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Competitive Grant Scheme Guidelines
1st Call for Proposal

A. Background

1. The Project DURAS (Promotion du Développement Durable dans les systèmes de Recherche
Agricole du Sud) is a three-year project funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It
aims to contribute to strengthening the involvement and enhancing the scientific potential of
southern stakeholders in agricultural research for sustainable development (ARSD),
particularly in Africa, Near East and some parts of Asia (Countries belonging to the France’s Priority Solidarity Zone, or ZSP (Zone de Solidarité Prioritaire).

2. It is among the Type 2 Initiatives under the World Summit for Sustainable Development
(WSSD). These initiatives also referred to as Partnerships for Sustainable Development, are
voluntary multi-stakeholder partnerships which contribute to the implementation of intergovernmental
commitments in Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of
Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. As such, the project will take part
in enabling all stakeholders in agricultural research to make a concrete contribution to the
outcomes of the WSSD and other international agreements in furthering sustainable
development (SD).

3. The project has three components, namely: (1) Support the facilitation role of the Secretariat
of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), including support to regional and subregional
fora to enable them to function as a real forum where relevant stakeholders actively
participate. This activity may focus on revisiting/updating regional priorities with full
participation of all stakeholders, with a special emphasis on facilitating the involvement and
strengthening of civil society organizations (CSOs) so that they can meaningfully participate in
the process- an activity which will also allow the GFAR Secretariat to summarize and widely
distributed at the international level research priorities in the South that impacts on
sustainable development; (2) Develop and reinforce a functional information communication
management (ICM) system through an improvement of the Electronic Global Forum on
Agricultural Research (EGFAR) and the development of Regional Agricultural Information
Systems (RAIS); and (3) launch a Competitive grants systems that will fund proposals in key
priority areas consistent with the GFAR Business Plan.

4. The first two components of the project will be handled by the Secretariat of the Global Forum
on Agricultural Research (GFAR) based in Rome, Italy while the third component is to be
managed by the DURAS Project Office based in Agropolis in Montpellier, France.

B. Objectives of the Competitive Grants

5. The DURAS CGS is established to encourage innovation, allow scaling-up of successful
innovations and/or best practices developed in the South, and to further develop and explore
scientific potentials.

6. It also aims to create opportunities for historically disadvantaged stakeholder groups in the
South to develop and enhance their scientific capacities through the provision of start-up
funds, via a competitive process, that will bridge funding gap that usually exist between the
initial stages of research/innovation process and the early stages of implementation or

7. The funds are expected to allow Southern partners who have developed interesting and
innovative proposals but have not received donor support to access and attract additional
funding. It will also raise awareness on SD-related initiatives among ARSD stakeholders,
especially advanced research institutions, international agricultural research centers and
donor community, and, eventually, encourage their involvement in its implementation.

C. Competitive Grants Process

C.1 Thematic focus, type of proposals to be considered for funding

8. CGS funds are intended to support research projects, including capacity building activities, on
the following thematic areas:

• Theme 1: Agrobiodiversity and genetic resources management for food security
• Theme 2: Local knowledge in natural resources management
• Theme 3: Agroecology and other sustainable farming practices
• Theme 4: Linking farmers to market and support to small and medium agro-enterprises (agri SMEs)

9. Part of the grant may be used to cover information management activities as well as
publications, both print and electronic (including website and internet access) to facilitate
information dissemination and exchange. The grant, however, can not be used to finance
core or permanent2 salary costs, overheads or large capital items such as purchase of
vehicle, construction of buildings or research facilities.

C.2 Eligibility

10. Application is open to all stakeholders involved in agricultural research, provided that the
Lead Proponent (LP) – a university, research center or a civil society organization (CSO) - is
from a ZSP country (Annex 1) covered by the project.

11. Proponents may also identify a prospective French or European organization with which the
project can be co-implemented to realize North-South research partnership.

12. The proposed activity should involve: (a) a minimum of two countries from the South (which
may not necessarily be from the same region/sub-region) and (b) at least three (3)
stakeholder groups, one of which should come from the NGOs, farmers organizations, or
small-medium enterprises sector.

13. In order to encourage submission from local civil society organizations, Project DURAS, on a
per request basis, may also provide support to cover the cost of translation of a pre-proposal
or concept note from local language to English and/or French.

C.3 Evaluation and Selection Process

14. All pre-proposals will be submitted3 to the DURAS Project Office in Agropolis, Montpellier,
France. All applications must, without exemptions, use the format provided in the Annex.

15. The NARS4 Sub-committee of GFAR will screen all submissions. It will then prepare a shortlist
and ensure that those included are responsive to the research priorities identified by the
regional and sub-regional fora. The criteria outlined below will be used in evaluating the preproposals
Consistency of the proposed project with the (sub-)regional priorities
Project feasibility and value added
Significance the project would have for development and possible positive spill-over to neighbouring countries
Enhancing capacity building of partners involved
Clear monitoring and evaluation (M&E) component

16. Proponents of the short-listed pre-proposals will be notified and will be requested to prepare
full proposals. At this stage, the Scientific Partnership Committee (SPC) presided by
Agropolis will coordinate linkage between the proponents and Northern research
organizations in France and/or in Europe with which they can co-develop the proposal and
collaborate in its implementation. This process is also aimed at facilitating scientific exchange
and mobilizing additional resources for the initiative. If needed/requested, DURAS will
provide assistance to Southern partners in developing the full-proposal.

