Civil Society Development Fund – 2015 selection committee
On 5 October 2015, the Embassy of France in Pretoria hosted the selection committee meeting for the Civil Society Development Fund (CSDF).
The committee was chaired by Ms Charlotte Montel, Deputy Head of Mission and attended by numerous development partners including the Ford Foundation, the Raith Foundation, HIVOS, Civicus, the EU Delegation to South Africa, GIZ and AFD, as well as representatives of the Cooperation department of the Embassy.
The Civil Society Development Fund (CSDF), an initiative of the Embassy of France in South Africa, supports the participation of South African Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in local governance. The CSDF focuses on developing the CSOs’ capacity to advocate the interests of marginalized communities, to contribute to local public policies and to reinforce the accountability of local governments towards their citizens. The objectives of the CSDF are (1) Improving the quality and access to basic services with a specific focus on sustainable development of communities and social cohesion and (2) Promoting Human rights, especially those of marginalized groups. The Embassy allocates project-based grants of up to €40 000 that do not exceed 70% of the total project budget for a duration of 12 to 18 months.
Following the 2015 call for proposals, the Embassy of France received 227 project proposals from CSOs all over South Africa. In September, the first selection helped to preselect 8 project proposals that were submitted to the ad hoc selection committee. Following a brief presentation of each applying CSO and project proposal by the CSDF officer at the Embassy, Ms Lucie Broechler, the development partners and representatives of the French Embassy shared their observations, comments and recommendations. The meeting also provided a forum for discussing current funding priorities and projects of the participating organisations linked to the promotion of civil society in South Africa.
The final recipients of the 2015 CSDF grants will be announced in the course of next week.
Since 2009, the CSDF has provided funding to 20 South African CSOs. In the 2014-2017 funding period, the Embassy of France is already supporting 7 projects of South African NGOs that were selected following the 2014 call for applications: The following projects and CSOs are currently being supported under the scheme of the CSDF: The Centre for Community Justice and Development based in Pietermaritzburg, the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) based in Cape Town, the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) based in Johannesburg, the Gay & Lesbian Network (GLN) based in Pietermaritzburg, Lifeline Johannesburg, the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) based in Cape Town and the Women’s Hope Education and Training Trust (WHEAT Trust) based in Cape Town.
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