Background: On 21st May 2012, the SIB for the Thematic Fund "Partnership and Expert Fund" launched the first Call for Proposals for the Partnership Block Grant that is aiming to promote and/or enhance the institutional partnerships between Romanian and Swiss partners in order to contribute to the solution of specific developments challenges, to strengthen the capacities and structures of the Romanian partners, to benefit from Swiss added value and to contribute to the strengthening of the partnerships. Small grants ranging from CHF 10,000 to CHF 100,000 and large grants ranging from CHF 100,001 to CHF 250,000 are offered.
This first round of Call for Proposals was very successful showing a high interest of the non-governmental sector from Romania and Switzerland. The SIB received 116 project proposals within the deadline of 23rd August 2012.
Independent evaluators assessed the project proposals having passed the administrative verification and eligibility check. The evaluation process resulted in 14 projects recommended to be financed (3 small and 11 large grants). The Selection Committee, formed by representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSO), the Swiss Contribution Office (SCO) and the National Coordination Unit (NCU) committed 2,816,358 Swiss Francs for financing these projects. Yet, over 20 good proposals are on the reserve list.
Information session: On 26th April 2013, the Swiss Intermediate Body (SIB - a consortium formed by KEK-CDC Consultants, the Civil Society Development Foundation and the Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation) organized an information session with the financed organizations and institutions under the first round of the Call for Proposals of the Partnership Block Grant. The aim of the meeting was to provide necessary information for an effective implementation of the projects and for a good communication between the Executing Agencies and the SIB. The meeting was honoured by the participation of Mr. Thomas Stauffer, Head of the Swiss Contribution Office Bucharest and Mrs. Irina Subescu, the representative of the National Coordination Unit. Thomas Stauffer delivered a positive message about the outcomes of the projects and shared the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's expectations, wishing all organizations involved best wishes and good luck with the projects.
The total amount of the 14 financed projects is of CHF 2,816,358. These projects aim to promote and enhance institutional partnerships between Romanian and Swiss partners and cover various thematic areas such as education, social, culture, environment and others. The complete list of the financed projects is available here.
Due to the high number and good quality of applications received, the initial allocated amount was proposed to be increased by 20% (CHF 0.5 million). The Steering Committee of the thematic fund decided the additional reallocation for this first round of Call for Proposal which now totals CHF 3 million.
Next steps: Please note that, for the other grant scheme administrated by the SIB - Block grant for NGOs -, according to the decision made by the Selection Committee, the list with projects to be financed will be published as soon as the grant contracts are signed.
The second Call for Proposals for the Partnership Block Grant is planned to be launched in 2014.