Support Fund for Feminist Organizations

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Fonds français génération égalité, OSC féministes, égalité femmes-hommes
The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations was announced in 2019 by the President of the French Republic. Its goal is to support feminist civil society organizations (CSOs) operating in partner countries of France’s development policy. The fund is co-managed by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and AFD. It falls within the framework of France’s feminist diplomacy and its International Strategy for Gender Equality 2018-2022.

BACKGROUND

France has undertaken to conduct a feminist foreign policy. As part of that commitment, it is actively promoting the rights of women and girls and will host the Generation Equality Forum in the first half of 2021. 

The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations (Fonds de soutien aux organisations féministes - FSOF) will round out the other international initiatives and bilateral projects on equality issues funded by France. It will mobilize €120 million over three years (2020, 2021, 2022) to fund the activities of feminist movements around the world. It will target organizations of local civil society working to promote gender equality and the rights of women and girls. 
 

Support Fund for Feminist Organisations

The Fund will concentrate on the priority countries of France’s development policy (initiatives in Africa have a priority of 65%), but it will also target civil society organizations in other countries where significant gender equality issues exist.

The themes covered by the Fund over its three years of implementation include: 

  • sexual and reproductive health and rights, and comprehensive sexuality education;
  • the fight against gender-based and sexual discrimination and violence, including the fight against harmful practices (female genital mutilation, child and forced marriage);
  • women’s empowerment and economic participation;
  • women’s social and political leadership;
  • girls’ access to primary, secondary, and higher education;
  • the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda and the role of women in crises; 
  • gender and climate.

In 2020, special attention will be given to the theme “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Comprehensive Sexuality Education.”

Consultation with civil society will take place twice a year, in particular to exchange views on the themes and countries to which the Fund should give priority. 


Three types of funding proposed

The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations offers three complementary funding channels adapted to the needs of each type of CSO, which can apply for funding from the channel that matches their profile:

  • AFD projects and calls for projects targeting feminist CSOs in partner countries;
  • AFD’s CSO Initiatives mechanism, targeting French CSOs;
  • The FSPI/PISSCA funding mechanism of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, for feminist CSOs in partner countries.

CALLS FOR PROJECTS FROM FEMINIST CSOs OF THE SOUTH

The projects and calls for projects of the Support Fund for Feminist Organizations implemented by AFD are aimed at CSOs in the partner countries of France’s development policy. One or several CSOs in consortium that have the capacity to manage and implement large-scale projects will act as intermediary.

AFD is also developing specific initiatives aimed at feminist NGOs, within the framework of projects led by Expertise France or feminist CSOs. 

These projects and calls for projects shall: 

  • implement DAC 2 projects according to OECD gender equality markers;
  • be implemented by local CSOs in partner countries; 
  • be led by one or several CSOs in consortium that have the capacity to manage and implement large-scale projects, or by Expertise France;
  • provide budget allocations of varying amounts to local CSOs in partner countries, to enable participation by CSOs of various sizes;
  • deal with at least one of the above-mentioned themes.

Information for candidate CSOs:

  • Applicant CSOs with the capacity to manage and implement large-scale projects will have to demonstrate expertise in the issues of women’s and girls’ rights and gender equality.
  • These CSOs will have to give evidence of prior experience of partnership with local feminist CSOs in the partner countries.
  • In their response to the call for projects, they will have to show that they have engaged in approaches of genuine partnership with local CSOs and of capacity building for the latter.
  • These calls for proposals will be circulated by local AFD offices to ensure their availability to local CSOs.

Timetable: 

  • The €15-million call for projects to fund women’s movements in France’s partner countries covers the following themes: sexual and reproductive health and rights, access to rights, women’s economic empowerment, the fight against gender-based and sexual violence, and women’s participation in public life. These issues are deemed to be critical for successful management of the Covid-19 crisis and its post-crisis period. 
  • Calls for projects will be drawn up from 2020 to 2022 and launched at regular intervals.

2020 CALLS FOR PROJECTS

Support to feminist organizations in the South

Agence Française de Développement proposes to subsidize civil society organizations for the establishment of a mechanism for financing, strengthening and structuring feminist organizations in the South, the main objective of which is equality between women and men.

Please see details below:

INITIATIVES MECHANISM FOR FRENCH CSOs

The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations also funds projects led by French feminist CSOs via AFD’s CSO Initiatives mechanism.

Projects awarded as part of the Fund will have to meet the following criteria: 

  • implement DAC 2 projects according to OECD gender equality markers;
  • be led by French CSOs in partnership with local CSOs in partner countries;
  • provide budget allocations of varying amounts to French CSOs, to enable participation by CSOs of various sizes;
  • deal with at least one of the above-mentioned themes.

Information for candidate CSOs: 

  • Only French CSOs with expertise in women’s and girls’ rights and in gender equality will be able to propose projects.
  • The application procedures will be the same as for other projects granted under AFD’s CSO Initiatives mechanism.

Timetable: 
Some projects, whose main purpose is to promote gender equality within AFD’s CSO Initiatives mechanism, will be part of the Support Fund for Feminist Organizations for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

FSPI/PISSCA FUNDING MECHANISM

The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations will also provide direct support to local feminist CSOs in the partner countries, in particular to small organizations.

To this end, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will mobilize two financing mechanisms: the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (Fonds de solidarité pour les projets innovants - FSPI) and the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects of Civil Societies and Coalitions of Actors (Fonds de solidarité pour les Projets innovants pour la société civile et les coalitions d’acteurs - PISSCA).

The aim of the FSPI projects included in the Fund will be to support local CSOs in projects dedicated to gender equality, by granting allocations of up to €1 million.

More specifically, the FSPI/PISCCA projects are funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, at the initiative of embassies. They are designed to support local CSOs. They will be able to finance CSO gender projects of small and medium amounts (between €10,000 and €300,000 each). Each of the FSPI/PISCCA beneficiary CSOs must be able to finance 10% of the total amount of the project.

Project duration of FSPI and FSPI/PISSCA projects is a maximum of two years. 

The FSPI and FSPI/PISCCA projects accepted as part of the FSOF must meet the following criteria: 

  • implement DAC 2 projects according to OECD gender equality markers;
  • be led by local CSOs in partner countries;
  • deal with at least one of the above-mentioned themes;
  • comply with the procedures and timetable of the FSPI and FSPI/PISCCA.

Information for candidate CSOs: 

  • The FSPI/PISCCA projects are prepared locally, by embassies/cooperation services, in conjunction with local CSOs.
  • The French embassies/cooperation services formalize the applications and forward them to the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.  
  • Multi-country FSPIs can be proposed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs by involving CSOs from partner countries.
  • A committee meets at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and selects—once a year, in the first half of the year—the projects to be funded and implemented during the year.

Timetable: 
In 2020-2021 and 2021-2022: 

  • Embassies, in contact with the CSOs, shall finalize and send the FSPI and FSPI/PISSCA applications before the strict November 30 deadline.
  • In the first half of the year, the selection committee of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announces the projects selected for funding
  • The implementation period of the FSPI and FSPI/PISSCA projects shall be a maximum of two years.