UN Women Grants Management System

The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women Grants Management System

Guidelines
Concept Note Form Guidelines

In general, the most successful concept notes include the following components: They focus on specific forms of violence against women and girls—as opposed to addressing all forms of violence—thus ensuring more effective and dedicated interventions; they demonstrate sustainability, reflecting a deeper understanding of how competencies will be institutionalized and relationships strengthened, for example, between civil society and governments; they specify partnerships, especially that of women’s groups and networks and describe their specific roles in the project; they indicate both qualitative and quantitative mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation; and lastly, they demonstrate a clear theory of change. This includes articulating what results should be achieved, for and with whom, where and how, and for what ultimate purpose.

Concept Note Budget Guidelines

Please ensure the following guidelines are adhered to in developing your concept note budget:

  • Please note that you may not budget more than 50 per cent of the grant requested in a single year.
    • For projects requesting between US$ 50,000 and US$ 500,000: Personnel costs for managing the project must not exceed 20 per cent (20%) of the grant requested.
    • For projects requesting between US$ 500,001 and US$ 1,000,000: Personnel costs for managing the project must not exceed 10 per cent (10%) of the grant requested.
    • Please note that the amount you specify will be reviewed in relation to the overall project cost and will be subject to revision.
  • All projects are required to allocate US$ 10,000 of the grant requested for capacity development and knowledge exchange activities to be convened and managed by the UN Trust Fund for the benefit of all grantees. This amount should also be indicated in the first year of implementation under the Training/Seminar/Workshops budget line.
  • Please note that the UN Trust Fund will not support any international travel costs(including those related to international consultants).
  • Please specify what services related to project implementation the contractual services budget line will entail, and justify the need for it in the Budget Narrative.
  • Please specify which equipment is crucial for the implementation of the project, and justify the need for it in the Budget Narrative. Please note that the amount you specify must be minimal and will be reviewed in relation to the overall project cost. Please note that the UN Trust Fund does not allow for the purchase of hardware and furniture for offices. Please also note the UN Trust Fund will NOT give priority to project proposals in which the equipment purchases are too high in the context of total project costs.
  • Please explain any costs for equipment related to the project in the Budget Narrative.
  • Each project must have an appropriate and proportionate budget for monitoring and evaluation activities: you should budget for (a) baseline data collection; (b) ongoing data collection and monitoring during project implementation; (c) end line data collection and (d) final external evaluation.
  • For projects requesting US$ 150,000 or less: For Final External Evaluation please allocate US$ 10,000 for an external evaluation that may be undertaken by the UN Trust Fund. This amount should be indicated in the first year of implementation under the Monitoring and Evaluation budget line with UN Women as Responsible party in the budget.
  • For projects requesting between US$ 150,001 and US$ 1,000,000: A Final External Evaluation is mandatory for all UN Trust Fund projects and experience shows that irrespective of grant size, the minimum reasonable cost for a (non-experimental) External Evaluation is US$ 20,000, increasing depending on complexity and scale. This amount should also be indicated in the final year of implementation under the Monitoring and Evaluation budget line with your organization as the Responsible party in the budget.
  • Please note: The recommended budget allocations for monitoring and evaluation should be used as a guide to determine a precise budget amount based on factors such as the size and scope of the project, baseline and end line studies, as well as costs for external evaluators in the country/region. This in turn will also dictate the type of end of project evaluation that can feasibly be conducted.
  • Please explain the costs of the monitoring and evaluation components of the project in the Budget Narrative.
  • Each project may be subject to an audit during its lifetime by a UN Women designated auditor. A provision at 3.5 per cent (3.5%) of the grant requested should be included in the first year of implementation to cover this cost. Please indicate UN Women as Responsible party in the budget.
  • Indirect project costs are related to administrative support of the project including financial management and information resources management. Other indirect expenses comprise additional rental of office space, office maintenance and utilities, telecommunications and office supplies.
  • The maximum indirect project costs cannot exceed seven per cent (7%) of the direct project activity cost requested per year and must be related to the approved project, with no exceptions. Please note that the amount you specify will be reviewed in relation to the overall project costs and is subject to revision.
  • This budget line is exclusively for small women’s organizations requesting US$ 150,000 or less.
  • Core funding (also referred to as unrestricted funding) is flexible funding that can be used for general operations. These could include utility expenses (e.g. telephone, internet etc.), costs associated with governance and board meetings, core staff costs (NGO director and associates), maternity leave costs, furniture for the organization’s premises exclusively, innovation and project development associated costs, fundraising related costs, quality assurance costs and other similar expenses.
  • The maximum core costs cannot exceed seven per cent (7%) of the direct project activity cost requested per year and must be related to the approved project, with no exceptions.
  • If awarded a grant, the organizations receiving the “core funding” will be requested to report on all the expenditures incurred under this budget line. In addition, the organizations will be requested to reflect and report on whether and how the core funding contributed to the realization of the organization’s mission and vision, in particular how the funds were used to support social change processes the organization is committed to.
  • This budget line is exclusively for small women’s organizations requesting US$ 150,000 or less.
  • Self-care costs can be used for a variety of expenses for the organization to respond to issues of staff burn-out and vicarious trauma as well as to promote overall staff well-being. Organizations have the flexibility to choose how to expend resources under this budget line so long as they demonstrate that the funds were utilized to promote self-care and benefit multiple staff members across the organization.
  • Self-care costs cannot exceed US$ 2,000 and may be included in one specific year or be spread across the grant duration.
  • If awarded a grant, the organizations receiving the “self-care” funds will be requested to report on all the expenditures incurred under this budget line. In addition, the organizations will be requested to reflect and report on whether and how the self-care contributed to staff physical, emotional or mental well-being.
  • Indications of matching funds, in addition to in-kind contributions (office space, staff, conference facilities, media outlets, supplies, other) should be clearly specified and broken down by budget line.
  • For large civil society organizations: Budget requests should be within the range of a minimum of US$ 150,001 to a maximum of US$ 1 million total for duration of three years. Budgets must be based on the proposed project and take into consideration the organization's operational and absorptive capacity.
  • For small civil society organizations, especially grassroots women’s organizations: Budget requests should be within the range of a minimum of US$ 50,000 and a maximum of US$ 150,000 for duration of three years. Budgets must be based on the proposed project and take into consideration the organization's operational and absorptive capacity.
  • For purposes of grant allocation, the UN Trust Fund considers an organization “small” if its annual organizational budget is less than US$ 200,000. Organizations with a larger annual budget are not eligible to apply for a small grant.
  • Costs of infrastructure such as purchase of land, property, acquisition of office space, construction, repair of existing buildings or offices, including for example, the building of service facilities, shelters or short-stay homes;
  • Purchase of any type of vehicles (i.e. cars, motorcycles, boats etc.);
  • Activities where a substantial part of the budget is allocated for travel and/or conference costs and services;
  • Activities where a substantial part of the budget covers institutional recurrent costs and/or personnel costs;
  • Grants for filling a ‘funding gap’ for ongoing initiatives/projects;
  • Regional/international learning events or international travel. Please note that the UN Trust Fund will only support those regional and international workshops that it convenes itself.

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