social accountability mechanism you propose.
 
 
D. Focus Areas of GPSA Grants

41) Would it be acceptable for one organization to present two independent proposals on two different areas? For example, one project proposal on the topic of Institutional Development and another smaller project proposal on the topic of Quality of Education. 

There is no limit to the number of proposals that individual CSOs may submit. However, please keep in mind that this is an international competitive call for proposals, and as such country proposals enter in a competition with proposals received from other countries as well. 
 
 

42) If a certain project idea is not in partnership with the Ministry of [name of sector Ministry], and not related to [name of sector prioritized in the country call for proposals], is it eligible? Could we cover other areas/sectors, such as social assistance, justice, human rights?

The project should be aligned with at least one or more of the issues or sectors prioritized in the country call for proposals. Any other issues or sectors would be ineligible.
 

43) Is it feasible to explore alternatives offered by the GPSA to work in a province of a country?

CSOs from GPSA participating countries may propose to implement social accountability initiatives or programs at a national or sub-national level. Irrespective of the scope, activities must be aligned with the priorities defined in each participating country call for proposals. Please note that the GPSA supports efforts by CSOs to scale-up or replicate existing social accountability processes. If the proposal targets a specific sub-national area, you must explain why this area is targeted, and how the project would be replicated at a larger scale.
 

44) What if a problem raised by the project is relevant, but some government agencies are not interested in respecting the principles of "social accountability" because of "personal interests" of their heads? Consequently, they could pose insuperable barriers for the NGOs both at the beginning of the project and in the process of its implementation. What would an executor do in such a situation? 

Not all government agencies have to agree with the project. Nonetheless, there has to be at least 1 organization in the public sector that will use (need) the information to improve the governance environment. It is very important to properly identify this public sector organization, and to explain what the incentives are for it to act upon the citizens' feedback. 
 
 

45) The Application Guidelines state that area/component 3, the ‘Knowledge Platform’ offers a global space for facilitating the advancement of knowledge and learning on social accountability. How important is it to design a global space over a local space?

The GPSA program consists of 2 Components (different from a proposal's components): 1) funding (grants competition) and 2) a Knowledge Platform on social accountability. The GPSA Knowledge Platform is global in scope, meaning it aims to generate and share (existing) knowledge on social accountability work globally, so that everyone can learn about social accountability, what works and what doesn't. The GPSA asks each applicant to include a component in their projects that will focus on harnessing and capturing the knowledge generated by the project, so that this can be shared globally. The knowledge component in your proposal will (likely) pertain only to the local space, related to the project, but if you have ideas for the global Knowledge Platform of GPSA, these will be welcome.
 
 
E. Selection Criteria Questions

46) How does GPSA define Social Accountability?

Social accountability has received increasing attention across the development community in recent years. This includes a growing emphasis on beneficiary engagement in monitoring and assessing government performance—particularly in providing feedback on, and voicing demand for, improved service delivery—and thus contributing to greater development effectiveness. This kind of engagement—also referred to as social accountability—enables beneficiaries and civil society groups to engage with policymakers and service providers to bring about greater accountability and responsiveness to beneficiary needs.  
 

47) Would collaboration with policy-makers (ie. government) be an important consideration in the selection process?

Yes. For the GPSA it is critical that the information generated through social accountability mechanisms be used by public institutions as a basis for improving specific public services, programs and management processes. You will see that there are very concrete questions about this in the application template. We want to support social accountability mechanisms that work with autonomy but not in isolation from what public sector institutions are already doing to address governance and development problems. We consider this to be critical to foster change. Please note that public institutions can go beyond the Government or Executive branch. They may include Parliaments, Supreme Audit Institutions, Regulatory Agencies, Ombudsman, etc. 
 

48) Will the project assessment/evaluation be conducted on the experience of the leader or of all the participants? 

Proposals are assessed on the basis of several criteria and not just on the experience of the project’s “leader” or of other participants. Please refer to the Application Guidelines for more information on the selection criteria. Part 2 of the Application also includes information about “partnerships” within the grant proposals.
 

49)What is the maximum number of proposals that you will fund from each country?

There is no country allocation. Proposals from the 33 participating countries will compete on the basis of their technical quality. 
 

50) Will Government have veto power on the proposals?

No. They will have 10 days to make no-binding comments after proposals have undergone the technical review stage and a list of pre-selected proposals has been approved by the GPSA Steering Committee.
 

51) Who will evaluate the proposals? 

The first screening will be carried out by World Bank Country Offices to check applications’ alignment with country’s priority areas and applicants’ eligibility. Eligible applications will then undergo a technical review that will be carried out by a Global Roster of Experts. Please see the Application Guidelines for more information on the applications’ review process.