Financing projects addressed to other countries’ citizens is one of the most important ways of supporting the development of such countries as part of the Polish Aid programme. Such projects are selected from among proposals submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an open competition procedure, known as a call for proposals. Grants awarded under this system are classified as bilateral assistance.
Procedures governing calls for proposals are always set out in the rules of specific competitions. They define the beneficiary countries, the goals and priorities of the activities to be undertaken, criteria which must be met by the submitted project proposals and the evaluation criteria. Applicants eligible to submit project proposals (applications) include in particular non-governmental organisations, local government units, public and non-public higher education schools, research institutes, and the Polish Academy of Sciences and its organisational units. In order to participate, the entity submitting a proposal has to be registered in Poland.
Information about launched competitions is each time provided on the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Polish version only) and the Polish Aid (Polish version only). Grant procedures, including the registration of applicants and submission of competition applications, are run on a dedicated web portal. The portal also enables registration by individuals interested in taking part in the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme.
The MFA’s Department of Development Cooperation each year launches a number of grant competitions, the most important of which include:
Polish Development Assistance: competition to select projects which support transformation processes and socio-economic development;
More about development assistance
Polish Aid Volunteering Programme: competition to utilise the potential of Polish volunteers ready to devote their time and skills to improving the living conditions of people in the world’s less developed regions;
More about volunteering programme
Global education:competition to support activities addressed to Polish citizens and aimed at raising the public awareness of global problems and development challenges around the world;
More about global education
Humanitarian Aid: competition launched in response to verified humanitarian needs of populations afflicted by armed conflicts, natural disasters or other natural or man-made humanitarian crises.
More about humanitarian aid
The MFA allocates a specified amount (grant) to implement projects awarded in calls for proposals. The total value of each project includes the grant and the own contribution declared by the entity which implements the project. The own contribution may take various forms: in-kind (e.g. providing space or equipment), personnel (e.g. volunteers’ work) or financial. A pre-requisite for taking part in a competition organised by the MFA is the applicant’s declaration of his own contribution to the planned project.
Apart from open calls for proposals organised by the MFA, a similar way of selecting projects to receive financial support is employed by the Solidarity Fund PL, which mainly supports democratisation projects. Also, simplified grant procedures are commissioned by the MFA to external operators as part of the re-granting of funds to NGOs implementing small global education projects. In 2012-2017 this task was performed by the Education for Democracy Foundation.