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Human Rights and Democracy Fund in Mexico: Call for Bids

The Human Rights and Democracy Fund 2014 – 2015 in Mexico is now open for the submission of project proposals.

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The Human Rights and Democracy Programme (HRDP) is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) dedicated fund supporting human rights and democracy work across the world. The Programme aims to make a difference to people’s lives, helping to build the capacity of governments and civil society to promote and protect human rights, supporting over 70 projects worldwide. It is a centralised budget which is managed in the United Kingdom and open to project proposals from civil society organizations.

The Human Rights and Democracy Fund is looking for projects which aim to make an impact on policy in Mexico – or its delivery – in the following thematic areas:

  • Freedom of Expression
    • For Human Rights Defenders at risk
    • For Journalists at risk
  • Torture Prevention
    • Enforced disappearances
  • Discrimination against Women and Women’s Rights
    • Violence against women
  • Business & Human Rights
    • Strengthening institutions responsible for ensuring citizens security

For more information on each area and to ensure that your proposal is compatible with our requirements, please consult The British Embassy in Mexico City Priorities Guide for Human Rights (MS Word Document, 24.3KB).

The Human Rights and Democracy Fund complements the activities being undertaken by the FCO in other fields related to Human Rights and Democracy. Our partners, like DfID, the British Council and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, also have their own detailed strategies that address these topics.

Projects should start in May/June 2014 and must be completed by end February/March 2015. We will fund projects up to a value of £200,000 GDP.

We encourage implementers to submit projects jointly funded with other donors as a way of increasing impact and enhancing project co-ordination. All projects must demonstrate how they complement the efforts of other donors and bring added value. We strongly encourage projects that seek to secure future funding from other bodies (e.g. European Union, United Nations) for follow-on work. We will only support projects which involve collaboration with the Mexican government or are designed to deliver government priorities.

Projects must be submitted using The Project Concept Proposal Form (MS Word Document, 91.5KB) via, and include “HRD Fund Project Proposal” in the subject line.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is Friday 21st February at 12 noon.

Eligibility / Selection Criteria

  • Project proposals must encompass at least one or more of the individual thematic priorities listed above and clearly demonstrate this in the concept proposal form.
  • Project proposals must be aligned and compatible with the objectives of the British Embassy in Mexico City’s Human Rights and Democracy strategy.
  • Projects must deliver outputs and outcomes relevant to this Programme’s targets. Projects that clearly demonstrate how they will address the target areas will increase the likelihood that the project will be accepted.
  • We are looking for practical interventions that will make a real and timely difference to decision-making. Proposals which focus entirely on research, analysis, seminars or workshops will not be accepted unless they lead to measurable actions and positive results. Infrastructure projects are not funded by the HRD Fund.
  • Proposals should outline impact. We want to know the concrete changes that the project will deliver.
  • Proposals should demonstrate that host governments have been consulted and are supportive, or if they have not, the project proposal should explain how the project has sufficient ‘buy-in’ from the necessary stakeholders to deliver the expected outcomes.
  • Proposals should demonstrate that the project will produce sustainable outcomes.

Bids will also be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Value for money
  • Evidence of local demand/need
  • Project viability, including the capacity of implementing organisation(s)
  • Project design, including clear, achievable objectives/outputs
  • Sustainability
  • Good risk and stakeholder management

Projects should be realistic in the results which they aim to deliver and how these contribute to the long term achievement of the targets.

Proposals must also be supported by a realistic activity based budget, which includes as much detail as possible. This is a key requirement in evaluating the project proposal and the lack of a detailed budget was among the top reasons why projects were rejected in 2013-2014.

The Bidding Process

The bidding process is executed in three sequential stages:

  1. Concept bid (high level project proposal) deadline: Friday 21st February 2014 The British Embassy in Mexico City will review and assess all concept proposals and shall contact those successful implementing organizations who will be invited to submit a Full Bid format.
  2. Full Bid (detailed proposal) deadline: Thursday 20th March 2014 Successful implementing organisations will then be required to complete and submit a detailed form, known as a ‘Full Bid proposal’, to the British Embassy in Mexico. At this stage, the Programme and Human Rights team at the British Embassy in Mexico City reserves the right to select only those project proposals which are aligned with the local strategy on Human Rights. The Programme and Human Rights team will also perform eligibility checks and discuss with the implementer, to ensure that all relevant information has been included.
  3. International Evaluation Board (Full Bid proposals are sent to London for Evaluation): Tuesday 25th March 2014

Following evaluation in the Embassy, full bid proposals will be submitted to the Human Rights and Democracy Programme Board, comprised of Human Rights experts at the FCO in London, for assessment. It is our aim to inform all successful and unsuccessful bidders by the end of April 2014.

Additional Points

  • Projects which do not follow or comply with the above bidding guidance will be rejected.
  • Projects should begin in May/June 2014 and must be completed by end February/March 2015.
  • At all stages, implementers may be asked to submit additional information to the British Embassy in Mexico City to support the bid, especially between February and March, when the bids must be submitted to London.

Bidding Process Timetable

Friday 31st January 2014 Call for Bids and launch on British Embassy Mexico City website
Friday 21st February 2014 Deadline to submit concept bids to the British Embassy Mexico City
Thursday 6th March 2014 British Embassy Mexico will inform successful bidders who should then begin the preparation of full concept bids
Thursday 20th March 2014 Submission of full bids to British Embassy in Mexico City, who will then forward full bids to London
End of April 2014 Notification to implementers announcing results of full bids bidding round and next steps.
May/June 2014 Start date for projects 2014-2015
February/March 2015 End date for projects 2014-2015


Queries related to the project concept proposals; the HRD Fund or other funding opportunities should be submitted to, with ‘HRD Fund Project Proposal’ in the subject line.

We strongly suggest you consult The British Embassy in Mexico City Priorities Guide for Human Rights (MS Word Document, 24.3KB) and the Guidance for Project Proposals (MS Word Document, 203KB) to clarify any doubts you might have.

Published 30 January 2014