Call for Proposals: Afghan civil society’s contribution to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference

Call for Proposals: Afghan civil society’s contribution to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) announces a Call for Proposals for International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs)/globally operating Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO support) concerning a coordination of the Afghan civil society’s contribution to the Afghanistan pledging conference slated to take place in November 2020. The Call for Proposals is open from Thursday 6th of August to Friday 21st of August.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) is seeking proposals for promoting and coordinating civil society involvement and inclusive participation in the Afghanistan pledging conference (2020 Afghanistan Conference). The support is a discretionary government transfer granted by the MFA, and a maximum of two best-assessed proposal will be granted support. The total amount of funding to be distributed to the best-assessed proposal or between the best-assessed proposals is up to 200 000 euros.

The Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (Valtionavustuslaki 688/2001(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window), unofficial translation in English(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window)) is applied to INGO support procedures and the use of the INGO support. The eligibility for INGO support is defined below under the heading "Requirements and Criteria”. Proposals from eligible organizations that fulfil the minimum criteria will be evaluated and assessed according to the principles listed below under he heading “Evaluation Criteria”.

This support is granted to an INGO/a globally operating NGO for coordinating and promoting Afghan civil society’s participation and contribution to the 2020 Afghanistan Conference i.e. not to cover core functions/funding of the organization.

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference is slated to take place in November 2020 in Geneva. The quadrennial pledging conference is jointly organised by the Government of Afghanistan, the Government of Finland, and the United Nations.

The purpose of the pledging conference is to renew international and Afghan commitment to the development and stability of Afghanistan at a critical juncture in its path to peace and prosperity. The aim is to commit the Afghan government and the international community to the joint four-year development goals for 2021–2024, to coordinate development cooperation, and to ensure financial support for the Afghan administration. 

Ensuring a comprehensive and participative engagement with Afghan civil society is crucial to the success of the conference. Finland has a long-standing relationship and cooperation with non-governmental and other civil society organisations in the field of development and is committed to strengthening civil society's participation and role in governance and accountability.

Requirements and criteria

To be eligible for INGO Support, the applicant has to be a non-profit organization that operates politically and administratively independently from governments. In addition, the organization has to meet the following Minimum Criteria:

operations in more than two countries;

  • multi-national governing board or equivalent; 
  • has been registered and legally competent as a non-profit organisation for at least two years in a country of origin;
  • budget to indicate that other source/s of financing, including contribution in kind, for the project are in place;
  • have paid all taxes and pension contributions as well as other payments required by the applicable law;
  • financial stability (e.g. ability  to cover its operational expenditure by its fund-raising activities) and proven financial management systems, including managing financial risks;
  • demonstrated experience in working with international donors (with the capacity to report in English).

Requirements for a successful project proposal is that the proposal includes:

  • application form and its appendices filled in English;
  • other required documents.

Please, see the list of the required documents at the end of this Call. 

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals of eligible INGOs or globally operating NGOs that meet the above Minimum Requirements will be evaluated and assessed according to the following Evaluation Criteria:

  • quality of the proposal (inter alia, clearly defined objectives, sustainable  results, risk assessment, partnerships,  long term impacts and feasible budget) and the proposal’s alignment with Finland’s development (Opens New Window) and foreign and security policy (Opens New Window) goals;
  • previous successful and efficient – preferably evaluated – operations with proven monitoring and evaluation and reporting systems;
  • expertise in and experience with civil society in Afghanistan and capability to give support and guidance to civil society representatives;
  • a realistic and feasible plan for the selection and inclusive involvement of civil society actors in the process;
  • experience in organizing an inclusive consultation process with Afghan NGOs and CSOs in Afghanistan;
  • ability to work under pandemic related restrictions.

A successful proposal must also be aligned with the Finland’s development policy priorities (Opens New Window), demonstrating that the proposal complies with the objectives and principles of the human rights-based approach to development and adheres to the results-based management and cross-cutting objectives (gender equality, non-discrimination, the position of people with disabilities, climate resilience and low emission development).

The successful INGO/globally operating NGO will have to sign an agreement with the MFA and will have to agree to follow the General Terms and Conditions for the Government Grant, the Ethical Code of Conduct, and the reporting requirements. Please, see the application form and documents linked at the end of this Call for Proposals. 

The intended start date is 1st of September 2020 and the period of implementation of the contract will be by the end of December 2020 at the latest. In the event of the Conference being postponed or cancelled, the timetable and deliverables for the project may be renegotiated by the Grantee and the MFA.

In its funding decision the MFA can set additional terms regarding the use of the government grant.

How to Apply

The completed application form (signed and scanned) and the necessary attachments must be received by the MFA no later than 16:15 hrs (UTC/GMT +3) on Friday 21st of August 2020. The required attachments are listed at the end of this Call. The completed application form and the necessary attachments must be sent to the following e-mail addresses: and with a subject “Call for Proposal: Afghan Civil Society”

The maximum size of the e-mail is 7 MB. The application will be registered according to the arrival of the e-mail.

Applications arriving after the deadline will not be considered.

All applicants will be informed of the decision.

Contact Information

For any inquiries concerning this call, please contact the 2020 Afghanistan Conference Task Force at the MFA: with a title “Inquiry concerning the Call for Proposal”. 

Any questions related to this Call for Proposals must be sent at the latest on 14 August, 12:00 hrs (UTC/GMT +3). Answers to all possible inquiries will be published on 17 August on the MFA’s webpage. Individual replies shall not be provided.

For general information on the Ministry’s support to International Non-Governmental Organizations, please see: 

Required documents

  1. Project document (Maximum length 5 pages. Please note that pages above 5 will not be considered.). Include the following titles: summary, background, key beneficiaries and other stakeholders, results chain or equivalent results-based management system for the applied funding with objectives and indicators (disaggregated when relevant),  approach and strategy in line with Finland’s development policy (including critical issues), institutional framework and project management, and project communication;
  2. Detailed budget for the applied funding;
  3. Indicative work plan for the project;
  4. Risk matrix or equivalent system analysing operational and financial risks and mitigation strategies.
  • Official rules of the organization;
  • Copy of the organization’s registration document and, if not shown in the registration document, a supporting document that the organisation is legally competent;
  • Latest annual report and financial statement;
  • The organization’s strategy and budget for the current year;
  • Account on the organizations governing structure’s composition (including nationalities of the members);
  • Supporting documents of taxes and pension contributions as well as other payments required by the applicable law;
  • Copy of the latest audit report.