OPEN CALL PRE-SELECTION OF ORGANISATIONS INTERESTED TO BECOME TACSO SUPPORTED RESOURCE CENTRES

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Technical Assistance for
Civil Society Organisations
Regional Office
This project is funded
by the European Union.
OPEN CALL
PRE-SELECTION OF ORGANISATIONS INTERESTED TO BECOME
TACSO SUPPORTED RESOURCE CENTRES
TACSO Regional Office • Potoklinica 16 • 71 000 Sarajevo • t: +387 33 532 757 • f: +387 33 532 757 • e-mail: [email protected]
SIPU International AB Sweden • Ecorys International Netherlands • Intrac United Kingdom • Foundation Partners for Local Development Romania
• Euclid Network United Kingdom • SMART Croatia
Contents
1 BACKGROUND ...................................................................................................................................... 3
2 PURPOSE OF THE OPEN CALL ............................................................................................................... 4
3 SELECTION PROCESS ............................................................................................................................. 5
3.1 Process of selection and eligibility ................................................................................................ 5
3.2 Evaluation committees .................................................................................................................. 6
3.3 Time-table ..................................................................................................................................... 6
4 SELECTION CRITERIA ............................................................................................................................. 7
5 FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL CONDITIONS ................................................................................... 8
6 SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS .............................................................................................................. 9
2
1 BACKGROUND
The project Capacity Building of Civil Society Organisations in the Western Balkans and
Turkey (TACSO) commenced operations in August 2009. It was implemented by a consortium
consisting of SIPU International (lead) and four civil society organisations from Eastern
Europe and IPA beneficiary countries. The first phase of assistance was successfully
completed in mid-August 2013. The total budget for the four-year period was approximately
13.4 million Euros.
The second phase of the project, which started in September 2013, offers technical
assistance to civil society in seven countries, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo1,
the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. This phase has
the duration of four years and a budget of approximately 10.6 million Euros. The project is
implemented by a consortium consisting of six European organisations including SIPU
International (lead).
TACSO’s general objective is to strengthen the overall capacity and accountability of CSOs
within IPA beneficiaries and to guarantee the quality of services of CSOs and a sustainable
role of CSOs in the democratic process. The main purposes of the project are to increase and
improve the capacity and actions of CSOs as well as to strengthen the role of CSOs in a
participatory democracy. The assistance is made available through national offices in all
beneficiary countries. Managerial and technical support is provided from a regional project
office in Sarajevo.
Services provided by TACSO include:
- the organisation of thematic, sectorial and networking events,
- implementation of various training programmes,
- help-desk services,
- information events,
- support the monitoring and guidance in implementation of IPA funded projects,
- support to monitoring the CSF guidelines
- visibility actions to inform citizens about the contributions to society made by civil society,
- management of the people-to-people component,
- information sharing through the TACSO web-page, and
- direct support to EUDs and DG Enlargement.
TACSO services are mainly targeting civil society organisations, networks, CSO support
organisations and other similar institutions in the seven beneficiary countries. Being an
integral part of the methodology applied, representatives of other stakeholders are often
1
This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the
Kosovo declaration of independence.
3
invited to participate in activities, for example journalists and central/local government
officials. Recently, the project has also made attempts to strengthen ties with the private
sector.
Local advisory groups (LAGs) have been established in all beneficiary countries. They consist
of representatives of civil society, donors, governments, media and private sector. The local
advisory groups provide guidance to the project at national level.
More project information is available on wwww.tacso.org and www.facebook.com/TACSO2.
2 PURPOSE OF THE OPEN CALL
One of the main challenges during the present phase of TACSO is to develop organisational
and financial conditions for the continued delivery of TACSO services at national level
beyond August 2017 when the project support will cease. To provide for sustainability of the
outputs and outcomes generate by TACSO the project’s ToR requires that resource centres
are selected in each beneficiary country before the end of the first year, i.e. the end of
August 2014. At that time the national TACSO offices shall, to the extent possible, be
physically transferred to the resource centres. The intention is that gradually during the
following three years the resource centres will develop the necessary capacity and assume
responsibility for the delivery of services presently offered by TACSO.
The capacity of the resource centres will be strengthened through a range of interventions
coupled with on-the-job training, i.e. the joint provision of assistance to the beneficiaries of
TACSO services. Annual work plans will serve as the framework for these actions. The
capacity building support to the centres will gradually decrease during the three-year
support period. However, TACSO will continue to provide funding of programme activities
until August 2017.
It is expected that TACSO’s services will complement the existing programmes of the
centres. The assumption is that it is within the mission and mandate of the resource centres
selected to make the services available to a cross-section of civil society in their countries,
thereby supporting the development of capacities in urban and rural-based organisations,
well-established and recently started CSOs, and so forth.
