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CALL FOR PROPOSALS SGP: 6th Operational Phase Country Programme Strategy Development Process

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The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) provides non-governmental and community-based organizations (NGOs/CBOs) in developing countries with grants to enable them to tackle global environmental challenges while addressing local sustainable development needs. SGP is a GEF corporate programme, implemented by UNDP and executed by UNOPS. SGP [Lebanon] started financing projects in [2005]. Since then, it has succeeded in funding and providing technical support for more than [79] grant projects.
In its 6th Operational Phase (OP6) which will be under implementation during 2015 to 2018, SGP has the following objective: “to support the creation of global environmental benefits and the safeguarding of the global environment through community and local solutions that complement and add value to national and global level action”.

The table below presents the key components or “strategic initiatives” which are multi-focal in character and that will guide SGP grant-making in OP6. Countries will be able to prioritize and select from among these strategic initiatives based on national priorities and following country level multi-stakeholder consultations.

SGP OP6 Strategic Initiatives

1. Community landscape/seascape conservation
2. Climate smart innovative agro-ecology
3. Low carbon energy access co-benefits
4. Local to global chemical management coalitions
5. CSO-government policy and planning dialogue platforms
6. Promoting social inclusion:
i. Gender mainstreaming
ii. Youth involvement
iii. Indigenous Peoples fellowships
7. Global reach for citizen practice based knowledge programme
i. Digital library of community innovations
ii. South-South community innovation exchange

A key element of SGP’s implementation in OP6 will be the development of landscape/seascape approaches within countries to better focus grant-making and promote strategic programming and clustering of small grant projects with the aim to achieve greater impact and lead to synergies and opportunities for scaling up. Depending on size and context of countries, as well as available funding for grant-making, countries may select one or more landscapes/seascapes within which community projects will be supported. SGP will focus on supporting and coordinating concrete actions at the grassroots level by providing small-scale finance for local community-led projects within given priority landscapes, to achieve landscape-scale impacts in developing countries. SGP will also review, analyze, and codify results of these on-the-ground actions to distill and disseminate lessons which can be used for replication within the country and in other parts of the world.

Another key element of SGP’s approach in OP6 will be to enhance its role as a Grantmaker+ by strategically planning for the provision of services needed for achievement of greater portfolio impact, this may be done through selective use of capacity development grants as well as non-grant support services, networks and partnerships.

This call for proposals is to solicit civil society organizations to put forward proposals that help SGP undertake a preparatory process to develop its strategy for OP6. This will involve multi-stakeholder consultations, development of baseline assessment(s) of priority identified landscape(s)/seascape(s), and elaboration of the Country Programme Strategy (CPS) for OP6 in close coordination with the SGP National Coordinator and National Steering Committee in [Lebanon]. The key steps in this preparatory process and the key deliverables expected are described in detail below.

II. Key steps in the OP6 Country Programme Strategy elaboration process

Step 1. OP6 Country Programme Strategy consultations and Scoping exercise
To initiate the development of the SGP OP6 Country Programme Strategy (OP6 CPS) an assessment and scoping exercise should be undertaken which will take stock of the results and achievements of the SGP country programme thus far and identify the priority directions for programming in OP6 in line the SGP OP6 project document, the country’s national priorities, GEF 6 programming directions, and potential for synergy with UNDP and other partner agencies.

This CPS consultation and scoping process will extend beyond the NSC to involve relevant stakeholders from government, civil society, UNDP country office, sector agencies and other partners. Its purpose is to identify the niche of SGP for programming in OP6 in order to focus the programme to deliver the strategic impact expected in terms of the OP6 directions and initiatives.

This process will include the following broad elements:

a) Communications, outreach and capacity development about OP6 and its strategic initiatives. Such communications should serve to explain the need to focus SGP on landscape/seascape areas for achievement of greater strategic impact through clustering of projects and achievement of synergies.

b) Multi-stakeholder consultations. This consultation process should include the NSC, TAG and other relevant partners from government, civil society, UNDP, partner agencies etc. in order to achieve a broad consensus on the country programme approach in OP6.

c) Selection of the landscape/seascape area(s) of focus, with consideration given to SGP’s niche, opportunities, challenges, and potential for synergies, etc. Depending on country size and grant resources available country programmes may select one or more landscapes or seascapes. For smaller countries, such as SIDS, the entire country may be considered as one landscape or seascape – in such cases, the programme would need to identify a thematic focus or niche to ensure that SGP grantmaking is strategic and achieves greater impact.

d) Grant-making outside the selected landscape/seascape area(s). In OP6, up to 30% of grant resources could be allocated outside of the landscape/seascape areas, provided that these funds are utilized strategically. Criteria for prioritization of projects and a typology of projects may be identified in the General Evaluation and Scoping Exercise. For example priority may be given by the country programme to grants outside the landscape/seascape area(s) that:
– Projects that promote innovation in relation to SGP OP6 strategic initiatives and directions
– Projects that provide new opportunities for partnerships and replication.
– Help translate landscape lessons into policy or promote uptake
– CSO-government dialogue platforms that promote civil society engagement with government in the context of multilateral environmental agreements

Key outputs to be produced at this stage would include: (a) a short report documenting the consultation and scoping process with key agreements on the CPS approach recorded, and (b) a draft outline of the CPS already developed to the extent possible with the landscape/seascape approach still to be fully elaborated in Step 2.

