Many NGOs are confronted with an uncertain future when the supporting grant nears its end. Fast changing scenario of aid becoming scarce and donors adopting new approaches of channelizing the limited resources should not lead to despondency among NGOs. It only calls for taking stock of the emerging trends and reframing strategies to outwit the challenges posed by shrinking aid flow. If you are smart enough to catch up with the emerging canvas of aid, you will win the race come what may.
Remember, we are into a new era of alliances and partnerships. Funding agencies want to Maximize the impact of their investment by extending the reach of the programs they fund across national and regional boundaries rather than focusing on local issues with limited access to a section of the population. Instead, the current approach is to share the concerns common to larger populations, irrespective of geographical frontiers. Goal Number 17 of Sustainable Development Goals 2030 puts the idea of Global Partnerships on the forefront of development.
SDGs Lead the Way for Global Partnerships
Goal 17 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) states that strong global partnerships and cooperation are the key to realizing the SDGs. These goals aim to enhance North-South and South-South cooperation by supporting national plans to achieve all the targets. The 17 SDGs are integrated in that they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.
“We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this agenda through a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, based on a Spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused particularly on the needs of the Poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.”
The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development further states that multi-stakeholder partnerships enable mobilization and sharing of knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources to support the achievement of sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.
Global Partnerships in Acton
NGOs may not be probably aware of ‘Who’ and ‘How’ of implementing this ambitious agenda. The purpose of this article is to make this job simple for them by placing below the organizations active in collaborations/partnerships in various thematic areas. URLs have been provided in each case for closer scrutiny and procedural details.
With the vision and mission of accelerating and achieving gender parity, unleashing the power of women and girls to create positive impact, it partners with leading institutions, companies, academic institutions, media, NGOs and student organizations who share similar interests. Currently inviting and welcoming international NGO partnerships.
Carries out humanitarian projects worldwide with the objective of advancing education and relief from poverty. Involved in relief work in more than twenty countries across the world. It helps communities build sustainable programs in education and training, health improvement, emergency relief and refugee assistance.
AIESEC is an international youth-run non-governmental and non-profit organization that provides young people with leadership development, cross-cultural internships and global volunteer exchange. Enables individuals to acquire both the skills and vision needed to drive change in the global community.
The current statutory framework of UNESCO for cooperation with non-governmental organizations provides for
- Partnership with NGOs in program planning and implementation at global as well as local levels
- Revitalize, renew and widen the network of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO
- Promote partnership with new civil society organizations for historical, cultural or geographical reasons, and those who are weak or isolated
Bilateral cooperation with UNESCO is essentially thematic in functional areas like capacity building, advocacy, technical support etc.
UNESCO maintains and updates the database of NGOs and similar institutions enjoying official partnership with UNESCO on its website. Monthly communication targeted specifically for NGOs aims at sharing information on major activities of the organization and better involving NGOs in their elaboration and implementation. A Forum on the UNESCO website is specifically devoted to NGO activities, publications and any other relevant information concerning partner organizations (www.unesco.int).
Requests for partnership may be submitted at any time by NGOs to the Director General with complete documentation.
Often called the Global Fund, it is an innovative financing mechanism that seeks to rapidly raise and disburse funding for programs that reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in low-and middle-income countries. It is structured as a partnership between developed countries, developing countries, the private sector, civil society and affected communities. It provides funding to country governments and in-country stakeholders based solely on proposals and implementation plans designed by the countries themselves. Global Fund now provides 20% of global funding for HIV/AIDS and 66% for tuberculosis and malaria. The Fund provides prevention, treatment and care funding across different regions, diseases and interventions. The Fund is interested in developing civil society, private sector and government partnerships and supporting communities and people living with the diseases. Remember, Global Fund is a financing and not implementing agency. The country coordination mechanism (CCM)), that submits funding proposals and oversees grant implementation, is made up of governments, multilateral and bilateral donors, NGOs, academic institutions, private sector representatives and people living with the diseases.
In some cases, groups of countries have submitted joint regional proposals to the Global Fund to address common issues across country boundaries. The principal recipients are the in-country organizations chosen by CCM to receive funding allocations from the Global Fund, implement programs and distribute funds to sub-recipients. Government agencies are principal recipients for about 60% of grant programs, and civil society organizations in about 20% of the cases.
Mission of the NCD (Non-communicable Diseases) Alliance is to unite and strengthen civil society to stimulate collaborative advocacy, action and accountability for NCD prevention and control. NCD Alliance civil society network unites 2000 organizations in more than 170 countries, including global and national civil society organizations, scientific and professional associations, and academic and research institutions.