Furthermore, the resource centres are assumed to accept and continue to deliver services to
civil society organisations based on a set of values applied by TACSO since its inception in
2009. Assistance to members of civil society and other beneficiaries is provided through
open calls and selection processes based on pre-defined criteria. Objectives and priorities
are set based on consultations with various clusters of civil society including less developed
organisations and beneficiaries based outside the urban centres. National and regional
experts and resource organisations are given priority when experts are engaged.
It is envisaged that during the period September 2014 to August 2017, the resource centres
will become increasingly engaged in activities supporting and promoting four key issues and
results. It is assumed that the centres will continue to support these aims beyond 2017.
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1.
Further strengthening civil society’s capacity and role in national
democratisation and accession processes.
2.
Increasing the communication and visibility of civil society’s contributions to
society.
3.
Supporting the discovery of new resource mobilisation strategies and
approaches, which are needed to provide for civil society development and
sustainability.
4.
Improving the legal and institutional framework for civil society actions.
The project’s local advisory groups are expected to continue to function until the end of the
TACSO support in August 2017. However, the function of the groups might be revised and
harmonised with the management and governance structures of the resource centres. The
issue will be subject to further discussions with the organisations selected.
3 SELECTION PROCESS
3.1 Process of selection and eligibility
The aim of this open call is to identify and select national organisations from Albania, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Kosovo2, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and
Serbia interested in becoming TACSO resource centres and committed to continue providing
services to civil society based on approaches and capacities supported by TACSO. The
selection of resource centres will be carried out as six parallel processes although based on a
unified approach and within the same deadlines. The identification process for TACSO
Resource Centre in Turkey is currently being developed in dialogue with the Delegation of the
European Union to Turkey, due to the previous EU supported initiatives for civil society
development.
The resource centres will be selected through a phased approach. Individual not-for-profit
organisations are eligible to apply. Consortia formed by such organisations may also apply.
Only organisations registered in the respective beneficiary country may apply.
In case where a consortium is formed one organisation shall be appointed as lead
organisation and assume all rights and responsibilities on behalf of the consortium. A
consortium might have a maximum of five members, including the lead organisation. The lead
organisation will have to fulfil all the minimum requirements listed below (section 4).
The agreements between TACSO and the resource centres will be subject to EU rules and
procedures. All agreements will be subject to the final approval of DG Enlargement.
All applications shall be made in the English language. Short-listing of organisations will be
made on the basis of a set of pre-defined minimum requirements and additional selection
criteria. The evaluation of proposals will be made by national evaluation committees.
2
This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the
Kosovo declaration of independence.
5
Following the pre-selection and short-listing of the most qualified candidates a restricted call
for proposals will be launched during the spring of 2014. The evaluation committees will
evaluate the proposals. However, in countries where only a few organisations apply, the
possibility of a negotiated solution embracing the interested organisations will be considered.
All selection and subsequent procedures should be completed before the end of July 2014.
3.2 Evaluation committees
The screening of applications and selection will be done by national evaluation committees
established for this purpose. Each committee will have the following membership:
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one person appointed by the country EU Delegation,
two CSO representatives nominated by the national LAG in each country,
one representative of TACSO’s national office (who will act as chairperson),
one representative of TACSO’s regional office, and
one representative of a LAG from a neighbouring country.
TACSO’s national office will nominate the members of the evaluation committees in
consultation with the local advisory groups and the EU Delegations. It is expected that this
will take place in early April 2014. Evaluation committee members should have experience in
EU project management, civil society capacity development, and other areas of relevance for
the task.
3.3 Time-table
The invitations to submit applications are launched in late March 2014. The evaluation of the
proposals received is tentatively expected to be carried out during April-May 2014 by the
committees established for this purpose. Based on the level of interest from civil society
organisations in each beneficiary country the short-listing will be followed by an invitation
for the short-listed organisations to submit full proposals or negotiated solutions may be
initiated with a few leading organisations if the response in a country is limited to a few
applications.
The second call to submit full proposals is tentatively scheduled to be sent to the short-listed
organisations during the spring of 2014. Deadline for the submission of proposals will be late
June/early July 2014. The result of the evaluation committees’ work and the final approval of
the selection process by DG Enlargement are expected before the end of July 2014. Signing
of the contract between SIPU International (as lead company) and the successful applicant
will take place immediately thereafter.
In countries where the response from civil society is limited the process of negotiating a
solution with interested organisations will commence in May. The negotiations will be
completed in June. Following the formal approval by DG Enlargement agreements are
expected to be signed in July 2014.
Preparatory training of selected resource centre staff is tentatively scheduled for August
2014. Towards the end of that month, TACSO’s national offices will transfer into the
resource centres.
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Kick-off activities to support the launch of the new agreements will be conducted in all
beneficiary countries during September 2014. Other promotional activities will also be
carried out during that month. It is envisaged that an action plan for TACSO & resource
centre communication and visibility will be developed jointly.
