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Mexico - Prosperity Fund: call for proposals 2016

The bidding round for the new prosperity fund 2016-17 was announced in December 2015. Mexico’s Bidding Round closed 5 February 2016.

The Mexico Prosperity Fund aims to create the conditions for global growth, focussing on five thematic areas.


The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review announced a £1.3bn Prosperity Fund over the next 5 years to promote the economic reform and development needed for growth in partner countries. Our priorities will include improving the business climate, competitiveness and operation of markets, energy and financial sector reform, and increasing the ability of partner countries to tackle corruption. The core aims of the Prosperity Fund are to support sustainable economic growth leading to a reduction in poverty in recipient countries. Over time, we expect these reforms to create opportunities for international business including UK companies.

Official Development Assistance

The Prosperity Fund will form a small but integral element of the UK’s total ODA commitment of 0.7% of GNI. It will primarily be focused on ODA eligible middle income countries, contributing to poverty reduction and complementing DFID’s work in poorer countries. In this way, the Fund will contribute towards meeting the new Sustainable Development Goals. ODA spend under the Fund will be fully consistent with OECD DAC criteria.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s programme funds seek to create real, measurable outcomes in support of the FCO’s policy goals. Since 2011, the Prosperity Fund has supported the FCO’s Prosperity Priority on opening markets, ensuring access to resources, and promoting sustainable global growth, mainly in the emerging powers.

Projects Bids

As part of the first year of the new Prosperity Fund, competitive bidding processes will be administered, in a number of countries, for project initiatives where organisations are invited to submit bids to Posts for individual projects in support of Fund objectives. The following central guidance sets out the arrangements for the bidding process for these small project initiatives. Decisions on initial country allocations will be taken in early 2016.

The call for bids for the Mexico Prosperity Fund is now open.

The Mexico Prosperity Fund aims to create the conditions for global growth, focussing on five thematic areas:

  • Rule of Law
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Education – projects should aim to act as seed projects for future larger programmatic work which in future may be managed by a different “call for bids” mechanism for the Pacific Alliance Region.
  • Smart Cities – projects should aim to act as seed projects for future larger programmatic work which in future may be managed by a different possibly global “call for bids” mechanism.

Applications for funding which build towards a holistic programmatic approach to these issues which support the British Embassy’s policy goals will be considered and can be designed to deliver outcomes in one year to be taken forward or under a 2-5 year multiyear programme of actions with clear annual delivery goals and breakpoints built in. Mechanisms to monitor and evaluate outcomes and which actively promote the possibility of sharing outcomes more widely to gain further impact are encouraged. Bids will be accepted for projects with a value of up to £500k but all will be rigorously scrutinised to ensure value for money and impact. Close coordination with the British Embassy’s programme and policy teams should be used to guide the drafting of applications.

How to Bid?

The bidding process is run in two stages: 1. Concept Bid and, 2. Full 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.

Concept bids should be submitted in the first instance via the Mexico Prosperity Fund email at the British Embassy in Mexico, and include evidence of support from Host Government, supporting letter, cash or in-kind support. The deadline for submission of concept bids is Friday 5 February 2016.

The Mexico Prosperity Fund looks for practical and high-impact interventions, proposals must clearly be a catalyst to transformational changes in public policy and practice in target countries and/or their behaviour in global flora. Proposals focussing purely on research, analysis, reports, seminars or workshops will not be relevant unless they lead to specific and measurable action or behavioural change.

What to Include in the Bid Form? (please use “Concept bid form” attached).

  • Overview of project
  • Strategic fit to the Mexico Prosperity Fund Objectives
  • How the project will lead to transformational change in the Host country and support the processes of economic development (outline impact and main changes that the project will impulse)
  • Rationale for project – Including why the project should take place now
  • Why UK is the partner of choice for such project? This might be due to the UK’s recognised expertise in a specific area, UK experience has lessons to share, capitalising on UK’s convening power, policies in question have close links to UK experience.
  • Support from Host Government - evidence that relevant Country Government Ministry (ies) have been consulted and are supportive of the proposal and its alignment with their own growth plans? Or if they have not, the bid should explain how the project has sufficient buy-in from the necessary stakeholders to deliver the expected outcomes
  • Communication Strategy – including stakeholders, beneficiary organizations and relevant public communications strategy actions.
  • Sustainability once the Prosperity Fund project has been completed – What factors will impact on sustainability? What actions are needed by the project to ensure sustainability occurs? What future programming could be designed to develop this impact stream/support further economic development?
  • Demonstrate that local partnership links are already established and that projects can be delivered on the ground in Mexico.

