Call for proposals: Collaborative Engagement with Civil Society on Climate Action

February 10, 2024


Asia-Pacific has been the hardest hit region by climate change. The anticipated impact of climate change, coupled with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, will undoubtedly further affect livelihoods, limit productivity, and result in loss of sustainable development gains. The policies and efforts to curb emissions, invest in adaptive and climate-proof infrastructure, and improve livelihoods, productivity, and well-being in the region will have a critical impact on the global efforts to address climate change.

Climate change adaptation cannot be achieved by governments alone. It requires engagement of public, civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, media, as well as private sector to support adaption of short-term and long-term policies and solutions and reduce climate risks. CSOs have a critical role to play in fostering partnerships for climate action – including through raising awareness of public and creating spaces for multi-stakeholder engagement on climate policies and actions. CSOs, as key transparency and accountability actors, are vital for holding institutions and decision-makers to account on climate action and in the process ensure participatory governance through mechanisms that support multi-stakeholder consultations and planning.

Call for Proposals

With funding from the UK Government, UNDP has established the Climate Finance Network (CFN), a peer-to-peer network and a knowledge management and technical support facility to support the identification and scaling up of climate finance innovations in the region. The CFN facilitates acceleration and adoption/replication of climate budget planning and finance approaches across government in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. In addition, CFN recognizes the importance of multi-stakeholder engagement in climate finance innovations, therefore it aims to enable access to information about models, approaches and experiences in user-friendly formats.

To facilitate a more productive state-society as well as a mutually respectful and beneficial interaction around climate action, UNDP calls for a collaborative engagement with civil society on climate action. This contributes to the CFN’s workstreams on access to climate finance, gender and social inclusion, and transparency and accountability. CSOs are seen in this process as key possible partners of relevant government institutions to fill in the existing gaps and provide innovative, practical solutions to enable climate action.

Within the context introduced above, UNDP, through CFN Project, is announcing a call for proposals for registered non-profit civil society organizations to submit project proposals responding to the key priority areas mentioned above. National and local civil society organisations (including community-based organisations, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples organisations) that are encouraged to apply.

Purpose of the Grant Contest

The Primary purpose of Collaborative Engagement with Civil Society on Climate Action is to support generation of initiatives that contribute to the collective power of CSOs and bring about positive social change and build a powerful socio-economic and political agenda to address climate change.
Specifically, the collaborative engagement approach will:

  • prioritize dialogue and collaboration between all stakeholders to contribute to policy outcomes, while recognizing the importance for CSOs to meaningfully participate in decision-making at multiple governance level and safeguard their rights.
  • mobilize stakeholders on the issues of data, access to information, transparency and accountability of climate budgets and expenditures, gender-responsiveness, and meeting climate change commitments, including Nationally Determined Contributions.
  • promote engagement of young people and women’s organizations in climate change budget processes.
  • foster multi-stakeholder collaboration and innovation at multiple levels on climate action – including nature-based solutions and mainstreaming of adaptation measures.

Applying organizations are expected to devise proposals that contribute to the above engagement approach and covers at least one of the four or a combination of the areas of intervention below:

  • 1. Access to information. Access to information is the cornerstone of the transparency and accountability agenda. Without access to credible information and in forms that is easily understood, public and CSOs will not be able to fully engage in decision making processes and hold decisionmakers and institutions to account. However, climate change data is usually available in silos and with specific institutions. The data available is often technical, unanalysed, and difficult for non-experts to understand. In addition, access to climate change finance data (including budget, and projects not reflected in the budget) is not straightforward. The dialogue on loss and damage and preventive action, that includes adaptation, has also been a key point of discussion in the recent past. However, the preventive action is constrained, particularly at the sub national level, by lack of resources and data. Therefore, CFN will aim to improve access to information in target countries. The emphasis will be on:
  • Supporting key ministries, agencies, departments to make relevant data publicly available on their websites.
  • Strengthening the capacities of civil society, including in collaboration with universities, financial institutions working on climate data, to understand and analyze the data.
  • Supporting civil society (including media organizations) to synthesize and analyze the data and produce climate finance briefs or other products to increase public knowledge and awareness. The briefs could also be aimed at the parliamentarians on climate budgeting that will provide them with the basic data and information for budget scrutiny and advocating for increased and effective investments in climate change. A gender-sensitive and socially inclusive approach will be adopted to ensure that data is disaggregated whenever possible to include various aspects of intersecting vulnerabilities (gender, age, indigenous status, poverty and disability). In addition, ways and means through which women access and utilize public information is considered in all the initiatives.
  • Evidence and dialogue on preventive and adaptive action for promoting investment in adaptation to avert economic, human and infrastructure and losses, including resources for social protection to increase resilience of the poor and vulnerable.

