OSF-SA’s 2019 Funding Cycle: Inviting Applications from South Africa

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Deadline: 10 April 2019

The Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA) is seeking Expressions of Interests for its 2019 Funding Cycle to promote the values, institutions, and practices of an open, non-racial and non-sexist, democratic civil society.

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OSF-SA supports a vigorous and autonomous civil society in which the rule of law and divergent opinions are respected. OSF-SA is part of the Open Society Foundations. The work of OSF-SA focuses on South Africa and the office is based in Cape Town. The Open Society Foundations’ work in the Southern Africa region (excluding South Africa) is carried out by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) which is based in Johannesburg.

Expressions of Interest received will be assessed based on the strength of applicant’s alignment with each programmes focus.

Programme Focus

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Justice, Equality and Rights Programme

This programme seeks to promote equal access to responsive and independent justice mechanisms, and to support the realisation of socio-economic rights through a vibrant and transformed civil society, with a focus on supporting people living in poverty and marginalised groups.

The strategic focus areas for this programme include the following:

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  • Criminal justice sector reform
  • Access to justice for marginalised groups
  • Legal empowerment
  • Challenging the health establishment to advance human rights
  • Promoting the universal right to basic education
  • Promoting an enabling environment for an active and vibrant civil society

Information, Expression and Accountability Programme

This programme seeks to protect the free flow of information and enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and to promote a transparent and accountable public sector and private sector and the incorporation of human rights into their activities.

The strategic focus areas for this programme include the following:

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  • Promoting access to publicly and privately held information in the realisation of Constitutional rights
  • Effective oversight of public power and political parties through stronger civic participation
  • Promoting the legal and substantive right to freedom of expression
  • Effective oversight of the functioning of and appointments to institutions supporting democracy
  • Strengthen public interest media
  • Effective oversight of private power to ensure accountability and transparency

Special note:

In 2019, they will continue to expand OSF-SA’s Private Sector Accountability Portfolio to support novel rights-based work that addresses the social and economic impact (both direct and indirect) of the private sector.

Key issues/projects/sectors that they will consider for 2019 include:

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  • Human rights-conscious and transparent business practices, regulation, and oversight of the private sector in South Africa and in the region.
  • Business practices of key state-owned enterprises and external providers (sub-contracting) including the procurement transparency of essential services that benefit the majority of people.
  • Holding the private sector accountable to human rights standards.
  • Research, strategic litigation, and/or advocacy to strengthen accountability, and promote transformation and greater transparency in the private sector as envisioned in the Constitution, the National Development Plan (NDP) and/or other relevant sector codes or directives.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Legally registered/hosted in South Africa.
  • Demonstrated record of strategic effectiveness.
  • Ability to strengthen, support, and defend institutions that safeguard democracy.
  • Possess organisational practices that are rooted in ethical and non-violent principles.
  • Check the exercise of all forms of power.
  • Willingness to learn from both South African and foreign projects/organisations.
  • The ability to account for funds.
  • Please note: The Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) undertakes operational projects and accepts only solicited proposals.

Assessment Criteria

  • What they look for when assessing organizations?
    • Applications are evaluated on the extent to which the organisation possesses the vision, drive, experience, and skills required to create and sustain a project that will advance OSF-SA’s objectives. This includes the following considerations:
      • Does the organisation demonstrate the skills, breadth of experience, and discipline needed to accomplish the project with a high degree of success in a timely and cost-effective manner?
      • Does the organisation’s track record distinguish it to be able to lend a new or important voice to the advocacy community and to be an agent for change?
      • Does the organisation possess the leadership and analytical qualities needed to raise the level of local or national discussion and influence policy debate on the issues underlying the project?
  • What do they look for when assessing projects?
    • Is the project relevant to OSF-SA’s strategic priorities? (For their strategic priorities, refer to their programmes listed below)
    • Is the project sufficiently innovative in its approach and sound in its strategy to have an impact on public opinion, policies, and/or reform activities at the national, regional, or local level?
    • Are the project goals and timeline realistic and manageable?
    • Is the project’s budget sufficient to achieve the anticipated objectives?
    • Does the project identify and build on existing efforts by organisations or individuals already working on the issue?

How to Apply

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Applicants can apply via given website.

Eligible Country: South Africa

For more information, please visit https://www.osf.org.za/funding/

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