About Budget

Project proposals at the concept stage must show how budgets are to be spent and if selected to move to full bid stage must be presented along with a detailed project budget. FCO Project Management Procedures require the delivery of the budget using the Activity Based Budget form. Budgets should list the activities needed to deliver the outcomes (results) of the project. Outcomes should be aimed at promoting transformational change. See an example of an Activity Based Budget.

Mexico Priorities for Fiscal Year April 2016-March 2017

The main priorities that the current call for bids is seeking are:

Rule of Law

  • Anticorruption and Transparency – Increase accountability in government structures, empower society to participate in inclusive political and procurement processes and to exercise their civil rights;
  • Security – specifically around professionalization of police practice, governance and accountability (including strengthening human rights compliance) and the response to cyber security threats; support for the processes leading to a normalisation of the security environment in areas where the military are currently deployed.
  • Criminal Justice – work to bolster Mexico’s prosecution services, criminal investigation services, oral trial tradecraft, policies to support alternatives to detention and actions to reduce impunity;
  • Competition – Increase reach and scope of relevant Regulators’ work and capacity;
  • Defence – enhancing of military governance, procurement, meeting international standards for domestic and external operations.


  • Regulation - Support for the different regulatory entities – including SENER - (both upstream and downstream for oil and gas projects – including around regulating social and health, safety and environmental impacts and within the electricity sector around feed in issues and smart grid technology supervision)
  • Energy Efficiency – Support for energy efficiency policy development at a sub-national level
  • Support for the development of a transformative low carbon market aligned to COP 21 UNFCCC agreements.
  • Education – support for development of structural policies to support capacity building in the broader energy sector
  • Contracting issues – support for increased use of internationally recognised contracting mechanisms and arbitration systems particularly in new oil and gas contracts.

Financial Services

  • Support for Mexican ministries and regulatory agencies to develop a robust financial system.
  • Support for the development of government policies to regulate Private Pension Funds;
  • Support to improve recent insurance market regulation reform;
  • Support for the Mexican Ministry of Finance to revise its regulatory framework to increase financial penetration across Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs);
  • Support for the education sector in financial services; and
  • Support for the development of new financial mechanisms particularly in the bond market and in innovative financing to increase financial inclusion.
  • Support for the development of financial mechanisms to implement COP 21 UNFCCC climate change agreements.
  • Supporting Mexican leadership on cross border financial and professional services in the Pacific Alliance.

Education – is a cross cutting theme for Pacific Alliance and other Prosperity Fund Priority countries bids should take this into account. Projects at this stage should be seen as seed projects which would build to wider and globally relevant actions in future years in the Pacific Alliance region.

  • Support to develop strategies for future implementation including through scoping studies to identify areas of joint collaboration;
  • Support to develop mechanisms intended to evaluate the quality of education;
  • Support to develop new curricula and teaching methods;
  • Support the link between academic, vocational education and business; and
  • Support for new approaches to providing fit for purpose school facilities to help Mexico to introduce rules in line with international best practice and models.

Smart Cities - is a cross cutting theme for many other Prosperity Fund Priority countries around the world and bids should take this into account. Projects at this stage should be seen as seed projects which would build to wider and globally relevant actions in future years under the Fund.

  • Support for the development of long term sustainable planning tools with durable outcomes over multiple administrations;
  • Support the government’s efforts to ensure cities promote climate change objectives aligned to COP 21 UNFCCC agreements;
  • Support for the education sector in the field of smart cities;
  • Support for the development of mechanisms to digitalise services and to improve government’s interaction with society in general;
  • Support for the development of new approaches to healthcare sector development and procurement issues; and
  • Support to improve procurement and regulation in the infrastructure sector at federal, state and municipal levels

Indicative Timetable (subject to change)

First Bidding Round Timeline FY 2016-2017

Dates Activity
13 January 2016 Announce request for submission of Concept Bid
5 February Deadline for Implementers to submit Concept Bids to Programme Team
08 – 12 February Programme Team in British Embassy Mexico review Concept Bid
12 February Programme Board Meeting on Concept Bids
By 19 February Mexico Programme Team notification to Implementers announcing results
21 March 2016 Deadline for Implementers to submit Full Bids (including a final Activity Based Budget)
21 March – 8 April Review of Full Bids in close contact with stakeholders
15 April Mexico Programme Team finalizes full bids review for the Americas Programme Board
By 22 April Americas Programme Board meets to discuss Mexico’s programme bids
By 29 April Programme Team notification to Implementers announcing results of first bidding round
3 - 20 May Contracts and financial arrangements completed
1 June 2016 Deadline for Start of Projects


The project proposal in the Concept Bid form should be submitted in English to

Documents for Downloading

Published 5 January 2016