Armenian association of Social Workers

SUB-GRANTS PROGRAMME Questions & Answers
2017 March 17

 Social Workers in Collaboration for Social Change in Eastern Neighbourhood Countries (SWIC)

EuropeAid/135811/DH/ACT/Multi

SUB-GRANTS PROGRAMME

 

Questions & Answers

Questions related to the applicants and their experience:

  1. What is preferable way of sub-grant application: in consortium or single CSO? Is there any advantage in this case?

According to point 2.2. of the Guidelines, “Eligible applicants can either apply alone (without partners) or act together with other partners”. This implies that there is no preference as to applications by single CSOs or CSOs acting as consortium and applications will be evaluated in the same way. Preference, however, will be given to applicants representing “smaller CSOs registered in regions outside the capital“ (point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines). If several CSOs decide to cooperate as a group (consortium), “at least one applicant (lead applicant or co-applicant) of the group must be registered outside the capital” (point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines). The input of each organization should be clearly justified in the Application and the share of responsibilities clearly stated in point 5 of the Grant Application Form. Furthermore, the share of responsibilities should also be reflected in the Budget.

  1. Please specify what you mean by saying that international organisations and their local branches/representative offices are not eligible. What if the local branches are registered as local NGOs?

Eligibility of organisations is clearly defined in point 2.2.1 of the Guideline. Eligible applicants are those registered in Armenia only. Any international organisation or their local branches which are not registered as local CSOs are not eligible for this call.

  1. Can the Lead organization be based in the capital?

According to point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines, “smaller CSOs registered in regions outside the capital are particularly encouraged to apply”. This at the same time implies that CSOs registered in the capital can also apply for this call, if project activities take place “in one or several regions of the country outside the capital” (point 2.3.3. of the Guidelines).

  1. What do you mean by proven experience of project implementation? How it should be proved?

According to point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines, the lead applicant must “have demonstrable experience of implementing at least two projects, each with a min. project budget of at least 33% of the requested grant amount, preferably related to the social field, in Armenia within the last 5 years, thereof at least one mainly targeting one or several regions outside the capital”. To prove this experience, please fill in the table under point 9.1 of the Grant Application Form.

According to point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines, co-applicants “are obligatorily required to prove that min. two employees that will be involved in the Action on behalf of the co-applicant have been involved in the coordination or implementation of donor-funded projects for min. 6 months each by indicating the names of the suggested employees, the name of the projects they have been involved, their function in these projects, the implementing organisations, contact data of referees, donors and duration of their involvement”. To prove this experience, please fill in the table under point 9.2 of the Grant Application Form.

  1. If the organization was established just a year ago or this year and it doesn’t have experience with projects, is it eligible to apply?

According to point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines, in order to qualify as a lead applicant, an organization should “have demonstrable experience of implementing at least two projects, each with a min. project budget of at least 33% of the requested grant amount, preferably related to the social field, in Armenia within the last 5 years, thereof at least one mainly targeting one or several regions outside the capital”.

If an organization does not have sufficient project experience, it can alternatively cooperate with an eligible lead applicant and apply as co-applicant (see point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines for the eligibility criteria of co-applicants).

  1. If only NGOs can apply for the program. Can city halls also apply? (In some city halls there is the department of Social Assistance)

According to points 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 of the Guidelines, eligible applicants must be non-profit making civil society organizations.

  1. Оur organization operates in the capital and has several filials  (one of them in the east part of the country). The filial  has been implementing projects (in region) written by capital branch.  But till March the regional filial will be registered as an independent organization, but still will provide the same services. Is it possible for it to apply in grant competition? Can they show the experience they had while they were a filial of our main office?

According to point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines, “smaller CSOs registered in regions outside the capital are particularly encouraged to apply”. This at the same time implies that CSOs registered in the capital can also apply for this call, if project activities take place “in one or several regions of the country outside the capital” (point 2.3.3. of the Guidelines). In order to qualify as a lead applicant, an organization should “have demonstrable experience of implementing at least two projects, each with a min. project budget of at least 33% of the requested grant amount, preferably related to the social field, in Armenia within the last 5 years, thereof at least one mainly targeting one or several regions outside the capital” (point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines).

