Commonwealth Foundation’s Grants Programme: Strengthening the Ability of Civic Voices

Deadline: 3 January 2018

The Commonwealth Foundation is seeking applications for its Grants program to support civic voices to share their stories, learn and act together and influence the institutions that shape people’s lives.

The Foundation works to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development with effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels of participatory governance which implies creative and constructive engagement between civil society and other governance stakeholders.

The Foundation offers grants of up to £50,000 in support of innovative project ideas and approaches that seek to strengthen the ability of civic voices to engage with governments and that have the potential to improve governance and development outcomes through their active participation.

Focus Areas

The Foundation is interested in supporting projects that strengthen civic voice so that it:

  • Is more effective in holding governance institutions to account
  • Enhances involvement in policy processes
  • Shapes public discourse

Applicant’s project should address one or both of the following two areas and may include the use of creative expression to achieve project aims:

  • Stronger civic voice engaging in policy processes to hold government to account:
    • Applicant’s project will strengthen the capacity of civic voices in contributing to:
      • Monitoring government commitments and action
      • Supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals or other international agreements, and related local and national policy agendas
    • Advocating policy priorities to government that address gender and other power imbalances, disparities and discrimination
    • Strengthening participatory methods of engaging in regional national and local governance processes
    • Raising awareness and advocating for specific policy issues
  • Public discourse more reflective of less-heard voices
    • Applicant’s project will support less heard voices to contribute to public discourse on development issues
    • Applicant’s project will support less heard voices to access policy spaces and/or platforms with the potential to amplify voices and influence public discourse

Cross-cutting Themes

All proposals must ensure that the cross cutting theme of gender equality is mainstreamed throughout the project.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a grant, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant is a registered national or regional not for profit civil society organization (CSO).
  • The applicant must be based in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country and the project should take place in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country. A list of countries eligible to apply for a grant under this call is mentioned below.
  • The application is for funding for a maximum of £50,000 per annum
  • The applicant is applying for funding for a maximum of four years
  • The applicant does not have an existing grant from the Commonwealth Foundation at the time the application window is open.
  • The average of the applicant’s total income over the last two years is less than £3m per annum
  • The project must address the Commonwealth Foundation’s intermediate outcomes.
  • The applicant will provide the following documents as part of the application:
    • a completed logic model using the Commonwealth Foundation template
    • a copy of the organization’s registration certificate (the official registration document provided by the relevant authorities in the country concerned)
    • a copy of the organization’s most recent audited accounts (it must include both the accounts and the opinion of the external auditor who has certified them)
    • a copy of the registration certificate for all partner organizations

How to Apply

To apply applicants will need to complete an online application form via given website.

Eligible Countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Swaziland, The Bahamas, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information, visit

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