An Opportunity for Grassroots Conservationists from Locally Incorporated NGOs to Win £40,000 GBP


Deadline: 31 October 2019

Are you a dynamic conservation leader or do you know of one? If yes, then apply now for Whitley Award 2020!

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Every year, The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) offers annual Whitley Awards to effective grassroots conservationists working across the Global South. These awards are both an international profile prize and a form of project funding.

Whitley Awards are for dynamic mid-career conservationists who are leading wildlife conservation projects in developing countries. Winners tend to be nationals of the country in which they are working, and are looking to scale up work that is proven to be effective and would benefit from further funding and profile boost. To be eligible, projects must involve local communities at the grassroots level and deliver practical action that is founded on science.

Objectives

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  • Find, recognize and fund proven grassroots conservation leaders in resource-poor, biodiversity-rich countries.
  • Champion and repeat fund the most effective winners.
  • Support the replication and growth of effective conservation solutions.
  • Raise awareness of the work of winners and spread the message that we can all make a difference to the conservation of wildlife and wild places.

Funding Information

Whitley Awards are worth £40,000 GBP in funding to be spent on projects over one year.

Eligibility Criteria

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  • Not High Income Economy countries – Wildlife conservation projects led by local leaders based in countries that are not defined as a High Income Economy by the World Bank. Exceptions to this criterion
  • Nationals with local support – a key focus of the Whitley Award is to boost the profile of leaders who are nationals of the country in which they are working. There are some exceptions, for example, long term residency (15+ years) or commitment to country/region/ building capacity of local team members for future leadership.
  • WFN seeks grassroots conservationists from locally incorporated NGOs in biodiversity-rich developing countries, rather than in-country staff employed by NGOs headquartered in developed countries.
  • Good communicators and passionate leaders – people who will inspire others and importantly, who will collaborate and share results. Please note applicants must be able to communicate in English.
  • Leadership and teamwork – Whitley Awards are won by individuals backed by an appropriate team/organization. Individuals working in isolation and team/joint entries are not eligible.
  • Projects that are based on scientific evidence and understanding – this can be in the leader, expertise on the team, or via partners/collaboration.
  • Work involving (and benefitting) the local community and stakeholders is essential.
  • Ecosystem / landscape level projects are preferred. Genuine flagships are great, but not if results are purely species-specific.
  • Projects must be able to demonstrate evidence of success. We do not generally fund pilot projects or work that is at the start-up stage.
  • Grassroots, pragmatic work that is realistic, but ambitious too. WFN looks for applicants on the cusp of ‘something big’ and work that is replicable or scalable.
  • Actions that will have clear, measurable outcomes – WFN looks for applications that have given careful thought to what indicators can be measured to evidence impact.
  • Sustainable projects – we want the work to continue into the future, well past the Whitley Award. Successful proposals will demonstrate long-term planning.
  • Projects that demonstrate value for money and the ability to manage funding at the Whitley Award level (£40,000). Organizations with Audited Accounts are preferred.
  • Projects for which an Award will make a big difference. Priority will be given to those that can demonstrate need.
  • Work that needs publicity – ones that will do well if ‘doors can be opened’ via the media and enhanced recognition.

The Whitley Fund will not fund:

  • Projects based in High Income Economies as defined by the World Bank. If your project is based in a country that has recently been re-classified as having a High Income Economy, please contact WFN.
  • Recent expatriates – such leaders do excellent work around the world but are not the focus of this Awards scheme, which aims to champion local leaders.
  • Pure academic research – winners need to have larger aims than ‘research and publish’. Any research should be applied research.
    MSc / PhD fieldwork – if students benefit from a project funded that is great, but we will not fund the fieldwork as an end to itself.
  • Expeditions and conference attendance.
  • ‘Start-up’ or pilot projects. Evidence of prior success is very important.
  • Absentee leaders – especially if the leader is mid-PhD and will be absent from the project for long periods and/or based abroad.
  • ‘One-man bands’ – people who will not reward emerging leadership on their team, train team members or who are reluctant to collaborate.
  • Joint applications or nominations for someone else.
  • Pure rural/ economic/ sustainable development where direct conservation benefits are hard to quantify.
  • Land purchase or projects focussed on the construction of buildings.
  • Animal welfare & rehabilitation of captive animals.
  • Captive breeding – we recognise it as a useful conservation tool, but at the level of funding we have available, we can’t make much impact. Therefore, we would only fund captive breeding where underlying causes of species decline in the wild have been fully addressed prior to breeding species in captivity.
  • Government employees. However, we are aware that grey areas exist where conservationists will often be affiliated with government institutions in order to operate. If this is the case, please contact WFN.

Once you have read the eligibility criteria, download the Application Form, Budget Template AND Application Guidance from the links below. Please note, your application cannot be completed successfully without following the Application Guidance.

2020 Whitley Award Application Form

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2020 Whitley Award Budget Template

2020 Whitley Award Application Guidance

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