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Call for Proposals for the SGP-8 Country Programme Strategy

Posted on January 4, 2024

The Small Grants Programme (SGP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is soliciting proposals for the development of the Country Programme Strategy for SGP-8 in the Philippines

For the full Terms of Reference and other information, scan the QR code below or visit:

Soliciting proposals for:
SGP 8th Operational Phase Country Programme Strategy Development  

I. Background:

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) provides civil society and community-based organizations (CSOs/CBOs) in developing countries with grants to enable them to tackle global environmental challenges1 while addressing local sustainable development needs. SGP is a GEF corporate programme implemented by UNDP. SGP Philippines started financing projects in 1992. Since then, it has succeeded in funding and providing technical support for more than 320 grant projects.

Building on its over 26 years of successful operations in total over 133 countries, the 8h Operational Phase of the SGP Core Resource Part 1 (OP8 Part 1) aims at “engaging local CSOs/CBOs in landscape-seascape approaches across the world, providing them access to knowledge and information, capacitating them through learning-by-doing, skills development, and delivering technical and grant assistance for interventions that enhance well-being and socio-economic conditions and generate global environmental benefits.” in 99 countries, including the Philippines.

OP8 Part 1 will finance and support the design and implementation of participatory, multistakeholder landscape-seascape strategies consisting of locally led, synergistic initiatives producing global environmental benefits and improved livelihoods, planned, developed and coordinated by local CSOs/CBOs, particularly those representing marginalized and vulnerable groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, elderly and the youth. OP8 Part 1 will support the SGP Country Programme in each participating country to identify one or more eligible landscapes-seascapes based on national priorities espoused in NDCs, NAPAs, NBSAPs and other policies and work with the corresponding local actors to identify socio-ecological vulnerabilities (including threats to biodiversity, water, land, etc.), set priorities, and identify potential solutions, as part of a strategy for Inclusive Landscapes for Sustainability, Resilience and the Global Environment. These strategies will emphasize the inclusion of the most vulnerable populations under a Leave No One Behind principle and approach under the SDGs. These actors will come together in multistakeholder landscape-seascape governance platforms for analysis and decision-making with technical assistance from appropriate experts and institutions.

Among other things, the programme will significantly increase access to land and resource management information to inform decision-making; expand knowledge about and enable access to sustainable technologies; strengthen capacity for multi-stakeholder governance and participatory decision-making among local CSOs/CBOs, in collaboration with governments and private entrepreneurs, and for implementation of resultant policy in an integrated, systemic and sustainable manner; strengthen CSO/CBO technical capacities, e.g., on initiative design and financial planning to de-risk investments in rural and urban landscape-seascape management; and strengthen the sustainability of local economic alternatives and innovations overall.

Critical benefits will accrue in biodiversity conservation, sustainable natural resource management, climate mitigation and adaptation, multi-stakeholder governance, poverty reduction, waste management, energy access, water security, access and management, human health, gender equality, and others. Through SGP OP8 Part 1, accrual of these benefits will be enhanced by projects serving as “incubators” of innovation, with the potential for broader replication of successful approaches through larger projects and programmes supported by the GEF and/or other partners. SGP OP8 Part 1 will focus on promoting strategic and results-based investments at the local level in alignment with the GEF’s proposed focal area investments and Integrated Programs.

This call for proposals is to solicit civil society organizations to put forward proposals that help SGP Philippines undertake a preparatory process to develop its strategy for OP8 Part 1. This will involve multi-stakeholder consultations, development of baseline assessment(s) of priority identified landscape(s)/seascape(s), and elaboration of the Country Programme Strategy (CPS) for OP8 in close coordination with the SGP National Coordinator and National Steering Committee in the Philippines. The key steps in this preparatory process and the key deliverables expected are described in detail below. 

II. Key steps in the OP8 Country Programme Strategy Elaboration Process

Step 1.OP8 Part 1 Philippines Country Programme Strategy consultations and Scoping exercise

To initiate the development of the SGP OP8 Country Programme Strategy in the Philippines (OP8 CPS), an assessment and scoping exercise should be undertaken which will take stock of the results and achievements of the SGP country programme thus far and identify the priority directions for programming in OP8 in line the SGP OP8 Part 1 project document, the country’s national priorities, GEF-8 programming directions, and potential for synergy with UNDP and other partner agencies.