    2. Communication for Development. Closely linked to access to information, Communication for Development initiatives focus on two-way communication initiatives that allows people, including from disadvantage and marginalized communities to participate in decision-making processes. Media is a key tool in amplifying the voices from the ground and facilitating the two-way engagement between people and decision-makers. CFN will build on the recommendations from the research on gendered impact of climate change finance and aim to support more women’s voices on climate change. Specifically,

  • Support media training on climate change finance (similar to initiative in Pakistan)
  • Support media (including community radios) to develop specific programmes – such as discussions programmes, call-in programmes – to facilitate two-way communication on climate change on various platforms
  • Support initiatives – such as town-hall meetings – on climate budget.

    3. Social innovation and social accountability initiatives for climate change. Social innovation refers to collaborative development and implementation of solutions, whereas social accountability refers to collective action of citizens and CSOs to hold decision makers to account. Both these initiatives are necessary to promote climate action at multiple levels. Therefore, the CFN will aim to encourage its NGO/CSO partners to develop social innovation or social accountability initiatives that aim to find new and innovative solutions for mainstreaming climate considerations in the budget cycle, monitor utilization and results. These solutions will be developed and implemented in collaboration with a range of stakeholders – from local communities to local governments to private sector etc…, Towards this end, CFN will support innovation and social accountability challenges in target countries, and support implementation of winning solutions (including citizen budget initiatives.)

    4. Exploring alternative sources of finance for adaptation at the local government level: Several studies indicate that the private sector contribution to adaptation is minimal, a UNEP study indicates it is as low as 2%. The assignment of responsibilities that strengthen resilience of the communities and infrastructure often lies with the sub national government. Their ability to work on adaptation related initiatives is constrained by limited resources and capacity as well. CFN can through the CSOs explore alternative modes and sources of financing including private, philanthropy, and blended sources and supporting local governments in accessing resources under the ecological transfers.

    The proposals should include a clearly articulated theory of change and demonstrate how the lasting impact in each area is expected to be achieved through a sustainability plan and communication/coordination plan among key stakeholders. Particular attention will be paid to the sustainability of proposed actions.
    In conclusion, the qualified proposals should refer to one of the one or more of the areas of interventions as explained above.

Who Can Apply

  • Registered Non-profit organizations (civil society organizations; think tanks; educational institutions, including public universities, training institutions; etc.). National and local civil society organisations (including community-based organisations, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples organisations) that are working encouraged to apply. Organizations should be registered in accordance with the legal requirements of the Government of their home country and must be able to provide organization’s statute along with the debt certificate upon request. Official registration must come from the government, regardless of the administrative level. The CSO’s bank account must reflect the same name as in the registration.
  • The organization profile provides a proven record of at least four years of direct experience in project management, policy research, policy analysis, human resource development, service delivery and similar particularly on the intersection of climate finance and social development.
  • Experience of managing projects of comparable budget size within the last two years will be considered as an asset.
  •  Although, not mandatory, CSOs are welcome to submit proposals as coalitions. In this case, the main applicants must provide support letters from relevant co-applicants specifying the role of the co-applicant. In case of a coalition, the main applicant shall have at least four years of proven experience in project management, policy research, policy analysis, human resource development, service delivery and similar (see above), whereas co-applicants shall have at least two years of proven experience in the similar areas. The main applicant must also be registered and have the organization bank account opened under the organization’s name.
  • Only CSOs or coalitions from Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, and Sri Lanka will be eligible to apply. Depending on the applications received, it is possible that a grant will not be awarded to any CSO in a particular country or two CSOs with separate or a combined proposal in one country will be awarded. A total of five grants will be awarded under this cycle of the Collaborative Engagement with Civil Society on Climate Action Grant (CSOs for Climate Action Grant). Collaboration with relevant UNDP Country Offices is also encouraged.

