Request for Proposals 2015

The Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund (RCNF) is pleased to announce the third open Request for Proposals (RfP). Global and regional networks and consortia that meet the definitions and criteria set by this RfP, are invited to apply for a grant to support core-funding and/or programmatic needs of the network for up to three years (2016-2018). 

It is not possible to submit a proposal, the portal has been closed.  


The Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund

The fund was named in honour of Dr. Robert Carr, to recognize his memory and contributions to the global HIV response. Inspired by his commitment to vulnerable communities and protection of human rights, the RCNF is aimed at supporting global and regional civil society networks addressing critical factors for scaling up access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; and protecting the rights of inadequately served populations (ISPs) across the world.

More information about the RCNF can be found on our website.

Request for Proposals 2015

The request for proposals (RfP) is open to global and regional networks, as well as consortia that meet the definitions and criteria set by this RfP. Applicants can submit proposals for up to three years of funding. For the first year (2016), a work plan, budget and cash flow statement is required. The work plans, budgets and liquidity prognoses for subsequent years will have to be submitted in subsequent years.

The request for proposals will be launched June 23, 2015 and the submission deadline is August 17, 2015. Proposals will be reviewed until mid September 2015 and a final decision on successful applicants will be announced in mid December 2015. Please see the timeline for additional key dates and Annex 1 of the RfP for a complete overview of the procedures.

Please note that a separate process for funding linked to the RCNF partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will follow in 2016.

Funding priorities RfP 2015

The RCNF prioritizes applications by consortia and global networks. Furthermore, applications by networks that have a proven track record in working towards RCNF outcomes are prioritized. New and emerging networks can be recommended for funding to the extent that they fill a gap in the global HIV response. Preferably, new and emerging networks will submit an application in a consortium with other global and/or regional networks with a proven track record.

Current grantees are prioritized based on proven track record of success in achieving outcomes from previous RCNF grant awards. Progress and success need to be described in the application. For all applicants, a description on how inadequately served populations are involved in the governance structure and in programming will be required.

Applications will be reviewed competitively, according to the definitions and funding priorities set by this RFP. However, current RCNF grantees will be prioritized over proposals with the same focus of comparable quality.

1.1. Vision and goals of the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fun

The RCNFs vision is to achieve “Getting to Zero”: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS related deaths. Our goal is to support the work of global and regional civil society networks to address critical factors for scaling up access to prevention, treatment, care and support and to protect the rights of inadequately served populations. The RCNF endeavours to make impacts that enhance the quality, effectiveness, relevance and equity of HIV responses reaching ISPs.

The RCNF works towards four interlinked outcomes (see below). During the first three years the grants focused on building capacities of applicants and grantees to ensure a sustainable foundation for the achievement of all the stated outcomes. A mid term review of the fund and its grantees conducted in 2014 confirmed that the goals and outcome areas of the RCNF were relevant, achievable, and measurable.

Now, three years after the launch of the RCNF, the fund will continue to support capacity building (Outcome 1) and strongly encourages applicants to demonstrate how their proposed activities will also address the other outcomes that are critical to a strengthened civil society response to HIV epidemics.

  • Outcome 1: Capacity Building

The RCNF strives to improve the capacity of global and regional networks and their membership, to be effective, and sustain effectiveness, in advocacy, accountability and service delivery to underserved populations. Ultimately the opportunity afforded by more secure long-term funding, coupled with financial support for organizational and technical capacity strengthening, will enable the regional and global networks to not only achieve better results themselves but also further the development of new partnerships and collaborations between networks.

  •  Outcome 2: Service Delivery

The RCNF recognizes the vital contributions of inadequately served populations (ISPs) to the HIV response. This outcome highlights the increased need for equitable, accessible and context-specific service delivery models and approaches that are informed by the experience of those on the ground and ensure relevance across prevention, treatment, care and support services.

  •  Outcome 3: Human Rights

The RCNF supports activities, programs, and advocacy initiatives that focus on, and contribute to, the greater fulfilment of basic human rights for all people. Human rights is an essential component to an effective HIV response and requires the meaningful participation of diverse stakeholders including ISPs, regional/global networks, human rights and justice organizations, policy-makers, donors, and parliamentarians.

  •  Outcome 4: Accountability

The RCNF promotes that civil society influences expenditure of donors and national governments so that local level responses to HIV have sufficient, strategically targeted investments to deliver results.

Results Framework
Theory of Change
Theory of Change and explanation

1.2. Inadequately Served Populations (ISPs)

The RCNF focuses on networks that address the needs and human rights of inadequately served populations. These are groups or persons that face a higher HIV risk, mortality and/or morbidity when compared to the general population, and have, at the same time, less access to information and services. They include people living with HIV, gay men and other men who have sex with men, women and men who use drugs, prisoners, sex workers and transgender people, but depending on the dynamic of the epidemic may also include women and girls, youth, migrants, and people living in rural areas.