This CPS consultation and scoping process will extend beyond the NSC to involve relevant stakeholders from government, civil society, UNDP country office, sector agencies and other partners. Its purpose is to identify the gaps and opportunities of SGP for programming in OP8 in order to focus the programme to deliver the strategic impact expected in terms of the OP8 directions and initiatives.

This process will include the following broad elements:

a) Communications, outreach and capacity development about OP8 and its strategic initiatives. Such communications should serve to explain the need to focus SGP on landscape/seascape areas for achievement of greater strategic impact through clustering of projects and achievement of synergies.

b) Multi-stakeholder consultations. This consultation process should include the NSC, TAG and other relevant partners from government, civil society, UNDP, partner agencies etc. in order to achieve a broad consensus on the country programme approach in OP8.

c) Selection of the landscape/seascape area(s) of focus, with consideration given to SGP’s niche, opportunities, challenges, and potential for synergies, etc. Depending on country size and grant resources available country programmes may select one or more landscapes or seascapes. For smaller countries, such as SIDS, the entire country may be considered as one landscape or seascape – in such cases, the programme would need to identify a thematic focus or niche to ensure that SGP grantmaking is strategic and achieves greater impact.

d) Grant-making outside the selected landscape/seascape area(s). In OP8, some grant resources might be allocated outside of the landscape/seascape areas. Criteria for prioritization of projects and a typology of projects might be identified in the General Evaluation and Scoping Exercise. For example priority might be given by the country programme to grants outside the landscape/seascape area(s) that:
- Projects that promote innovation in relation to SGP OP8 strategic initiatives and directions
- Projects that provide new opportunities for partnerships and replication.
- Help translate landscape lessons into policy or promote uptake
- CSO-government dialogue platforms that promote civil society engagement with government in the context of multilateral environmental agreements

Key outputs to be produced at this stage would include: (a) a short report documenting the consultation and scoping process with key agreements on the CPS approach recorded, and (b) a draft outline of the CPS already developed to the extent possible with the landscape/seascape approach still to be fully elaborated in Step 2.

Step 2. Selected Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment

The Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment process will be guided by the CPS Consultation and Scoping Exercise in the country which lays out the consensus for the priorities and planning for delivering OP8 Part 1 outcomes in the country. 2 The Landscape/Seascape Strategy developed for each country programme will describe the landscape approach for supporting global environmental activities in line with the selected strategic initiatives in the SGP Country Programme Strategy that contribute to sustainable development at the community level.

The objective of the baseline assessment is to assist SGP National Coordinators and National Steering Committees a) to elaborate a landscape/seascape-wide baseline, b) to develop a landscape/seascape strategy that will guide grant-making with typology of projects proposed, and sets of indicators for selected SGP strategic initiatives identified. The baseline assessment provides information about the current state of the landscapes/seascapes, through consultations with local communities and stakeholders which can be used as a basis for setting goals and desired outcomes.

The Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment will study the key challenges, global environmental issues, and identify the opportunities for community and CSO actions. The baseline assessment process will include community consultations, and ensure participation of the range of stakeholders in the landscape, including local authorities, civil society, community organizations, and other relevant partners. The baseline assessment will include the following key elements:

a) Baseline analysis. Identification of the landscape/seascape context and background, including threats to the global environment, sustainable development, and key actions and plans underway, and identification of relevant stakeholders within and outside the landscape who need to be involved and play a role. The boundaries of the landscape/seascape should be identified along with an analysis of the baseline activities that the SGP Country programme can build on as well as the gaps that it can intervene to address.

b) Elaborating SGP OP8 Part 1 Strategic initiatives within the landscape/seascape context. Based on results of the CPS Consultation and Scoping process, the country will have identified the selective strategic priorities for grantmaking. Within the Baseline Assessment the implementation of the priority OP8 strategic initiatives selected by countries will be elaborated within the landscape/seascape context with (a) typologies of projects developed, (b) indicators and targets and results framework developed.

c) Modalities for implementation will be proposed, such as possibilities for linking and connecting projects within the landscape for learning and exchange, fostering engagement with local authorities, identifying policy influence and scaling up opportunities, promoting participatory M&E that enables community involvement, and facilitating knowledge management and capture and dissemination of results. 

