innovation | ethics | impact

Commonwealth Foundation | Call for proposals for CSOs in health, climate change and freedom of expression

| Sectors: 1) Health 2) Environment and Climate Change 3) Freedom of Expression.
| Granting entities: The Commonwealth Foundation
| Deadline: 30 November
| Type of support:
| Funding/benefits: Between £15,000 and £30,000 per year for a maximum of two years
| Applicants: Civil Society Organizations registered in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation member country
| Locations: Eligible Commonwealth member countries

Synopsis: As one of the three intergovernmental pillars of the Commonwealth, the Foundation operates within that critical space between government and the people. The Foundation works to bring the voice of civil society into all aspects of governance, supporting civil society engagement in shaping the policies and decisions that affect people’s lives.

The Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026 is strongly linked to the Commonwealth Charter and its values and aspirations, and it identifies three thematic areas of focus: 1) Health 2) Environment and Climate Change 3) Freedom of Expression, with gender equality as a cross-cutting theme. Civil society projects that aim to advance these themes will be supported through this open grants call. 

The Foundation seeks to support initiatives that encourage and make possible meaningful and constructive engagement between civil society and government around policy and decision-making relevant to these three themes. 

Possible health focus areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on: 

  • Advocating for universal health coverage 
  • Realizing the right to health through better availability, quality, and accountability in health services and delivery 
  • Developing programs and policies that address the social determinants of health. 

Possible environment and climate change areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on: 

  • Developing, reviewing and improving laws, policies and practices aimed at addressing environmental and climate threats 
  • Monitoring the implementation of relevant laws, policies and practices — such as national climate plans or commitments 
  • Addressing mitigation and adaptation challenges. 

Possible freedom of expression areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on: 

  • Advocating for a legal and regulatory environment that protects and upholds freedom of expression for all 
  • Promoting access to information and transparency in governance, including through a free and independent press, robust freedom of information laws and their practical application 
  • Supporting civil society to work with artists to raise awareness to issues of freedom of expression and engage in advocacy efforts around these issues 

Additional themes: Gender, Partnerships, Participation of young people 

Small and vulnerable member states 

The Commonwealth is a champion of small states and carries a special duty to support and advocate for the interests of small and vulnerable states. Applications from eligible small and vulnerable states are strongly encouraged. 

An optional creative component 

The Foundation understands the power of creative expression to influence change. This call will pilot support for the inclusion of a creative element into projects. This is an optional element and would be funded separately (up to 15% of the total grant awarded). 

The applicant must be registered in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation
member country and the proposed project will be implemented in the
country of registration.

Link to application here.

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