  1. Is it relevant for the grant competition if a grant applicant (registered, experienced organization) will apply with a project which will refer to strengthening the organizations that are not registered as an organization yet but operated as a non-formal one?

Only registered organizations can act either as lead or co-applicants under this call, non-formal organizations are not eligible (see points 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 of the Guidelines).

 

  1. Should we include CVs of the project staff (personal information and working experience) together with the grant application documents?

Provision of separate CVs is not necessary; please only fill in the tables of point 9.2. of the Grant Application Form.

  1. The applicant organization must include a Copy of the registration certificate in its project documentation. But there is a question: The certificate is the one that was made when organization was established or an extract from National Agency of Public Registry that also shows if there was any changes made recently. Which one do you think is more relevant?

If any changes were made to the registration certificate since the first registration, please provide a more recent extract from the National Agency of Public Registry.

  1. If both previous projects (in the guide is stated the organization should have at least 2 achieved projects) should constitute 33% or for each project.

According to point 2.2.1 of the Grant Guidelines, (lead) applicants must have demonstrable experience of implementing at least two projects in the country within the last 5 years, preferably related to the social field, whereby at least one should have mainly targeted one or several regions outside the capital. Thereby each of these two projects should have had a minimum project budget of at least 33% of the requested grant amount.

  1. Does the required 33% for both Lead and Co-applicant? Should it be constituted out of one project only or all projects?

According to point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines, in order to qualify as a lead applicant, an organization should “have demonstrable experience of implementing at least two projects, each with a min. project budget of at least 33% of the requested grant amount, preferably related to the social field, in Armenia within the last 5 years, thereof at least one mainly targeting one or several regions outside the capital”. This implies that each of these two reference projects of the lead applicant should have had a minimum project budget of at least 33% of the requested grant amount.

According to point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines, “co-applicants can, but are not required to provide evidence on one or several successfully implemented projects.” This implies that they do not have to state reference projects. If they nevertheless decide to state reference projects under point 9.2 of the Grant Application Form, then no restrictions as to the minimum project budget apply to these reference projects.

However, according to point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines, co-applicants “are obligatorily required to prove that min. two employees that will be involved in the Action on behalf of the co-applicant have been involved in the coordination or implementation of donor-funded projects for min. 6 months each by indicating the names of the suggested employees, the name of the projects they have been involved, their function in these projects, the implementing organisations, contact data of referees, donors and duration of their involvement by filling in table 9.2 of the Grant Application Form.

  1. Should the co-solicitants also have 2 previous projects?

According to point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines, “co-applicants can, but are not required to provide evidence on one or several successfully implemented projects. Instead, they are obligatorily required to prove that min. two employees that will be involved in the Action on behalf of the co-applicant have been involved in the coordination or implementation of donor-funded projects for min. 6 months each by indicating the names of the suggested employees, the name of the projects they have been involved, their function in these projects, the implementing organisations, contact data of referees, donors and duration of their involvement” by filling in table 9.2 of the Grant Application Form.

  1. If the organization was the co-solicitant in another project but it didn’t manage itself the funds, can it apply for the project?

If the organization can show that it managed part of the project funds and this part is at least 33% of the requested grant amount, this project can be accepted as relevant reference project.

If an organization does not have sufficient project experience, it can alternatively cooperate with an eligible lead applicant and apply as co-applicant (see point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines for the eligibility criteria of co-applicants).

  1. If an organization is newly established and does not have any project experience, but the director of this organization has a proven track record of managing bulk projects, can this organization apply as lead applicant?

According to point 2.2.1 of the Guidelines, in order to qualify as a lead applicant, an organization should “have demonstrable experience of implementing at least two projects”. This implies that the grant recipient should be the organization, not an individual person.

If an organization does not have sufficient project experience and only selected staff members of this organizations, it can alternatively cooperate with an eligible lead applicant and apply as co-applicant (see point 2.2.2 of the Guidelines for the eligibility criteria of co-applicants).

