Once a partnership agreement is established between the Facility and a country, grants can be provided to national forest programme stakeholders (government and non-government) active in the partner country in order to:
- strengthen the capacity and involvement of stakeholders in the national forest programme process by improving their skills in facilitation, negotiation, formulation, and networking;
- support civil society participation in the national forest programme process with special focus on groups that are often not sufficiently consulted despite their importance for the implementation of forest policies in the field (in particular women, forest-dependent and marginalized groups);
- promote cross-sectoral dialogue between the forestry sector and other relevant sectors such as agriculture, energy, tourism, transport, rural development, overall development planning, environment, trade and finance;
- develop capacities for policy analysis, policy formulation and design, negotiation and implementation of policy goals and instruments (e.g. laws, institutional reforms, incentives, financing mechanisms);
- promote transparency, accountability, availability and access to information/knowledge in relation to the national forest programme process, with a focus on making more effective use of local and national knowledge and sharing them at the regional and international levels.
Under Facility grants, funds are expected to be spent mainly on:
- workshops, fora, and in-service training;
- policy analysis and other specific studies;
- information sharing and knowledge management initiatives.
Procedures for the allocation of Facility grants
Following the conclusion of a partnership agreement, the responsible government official (nfp Focal Point) takes the lead in establishing a Multistakeholder National Steering Committee (MNSC). This Committee is responsible for overseeing the partnership and, most importantly, for implementing the process leading to the allocation of Facility grants to non-government stakeholders. The MNSC is composed of representatives from: governmental institutions such as the Forestry Department (usually the Chair and secretary of the committee); other Ministries such as Energy and Agriculture; education and research organizations; NGOs and/or community-based organizations; the private sector; donor and/or relevant international organizations.
Based on the Concept Note, successive one-year programmes are developed by the MNSC and agreed upon with the Facility. These programmes indicate the activities to be carried out, their estimated costs, timetable, and expected outputs; for each activity, there is an agreement on whether it will be implemented by the government or by a non-government stakeholder.
In the case of activities to be carried out by the government, the relevant agency prepares a detailed proposal and receives a Facility grant on the basis of this.
For activities to be carried out by non-government stakeholders, Facility grants are allocated following an open and transparent selection process. This includes the following main steps:
- preparing the Terms of Reference (ToRs) detailing the nature of the activities (see here);
- preparing the package for the call for proposals, including the ToRs and budget range for each activity, the general conditions for the tender, eligibility and selection criteria (see here), format of the proposal (see here), deadline, name and contact address of the nfp Focal Point;
- launching the call for proposals, for example by approaching a limited number of stakeholders directly, organizing a launching meeting with pre-identified stakeholders or launching the call(s) through nation-wide media;
- organizing a meeting of the MNSC to evaluate and select the proposals received, based on a clear evaluation process and the selection criteria;
- submitting the result of the evaluation/selection process to the Facility, including the evaluation report and the selected proposals;
- preparing the Facility grant contracts based on the selected proposals, in line with FAO standard procedures, and having them signed by the Facility and the selected non-state stakeholders;
- disbursing the first funds after the signature of both parties.