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Central America Programme Fund: Call for Bids 2017/18

The call for bids for the Central America Programme Fund 2017/18 is now open.


Central America Programme Fund

The call for bids for the Central America Programme Fund 2017/18 is now open, and initial bids are invited from implementers before 16 April 2017. Activity should look to support our objectives below in multiple countries in the region, though not necessarily all. Projects should look to start no earlier than June 2017 and 90% of spend should be complete by 31 December 2017. All project activity must be completed and invoiced by the end of March 2018.


The Foreign Office is calling for the submission of bids to work on its Prosperity agenda in Central America, with the aim of improving the business environment in the region and promoting economic development. We are looking for projects which deliver real, measurable outcomes in support of development in the country. Our priorities include helping authorities to tackle corruption, promoting infrastructure development and improving bureaucracy, as well as wider development analysis. Over time we expect these projects to create greater trade and economic openness, leading to opportunities for international companies.

Official Development Assistance

All expenditures must qualify as ODA. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is a term created by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to measure aid, with the promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective.


The overall aim of the Central America Regional Fund is to improve the business environment and promote economic development. For 2017/18 we are looking for projects which do one or more of the following:

  • Promote transparency and support anti-corruption efforts. Within this area, we are looking for projects which support the uptake and implementation of international transparency standards and initiatives. This includes public procurement, strengthening the judiciary and its ability to tackle corruption, and promoting/implementing rules developed by bodies such as the OECD. Geographical coverage: Fully regional or selected countries

  • Infrastructure Development. This includes Supporting the development of non-partisan, long term infrastructure pipelines to deliver a more strategic, cross party approach to infrastructure delivery. This also includes helping to support governments in their use of public private partnerships and to ensure governments are able to use this approach in an effective, sustainable manner. Geographical coverage: Fully regional or selected countries

  • Vocational Education. To help governments in the region develop their vocational education delivery, particularly to support them in their curriculum design and ensuring that skill development matches the needs of the economy. Geographical coverage: Costa Rica, Guatemala

  • Streamline bureaucracy processes. Projects on this strand should look to improve the speed of decision making within governments, reducing red tape and increasing efficiency, particularly in customs, promoting cross-border trade and investment. Geographical coverage: Panama, Costa Rica

  • Wider business environment improvements. As well as specific capacity building projects, the CAPF would also consider projects which looked to identify other areas in which the region could work together to improve the business environment, and improve economic integration both within Central America and with external trade partners. Geographical coverage: Fully regional only.

How to bid: General Guidance on Project Proposals

Bidding Process

The bidding process is in two stages: a concept bid and full bid stage:

Concept Bid

Only bids approved through the concept stage will be considered for full bids. Implementers will be advised if a concept bid has been accepted and called to present a full bid.

The project proposal in the concept bid form should be submitted in English with the title “Central America Regional Fund 2017: name of implementer”, to Deadline to submit concept bids is 16 April 2017.

Full Bid

Those bids agreed by the Board at the Concept stage will be invited to submit a full bid. The project proposal in the bid form (including an Activity Based Budget) should be submitted in English with the title “Central America Programme Fund 2017: name of implementer”, to Deadline for submission is 19 May 2017.

More information and documents

The FCO will sign a standard grant contract with all successful bidders. The terms of the contract and standard grant agreement are not negotiable. Please read all guidance and ensure that project proposals are designed and submitted in accordance with it. Proposals that do not meet the criteria and guidance will be rejected.

Timeline 2017

Dates Activity
27 March 2017 Announce request for submission of Concept Bids
16 April 2017 Deadline for Implementers to submit Concept Bids
28 April 2017 1st Regional Board Meeting
3 May 2017 Notification to Implementers announcing results of Concept Bids
19 May 2017 Deadline for Implementers to submit Full Bids (including an Activity Based Budget)
2 June 2017 2nd Regional Board Meeting
6 June 2017 Notification to Implementers announcing results of project allocations
9 June 2017 Contracts and financial arrangements put in place – earliest start date of projects
31 December 2017 90% of spend for projects complete
31 March 2018 All projects to be completed


Project Concept Form (MS Word Document, 92KB)

Proposal Form - under £10K (MS Word Document, 216KB)

Proposal Form - £10K to £80K (MS Word Document, 224KB)

Proposal Form - over £80K (MS Word Document, 220KB)

Project Proposal Form - £10K to £80K - Guidance for Implementers (MS Word Document, 47.5KB)

ABB Template (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 23.3KB)

ABB Guidance (MS Word Document, 158KB)

Administration Cost Guidance (MS Word Document, 25.2KB)

Equipment Costs Guidance (MS Word Document, 24.3KB)

Value for Money Guidance (MS Word Document, 29.3KB)

Published 28 March 2017