The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) bilateral programmes help support reform in the Western Balkans by seeking to create real, measurable outcomes in support of the UK government’s policy goals. Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are at the heart of UK foreign policy. The Bilateral Programme Fund (BPF) and Bilateral Programme Budget (BPB) have been created to support these priorities. Bilateral Programme Fund replaces previously known Diplomatic Influence and Values Reuniting Europe Fund.
On behalf of the FCO, the British Embassy Podgorica has opened a call for BPB and BPF project bid submissions for the next financial year (April 2016 to March 2017). We seek project proposals in line with the objectives outlined below.
Grants are awarded to public institutions, local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or other organisations that have displayed organisational skills and trustworthiness. Project bids are evaluated and approved for funding by the Programme Board in London. All Bilateral Programme Fund projects must clearly demonstrate how they:
- Support the priorities
- Deliver value for money (VfM)
- Meet OECD criteria for Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding
- Aim to complete 90% ODA spend by the end of December 2016
We are interested in projects that focus on:
- Political, economic reform and rule of law interventions to help Montenegro meet the standards of Euro-Atlantic integration
- Promoting effective functioning of democratic institutions, enabling reforms, building institutional & administrative capacity, and/or promoting greater accountability and transparency
- Addressing the causes of discrimination and violence against vulnerable groups to ensure their inclusion, equality before the law, and participation in political and public affairs, in accordance with fundamental international human rights standards
- Encouraging better informed public discourse through advancing freedom of expression and professional standards in the media
Irrespective of the project priority area, all projects must meet the following quality criteria:
Sustainability of the project’s results
The impacts of a project should last beyond the life of the project itself. It must be clearly stated which of the project outputs/impacts are sustainable beyond the life of the project and how this sustainability is going to be achieved in the course of the project.
Strong buy-in of the key beneficiaries/stakeholders of the project
A thorough analysis of the project beneficiaries/stakeholders should be carried out during the preparation of a project, including consultations with the key beneficiaries/stakeholders. It should be clearly stated in the project proposal:
(1) who the key beneficiaries/stakeholders of the future project are and
(2) the level of their support and buy-in to the project. We may require documentary evidence of this support.
Strategic impact for Montenegro
All projects, irrespective of whether they are carried out on a national or local level, should have a strategic impact on the development of a particular area.
Clarity of project proposal
Proposals must make clear that they are adding value to, and not duplicating other donor activities. Project purpose must be specific, measurable, ambitious but achievable, realistic and time bound (S.M.A.R.T); a SMART project purpose is essential for us to endorse a bid. The project purpose must be supported with clear outputs and measurable milestones, and project activities must be directly linked to the specific outputs. The budget proposal must show reasonable activity costs and demonstrate value for money practice.
Timing and forms
To apply for FCO funding, interested organisations must submit a project proposal and a completed activity based budget to the Embassy’s Project Section by 9am local time on 18th of February 2016, sent by email. Documents should be sent in their original format (MS Office).
Successful applicants will implement their projects from April 2016 until end February 2017. All payment requests should be finalised in the first week of March 2017, so please plan accordingly.
Approval, contract and reporting
If the project is approved, the applicant will be given two copies of the contract, outlining the conditions of the grant. One signed copy must be returned to the British Embassy Podgorica.
The Embassy will require monthly financial reports and quarterly project progress reports from implementers. The first payment will be made upon the receipt of monthly financial report. When the project has been completed the implementer shall prepare and send a final report to the Embassy within the period specified in the contract.
Please submit your concept bid with the subject line:
- (Name of your organisation) BPB 2016-17 project proposal (for projects between £5,000 and £30,000)
- (Name of your organisation) BPF 2016-17 project proposal (for projects between £30,000 and £80,000)
The minimum size of the project proposals that are reviewed for BPB is £5,000 and BPF is £30,000. Projects spanning up to 3 financial years (1 April -31 March) are permitted, however funding for subsequent years is not guaranteed. We regret that we are unable to fund academic courses; charitable activities; commercial activities; infrastructure or construction projects; humanitarian aid. Co-financing and partnership frameworks to support the broader engagement of a project can strengthen bids. If you would like some advice or guidance in advance of the next call for bids, please contact us. Only successful bidders will be contacted.