Accountability Fund Bhutan
The Accountability Fund was launched in 2016, and will also be available for new applications in 2017. The new fund is part of the Dutch government’s worldwide policy framework that aims to improve the lobbying and advocacy capacity of NGO’s. The objective of direct financing of CSOs by the Embassy through the Accountability Fund is organizational capacity development in the field of lobbying and advocacy, this in order to contribute to a strong and lively civil society which holds the public and private sector accountable.
Activities can be directed towards e.g. the mobilization of groups, changing behavior, networking, agenda setting, connecting local and national/international agendas, holding accountable the public and private sector and to changing or maintaining legislation. Inclusiveness is a priority; hence activities are preferably focused on capacity development of local organizations that target more vulnerable groups, including women.
Under the Accountability Fund*, the Embassy has a funding mechanism by which it can contribute to strengthening the lobbying and advocacy capacity of local NGO’s in Bhutan. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands seeks project proposals that focus on themes that are relevant in the Bhutanese context, in particular:
- Rural-urban inequality
- Climate change
- LGBT rights
*: a second delegated fund, the Small Scale Support Programme is only open for project proposals in India.
Applications will be assessed on their own merits, regardless of the location in Bhutan where the actions would take place.
The Embassy receives a large number of project applications, whereas the available budget is sufficient to support only a very limited number of projects. To ensure the application process happens in a transparent way, some guidelines are set. Organizations applying for funding must ensure that their proposals comply with the following baseline criteria:
- Project is specifically aimed at improving lobbying and/or advocacy capacity. Service delivery activities are not eligible for funding and will not be taken into consideration.
- The applicant must fulfil all legal obligations under Bhutanese law to receive the funds.
- The Accountability Fund is meant for local CSOs. Although collaboration with Dutch NGOs is possible, only Bhutanese CSO’s are eligible to be a funding partner and their capacity development will always be the main objective. Investments from the Accountability Fund will always target the local organization.
- Proposals are preferably multiannual and strategic to prevent fragmentation of funds.
- Applications can only be submitted in English, and in the format provided.
Projects that are non-eligible for funding under the Accountability Fund are the following:
- Service delivery type activities;
- Projects that exclusively or largely include the delivery of goods or materials
- Humanitarian aid;
- Activities that are primarily motivated by a commercial interest;
- Projects with a predominantly academic focus, i.e. feasibility studies, research, etc.
- Infrastructural or construction projects;
- Activities that are a repetition of previous projects;
In 2016 the Accountability Fund was launched via a tender procedure. The tender for 2016 is closed now. Information regarding how to apply for the available (uncommitted) budget for 2017 will be made available in the months ahead.