17. Full proposals6 will then be evaluated by both the GFAR Steering Committee and the
Scientific Partnership Committee (SPC) based on the criteria outlined below and on the
willingness of the Northern partner to provide the additional resources:
Innovativeness and scientific soundness 20
Socio-economic considerations 20
Sustainability considerations 20
Environmental soundness 20
Partnership quality 20
Total 100

18. Based on the recommendations of the two committees, the DURAS Comité de Pilotage will
approve the final list of projects. Thereafter, award process will be initiated so that selected
projects can be implemented with the minimum delay possible.

C.4 Co-financing

19. Co-financing is key element of the DURAS competitive grants component. This mechanism
is put in place not only to provide additional resources to finance Southern initiatives but also
to foster shared responsibilty, co-ownership and accountability.

20. As in any collaborative endeavour, partners will have to contribute to the cost of
implementation. In this case, the project may contribute up to 73% of the project cost,
provided that 49% of the project cost will go to Southern partners and 24% to a French
organization and/or European partner. The French or the European partner will thus have to
contribute the remaining 27% of the project cost.

C.5 Size of the Award

21. Award size vary from a minimum of Euro 20,000 to a maximum of Euro 150,000 over a threeyear

C.6 Timeframe

22. Two Calls for Proposals are expected to be carried out under the duration of the DURAS
Project. The first call will entertain proposals on Theme 1: Agrobiodiversity and genetic
resources management for food security and Theme 2: Local knowledge in natural
resources management, with deadline for submission of pre-proposals on 08 October.

23. Presented herebelow is the timeframe for the first Call for Proposals

July 2004 Launch Call for Proposals
08 October 2004 Deadline for submission
of Pre-proposals
Mid-October 2004 Evaluation of Pre-proposals
10 November 2004 Notice to Lead Proponent
November 2004–
March 2005
Partnerships building and
full proposal development
30 March 2005 Deadline for submission of Full proposals
early May 2005 Final Screening and Approval, Awards
June 2005 Projects start

24. The schedule of the second Call for Proposals which will cover the two other themes, namely
Theme 3: Agroecology and other sustainable farming practices and Theme 4: Linking
farmers to market and support to small and medium agro-enterprises (agri SMEs), will
be made early 2005.

D. Management and Administration of the Competitive Grants

25. The DURAS Competitive Grants process will be managed and administered by Agropolis
under the over-all guidance of the DURAS Project Steering Committee and in coordination
with the GFAR Secretariat.

26. The DURAS Comité de Pilotage (CP) is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-France
(MAE-France) and will be assisted by a number of experts. It will oversee implementation of
the project, including financial, administrative and technical follow-up. It will also seek and
take into account the opinions and/or recommendations of the Scientific Partnership
Committee (SPC) and of the GFAR Steering Committee (GFAR-SC). The final approval of the
list of projects to be financed rests with this group.

27. The Scientific Partnership Committee (SPC) will facilitate linkage between the proponents
from the South and prospective Northern partners which could be involved in the project. It
may associate a group of experts on each of the four thematic focus of this Competitive Grant
which may assist in forging North-South partnerships. This Committee will be chaired by

28. The NARS Sub-Committee of the GFAR is composed of Regional Fora representatives. It
will review submitted proposals, taking into account the extent by which research priorities
identified by regional and subregional fora (RF/SRFs) are addressed. It will submit a short-list
for further review by the GFAR Steering committee and by the SPC.

29. The GFAR Steering Committee is the governing body of the Global Forum. It is composed of
the chairs of the five Southern regional fora and one representatives each from NGOs,
farmers organization, advanced research institutions (ARIs), international agricultural
research institutions (IARCS), private sector and donor community. This Committee will be
asked to review the short-list prepared by the NARS Sub-committee and, together with SPC,
provide recommendations to the DURAS Comité de Pilotage for final approval.

E. Preparation of Project Implementation Contracts

30. A project implementation contract (or a Memorandum of Agreement) with the project
executing organization will be prepared by Agropolis once the DURAS Project Steering
Committee has approved project proposals. This contract/agreement will stipulate the
conditions of the grants, including the expected outputs, roles and responsibilities of parties,
disbursement schedule, project audits and monitoring and evaluation.

F. Disbursements

31. Funds will be disbursed according to a funding and implementation schedule agreed to by the
parties and based upon the submitted budget and work plan. Notwithstanding, here below is
an indicative funds disbursement schedule:
50 % First disbursement (project start)
40 % Second disbursement (in the middle of project implementation)
10 % Third and last disbursement (upon submission of final project report, including evaluation)

G. Monitoring and Evaluation

32. M&E should be used at all stages of the project cycle to help to strengthen project design and
implementation and stimulate partnership with project stakeholders. As such, M&E should be
designed in consultation with stakeholders so that objectives and targets are jointly “owned.”