Questions related to the project scope, eligible activities and expected results:

  1. If a project applicant decides to choose the third option (named as C in project application guidelines) from section 2.3.5 of project application guidelines, does this mean the applicant must choose point (a) or (b) in this case, or applicant can use the surveys/researches done recently and also concepts made after that?

It is not necessary to conduct all activities listed under 2.3.5 in sequence. Surveys/research recently conducted and concepts made can of course be used and should not be duplicated by the project proposal.

However, winning applicants must choose minimum 2 of the stated activities. Only choosing the third option would not be sufficient. Furthermore, according to point 2.3.5 “for each chosen activity, applicants have to obligatorily incorporate a Social Work component”.

Applicants wishing to pilot services need to give sufficient justification for the proposed pilot concept and why especially this pilot concept was chosen. Justification can either be developed in the course of the project (e.g. by conducting analyses/surveys and subsequently developing concepts) or by referring to already previously conducted research/surveys outside of the framework of the suggested project and its main findings in the Grant Application Form (point 3 / background).

  1. Is it possible to make a research of needs and give recommendations? Is it possible to build project only on those two activities?

Applicants are free to choose minimum 2 of the eligible activities listed under point 2.3.5., However, for each chosen activity, applicants have to obligatorily incorporate a Social Work component, e.g. by analyzing social work specific issues in the context of family strengthening and preservation or improved inter-sectorial cooperation, by demonstrating how Social Work can contribute to improvements in before stated areas, etc.

  1. Is it preference to focus on a specific social issue, such as domestic violence and child abuse in selected villages and work on actions on the improvement of family strengthening policy from this perspective. This would mean to focus on victims of domestic violence and child abuse as the relevant target group. Or: - to focus on a more general social level in the selected villages and on the policy which should be in place and to work on measures which are missing - in the field of protection of families. This would mean to address primarily vulnerable families in general on the village level.

Winning applications can clearly demonstrate the specific pre-action situation in the target region(s) and/or community(ies); identify specific problems; and define a logical, sequential sequence of activities (comprising minimum two of the eligible activities listed under point 2.3.) that address this specific problem and that contribute to a coherent and consistent project design and sustainable project outcome. Depending on the identified problem and the chosen approach, actions may address one or several policy and impact levels and involve different stakeholder groups, if duly explained and justified in the Grant Application.

  1. Is piloting a mandatory activity for this call?

No, piloting services (point 2.3.5 (c) of the Grant Guidelines) is not an obligatory activity. Applicants are free to choose minimum 2 of the eligible activities listed under point 2.3.5. However, when applicant(s) choose to test concepts in practice and pilot services, a professional social worker with social work degree as consultant or practitioner has to be involved obligatorily. The only obligatory requirement would be to incorporate a Social Work component, e.g. by analyzing social work specific issues in the context of family strengthening and preservation or improved inter-sectorial cooperation, by demonstrating how Social Work can contribute to improvements in before stated areas, etc. in any chosen activity.

  1. Please specify what do you mean by "incorporate a Social Work component"?

According to point 2.3.5, “for each chosen activity, applicants have to obligatorily incorporate a Social Work component, e.g. by analyzing social work specific issues in the context of family strengthening and preservation or improved inter-sectorial cooperation, by demonstrating how Social Work can contribute to improvements in before stated areas, etc.”

  1. Is cooperation with local government and state agencies mandatory?

Applicants are free to choose minimum 2 activities from the list of eligible activities stated under point 2.3.5, whereby points (e) and (f) explicitly focus on inter-agency and inter-sectorial cooperation. Even if an applicant does not chose either of these two points and plans to implement a set of specific activities on inter-agency cooperation, he should be plan involvement, regular consultations and cooperation with relevant stakeholders, amongst them local government and state agencies, wherever possible to increase the sustainability of the planned Action. Winning applicants will be able to prove in their Grant Application how they intend to involve relevant stakeholders in the planned Action.

  1. Please explain whether the project can be implemented in the capital whereas serve beneficiaries coming from the regions?

