Policy Reform for Private Sector Investment Mobilization (PR4I) Small Grants Program
Africa Lead — Feed the Future’s Building Capacity for African Agricultural Transformation Program — supports the advancement of agricultural transformation in Africa as proposed by the African Union Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). Africa Lead also contributes to the Feed the Future (FTF) goals of reduced hunger and poverty by building the capacity of Champions — i.e., men and women leaders in agriculture — and the institutions in which they operate to develop, lead, and manage the policies, structures, and processes needed for transformation.
In signing the 2014 Malabo Declaration, Africa’s Heads of State committed to 6% annual agricultural sector growth, doubling productivity, halving post-harvest losses, jobs for 30% of youth, reducing poverty, and eliminating child under-nutrition and recommitted themselves to the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP). In order for these Malabo targets to be met, businesses need to grow and invest in agriculture. In order for businesses to invest, they want a stable, transparent and conducive enabling environment with sound and predictable policies and costs.
In response to agricultural development needs and the Malabo Declaration, African governments are renewing their National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) as well as their Agricultural development strategies. These set national sectoral priorities for investment and policy reform. They will determine priority value chains which offer both compelling commercial and development returns.
The desired impact of the NEPAD Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework (CAP-F) is to unlock the private sector investment necessary to achieve national and continental goals for the agriculture sector. Ideally, governments will receive feedback from the private sector that will push them to pass and implement more business-friendly policies. Meanwhile, the implementation of better policies will lead to greater private sector investments.
A series of lessons learned were developed by an assessment of the predecessor program to CAP-F, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. To complement this, there is also a series of lessons learned from the last 20 years of USAID and other donor-led private sector development programming that had similar aims of increasing investment and creating jobs and income through economic growth. This Activity will attempt to build off of those lessons learned and pilot a way forward on a micro level operating within the CAP-F parameters.
Overall Activity Objectives
There are two main objectives of the Africa Lead Policy Reform for Private Investment Mobilization (PR4I) Activity:
- Expose private sector actors, such as representative associations, to CAADP and CAP-F objectives and encourage public-private collaboration and feedback loops to carry out reforms to the business enabling environment, thereby fostering increased private investment mobilization.
- Generate learning on the building blocks of effective multi-stakeholder collaboration to help inform CAP-F. This includes government gaining experience eliciting and adapting to private sector feedback on policies and allowing the private sector and their unique understanding of value chains to drive initiatives aimed at increasing investments. Lastly, the activity will provide some lessons learned that inform effective approaches to CAP-F implementation
Africa Lead may choose to fully or partially fund the selected applicants. Africa Lead expects to award grants ranging from $10,000 to $ 40,000 without exceeding $ 40,000. The number of grants and the amount of funding available are subject to change and Africa Lead reserves the right to grant no grants as a result of this tender.
Africa Lead anticipates an implementation period of up to 6 months. The implementation phase of all grants must conclude by 30 June 2019.
Small Grants Overview
This activity plans to provide small grants up to $40,000 to private organizations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Senegal (1-2 grants in each country). The Activity will convene a CAADP-related multi-stakeholder committee in each country, including government and non-state actors that will help complete and refine the selection criteria and provide inputs to evaluate and score grant applications, as well as mentor and champion grant recipients.
The grant funds will be used to support value chain related policy improvements that will result in more dynamic, transparent, growing and profitable agriculture development.
The Activity will demonstrate that competent private sector counterparts are able to implement strategies in cooperation with multi-sector stakeholders in order to improve the business enabling environment, thereby mobilizing investment. It will be designed to elicit winning proposals from those with the strongest understanding of the value chain market dynamics, which is critical to ensuring success in investment mobilization.
In the three countries of operation (Kenya, Tanzania, and Senegal) a Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (MSAC) was created to help score and support the small grants that will be awarded under this Activity.
Africa Lead and the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee invite applicants to present innovative approaches and thinking to help. To accomplish this, proposals shall focus on:
- Increase private sector feedback on policies, programs and needs provided to the government and civil society;
- Plausibly lead to increased private sector investments that are a win-win for both agribusinesses and smallholder farmers (e.g. by being able to plausibly articulate how the activity could lead to this result);
- Increase the government and public’s understanding of market opportunities in prioritized value chains.
