World news story

Human Rights and Democracy Fund in Zambia: Call for Bids

The Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF) 2014 – 2015 is now open for the submission of project proposals.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Human Rights and Democracy Programme is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) dedicated fund that supports 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.

We are looking for projects which aim to make an impact on policy in Zambia – or its delivery – in the following thematic areas:

  • Global torture prevention
  • Abolition of the death penalty
  • Promotion and protection of freedom of expression
  • Women’s rights
  • Business and human rights
  • Strengthening democratic processes
  • Preventing sexual violence

We would particularly welcome projects focusing on ‘promotion and protection of freedom of expression’, ‘strengthening democratic processes’ and ‘abolition of the death penalty’.

For more information on each area and to ensure that your proposal is compatible with our requirements, please consult The British High Commission in Lusaka using the following email address:

The HRDF 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 June 2014 and must be completed by end February 2015. Projects will be funded up to a value of £200,000 GDP. The minimum bid is £50,000.

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 Zambian government or are designed to deliver government priorities.

Projects must be submitted using the PROJECT CONCEPT FORM and sent (MS Word Document), 55.5KB)], and include “HRD Fund Project Proposal” in the subject line.

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

Guidance for Project Proposals and Selection Criteria can be found here (MS Word Document, 296KB)

Additional key documents

Standard terms and conditions (PDF, 252KB, 13 pages) Strategy (MS Word Document, 136KB)

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.

  1. Project proposals must be aligned and compatible with the objectives of the British High Commission’s Human Rights and Democracy strategy.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Proposals should outline impact. We want to know the concrete changes that the project will deliver.

  5. 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.

  6. Proposals should demonstrate that the project will produce sustainable outcomes.

Bids will also be assessed against the following criteria:

a. Value for money

b. Evidence of local demand/need

c. Project viability, including the capacity of implementing organisation(s)

d. Project design, including clear, achievable objectives/outputs

e. Sustainability

f. Good risk and stakeholder management

g. 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. The lack of a detailed budget was amongst the top reasons why projects were rejected last year.

Additional Points

Projects which do not follow or comply with the above bidding guidance will be rejected. At all stages, implementers may be asked to submit additional information to the British High Commission to support the bid, especially between February and March, when the bids must be submitted to London.


Questions 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 read the guidance notes to minimise on seeking clarifications as most of the questions you may have could be adequately covered by the guidance document (MS Word Document, 296KB).

Published 7 February 2014