According to point 2.3.3 of the Guidelines, “actions shall take place in one or several regions of the country outside of the capital.” This is irrespective of the fact where the beneficiaries come from.

  1. Can the project be implemented only in 1 village or more?

According to point 2.3.3 of the Guidelines, “actions shall take place in one or several regions of the country outside of the capital.” If the project is only implemented in 1 or several villages, not an entire region, the applicant should clearly demonstrate how he intends to balance the ratio between the proposed estimated expenses and the expected results (including number of target groups and final beneficiaries).

Questions related to the project budget and eligible costs:

  1. Is it possible for the applicant organization to have a service contract with research organization? (the applicant organization plans to study a concrete issue but has no experience or staff to research on the issue)

According to 2.5.1, point D, of the Grant Guidelines national external experts are eligible direct costs. Service contracts with a research organization fall under this category too.

  1. Is it possible for the applicant organization to have a contract with a State Social Service agency representative (to hire her/him as a consultant or as an expert?) The State Social Agency is  a Public Legal Entity.

According to 2.5.2. of the Grant Guidelines, “salary costs of the personnel of governmental state and local administrations” are ineligible costs. If this person is however hired as an external Social Work expert for his/her input in the project and if staff members of state social agencies are allowed to conclude service or similar contracts next to their usual work under the local labour law, then hiring this person as consultant would be acceptable.

  1. If social workers engaged in city halls can be engaged in the project as experts.

According to 2.5.2. of the Grant Guidelines, “salary costs of the personnel of governmental state and local administrations” are ineligible costs. If this person is however hired as an external Social Work expert for his/her input in the project and if staff members of city halls are allowed to conclude service or similar contracts next to their usual work under the local labour law, then hiring this person as expert would be acceptable.

  1. If civil servants can be engaged in the project as experts.

According to 2.5.2. of the Grant Guidelines, “salary costs of the personnel of governmental state and local administrations” are ineligible costs. If this person is however hired as an external expert for his/her input in the project and if civil servants are allowed to conclude service or similar contracts next to their usual work under the local labour law, then hiring this person as expert would be acceptable.

  1. In the guidelines there is furniture indicated under eligible costs but does it include also e.g a bed (not office furniture)?

In principle any kind of furniture is eligible for funding, as long as it is directly linked with the planned Action, the necessity to purchase this furniture is well explained and justified and the overall budget is well balanced. The type of furniture would essentially depend on the nature of the project and the suggested services. For instance, if an organization decides to also pilot social services and for this would need e.g. beds for a child day center and if this is well explained and justified, then such beds would also be acceptable, as long as the majority of the expenses would not be spent on furniture.

  1. Are eligible activities that renovate some centres for vulnerable people, the elderly, disabled, etc. Can the organization purchase equipment, furniture, etc.? Can it provide community centres with the necessary equipment so the center can provide social work for children, minors with disabilities and the elderly?

In principle any kind of furniture and equipment is eligible for funding, as long as it is directly linked with the planned Action, the necessity to purchase this furniture is well explained and justified and the overall budget is well balanced. The type of furniture and equipment would essentially depend on the nature of the project and the suggested services. For instance, if an organization decides to also pilot social services and for this would need e.g. beds for a child day center and if this is well explained and justified, then such beds would also be acceptable, as long as the majority of the expenses would not be spent on furniture.

  1. Is there any limits for salaries or any other budget line?

There is no pre-set limitation on the project staff members, but each position should be necessary for the project implementation, duly justified in the budget and each member should have a clear role in the team, which will be subject of the assessment. Costs must be necessary for carrying out the project activities and comply with the principles of sound financial management, in particular value for money (price-quality ratio) and cost-effectiveness.

  1. Which percent of the total sum is allowed for salaries?

Please refer to answer to question 31.

  1. Can an international expert be invited for the implementation of the grant program?

According to 2.5.1 of the Grant Guidelines, only national external experts are eligible.

  1. Is the office rent an acceptable cost for the grant program and if yes where this has to be indicated in the budget?

Yes, office rent would be an eligible cost, if directly connected with the proposed project.

However, office rent would only be regarded as eligible indirect costs and as such does not have to be indicated in the budget separately.