Membership of the NCD Alliance (NCDA) will expand your international network and share knowledge on a global stage while enabling you to connect with experts regionally and globally, forge strategic partnerships and leverage opportunities for action, increase your organizational capacities and take your advocacy work to the next level.
NCDA also partners with foundations, governments, development agencies, academia and NGOs that have an international focus on NCDs and share a common interest in improving the lives of people living with NCDs globally. By partnering with NCDA, organizations have the opportunity to develop a tailored work plan with NCDA. They also gain access to exclusive benefits through the NCDA supporters Group, including high-level opportunities for engagement with global NCD leaders, multilateral organizations, governments, media, experts along with NCDA’s unique network of national and regional alliances.
Global Partnership for Education (GPE) helps the most vulnerable children in the poorest countries to get quality education. GPE brings together developing countries, donors, international organizations, civil society, including youth and teacher organizations, the private sector and private foundations to pursue the objective of equitable quality education for all. Focus areas: gender equality, education in crisis, inclusive education, early education, teaching quality and data systems.
GPE offers different types of grants to support education in partner countries and globally. Beyond support to governments, GPE also allocates grants to promote civil society’s voice and to generate new knowledge on key issues and solutions for the education sector. Partner countries and developing countries interested in joining GPE can receive up to US $700,000 to perform strategic, consultative and analytical work to develop a solid education sector plan, improve upon an existing one and/or support the monitoring of education sector. All low-and lower-middle-income countries; upper-lower-middle-income countries with primary completion rates below 85%; IDA eligible small island and small landlocked developing states are eligible for membership. Countries eligible to apply for program implementation grants can receive US$ 200,000 (up to US$$ 400,000 in exceptional cases) for the design of an education program that will help the country implement its national sector strategy. In addition, GPE partner countries can receive up to US$ 100 million to finance a program that supports the implementation of their education sector plan, including funding school construction, text books, teacher training, learning assessments, school meals etc. Under Education sector program implementation grants, knowledge and innovation grants with a budget of over US$ 75 million are earmarked for thematic areas like early child care and education, learning assessment systems, gender equality, strengthening data systems, equity and inclusion, and teaching and learning.
The mission of Anesvad is to fight neglected tropical diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa by strengthening public health system from a human rights perspective. They work with the most vulnerable populations, women, boys and girls, people in extreme poverty and those affected by neglected tropical diseases. By collaborating mainly with local organizations and NGOs, who have the knowledge and capacities, Anesvad aims at improving the health of neediest communities. The approach is to incorporate governments as holders of obligations and involving them to participate in community-based interventions. Collaboration is also taken up with other agencies, research centers, foundations and universities for achieving greater impact and better results. Besides prevention and treatment of sick people, promoting healthy lifestyles, programs are also taken up for promoting hygiene and sanitation and nutrition.
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) grants funding to organizations
Thematic areas are: climate change and environment, democracy and good governance, education, energy, global health, higher education and research, and more. The overall purpose of Norad’s support is to ensure regional and international organizations and networks’ ability to influence national, regional and international decision makers. Target group for the grant schemes are international non-governmental organizations and networks. Calls for proposals for the current decade are given in the above portal in wide-ranging thematic areas.
Swedish development cooperation is part of a global cooperation in which Sweden is one of many participants. In order to implement strategies and carry out its work Sida cooperates with a large number of organizations. A total of 19 Swedish organizations currently have network agreements with Sida, meaning they receive funding for carrying out part of the Swedish aid work in collaboration with civil society organizations in developing countries. The overall objective of Swedish development cooperation is to ensure that people living in poverty and under oppression have the ability to improve their
living conditions. Four focus areas are: gender equality, environment and climate, democracy and human rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Sida has bilateral development cooperation with 35 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Sida also has regional development cooperation in Africa, Asia, Middle East and North Africa and Europe and supports organizations that contribute to poverty reduction globally.
Sida often maintains cooperation with partners for a long time. By doing gap analysis, Sida identifies new cooperation partners that help fill the gap. These partnerships are started by Sida employees in Sweden or at the embassies in cooperation countries. Unlike with other donors, the procedure of receiving and funding unsolicited proposals has very slim chance of getting funded. Sometimes, Sida issues calls for proposals, challenge funds etc. Such opportunities will be announced on their website under “Calls and announcements”. Civil society organizations are important partners to Sida.