Step 2. Selected Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment

The Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment process will be guided by the CPS Consultation and Scoping Exercise in the country which lays out the consensus for the priorities and planning for delivering OP6 outcomes in the country. The Landscape/Seascape Strategy developed for each country programme will describe the landscape approach for supporting global environmental activities in line with the selected strategic initiatives in the SGP Country Programme Strategy that contribute to sustainable development at the community level.

The objective of the baseline assessment is to assist SGP National Coordinators and National Steering Committees a) to elaborate a landscape/seascape-wide baseline, b) to develop a landscape/seascape strategy that will guide grant-making with typology of projects proposed, and sets of indicators for selected SGP strategic initiatives identified. The baseline assessment provides information about the current state of the landscapes/seascapes, through consultations with local communities and stakeholders which can be used as a basis for setting goals and desired outcomes.

The Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment will study the key challenges, global environmental issues, and identify the opportunities for community and CSO actions. The baseline assessment process will include community consultations, and ensure participation of the range of stakeholders in the landscape, including local authorities, civil society, community organizations, and other relevant partners. The baseline assessment will include the following key elements:

a) Baseline analysis. Identification of the landscape/seascape context and background, including threats to the global environment, sustainable development, and key actions and plans underway, and identification of relevant stakeholders within and outside the landscape who need to be involved and play a role. The boundaries of the landscape/seascape should be identified along with an analysis of the baseline activities that the SGP Country programme can build on as well as the gaps that it can intervene to address.

b) Elaborating SGP OP6 Strategic initiatives within the landscape/seascape context. Based on results of the CPS Consultation and Scoping process, the country will have identified the selective strategic priorities for grantmaking. Within the Baseline Assessment the implementation of the priority OP6 strategic initiatives selected by countries will be elaborated within the landscape/seascape context with (a) typologies of projects developed, (b) indicators and targets and results framework developed.

c) Modalities for implementation will be proposed, such as possibilities for linking and connecting projects within the landscape for learning and exchange, fostering engagement with local authorities, identifying policy influence and scaling up opportunities, promoting participatory M&E that enables community involvement, and facilitating knowledge management and capture and dissemination of results.

As a key output of the Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment process a report will be produced that will present the baseline analysis, the elaboration of the SGP strategy within the landscape and the modalities for implementation. The report will also present the consultative process followed and the results of community consultations held. This report will be presented to the NSC and NC and may be prepared in the national languages as appropriate (note it will not be required for review by the SGP Central Programme Management Team (CPMT) at SGP headquarters).

Step 3. Country Programme Strategy Finalization

Based on the above steps and once the Baseline Assessment process for the selected Landscape/Seascape area(s) of focus has been completed and agreed, the SGP OP6 Country Programme Strategy (CPS) will be fully elaborated and finalized. A draft of the complete CPS (no more than 25 pages in total length) will be produced for review and comment by the NC and NSC. It will also be shared for review and approval by the CPMT. Any final comments from the NSC and CPMT will be taken into account and addressed in the final draft of the CPS which will then be widely shared and posted online for public information.

III. Scope of the assignment:
The Grantee’s main responsibilities will include to undertake all (or some) of the key steps 1 through 3 outlined in II above, based on the needs and specific agreement with the SGP [Lebanon] country programme. The Grantee will be expected to produce the key deliverables foreseen under the various key steps in a professional and timely manner. The timely completion of all key deliverables will be critical for this project given that it will prepare the CPS which will be needed for further grant-making within the selected landscape/seascape area(s) of focus. It is foreseen that the entire project, if undertaking steps 1 through 3, be completed within a four month period.

The grantee will design preparatory exercises and help prepare for and facilitate consultations throughout the key steps outlined above, including the preparation of necessary information and background documents as needed. The grantee will capture and document key points of discussion and agreement from stakeholder consultations at national and landscape/seascape level.

The grantee will work closely with the SGP National Coordinator (NC) and National Steering Committee (NSC) members (and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) members if appropriate) in completing steps 1 through 3.

IV. Who may submit proposals:

The project may be undertaken by an appropriate, experienced national or subnational NGO or academic institution as an on-the-ground capacity building project and financed by a grant. The proposal will clearly present the experience of the applicant and its partner organizations in the issues to be addressed.

V. Competencies Required for the project:

• Demonstrated capacity for strategic thinking and analysis
• Proven experiences in working with community-led initiatives as well as experience in community and stakeholder participatory processes.
• Expertise on global environment and sustainable development issues
• Expertise in landscape/seascape management
• Proven capacity to produce high quality qualitative research and ability to absorb, analyze and synthesize large amounts of complex information within tight deadlines.
• Strong presentation and facilitation skills.
• Exceptional writing skills of policy and communication materials for a variety of audiences, including the civil society and policymakers.
• Excellent writing, presentation, communication and facilitation skills in English, French or Spanish, as well as relevant national languages in the countries where SGP operates.

VI. Budget: The maximum amount per grant award for the entire project will be limited to $25,000, with applicants required to provide a detailed budgetary estimate.

VII. Period of services (if applicable): the entire process comprising the 3 key steps is expected to be completed within a four month time frame with the First Step completed within a month or shorter. Please provide a detailed timeline as part of your proposal.

For proposal submission and more information, contact:

[Adnan Melki], National Coordinator, GEF Small Grants Programme, [Lebanon] ;

Completed proposals should be received by the SGP National Coordinator no later than 5 June 2016.

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