33. Continuous assessment of project implementation in relation to agreed schedules and of the
use of inputs and services by the implementing organizations will be ensured. Actual or
potential successes and problems should be identified as early as possible to facilitate timely
adjustments to project operation. Mid-term reviews of ongoing projects will also be carried out
to assess the project's relevance, performance, efficiency, and outcomes (both expected and
unexpected) vis-à-vis stated objectives. Terminal evaluations, conducted at the end of the
projects will include an assessment of a project's effects and their potential sustainability.

34. The M&E component of each project should not exceed 10 percent of the total project cost.
H. Project Reports

35. The implementing organization is required to submit progress report once every six months,
indicating progress and outcomes achieved so far. The reports should describe the activities
carried out during the period and the results obtained in relation to the specified objectives
and indicators developed as part of the monitoring and evaluation plan.

36. An annual and financial report should be submitted at the end of each year. A final report
should also be prepared at the end of the project.

Annex 1 : List of ZSP Countries covered by the DURAS Project

The Priority Solidarity Zone (PSZ), the boundaries of which can change by decision of the Inter-ministerial Committee for International Co-operation and Development (ICICD), was determined at the last meeting of that body on 14 February 2002. The following includes only those that will be covered by the DURAS Project.

• Near East:
Lebanon, Autonomous Palestinian Territories, Yemen

• North Africa:
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia

• Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean:
Angola, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, DR of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zimbabwe

• Indochina Peninsula:
Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam

Annex 2 : PRE-PROPOSAL Outline

Format: 8 ½ x 11 inch or A4; 12 font size, Times New Roman; 1 inch (2.54 cm) margin
Maximum of 7 pages

1. Project Title (approximately 25 words)

2. Proponents

2.1. Lead Proponent

2.2. Collaborating organizations

Provide contact details, including mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, email address, etc.

3. Project Overview

3.1. Project Summary (300 words)

3.2. Problem Statement, highlighting the (sub) regional priority issue to be addressed by the proposed project (300 words) and contribution to sustainable development

3.3. Objectives

3.4. Key Activities (including capacity building, information management)

3.5. Expected Outputs

3.6. Proposed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanism (indicative)

3.7. Project duration

3.8. Indicative budget outlining the equity contribution of each organization involved in the proposal

3.8.1. Supplies and services
3.8.2. Travel
3.8.3. Training/capacity building activities
3.8.4. In-kind contribution
3.8.5. Others

4. Annexes

4.1. Letters of Intent from partners indicating interest/willingness to participate in the proposal
4.2. One page CV for each lead proponent and collaborating organizations

Pre-proposals should be registered to the DURAS Project website, www.project-duras.net. and can be sent on-line either through this website or by email (duras@agropolis.fr) on or before 23 February 2005.

Annex 3 : FULL PROPOSAL Outline

Format: 8 ½ x 11 inches or A4; 12 font size, Times New Roman;
1 inch (2.54 cm) margin; Maximum of 20 pages, excluding annexes

1. Project Title (approximately 25 words)

2. Proponents

2.1. Lead Proponent
2.2. Collaborating organizations

Provide contact details, including mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, email address, etc.

3. Executive Summary (1 page maximum)

4. Project Description

4.1. Introduction

4.2. Problem Statement, highlighting the (sub) regional priority issue to be addressed by the proposed project

4.3. Project’s value added and contribution to sustainable development

4.4. Objectives

4.5. Key Activities (including capacity building, information management)

4.6. Project outputs

4.6.1. Expected Outputs and Milestones
4.6.2. Prospective (sub) regional benefit
4.6.3. Potential for results utilization, scaling-up and/or commercialization
4.6.4. Others

4.7. Institutional Arrangements (i.e., roles and responsibilities of participating organizations)

4.8. Monitoring and Evaluation (including log frame)

4.9. Project duration

4.10. Proposed budget, including equity contribution (cash and in-kind) of participating organizations

4.10.1. Whole project duration per collaborating organization
4.10.2. Annual per collaborating organization

5. Annexes
5.1. Organizational profile of organizations involved in the project (outlining their comparative advantage and/or contribution in the success of the project)
5.2. One page CV for each lead proponent and collaborating organizations
5.3. Letters of Intent from partners indicating contribution (financial, in-kind, etc.)


Last update: 02/16/06

DURAS is a GFAR-Agropolis International project supported
by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Priority Solidarity Fund (PSF).
It aims to contribute to strengthening the involvement and enhancing the scientific potential
of southern stakeholders in agricultural research for sustainable development (ARSD).
This three-year project covers 49 countries from Africa, Near East and some parts of Asia
that are listed in France’s Priority Solidarity Zone (PSZ).

DURAS Project Office Cellule du Projet Agropolis International | Avenue Agropolis F-34394 Montpellier CEDEX 5 | duras@agropolis.fr
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