NGO Fund of EEA Grants: support for developing bilateral relations with donor states

 Open call for proposals

In 2015 we have witnessed a record number of refugees from war- and conflict-ridden countries seeking safety and asylum in Europe. These refugees are extremely vulnerable: according to UNCHR over half of all Syrian refugees are children. At the same time many countries and societies in Europe have little experience in integrating people of Middle-Eastern and North-African origin and there is wide-spread prejudice towards refugees, what often leads to raising of extremism, hate speech and hate crimes. Estonia is one of them. Civil society can play an important part in enhancing public understanding and support, monitoring their human rights situations, increase awareness on refugee issues, influence public opinion and help refugees to adapt and integrate into their new communities.

 Call for Applications

One of the goals of EEA Grants in current programming period is to strengthen bilateral relations between beneficiary countries and donor states (i.e. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), and with international organisations. We call for applications from civil society organisations to engage new partners from donor states and provide financial support for that purpose. International organisations may also be involved in the activity

 Eligible applicants are non-governmental public benefit organisations established as a legal entity in Estonia that satisfy the following criteria:

  • have been active at least for one year;
  • are independent of local, regional and central government, public entities, political parties and commercial organisations;
  • have a non-commercial purpose and have not been created nor operate to generate personal profit, and do not pursue commercial or professional interests of its members;
  • are established as civic initiative and voluntarily by groups or individuals and involve an element of voluntary participation.
  • have experience in working with at least one of the following issues:
  1. tackling and combating hate speech and racism both online and offline;
  2. working with asylum seekers and integration of the refugees into Estonian society;
  3. advocacy campaigns and public awareness raising on the issues of hate speech and refugees.

Important terms for applying for support:

  • at least one partner organisation from  Norway, Island and Liechtenstein must be involved in the bilateral activity;
  • partner contributes to the outcome of the project and is actively involved in the preparation, implementation and evaluation phases of the project;
  • eligible costs are connected with the subject of the contract, proportionate and necessary for the implementation of the activity;
  • partners in projects are public entities, non-governmental organisations, as well as international organisations, think tanks and academic institutions, local informal, ad hoc and self-help organisations.

Grant can be used to organise meetings, seminars, workshops and other joint activities taking place in Estonia and donor countries; When an international organisation is involved in the activity, the activity may take place elsewhere if necessary and proportionate. The aim of these activities may, for instance, be:

  • sharing experience, knowledge and know-how with a partner
  • gathering effective practices and experiences
  • joint discussions to share experiences and develop best practices and campaigns
  • strengthening and expanding cooperation networks, developing agreements for future joint projects, etc

Size of the grant and eligible period:

The maximum amount of support per project is EUR 2,500.

EUR 18 000 euro in total are made available in this open call for proposals and will be allocated to best proposals.

Support from the NGO Fund can cover 100% of projects eligible costs.

Projects should be implemented during period January- March 2016

Eligible costs:

Eligible costs of the project are expenditures of Project promoter or partner, which are incurred between the first and final dates of eligibility of a project as specified in the project contract; connected with the subject of the project contract and they are indicated in the estimated overall budget of the project; proportionate and necessary for the implementation of the project; used for the sole purpose of achieving the objective(s) of the project and its expected outcome(s), in a manner consistent with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness; identifiable and verifiable, in particular through being recorded in the accounting records of the Project promoter according to the applicable accounting standards and principles; comply with the requirements of applicable Estonian legislation.

All expenditures of the project must be proved with invoices or accounting documents of same value.

Costs of the Estonian NGO, donor state entity (and international organisation if applicable) can be covered from the grant to the bilateral activity.

Grant may be used to cover the costs of:

  • travel expenses,
  • per diems,
  • accommodation,
  • rooms rental,
  • transportation,
  • other reasonable expenses needed to organise joint activities with partner organisations (fees etc). 

 Application process:

 Deadline for submitting proposals is 9th of December, 2015on 11:59 p.m at the latest.

Application is submitted on the form of NGO Fund in English.

CV of the project manager should be added to proposal.

Applications should be submitted in electronically on email vyf@oef.org.ee

Application form on bilateral cooperationis available  here 

Evaluation process:

Applications will be assessed by the Fund Operator and decisions shall be communicated to the applicants within two weeks from the application.

NGO Fund is a specific Programme area within the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, earmarked to provide flexible and accessible funding to eligible NGOs, with the aim to foster an enabling environment for the sector, strengthen its capacity and enhance its contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development. NGO Fund in Estonia is established with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Donor states and the Republic of Estonia. Fund Operator for the programme is Open Estonia Foundation (OEF).  During the programming period 2012 – 2014 altogether 5 open calls were organized for supporting projects of public benefit NGOs in the amount of 1,910,000 EUR. There is broad cooperation with donor state entities, which will increase the cooperation between institutions and individuals of the 13 participatory countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Latvia, Romania, Cyprus, Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Malta, Slovenia, Estonia) through formal and ad hoc ways of exchange and cooperation.

Additional information:     

Jelena Katsuba

Avatud Eesti Fond/Open Estonia Foundation

+372 615 5700 (Mon-Thr 9-17)

e-mail jelena@oef.org.ee