- Increase the government understands of steps to take to carry out reforms that will have the effect of increasing investments.
- Increase private sector and civil society understanding of and skills for collecting evidence that can be presented to help convince government to reform and consistently implement policy reforms.
The proposed project must be within the framework of the themes and topics (illustrative list of grants detailed below) and it must address the program objectives and outcomes described in the “Overall Program Objectives” section above.
Types of Organizations/Entities that May Apply
This application is issued as a public notice to ensure that all interested and qualified organizations have a fair opportunity to submit applications for funding. Organizations must be located within Kenya/Tanzania/Senegal. Eligible organizations include non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, farmer’s organizations, research institutions, think tanks, private universities, private companies or organizations (which choose to forgo profit on the grant), registered foundations and civil society associations, and consortia of the above. Africa Lead encourages an approach that establishes partnerships with several partner organizations and builds them into legacy institutions capable of sustaining development projects in the future.
Some organizations are legally restricted from receiving US Government funded assistance. In addition, applicants should:
- Be legally recognized and registered, including current registration with the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). Registration documents, statutes, and DUNS number must be submitted
- Not be affiliated with a political party nor engaged in any political activities
- Not be focused solely on religious activities
Potential New Partners and Team Composition
Women participation on project teams is highly favorable. Applicants with presence in the Feed the Future Zones of Influence (ZOI) are also highly favorable.
Applicants are encouraged to contribute at least 25% of total budget with resources from their own private or local sources for the implementation of this program where feasible. However, cost share is not a requirement for grant award.
Application and Submission Information
Africa Lead and the Multi stake holder Advisory committee (MSAC) will review and score the proposals. The grants will be awarded to the applicants who would satisfactorily write the full proposals following the Request for Applications (RFA) and in line with the Activity objectives.
Please prepare the full proposal according to the structural format set forth below:
Technical approach [no more than 5 pages]: This section should address the selected program objectives and should include:
- Concise title and objectives of proposed activity
- Discussion of the objectives, the methodology, the amount of effort to be employed, the anticipated results, and how the work will help accomplish Africa Lead’s goal of improving citizen engagement in national food security investment priorities
- Type of support the applicant requests from the Africa Lead (e.g., event funds, services, equipment, materials, person days, etc.)
- Detailed implementation calendar
- Performance indicators with targets
- Clear description of final outputs/deliverables – can be combination of the following example outputs/deliverables (workplan, final report, advocacy manuals, communications tools, data collection and analysis which support policy reform for private sector investment mobilization/ videos, presentations, and other forms of media for strategic communication on relevant policy reforms for private sector investment mobilization)
- Brief description of the organization’s, as well as the prospective existing partner(s’) previous work or experience. This should highlight institutional capacity to manage (technically, administratively and financially). Information on whether the organization is registered. Information on what experience the organization has related to policy reform for private sector investment mobilization.
- CVs of proposed personnel
- Budget to include proposed total estimated cost and brief cost breakdown (e.g., salaries, travel, etc.); proposed optional amount of the applicant’s financial as well as in-kind participation, if applicable; proposed amount of prospective or existing partner(s’) financial as well as in-kind participation, if applicable.
In reviewing proposals, Africa Lead may request additional information to verify relevant information in the proposal. Applicants may also be asked to submit financial statements or other supporting materials, or to further develop/refine their proposal, revise their budget, etc. The pre-award proposal must be signed by the Director of the applicant organization and its Board of Directors.
All materials must be in English. The concept papers must be submitted through this online application form and will be accepted on a rolling basis until all of the funding has been allocated. Incomplete applications, applications that do not follow the formatting requirements, or those submitted after the deadline listed on this application, shall not be considered
Application Review Information
Proposals will be reviewed according to the below evaluation criteria.
Award and Administration Information
Following selection of an awardee, Africa Lead will inform the successful applicant concerning the award. A notice of award signed by Africa Lead’s Chief of Party is the official authorization document, which will be provided either electronically or in hard copy to the successful applicant’s main point of contact. Africa Lead will notify unsuccessful applicants concerning their status after selection has been made.
