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British Embassy in Ashgabat calls for project bids

The British Embassy in Ashgabat is now accepting project proposals for the 2019/2020 financial year (1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020).

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The British Embassy in Ashgabat is now accepting project proposals for the 2019/2020 financial year (1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020). Successful projects will be funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This year the Embassy wants to support projects in Turkmenistan with concrete objectives and real, measurable policy outcomes that:

  • strengthen human rights and democracy, justice and the rule of law

  • support regional stability, security and good governance, reducing the potential for conflict

  • promote economic development and sustainable growth; promote conditions for open markets, improve the business environment and promote investment

  • contribute to the empowerment of women, girls and people with disabilities; support inclusiveness and reduce gender inequality

  • reduce opportunities and incentives for corruption and fraud; support accountability and transparency

We also welcome projects co-funded by other organisations/donors.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible, your organisation or agency must be a legal entity, an international organisation, a not-for-profit or commercial company, a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) or governmental organisation or academic or research institution, and must in addition demonstrate that it has:

  • a proven record of successful implementation and delivery of official development assistance projects in Turkmenistan

  • preferably previous experience in working with international agencies/organisations/donors (we may ask for reference letters)

  • proof that it is legally registered in Turkmenistan

  • sufficient technical, financial, human and logistical capacity to deliver the proposed project

  • the capacity to deliver at least 85% of the proposed project activity by mid-December 2019.

Bidding guidance

The selection process will be competitive, open to all who meet the criteria, fair and transparent. All proposals must be submitted using the appropriate project proposal form (A or B) and a fully developed activity-based budget with a financial breakdown on an Excel spreadsheet.

Project Proposal Form A should be used for projects between £10,000 and £60,000 or the equivalent in local currency or US Dollars using the FCO corporate exchange rate

Project Proposal Form B should be used for smaller scale, high-impact, one-off or exploratory projects up to £10,000 or the equivalent in local currency or US Dollars using the FCO corporate exchange rate. These might include for example:

 * flight costs to allow participants to attend a conference in the UK or the wider Central Asia region
 * a short workshop on a key area of work
 * a one-off study/expert visit to determine if there is scope for a larger programme of work that will deliver change in our priority areas 
 * support for an inward or outward visit to develop cooperation and capacity in a priority area
 * support for technical assistance or training for host government authorities or local NGOs 
 * provision of specialist expertise to host government or local organisations to build capacity or provide assistance in priority areas
  • applicants must complete the appropriate form and associated budget in English. We will not be able to consider proposals submitted in other formats and languages

  • project implementers need to break down all activity costs into components so that it is clear how they are made up and which month each payment is due. You should provide as much detail as possible, e.g. figures for a workshop should be broken down into costs for the venue, catering, travel costs, etc

  • projects will be funded for a single financial year running from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, with no expectation of continued funding beyond this period

  • all project activities must be completed by 29 February 2020

  • costings and budgets should be in the currency that you bank in (and from which you will therefore make payments)

  • as a rule, project funding should not be used to procure capital goods, IT or other equipment as project implementers are generally expected to provide these items themselves

  • the combined total of management fees, overheads and administration costs (rent, project management, bookkeeper rates, utilities, communications, stationery, bank charges, etc.) should not exceed 10% of the overall project budget. Please note that 10% is not a target, but a limit. Management fees, if any, should be reflected as a fixed sum and not as a percentage of the budget

  • It is a contractual requirement that all successful project implementers must submit regular progress and financial monitoring reports to the Embassy, as well as final project completion and financial reports once the project has ended.

  • The Embassy does not routinely make advance payments to project implementers.

  • The final payment to project implementers will not be made before the Embassy receives a project completion report and is satisfied that the project has been delivered and completed satisfactorily.

Selection criteria and bids assessment

All project proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • alignment with the thematic priorities and outcomes. Does the project purpose describe the intended change it will bring about (not just a list of activities) in Turkmenistan? Does the proposal demonstrate clearly how it will contribute to delivery of the Embassy’s strategic project priorities?
  • buy-in of the key beneficiaries/stakeholders of the project. An analysis of the project beneficiaries/stakeholders should be carried out during the preparation of the project, including consultation with the key beneficiaries/stakeholders. The project proposal should make clear who the key beneficiaries/stakeholders are and the level of their support for the project. The embassy may require documentary evidence of this support
  • project outcomes that are measurable, realistic, impactful and achievable within the funding period
  • project design that includes clear monitoring and evaluation procedures
  • sustainability, demonstrating that project benefits continue after the funding ends. Are the stated assumptions on sustainability too optimistic? How realistic is it that the changes will continue after the funding runs out? Applicants must clearly state which of the project outputs/outcomes are sustainable beyond the life of the project and how this will is going to be achieved in the course of the project
  • risk and financial accountability procedures. Project implementers need to demonstrate how they would mitigate potential risks to project delivery. The aim is not to discourage projects with a high-level of risk, but to provide assurance that risk is being managed systematically and escalated appropriately when necessary
  • the organisation’s safeguarding policies to ensure the protection of beneficiaries
  • value for money. Have costs been reduced as far as possible? Will the project deliver the best product for the best price? Will the project support and deliver against our objectives?

Timing

  • To apply for British Embassy funding organisations must submit completed applications to Eldar Latypov eldar.latypov@fco.gov.uk, the Embassy’s Project Officer, by 30 April 2019.

Additional guidance and documentation

Published 28 March 2019