The Financing Agreement for the DCP II was signed between the European Commission and the Government of Mauritius on 6th May 2011. Preparations commenced in September, and the programme is expected to be fully operational by December 2011. Activities will be executed up until 5th May 2015.
The total cost of the programme is €5.850 m, towards which the EC is providing a grant of €5.5m. The balance is to be met by the Government and beneficiary contributions.
The underlying goal of the Cotonou Agreement governing the European Union’s cooperation with the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) group of nations is the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty, in line with the objectives of sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy.
Within this context, ‘Cotonou’ recognises the complementary role of Non-State-Actors (NSAs) in the development process. These are defined to include “the private sector, economic and social partners, including trade union organisations; and civil society in all its forms according to national characteristics”.
This Decentralised Cooperation Programme II (DCP II) is the successor of the first Decentralised Cooperation Programme implemented between 2006 and 2010, which aimed at enhancing the capacity of NSAs to deliver projects that have an impact on poor communities' priority concerns related to poverty and access to resources. However, experience has shown that there is still need for NSAs to improve their capacity to manage their organisations and projects. effectively.
The purpose of the proposed DCP II is thus to build capacity for the NGOs to access resources and use them effectively towards their goals of poverty reduction.
The day-to-day management of the DCP is delegated to a Programme Coordination Unit (PCU) based within the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Port Louis. The PCU will also operate a liaison office in Rodrigues. The PCU is headed by a Coordinator (the Imprest Administrator), assisted by a Programme Accountant (the Imprest Accounting Officer). Short-term thematic experts will provide technical assistance to the PCU under service contracts. In addition, three Project Managers will be deployed to facilitate the implementation of the programme. The operations of the DCP will be overseen by a Programme Steering Committee (PSC) comprising a wide representation of both state and non-state actors in Mauritius, as well as EC observers. The PSC will provide management with strategic guidance and policy advice, and approve annual work plans and progress reports.
In addition, Technical (Evaluation) Committees will be established by the National Authorising Officer for the European Development Fund, with responsibility for appraising and approving or rejecting requests for grant assistance. The EC sits on this committee as an observer, while the PCU provides technical and secretarial support. The Technical Committee is assisted by suitably qualified assessors as required.
The DCP II is being implemented according to the financial, contractual, and procedural rules and regulations in force under the 10th European Development Fund. It covers a wide range of activities focusing on capacity building of non-state actors in the fight against poverty.
However, in keeping with the underpinning demand-driven philosophy of the DCP, the primary mechanism for achieving the objectives of the programme is the use of a series of Calls for Proposals, culminating in the award of grants to successful applicants. Each call will target specific types of actors and different fields. Over 40% of total programme resources will be deployed in this way.
RULES GOVERNING CALLS
Eligibility of Applicants: In order to be eligible for a grant, an applicant organization / association must be of EU or ACP origin and be registered or recognised as a Non State Actor in the Republic of Mauritius under the appropriate legal and regulatory framework. Thus, eligible applicants are likely to include local associations and organisations (such as community-based organizations [CBOs], associations representing women, youth, and vulnerable groups); development-promotion entities (such as associations, non-governmental organisations [NGOs], research institutions); federative entities and networks (such as labour unions, trade unions, federations, institutions protecting human rights); private sector groupings, business support organisations, as well as representative organisations and networks, trade support institutions and trade promotion organisations.
All applicants will be required to demonstrate that they are not profit-making and operate within the law. An applicant may apply as an individual organisation or in partnership with other organisations.
Eligibilty of Activities:This will vary depending upon the theme of the Call. Criteria will be laid out in each specific Call Guideline. In all cases, though, applicants must be able to demonstrate that their proposals are sustainable and demand-driven, and meet a clearly defined priority need of the community, as articulated by the beneficiary target group.
Ineligibilty:It should be noted that the following types of action are ineligible:
Individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences, congresses;
Individual scholarships for studies or training courses;
Ultimate beneficiaries: The target group of projects will be women, children and men identified as poor and / or vulnerable. They are likely to include the unemployed, those living below the poverty line; individuals living in precarious or dangerous conditions (in particular women and children); school drop-outs and other youth marginalized through lack of skills and illiteracy; the elderly; those with special needs; and other asset-poor groups living in rural, peri-urban and urban areas unable to sustain an adequate livelihood.
Grant Size: The minimum grant size is EUR10,000 (equivalent to some Rs 420,000 ), whereas the maximum amount is EUR100,000 (equivalent to around Rs 4.2m.). The exact range will vary depending upon the specific Call. However, it should be noted that grants below EUR10,000 will also be available under a different facility referred to as the Small Grants Window.
Contributions from Grant Beneficiaries:
Under the 10th EDF, the budget for grants introduces the new concept of ‘accepted costs’, which is the ‘eligible costs + taxes including VAT’. Thus, two maximum co-financing rates will be specified in the Guidelines for applicants:
One percentage relates to eligible costs. This will be used to calculate the actual amount of the EU-contribution (which may even reach 100% of eligible costs); and
One percentage relates to the total accepted costs. This is used to calculate the required amount of co-financing by the grant beneficiary (here minimum of 25% of accepted costs).
If the amount contributed by the beneficiary does not reach the minimum percentage fixed in the contract, then the EU-contribution will be reduced proportionately.
No DCP grant may exceed 75% of the total accepted costs of the action - the balance must be financed from the applicant's own or any partners' resources or from sources other than the European Community budget. Of the 25% contribution of the beneficiary, at least 10% of total accepted costs must be contributed by the grant beneficiary in cash or by way of VAT payments. The remainder may take the form of contributions in kind.
Duration of Projects: Proposals will last from 6 to 24 months, as prescribed in the relevant guideline.
For further information on what constitutes contributions in kind, please visit the relevant section of our website in English
or in French
HOW TO APPLY FOR GRANTS
All Calls will be advertised in the national press and on this website. Specific guidelines and application forms may also be downloaded from this site in English
or collected from the following locations:
Decentralised Cooperation Programme
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
Ground Floor E. Anquetil Building,
Rodrigues Liaison Office
Decentralised Cooperation Programme
Applicants will have between 2 and 3 months from the launch of a Call to submit proposals. Exact details will be provided for each Call. Applications will be examined and evaluated by the Contracting Authority according to the following criteria:
Administrative compliance - verification that the application is complete
Eligibility of the applicants, partners and actions, including their capacity to implement the proposed action
Evaluation of the quality of the proposals and financial evaluation
Expected impact on poverty and sustainability
Absence of detrimental effects on the environment.
Proposals which score the highest points will be awarded grants within the limits of the allocated budget for each Call.
A FINAL WORD
The purpose of this overview is to give an indication as to how the Call for Proposals mechanism operates under the DCP. However, those interested in participating in the programme are strongly advised to consult the relevant detailed sections of this website or to call into our Service Counter to collect full copies of Guidelines, Conditions and Procedures in order to ensure a more comprehensive understanding.