Program implementation reporting will be determined based on finalized work plan for the grant program. A performance monitoring and evaluation plan, using established baseline data and specific, measurable targets and indicators will also be agreed upon. Financial reporting will be in accordance with the requirements of the obligating document.
Small Grants Program Contacts
The points of contact for this application and any questions during the application process can be reached through the online application form and the following email address: AfricaLeadGrants@dai.com
Any prospective applicant desiring an explanation or interpretation of this application must request it via the online form to allow a reply to reach all prospective applicants. Oral explanations or instructions given before award of a grant will not be binding. Any information given to a prospective applicant concerning this application will be furnished promptly to all other prospective applicants as an amendment of this application, if that information is necessary or if the lack of it would be prejudicial to any other prospective applicants.
Illustrative list of the types of grants envisioned
Below are illustrative examples of the types of activities that could be financed under a grant fund in support of the objectives and guidelines of CAP-F. The list is intended to capture a wide array of possibilities. In most cases grantees would be private associations, civil society organizations, private research organizations and universities.
Eligible uses of grant funds would be technical assistance, events planning and execution, travel, equipment and supplies. Funds should not be used to finance core or recurring costs of grantee organizations, such as salaries and rent.
- A private sector association of any kind (related to agriculture), regional, national or sub-national, could finance research. Research could be designed to support various objectives, from informing government policy to incentivizing agriculture investment and development to researching regional/cross-border trade issues.
- A group of African seed companies, represented by AFSTA, for example, could organize visits to see how each country’s seed certification works. The delegations would consist of private and public-sector stakeholders. The purpose of the visits would be to strengthen transparency and openness among seed certifying authorities, and to identify opportunities to harmonize regulations and procedures in support of increased seed trade.
- Finance communications and outreach to inform civil society, women and youth about policy issues affecting agriculture. This could be done in an entertaining way in local languages using radio or other broadly accessible multi-media.
- Many Africa countries and sub-national regions do not have Agricultural fairs, either at the national or sub-national level, and these events can be effective vehicles to promote agriculture development. A grant could help finance the organization and execution of inaugural fairs that could become annual events. In addition to exposition of products and equipment, the fair could feature a policy conference, B2B event and/or other side events and include culturally appropriate elements to draw in youth and broad participation from the business community.
- Grant funds could be used to pay for a mobile technology and/or research firm to design and implement data collection that would inform policy issues. The information could be collected from different types of value chain actors, including farmers, input suppliers, aggregators and other agribusinesses.
- One of the main constraints to inclusive policy dialogue is the lack of capacity and experience of private sector organizations and associations. Grant funds could address this through various means, including hiring experts to provide training and coaching in advocacy, or simply by hiring an expert facilitative leader to organize and facilitate public-private dialogue.
- Funds could be used to finance a national or sub-national agriculture policy event. The event could have focus on recent research around current policy topics and bring together all relevant stakeholders.
- A university or research organization could hold a hackathon or other ICT event to develop applications to collect and analyze information on specific agriculture problems. The government could also sponsor such an event.
- Some private sector association or multi-stakeholder groups have identified key policy issues and constraints, but they may not have collected the evidence required to inform improved policies. Grant funds could be used to carry out focused research on one or more of these issues.
- Similarly, an apex private sector association may have specific policy issues (by value chain, for example) that are priorities for its members based on feedback. The grant funds could be used by established, representative associations to engage the government in dialogue and outreach campaigns to influence the policy agenda.
Issuance of this solicitation for concept papers does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of Africa Lead, nor does it commit Africa Lead to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.
Africa Lead reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. Further, Africa Lead reserves the right to make no awards as a result of this application process.
Contact email AfricaLeadGrants@dai.com
Deadline Jan 21 at 3:30pm in your local timezone (GMT +1)
 Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, Foreword of Country Agribusiness Partnership Frameworks (CAP-F) An Implementation Guide for Governments and their Partners Prepared by Grow Africa in support of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) August 2017
 They will likely be sourced from the Country’s designated “CAADP team” that manages CAADP related commitments.