Procedures of Grant Proposal Submission

Those wishing to apply to the CSOs for Climate Action Grant, must submit:
1. Signed Collaborative Engagement with Civil Society on Climate Action Grant Submission Form (See Annex A);
2. CVs of all project staff;
3. Letter of appreciation or recommendation from the past year
4. References
5. Results and Resources Framework (See Annex B);
6. Budget Form (See Annex C).

IMPORTANT: Please send Grant Submission Form electronically together with the CVs in one file(pdf format) signed and scanned to the following email: The letter of appreciation must be in submitted in separate PDF file. The Results and Resources Framework (See Annex B) together with Budget Form (See Annex C) shall be submitted as separate documents electronically in Excel format. If additional clarifications required, questions can be sent to the same email address indicated above. Answers to questions will be provided within a reasonable time. 

Application timeline
Advertisement period: 8th-29th February 2024
Deadline for applications is 29 February 2024 (Thursday), 21:00 hrs Bangkok time. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
Announcement of chosen CSOs will be by 8th of March 2024.

Note: A Question-and-Answer Webinar for interested CSO applicants is tentatively scheduled on 15th of February 2024. Interested CSOs can send an email for registration, webinar details, preferably with their questions.
Maximum amount allocated for each grant is USD 40,000 for both coalitions and sole CSOs. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals with lower budgets. Co-funding and in-house contributions are strongly encouraged.

Eligible costs include honorarium/salary, workshops and trainings, rental, stationary and office equipment, printing and translation, creation of online tools and resources, and other costs directly related to this assignment.
Expenditures such as the infrastructure improvement, equipment, maintenance, utilities, overhead and similar costs are ineligible for this grant proposal. Refer to the template for more details.

Project Implementation Timeframe
Implementation period for approved projects shall not exceed five (5) months, counted from the date of the contract signature to the date when all relevant activities have been successfully completed.

The successful CSOs will be required to submit a progress report and be available for discussions and/or missions with UNDP during the implementation period.

Selection Process
Decisions on awarding grants are made by a Grant Selection Board (GSB). The Board will be comprised of the representatives of relevant UNDP representatives and other experts engaged for this process.
All GSB decisions on funding projects will be taken no later than three weeks after the closing date for applications. UNDP will inform successful applicants in writing no later than two weeks after the date of the GSB decision.

Note: If the total cost of awards for successful applications exceeds the overall budgeted amount, GSB will award grants according to the total score for each application, starting with the highest scored application, until the available budget has been fully committed. However, if there will still be a number of eligible applications for which grants cannot be awarded due to the insufficient funds available, these non-funded applications will, upon the consent of the GSB, be placed on a reserve list, in descending order of their scores. In cases where applications or awarded grants have subsequently been withdrawn or found non-compliant, applications will be replaced from the reserve list in order of their respective scores for funding.
Applications will be disqualified and will not be further considered, if they:
• Do not comply with priorities or instructions provided in this announcement;
• Are not consistent with the relevant policy documents of the UNDP;
• Contradict to principles of non-discrimination and gender equality.
Selection Criteria and Scoring
Proposed projects will be selected based on the criteria outlined in the table 1 below.

Grants will be awarded in accordance with the nature and relevance of the project. The payment schedule will be agreed before signing the contract.
IMPORTANT: You will be notified by email of application receipt no later than three working days after we have successfully received your application. If you do not hear from us within this timeframe, please, contact us during the next two days and request a confirmation of receipt of email. Otherwise, UNDP will not be responsible for any potential problems in terms of considering the application.