Prosperity Fund India Programme

The call for bids for the India Prosperity Fund Programme is now closed.


Prosperity fund - guidance for potential implementers

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The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review) announced the prosperity fund worth £1.3bn over the next 5 years, to promote economic reforms 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 reforms, and increasing the ability of partner countries to tackle corruption. Over time, we expect these reforms to create opportunities for international business including UK companies.

The role of the fund is also set out in the UK aid strategy, tackling global challenges in the national interest.

Much of the prosperity fund will consist of individual projects and multi-year programmes. As part of the fund’s first year, competitive bidding processes will be administered initially in a number of countries for funding project initiatives. Organisations will be invited to submit bids to embassies and high commissions for individual projects in support of the fund’s objectives.

The central guidance for implementers sets out the arrangements for the bidding process for these projects, including rules governing ODA expenditure under the Fund. Decisions on initial country allocations will be taken in early 2016.

Country context: India

India is currently the world’s ninth largest economy, and is predicted to become the third largest by 2050. It is currently the world’s fastest growing economy. However, it is also home to a third of the world’s poor, ranks 142nd on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index and 94th on transparency international’s corruption index. Additionally it is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases despite 300 million people lacking access to energy.

India’s economic success and development are vital to the global economy, to UK interests across South Asia and to global priorities like the SDGs.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The prosperity fund offers targeted funding to create real, measurable outcomes which will benefit the prosperity of both the UK and India in support of the following objectives:

Objective Expected Outcomes
Measurable improvements in the business environment Enhanced transparency and predictability around investment regimes
  Reforms in trade facilitation measures for improved trade and investment flows
  Stable and predictable tax policies enhance sustainable growth and investment
  Increased transparency and reduced corruption in public and corporate governance
  Improved governance within a simplified legal and regulatory business environment
Enhanced skills facilitating employment generation Facilitate productive employment through improved delivery of training programmes
  Develop sustainable models to deliver skills which can be replicated at scale
  Increase access to high end professional qualifications
Improved energy security and less emissions intensive growth Improved energy security for India and the UK
  Implementation of international best practice on investments into oil and gas to help increase in domestic production
  Accelerated large scale deployment of renewable energy through improved policy and regulatory frameworks
  Increased energy efficiency for growth, emissions reduction and energy security
  Increased energy efficiency for growth, emissions reduction and energy security
  Enhanced awareness of climate change and its impacts amongst policy makers, leading to an increased ability to tackle climate change and faster delivery of India’s climate change commitments, in keeping with the Paris Agreement
Developing smarter cities as engines of growth, innovation and employment while ensuring shared prosperity. Promoting low carbon urbanisation and climate resilient infrastructure in cities Sustainable cities enhance economic activity and employment generation
  Increased contribution from the UK in offering consulting, project management and engineering skills to plan, design and build smart cities
  Improved deployment of low carbon, energy efficient and climate resilient approaches – including urban transport, green buildings, energy efficient street lighting, waste and water management, and localised renewable energy
  Enhanced capacity of local authorities to deliver sustainable urban services
Better access to finance and capital markets including better service delivery and regulatory reform Financial reforms and innovations promote inclusive and sustainable growth
  Translate the recommendation of the India-UK Financial Partnership into concrete improvements in the financial sector
  Improved financial regulations and regulatory structures create more efficient access to capital

Stages and timelines of the bidding round

  • announcement of call for bids- 15 January 2016

  • submission of concept bids- 1 February 2016

  • review of concept bids against strategic fit and project design-12 February 2016

  • reply to selected concept bids and request for full proposals- 15 February 2016

  • submission of full proposals (if requested) - 29 February 2016

  • announcement of results- 15 March 2016

  • accountable Grant Contracts/ Commercial Contracts and start of Projects – 1 April 2016

Guidance on process and project proposals

Process - The bidding round for the new prosperity fund is structured in two parts.

The first ‘concept’ stage involves bidders submitting a short overview of their proposal using the project concept form. Potential implementers are strongly advised to discuss project ideas in advance with the British High Commission. Once the concept is found to be in line with our strategy, implementers may then make a formal submission. The concepts will then be evaluated by an internal panel and the shortlisted bidders will then be requested to submit full bid forms supported by a detailed activity based budget.

The second stage will involve a rigorous evaluation of the full bids (submitted using the FCO’s template). The bids once appraised will be submitted to an internal programme board, which will consider each project individually, and select the most appropriate projects.

Concepts and bids should be submitted in MS-Word format using the appropriate template; PDF files will not be accepted.

Bidders should note that shortlisting at any stage of the process does not guarantee funding.

Project proposals - All project proposals will need to demonstrate how they support the Prosperity Fund’s objectives.

The prosperity fund is not an appropriate source of funding for small standalone activities. As a general guide, we would expect project bids to reflect the ambitious and strategic nature of the fund and the need for high impact. Proposals focussing purely on research, analysis, reports, seminars or workshops will not be relevant unless they lead to specific and measurable action.

Projects should be focused to run within 2016/17 which will be a pilot year for the new fund. Funding for projects will end on 31 March 2017. Extension to subsequent years may be possible but cannot be guaranteed at this stage. Lessons learned from 2016/17 will be used to inform future planning for 2017/18 onwards.

General Guidance:

  1. Value for money: Proposals must be supported by a realistic and detailed Activity Based Budget (ABB). Projects should add to, and not duplicate, other donor activity although co-funding from co-donors or stimulating further host government expenditure is welcomed.

  2. Alignment with thematic guidance: Proposals should clearly align with one of the objectives/outcomes. We are unable to support projects that do not fall under one of these headings. Projects should be practical and high-impact interventions that will lead to a real and timely transformation in high level policy and action on the ground. Proposals focusing purely on, e.g. research or workshops will not be relevant. Producing reports alone will not be sufficient.

  3. Evidence of local demand or need: The proposal must give clear evidence of local demand and/or need for the project. Evidence of stakeholder engagement and local buy-in (where applicable) is preferred. Key local partnerships should already be established.

  4. Project viability, including capacity of implementing organisation(s): Projects should be realistic in the results they aim to deliver within the time of the project.

  5. Project design should include clear, achievable impact(s): It is vital that each project clearly demonstrates how its outputs will deliver real-life impact in its target area.

  6. Sustainability: To increase the long-term sustainability of projects and their impact, we would expect projects to have host government engagement/support, or there should be good reasons for it to go ahead without such engagement. There should also be evidence that the project’s benefits will continue after funding ends.

  7. Risk and stakeholder management: Risks should be identified and a risk management plan put in place. Projects that can leverage host government support or engagement are more likely to succeed, and proposals should therefore demonstrate how they will engage host governments and key stakeholders to deliver expected outcomes. Bidders are encouraged to submit evidence showing beneficiary or stakeholder engagement. Scanned copies of such evidence should be submitted during the full bid stage.

  8. Contracting procedure: If the project is approved for funding, a Grant Contract/Commercial Contract will be signed by the grantee (bidder) and the authority (British High Commission). Bidders are strongly recommended to review the terms in consultation with the programme team. Requests to amend the terms will not be considered.

Only proposals submitted electronically will be accepted.


The prosperity fund accepts project proposals from civil society, governments, think-tanks, universities, commercial organisations and other UK government departments.

In order to receive funding from any foreign source, Indian civil society organisations must be registered under the Foreign Contribution (Registration) Act 2010, and be compliant with its rules.

Relevant documents to download:

For enquiries please contact us at

Published 15 April 2013
Last updated 14 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. New bidding round announcement

  2. New programme funding round announced

  3. updated bidding round 2014-15

  4. First published.