4 SELECTION CRITERIA
As mentioned, the expected outcome of the first step of the selection process is a shortlist of
maximum four organisations or consortia. The organisations that qualify for the second step
are those who meet the set of minimum requirements. Furthermore, they are selected on
the basis of the additional evaluation criteria listed below. Shortlisted organisations will be
invited to submit full applications that will be evaluated on the basis of a set of new criteria.
In countries where only one or a few organisations submit applications to become resource
centres the initial step in the process could be followed by negotiated solutions involving all
interested parties.
Minimum requirements
1. The applicants shall be legal entities registered in the beneficiary country concerned.
Commercial (for-profit) entities are not accepted. The assumption is that only one
organisation or one consortium will be contracted in each country. The contract will
not be divided into sub-contracts. All consortium members shall sign the Partnership
Statement, included in the Application Form.
2. The organisation/consortium shall be free of any political affiliations or membership.
Stakeholders must perceive the applicant to become resource centre as neutral,
capable of dealing with both government institutions and CSOs, for example when
facilitating of government-civil society dialogue. Providing equal opportunity for all
beneficiaries is a requirement.
3. The organisations’ mission and goals shall be related to the development of civil
society.
4. The lead organisation shall have systems that provide for transparency and
accountability. Annual reports shall be available for, at least, the last two years of
operation. The lead organisation shall also have documented governance, decisionmaking and reporting structures and processes.
5. The lead organisation shall have a track record of provision of consultancy and
training services to CSOs during at least two years. The lead organisation should have
at least three staff members with three years of experience of civil society
development.
6. The lead organisation shall have sufficient space to accommodate national TACSO
project staff within their premises for the period September 2014 to August 2017. It
shall also be able to provide basic office services including electricity, heating,
telephone lines, cleaning, Internet access, etc. If office space is not readily available a
plan on how to solve the issue should be included in the application.
Additional selection criteria
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1. The organisation/consortium should have experience of conducting activities in as
many of the TACSO intervention areas as possible, i.e. help-desk services, training,
information events, support for monitoring and guidance of individual projects,
advocacy, cross-border events, partner-matching, as well as civil society PR and
visibility.
2. The organisation/consortium should have a national outreach/coverage, through its
own organisation or consortium members.
3. The organisation/consortium should have experience of organising activities tailored
to the needs of particular target groups.
4. At least two professional staff members from the lead organisation need to be fluent
in English.
5. The organisation/consortium should have a pool of trainers and experts with whom
they work in specific areas, especially capacity building.
6. Experience of conducting research, surveys, etc. is an asset.
7. The organisation/consortium should have regional experience, from cross-border
events or partnership projects involving two or more countries.
8. Experience of implementing EU funded projects as well as supporting national EU
accession processes will be considered an advantage.
5 FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL CONDITIONS
During the period September 2014 to August 2017, based on the signed agreements, the
selected resource centres will receive limited financial support from TACSO’s budget. The
ceiling for such support is presently estimated at 65.000 Euros/country annually. VAT
exemption is expected to apply.
This financial support is intended to cover the following categories of eligible expenses:
-
-
Office space/costs for TACSO’s national project staff, running costs, communication,
equipment, access to meeting rooms, Internet connection, etc. It should be noted
that the remuneration of TACSO’s national project staff is not included in this budget.
The costs of resource centres’ staff members that are allocated to participate in and
implement TACSO’s annual work plans and related activities.
Funding of particular capacity building activities targeting the centres’ staff, for
example training of trainers’ interventions.
The cost of resource centre staff participating in regional and sub-regional TACSO
activities or study tours and exchanges organised by TACSO.
All resource centres will receive technical advice from the TACSO regional office in Sarajevo
until 2017. In addition to daily communication and cooperation between the resource
centres and the national TACSO offices, the centres will also be expected to engage in
various regional TACSO initiatives, jointly identified at meetings between TACSO and
resource centre representatives.
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During the contact period 2014-2017 the resource center shall be eligible to apply for other
EU funds as long as it does not create a conflict of interest with the roles and activities
defined in the agreement with TACSO/SIPU International.
The resource centre will have to comply with EU visibility rules and TACSO visibility and
communication guidelines.
6 SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Applications must be in English. Interested organisations must use the application form
provided for this purpose. Only information, documents and statements requested in the
application form will be considered when the proposals are evaluate by the committees.
Applications that fail to provide the information required will be exclude from the evaluation
process.
The application including all requested information and documentation shall be submitted
no later than 12:00 hours (local time) on 21 April 2014 by e-mail to TACSO Regional Office at
[email protected] indicating the subject of the e-mail as Application to become
resource centre in (name of country).
In case you have any questions or might need additional clarifications related to this Open
Call, please submit them by email to [email protected] by close of business on April
10, 2014. We will publish the questions and the answers on www.tacso.org on April 15,
2014.
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