As a key output of the Landscape/Seascape Baseline Assessment process a report will be produced that will present the baseline analysis, the elaboration of the SGP strategy within the landscape and the modalities for implementation. The report will also present the consultative process followed and the results of community consultations held. This report will be presented to the NSC and NC and may be prepared in the national languages as appropriate (note it will not be required for review by the SGP Central Programme Management Team (CPMT) at SGP headquarters).

Note that for OP8 Part 1, the Programme will still involve SGP7 landscapes. Thus, the four landscapes covered by SGP7, including Aurora Province, Calamianes Group of Islands, Catubig Watershed and Siargao Protected Landscapes and Seascapes (SIPLAS), have landscape strategies and baseline assessments developed under SGP7. Additional landscapes to be covered in OP8 Part 1 will have to be validated with the national and local stakeholders. For this cycle, area coverage is towards upscaling the SGP7 sites, i.e., from Northern Samar to entire Samar Island; Aurora Province to the entire Sierra Madre Mountain Range; entire Calamanines Group of Islands; and two new sites (Eastern Mindanao and Bicol Region).

Step 3.Country Programme Strategy Finalization

Based on the above steps and once the Baseline Assessment process for the selected Landscape/Seascape area(s) of focus has been completed and agreed, the SGP OP8 Country Programme Strategy (CPS) will be fully elaborated and finalized. A draft of the complete CPS (no more than 25 pages in total length) will be produced for review and comment by the NC and NSC. It will also be shared for review and approval by the CPMT. Any final comments from the NSC and CPMT will be taken into account and addressed in the final draft of the CPS which will then be widely shared and posted online for public information.

III. Scope of the assignment:

The Grantee’s main responsibilities will include to undertake all (or some) of the key steps 1 through 3 outlined in II above, based on the needs and specific agreement with the SGP Philippines country programme. The Grantee will be expected to produce the key deliverables foreseen under the various key steps in a professional and timely manner. The timely completion of all key deliverables will be critical for this project given that it will prepare the CPS which will be needed for further grant-making within the selected landscape/seascape area(s) of focus. It is foreseen that the entire project, if undertaking steps 1 through 3, be completed within a four month period.

The grantee will design preparatory exercises and help prepare for and facilitate consultations throughout the key steps outlined above, including the preparation of necessary information and background documents as needed. The grantee will capture and document key points of discussion and agreement from stakeholder consultations at national and landscape/seascape level.

The grantee will work closely with the SGP National Coordinator (NC) and National Steering Committee (NSC) members (and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) members if appropriate) in completing steps 1 through 3.

IV. Who may submit proposals:

The project may be undertaken by an appropriate, experienced national or subnational NGO or academic institution as an on-the-ground capacity building project and financed by a grant. The proposal will clearly present the experience of the applicant and its partner organizations in the issues to be addressed.

V. Competencies Required for the project:

• Demonstrated capacity for strategic thinking and analysis
• Proven experiences in working with community-led initiatives as well as experience in community and stakeholder participatory processes.
• Expertise on global environment and sustainable development issues
• Expertise in landscape/seascape management
• Proven capacity to produce high quality qualitative research and ability to absorb, analyze and synthesize large amounts of complex information within tight deadlines.
• Strong presentation and facilitation skills.
• Exceptional writing skills of policy and communication materials for a variety of audiences, including the civil society and policymakers.
• Excellent writing, presentation, communication and facilitation skills in English, French or Spanish, as well as relevant national languages in the countries where SGP operates.

VI. Budget: The maximum amount per grant award for the entire project will be limited to $25,000, with applicants required to provide a detailed budgetary estimate.

VII. Period of services: the entire process comprising the 3 key steps is expected to be completed within a four month time frame with the First Step completed within a month or shorter. Please provide a detailed timeline as part of your proposal.

For proposal submission and more information, contact:

Errol Gatumbato, National Coordinator, GEF Small Grants Programme, Philippines

Completed proposals should be received by the SGP National Coordinator no later than January 15, 2024. 

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