Darwin Initiative’s Capability & Capacity invites projects that focus on developing the capability and capacity of national and local organisation to efficiently deliver effective and successful biodiversity conservation – poverty reduction projects.
The grant support the embedding of new skills and knowledge, grants can support practical elements where they are clearly linked to the strengthening of capability and capacity.
The focus of the grant must be on capability and capacity building, and seek to strengthen the ability of benefiting organisations to successfully design and deliver interventions aligned to the objectives of the Darwin Initiative.
These will be £50,000 – £200,000 projects.
- Activities can include structured training, fellowships, work placements, mentoring, organisational development, network-building, and can be undertaken across all areas of project activity: biodiversity, poverty reduction and project delivery.
- In addition to technical areas (e.g. biodiversity, sustainable development), activities can include strengthening financial, communication, monitoring and evaluation, safeguarding, risk management capabilities amongst others.
Darwin Initiative is entirely Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded, and therefore projects must promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries as a primary objective, and the eligible countries are all on the current OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). However, projects will in practice be expected to be mostly focused on Low Income and Lower Middle-Income countries. Upper Middle-Income countries (UMICs) are eligible; however, projects applying to work in a UMIC must clearly demonstrate a stronger case for support. This includes operating in areas of high importance for biodiversity and a clear poverty reduction need.
Such applications must also clearly demonstrate that they will also:
- Advance knowledge, evidence and impact in Least Developed or Low-Income Countries, or
- Contribute to a global public good, for example by advancing understanding and/or strengthening the knowledge base related to biodiversity conservation/sustainable use and poverty reduction, or
- Contribute to serious and unique advancements on a critical issue as a result of specific circumstances of the upper-middle income country that could not be made elsewhere. Available funding will be ring-fenced to ensure that at least 70% is allocated to projects in Low Income and Lower-Middle Income Countries.
- Applications must be made by the Lead Partner (an organisation), not an individual, agreeing to the Terms and Conditions including managing the grant, its finances, reporting and governance.
- The maximum annual value of funds requested should not exceed 25% of the Lead Partner’s average annual turnover/income for the previous 3 years. There is no limit on the number of applications a Lead Partner may submit, but they would encourage internal co-ordination to ensure all submissions are competitive; Defra may consider the number of applications from a partner as part of their decision-making process.
- The Project Leader is the individual with the necessary authority, capability and capacity, and a full understanding of their role and associated obligations to take responsibility for delivering value for money, managing risk and financial controls whilst fulfilling the terms and conditions of the grant. Where the Project Leader is not employed by the Lead Partner, the reasoning behind should be made clear in the application, including their capability to control and be held accountable for the proposed project.
- Given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Biodiversity Challenge Funds has taken the decision to suspend all bilateral engagement with Russia, including sending any funds to any Russian organisation. This means that Russian organisations cannot be a Lead Partner or Partner on any BCFs grant.
- It may remain appropriate for projects to share data with Russian organisations in some circumstances but this should be discussed and agreed with Defra (via the Fund Managers) on a case-by-case basis. Any partnerships with Belarusian organisations will also be reviewed on a case by case basis
- Partnerships between organisations aligning their interests around a common vision, combining their complementary resources, experiences and competencies and sharing risk, can maximise impact in terms of scale, quality, sustainability and benefits.
- All projects are strongly expected to seek and work with in-country partners, with the meaningful and early engagement of in-country stakeholders.
- Differing from Stakeholders, Partners have a formal governance role in the project, and a formal relationship with the project that may involve staff costs and/or budget management responsibilities. Projects should be co-developed with partners.
- In contrast, Stakeholders would not have a budget management, or a formal governance role, within the project but are consulted, engaged and participate in project activities.
For more information, visit https://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/apply/