News article

Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy: Call for Bids in Kazakhstan

We invite project concepts for 2016-2017 funding from Kazakhstan only.

The Human Rights and Democracy Programme has been renamed the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy (MCFHRD), fully reflecting the UK Foreign Secretary’s view that a goal of the Fund should be to promote institution building, good governance and the rule of law.

The Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy (MCFHRD) is the FCO’s dedicated strategic fund supporting global human rights and democracy work. Through targeted projects, it aims to tackle the root causes of human rights violations, strengthening institutions and governance, promoting and protecting human rights, and supporting democracy and the rule of law. The FCO has reconfigured its human rights and democracy work around three interconnected themes, which will also provide the basis for the funding strategy under the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy.

Thematic areas:

  • Democratic values and the rule of law - Uphold universal rights, democracy and the rule of law as key building blocks for more secure and prosperous societies
  • The rules-based international order - Support an effective rules-based international order that stands up for universal rights
  • Human rights for a stable world - Promote a more stable world by upholding universal rights in tackling conflict and extremism

In this connection, we are pleased to invite project concepts for 2016-17 funding on all the thematic areas. However, British Embassy Astana particularly welcomes bids that would be able to fulfil the following specific objectives:

  • Increase equality and non-discrimination (increased respect for equality and non-discrimination for all members of society)
  • Support an effective rules-based international order that stands up for universal rights (implementation of international standards and principles; strengthening of the Human Rights institutions and mechanisms)

Selection Criteria:

The MCFHRD accepts project bids from civil society, commercial organisations, governments, think tanks, other UK government departments and international organisations. Projects must deliver outputs and outcomes relevant to the thematic areas. Priority will be given to project concepts able to fulfil the above-mentioned specific objectives.

Bids will also be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Completeness
  • Alignment with MCFHRD priorities
  • Evidence of local demand/need
  • Project viability, including capacity of implementing organisation
  • Project design
  • Sustainability
  • Risk and stakeholder management
  • Value for money

Applicants are requested to fill in the project concept form in English and send it electronically to the British Embassy in Astana at indicating ‘MCFHRD Bid’ in the subject field. Please read carefully the Bidding Guidance for Potential Implementers before filling your project concept form.

The deadline for project concept notes submission is 19 February 2016, 18:00 (Astana time).

Successful bidders will be invited to submit a full project proposal. You will be notified by 29th February 2016 if you are invited to do so. Please assume that your concept bid has been unsuccessful if you do not hear back from us by February 29, 2016.

Projects can be for one (2016-17) or two years (2016-2018). We would welcome bids for projects of £10,000 - £80,000 per year.

Concept bids will be assessed by the local Programme Board.

Joint Funding:

We welcome projects jointly funded with other donors as a way of increasing impact and enhancing 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. EU, UN) for follow-on work.


Projects should begin at any time from June 1, 2016 and must be completed by the end of February 2017.

We Cannot Fund:

  • Capital purchases, e.g. purchase of buildings, vehicles, office machinery
  • Flight costs above economy class
  • External consultants to evaluate project work
  • Participation in academic courses or academic research
  • We fund various costs associated with implementation/delivery of activities, but we cannot fund all general office costs and salaries. These can only be covered up to 10% of the total cost of the project. Note that honoraria for experts should be included into an activity where an expert is contributing.

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