The Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator is now accepting applications under its first Small Grants Round.
The Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator supports the development of governments’ projects under the Commonwealth Blue Charter that accelerate their transition to fair, sustainable and inclusive marine conservation and maritime development, while mitigating and adapting to climate change.
The Incubator supports Commonwealth governments and their partners developing solutions that address shared ocean issues. While the grants are modest (£5k – £50k), the scope is large, and can include project-related capacity building, the writing of larger project proposals, ‘rapid assessments’, and proof-of-concept pilot projects. In summary, the Project Incubator:
- Encourages the development of projects under each of the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group themes;
- Focuses on the entire project cycle, including rapid assessments, proof-of-concept and small-sized projects;
- Assists in the development of funding proposals for medium-sized and larger projects;
- Provides mentoring and technical support;
- Facilitates project partnerships with non-governmental entities;
- Encourages planning for sustainability and scaling up, including regional initiatives;
- Supports ideas that dare to be different –innovative and cooperative solutions;
- Supports meeting global ocean commitments including ’30 by 30’ and the UN SDGs;
- Encourages the engagement of women, youth, LGBTI, Indigenous Peoples and local communities;
- Follows best practices, including transparency, accountability, and inclusivity.
- £5000 to £50,000.
How many and what sorts of projects will you support?
- For each intake, a country may submit up to three applications for each Action Group theme, up to five applications in total.
- As explained in the question, they consider a broad range of projects in all stages of their lifecycle. However, successful applications have to fit into one or more of the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group themes.
- When two or more project ideas are submitted by different parties, but with similar approaches / outcomes, they may also suggest that they consider joining forces to foster larger partnerships, joint learning, and combined project outcomes.
- Overall, they aim to support at least 10 applications across the Commonwealth per intake, dependent on the types of proposals received. Of these, they would endeavour to fund at least one project per Action Group theme, dependant on the applications that they receive.
- All applications must have a Commonwealth Government as the lead project entity. The lead entity is responsible for the delivery of the project. In a situation where the Government may not be equipped to receive international funding, it may assign a fiscal agent or one of the project partners to manage the grant’s finances. However, the lead Government remains responsible for overseeing the proper disbursement of these funds.
- Additionally, partnering with non-governmental entities is strongly recommended.
- Are all Commonwealth Governments eligible? Yes, in principle, noting:
- The country must be a member of the Blue Charter Action Group under which this proposed project best fits. A list of Action Group members is at the very end of this document. More information on joining Action Groups can be found here. Countries can join Action Groups before or after applying (a letter from a minister or senior official to the Secretariat is sufficient);
- The country must be fully up to date in meeting its Commonwealth membership obligations i.e. not in breach of the ‘Abuja Guidelines’ (they will inform the Government representative if their country is in arrears);
- A single country may receive up to four awards in a 12-month period. If more than four Project Incubator applications are approved in principle, the country must choose which ones will be actioned;
- If a country is involved in multi-country applications, they may in some cases waive the four-award limit outlined in the bullet.
- Ineligible costs will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis; however, in general the following categories in this non-exhaustive list are not covered:
- Government staff time;
- Work that is part of a government’s usual day-to-day activities;
- Ministerial-level travel;
- Excessive and unnecessary travel;
- Sub-contracting not identified in the project proposal.
For more information, visit https://thecommonwealth.org/bluecharter/commonwealth-blue-charter-project-incubator