Development cooperation projects

Swedish organisations can together with local partner organisations apply for grants to jointly implement projects or programmes with a rights-based approach.
Women marching in Jan Satyagraha
Women marching in Jan Satyagraha. Photo: Goran Basic / Ekta Parishad

Development cooperation projects are always conducted by a Swedish organisation and a local organisation in the country where the project is conducted. The local and the swedish organisations are planning jointly.

The civil society support provided by Forum Syd shall contribute to the Swedish government’s Civil Society Organisation strategy and are expected to contribute to strengthening the capacity of civil society actors, and the civic space.

If you are interested in applying for civil society funding, the first step is to find out if your organisation is eligible to apply.

Who can apply for grants?

To be able to apply for grants at Forum Syd, your organisation must first pass an eligibility assessment done by Forum Syd. You apply to become eligible through our organisation portal.

To be eligible to apply for a grant from the Civil Society Programme, your organisation must:

  • Be a registered non-profit organisation or trust in Sweden.
  • Be based in Sweden.
  • Have non-profit goals.
  • Promote democratic development and human rights.
  • Have existed for at least one fiscal year if applying for grants of up to SEK 500,000
  • Have existed for more than two fiscal years if applying for grants over SEK 500 000 
  • Have the capacity to contribute with 5% of the total project budget
  • Have a local implementing partner in the country where the intervention will take place

 Organisations NOT eligible to apply for grants from Forum Syd include:

  •  Other Sida framework organisations.
  •  Organisations with membership in other framework organisations.
  •  Economic/for profit associations or other firms such as cooperatives.

What documents must be submitted?

For Forum Syd to assess your organisation’s eligibility, you must provide the following documents:

Non-profit organisation

  •  Statutes with the date of approval
  •  Registration certificate from the Swedish Tax Agency
  •  Latest annual meeting minutes signed by authorized signatories
  •  Latest activity report, signed by the departing board
  •  Latest annual report including income statement and balance report. Signed by departing board
  •  Latest auditors' report, signed and dated by the Trustee Auditor
  •  Extracts from minutes that show the organisation’s elected authorised signatories and that they are required to sign in unison

Trust

  •  Memorandum of association, or the foundation’s statutes with the date of approval 
  •  Registration certificate from the county administrative board, also known as “länsstyrelsen”.
  •  Latest annual meeting protocol, signed by the board
  •  Latest annual financial report including the results reportincome statement and balance sheet balance report, signed by the departing board
  •  Audit report elaborating on whether the organisation has managed operations and accounting in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and other regulatory documents, signed and dated by the Trustee Auditor
  •  Minutes from board meeting showing the selected organisation’s signatories and that they are required to sign in unison

 Eligibility assessment timeframe

The eligibility assessment takes approximately 5 weeks for Forum Syd to complete. Forum Syd will inform if your organisation is eligible or not to apply for a grant. You will then receive information about the validity date of the eligibility assessment. When this date has passed, your organisation need to undergo a new eligibility assessment.

Once your organisation is eligible to apply for funding, the project and/or programme must be implemented in one of the countries listed in the OECD DAC list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients.

Please note that according to the principals of aid effectiveness, a local partner cannot receive financial support from more than one Swedish organisation at the same time. In the case when more than one Swedish organisation would like to support the same local partner, a joint proposal must be elaborated, where only one Swedish organisation takes main responsibility of the project.

Pre-study  Up to 100 000 SEK
A pre-study is based on an already established cooperation between a Swedish civil society organisation and a local partner organisation in an Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipient country.

The aim of pre-studies is to increase a bottom-up-approach and local ownership in the planning and implementation of future development projects and programs. Applications for pre-studies can be submitted to Forum Syd once a year on the following dates: October 15-22, 2018

Level 1 – Up to 270 000 SEK
Applications can be submitted to Forum Syd once a year on the following dates: October 15-22, 2018

Level 2 – Up to 500 00 SEK
Applications can be submitted to Forum Syd once a year on the following dates: October 15-22, 2018

Level 3 – Up to 1 000 000 SEK
Applications can be submitted to Forum Syd once a year, May 1-7, 2018

Level 4 – More than 1 000 000 SEK
Applications can be submitted to Forum Syd once a year, May 1-7, 2018

Which grant can my organisation apply for?

In order to apply for a grant your organisation must either:

  1. have implemented a project and received an approved final project report by Forum Syd of a grant level lower than the budget level you intend to apply for. For example, in order to apply for a grant of up to 500,000 SEK (level 2) your organisation must have implemented an approved project with a grant of up to 270,000 SEK (level 1); in order to apply for a level 4 grant your organisation must have implemented an approved project of a level 3 grant.
  2.  your organisation has been assessed by Forum Syd as eligible and have demonstrated capacity to manage the grant by submitting certified financial statements and organisational audit reports for your last fiscal year/s.

 All organisations applying for more than SEK 1,000,000 SEK in total are to be assessed according to certain criteria to assure good internal steering and control. Your organisation may also undergo external compliance audits financed by Forum Syd.