1.3. The Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund funding follows the epidemiology 

International funding for HIV, as well as development aid in general, focuses on low-income countries. The RCNF aims to fund a portfolio of grants that recognizes the importance of not leaving people behind. Therefore RCNF invests in countries and regions where ISP’s living with, at risk of and affected by HIV are living.

1.4. Global and regional networks and consortia of networks

Civil society networks play a crucial role in addressing barriers to access to services for inadequately served populations. Networks also play a strong role in advocacy by securing the voice and leadership of the communities and populations most affected by HIV. When properly resourced and effective, many networks influence policy decisions at global, regional and national levels that often lead to more effective and efficient national and local programs – delivered by governments as well as civil society.

1.4.1 The RCNF uses the following definitions of networks

  1. A network is a group of organizations who pool skills, experience and resources, working towards common goals. A network creates venues for social action, and is sustained through jointly developed structures and communication. In principle, networks are open to membership.
  2. A regional network works to achieve changes in policies or practices at a regional or sub-regional level. It is not sufficient to have members or activities in a couple of countries. In principle, regional networks are encouraged to form or join a consortium for a joint application.
  3. To be a global network, partners should come from more than one continent of the world and have a common governance structure. A global network works with the aim to share information from global to local and bring local and regional experiences to a global level. A global network may facilitate information exchange, support and collaboration across regions, and work to influence policies and practices both in global settings as well as in regional and local contexts. Global networks should have a governance structure in which regional members influence the overall global strategy and programming by being part of the governance of the network.
  4. A consortium of networks is a network-led group of networks, where also other types of agencies or organizations with specific expertise may join (e.g. a human rights/legal organization). The consortium works together in a coordinated partnership towards a common set of inter-related goals and activities.

The RCNF will not fund professional associations, project consortia, or groups of individuals as ‘networks’ on its own. However, such groups may join a consortium.

1.5. Requirements for proposals

Applicants will need to describe and demonstrate the structure, function, decision-making, and operational details of how the consortia or global or regional network is implemented and sustained. Clear descriptions of consortium member roles and responsibilities in order to achieve proposed activities in the submission will be required. Organizational documents including contractual agreements and/or memorandums of understanding should be included with your submission if they have not been provided to the RCNF before.  All applicants named in a submission will also be asked to provide details regarding financial transparency, accountability and monitoring structures and protocols, including policies or procedures for addressing fraud, financial mismanagement, and grant expenditure monitoring.
The RCNF has launched an updated policy on corruption, fraud and financial mismanagement. By submitting a proposal, applicants confirm that they have reviewed, understand and will comply with this policy. Future grantees will be required to adhere to and incorporate this policy within their existing financial management frameworks.

If a global or regional network applies both as part of a consortium and on its own, the rationale for doing so must be clearly explained in both applications. A reason could be  that there are very different sets of activities included in the different applications. Each applicant must demonstrate and guarantee that the same budget items are not applied for in separate applications.

1.6. Floors & ceilings

Regional networks can apply for a minimum of $ 100,000 and a maximum of $ 350,000 per year, for three years maximum.

Global networks can apply for a minimum of $ 100,000 and a maximum of $ 700,000 per year, for three years maximum.

A consortium of networks can apply for a minimum of $ 200,000 per consortium per year, for three years maximum. As the size of different consortia may vary substantially, it is difficult to give an absolute ceiling, but normally RCNF will not fund more than $ 1 million per consortia per year (depending on number and size of partners and specific initiatives).

Actual funding amounts will be dependent on the funds becoming available.

RfP – Annex 2 Costs eligible for funding

1.7. Policies

Please note that the International Steering Committee (ISC) oversees and the Fund Management Agent (FMA) implements  the Conflict of Interest Policy and the Fraud and Corruption Policy.

Links to relevant policies:

  1. Governance Charter of the RCNF
  2. Conflict of Interest Policy
  3. Corruption, fraud and mismanagement Policy

1.8. Timeline

23 June 2015 Publication call
1 August 2015 Closure of opportunity to ask questions
17 August 2015 at 12:00 (noon) CET Deadline for submitting proposals
August / September 2015 Propsals reviewed by independent experts, anonymous reviews to applications, reviews and rebuttals
5 October 2015 at 12:00 (noon) CET Deadline for rebuttal by applicant
October / November 2015 Program Advisory Panel (PAP) review. Funding advice to the ISC by the PAP, based on applications, reviews and rebuttals
 December 2015 ISC meeting and funding decision
18 December 2015 Funding decision made public by the ISC
1 January 2016 Start of the funding

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