According to point 2.5.1 of the Grant Guidelines “Indirect costs refer to the following: overhead for Action management, such as rent of project office and electricity/heating/maintenance of office, communication (phone/mobile phone/Internet fees), bank charges and financial services, office supplies etc. The indirect costs incurred in carrying out the action will be covered by flat-rate funding (i.e. by applying a percentage of the eligible direct costs fixed ex ante), but the total must not exceed 7 % of the estimated total eligible direct costs. The applicant will be asked to justify the percentage requested before the contract is signed. However, once the flat rate has been fixed in the grant contract, no supporting documents need to be provided.”

  1. Do social entrepreneurship activities (aiming to ensure organization’s sustainability) are considered as eligible costs?

Costs to secure the sustainability of the Action after the implementation period are in principle acceptable.

  1. What is the budget percentage for lead and co-applicant (50/50?)

It is up to the applicants to agree on their share of involvement in the Action, the share of their responsibilities and the appropriate share of the budget. It is left to the agreement between the applicants. Please note however that all partners should have real roles in project implementation, the input of each organization should be clearly justified in the Application and the share of responsibilities clearly stated in point 5 of the Grant Application Form. Furthermore, the share of responsibilities should also be reflected in the Budget.

  1. Will sub-grants be VAT exempted?

Before the implementation of the small grant projects, AASW will apply for VAT exemption for project costs which are covered by the small grant (funded by EU).

  1. Please explain whether charity activities (like house construction for poor families) are considered to be eligible under this program?

This call is seeking to support the comprehensive developments of social services with a particular focus on social work services and inter-agency / inter-sectorial cooperation on community level. Winning applications can demonstrate a logical, sequential sequence of different inter-related activities that contribute to a coherent and consistent project design and a sustainable project outcome. Therefore actions concerned only or mainly with construction, procurement of works or supplies, one-off events or pure charity or humanitarian activities are not eligible. The types of eligible activities are listed in the point 2.3.5 of the Grant Guidelines.

  1. Can the organization donate financial support to vulnerable families?

Please refer to answer to question 37.

Questions related to administrative issues and evaluation criteria:

  1. Our organization is serving beneficiaries after they are addressed to us by the State Social Agency. For the project implementation we would have to cooperate with the State Social Agency in order to have outreach to the beneficiaries. Should we include a letter of cooperation with State Social Agency with all the project documents? Or they we present it later in case project wins? The same question regarding the Memorandum.

For the application, please only describe any previous or intended consultations and cooperation with SSA under point 4.5 and point 5 of the Application Form. It is not necessary to provide any letter of cooperation with SSA at this stage. You should however ascertain yourself that cooperation with SSA will be possible in order to implement the project activities as suggested. A letter would only be necessary, in case a grant agreement is signed.

  1. When the application is written in application form, the small tips should be deleted or not? (for example tips about what a sustainability of the project means?) Because it also takes space of application form.

Yes, the small tips can be deleted when filling in the Grant Application Form. However, please make sure to provide information on all points requested under the headings and in the order in which it is requested.

  1. The question about the shrift of the application. If the applicant writes the project in Armenian then the shrift cannot be ARIAL as it is English. How will be the shrift checked (e.g generally a shrift Sylfaen is used in Armenia)

If the application is written in Sylfaen 10 characters with 2 cm margins, single line spacing should be used.

  1. The project summary should be in English plus Armenian or written in one of them?

If the Grant Application is prepared in Armenian, then the “Summary of the Action” has to be submitted in English. If the grant Application is prepared in English, then the “Summary of the Action” has to be prepared in Armenian.

  1. If the application form should be in English too or just the summary of the project, if it is written in the native language.

If the Grant Application is written in native language, then the “Summary of the Action” has to be submitted in English.

  1. What are the requirements for the reporting in case of group application?

Upon award, the funds of the small grant project will be transferred to the lead applicant, covering the whole grant amount and any potential co-applicants. Therefore the lead applicant will be responsible to provide comprehensive financial and narrative reporting for the entire Action including parts of any potential co-applicants) to the Donor.