Only organisations that have passed through Forum Syd’s eligibility assessment are able to apply for funding.

Application and all required documents need to be completed and submitted through Forum Syd’s organisation portal. No e-mail or hard copies will be accepted. If the application is received past the deadline it will be dismissed.

All applications should be submitted in English. For projects in Latin America and the Caribbean Spanish is accepted. In exceptional cases Swedish is permitted and must be approved by Forum Syd before the application is assessed. A letter motivating why the application is being submitted in Swedish must be submitted at the time of application through the organisation portal.

Selection and decision

Forum Syd approves grant applications through an objective and competitive process. All applications will be assessed based on pre-determined criteria ensuring effective development results.

The application process consists of three phases:

  1. The application is assessed by Forum Syd Sub-Granting Officers.
  2. A Sub-granting officer from one of Forum Syd’s international offices evaluates the assessment of the previous sub-granting officers.
  3. The Sub-Granting Officers’ evaluation and recommendation is assessed by a Technical Independent Committee at Forum Syd. This Committee approves or rejects all received applications.

When will our organisation be notified?

For pre-studies, grant level one and two you can expect to receive an answer within 22 weeks after the set deadline for submitting a complete application. For grant level three and four you will receive a final decision about your application in January the year after you submitted your application.

When a project has been approved, Forum Syd sends a grant Agreement to your organisation. Two copies of the Agreement shall be signed and one should be sent back to Forum Syd by regular mail. This should happen as soon as possible, but no later than 6 months after receiving the formal project approval. Failing to return the signed Agreement on time will result in your grant being forfeited.

Along with the agreement you will also receive a Requisition Form that enables you to submit a request for your project’s first disbursement. Note that the first disbursement can only be made after the agreement between Forum Syd and your organisation has been signed.

To transfer funds to your local partner organisation an agreement must be signed between your organisation and the local partner. A copy of this agreement shall be sent to Forum Syd at the latest within 6 months after the project start.

Changes to project

If the planned activities are not implemented according to plan or if problems arise during the implementation of the project, your organisation is required to inform Forum Syd.

According to the agreement with Forum Syd, deviations over 10% from any budget post must be reported to your assigned sub-granting officer immediately, motivated in writing and approved by Forum Syd. Deviations below 10% do not require written approval in advance, but must be explained in the annual and final reports. For organisations with a programme agreement all budget alterations of SEK 150 000 need to be approved in written by Forum Syd. 

Any changes that affect the likelihood of achieving a project’s objectives must also be immediately reported. In addition to changes to the project activities or budget, please notify your assigned sub-granting officer of any other foreseen or unforeseen changes, such as new project managers, change of authorized signatories of the organisation, new bank account, etc. Requests for increased grant volumes are never approved. You find templates for changes within your project on the organisation portal.

A development project that lasts longer than 18 months must be reported on an annual basis. Projects with grants over 270,000 SEK requires annual audit reports, both in Sweden and in the country of implementation. Projects with grants below 270,000 SEK can, after a written approval from Forum Syd, use a Certificate of Fund. The submission date/s for annual reports will be determined by your agreement with Forum Syd. Generally, the final date for submission of annual reports is 1 April.

The annual reports are to be submitted by regular mail (hard copy) and through the organisation portal (digital copy). All pages of the annual reports (narrative and financial) must be signed by two authorized signatories of your organisation.

The annual report shall include:

  • Narrative annual report
  • Financial report, print out from the organisational portal, signed by the two authorized signatories and the auditor  
  • Independent auditor’s report in accordance with ISA 805
  • Report of factual findings in accordance with ISRS 4400
  • Auditor's management letter.
  • Management response to Auditor’s management letter

If your organisation reports on a multiannual project, the final report must describe the entire project period and not just the final year, both for the financial final report and the external audit. 

Please remember that the documents must be signed by the authorized signatories. All documents related to the audit must also be signed by a qualified, external and independent auditor.

In the final report your organisation and your partner organisation/s present your achievements and report on any changes in the project or program. It is an opportunity to look back and reflect on what went well and what challenges your organisation encountered. A vital part of the final report is to showcase financial outcomes in relation to obtained results.

The submission date for the final report is dictated by your Agreement with Forum Syd. Generally, the final report date is April 1 the year after you have completed the project. Programme narrative reports are also to be submitted by 1st of April and the financial report by April 15th.

The reports are to be completed and submitted through the organisation portal. The final reports are also to be submitted by regular mail (hard copy) and signed by the authorized signatories on all pages.

The final report shall include:

  • Pre-study final report template, or Project final report template and results matrix
  • Financial report, print out from the organizational portal, signed by the two authorized signatories and the auditor  
  • Independent auditor’s report in accordance with ISA 805
  • Report of factual findings in accordance with ISRS 4400
  • Auditor’s management letter
  • Management response to Auditor’s management letter

If your organisation is reporting on a multi-year project, the final report needs to cover the whole project period and not just the last year, for both final reports and external audit report.

Please remember that the documents must be signed by the authorized signatories. All documents related to the audit must also be signed by an authorized, external and independent auditor.