2019 Capacity Enhancement Support Programme call opens for proposals

Co-funding opportunity for collaborative projects enhancing the long-term capacity and exchange of GBIF Participants

Threskiornis aethiopicus
African sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) by Mathias D'haen via iNaturalist. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Call also available in printable version.

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Introduction

GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, supports actions to enhance the capacity of countries and partner organizations that contribute to and benefit from GBIF as an international open data infrastructure for biodiversity, supporting research and promoting evidence-based decisions affecting life on Earth and sustainable human development.

The main goal of the Capacity Enhancement Support Programme is to address specific capacity needs identified by GBIF Participants by facilitating collaboration at regional and global levels. The GBIF Capacity Enhancement Framework provides further information to guide applicants when preparing proposals.

Proposals submitted through the 2019 call for proposals will proceed through a two-stage process:

  1. GBIF Participants are encouraged to contact potential partners and to submit short concept notes by 24 February 2019.
  2. A selection panel will assess the concept notes and invite selected applicants to present full project proposals by 22 April 2019.

The panel will review these proposals and notify selected projects by 10 May 2019.

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Scope

This programme will provide co-funding to current GBIF Participants (both voting and associate participants) for collaborative projects targeting capacity enhancement and exchange. The maximum funding request is twenty five thousand euros (€25,000) per project involving three or more GBIF Participants and fifteen thousand euros (€15,000) per project involving one or two GBIF Participants. GBIF invites Participants to present project proposals based on one or more of the following five types of action eligible for support. Please note that each type of action has an indicative funding limit: proposals intending to exceed these limits should include a justification for doing so.

  1. Mentoring activities: Interactions among two or more Participants where the core objective is the transfer of information, technology, experience and best practices in small groups. Indicative funding limit: €15,000 per project.
  2. Support for regional events and training workshops: Courses and workshops with a regional (multi-national) component to enhance the capacity of individuals or networks to contribute to and benefit from GBIF. Indicative funding limit: €15,000 per project.
  3. GBIF advocacy actions: Active participation in strategic events to promote GBIF, with the objective of increasing the GBIF membership and/or its relevance among a community not sufficiently exposed to GBIF that can help to advance GBIF’s mission. Indicative funding limit: €5,000 per project.
  4. Documentation: Production of key learning and promotional resources or their adaptation to the national or regional context (e.g., by translation or including local/regional perspectives). It is important to note that from 2019 onward the Secretariat will work with the Nodes Steering Group to establish an editorial board to provide peer review for GBIF documentation produced through CESP projects. Indicative funding limit: €5,000 per project.
  5. Promotion of data use: Actions that directly engage research and/or policy communities in the use and application of data mobilized through GBIF. These may include workshops or development of online learning materials on the application of data, or engagement at national or regional level to enhance understanding of the importance and benefits of open biodiversity data among relevant specialist audiences. Indicative funding limit: €15,000 per project.
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Conditions and eligibility

The 2019 call is only open to current GBIF Participants. All project proposals must be jointly prepared by all the partners involved in the project, with one Participant acting as the main contact point in each proposal. We expect that the Participant acting as the main contact point is located in the country where the majority of the activities are scheduled to take place. Should this not be the case, a rationale explaining this decision is required in the concept note.

Only concept notes that have been submitted by, or endorsed by the Head of Delegation or Node Manager of a GBIF Participant will be considered eligible for evaluation.

Only full proposals in which all partners have confirmed their participation will be considered eligible for evaluation. In addition, all project teams will be required to complete capacity self-assessments when preparing full proposals and as part of the reporting process.

All project activities must be planned to take place between 01 June 2019 and 31 May 2020. It is recommended to take the general calendar of GBIF-related activities into account when planning events.

This call is based on a co-funding model. All proposals submitted to this call must identify co-funding, either as cash or in-kind support for project activities.

Funding provided under CESP can only be used for expenses relating to GBIF Participants. Expenses relating to the five types of action (mentoring, regional event and training workshop support, GBIF advocacy actions, documentation and promotion of data use) are eligible for funding. Note that overheads may not be charged to CESP. Any other expenses, such as those related to purchase of hardware, licences for commercial software, or physical computer networking setup (e.g. internet access), are also not eligible for funding under this call. However, ineligible expenses may be included in the projects provided that they are funded through other sources.

The mid-term and final activity reports of the funded projects will be published online as public documents.

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Suggested thematic focus for 2019

The capacity enhancement support programme has a focus on projects to enhance the long-term capacity of a Participant (or group of Participants) to benefit from and contribute to GBIF’s mission to provide free and open access to biodiversity data. This call is designed to align with the GBIF Capacity Enhancement Framework. The primary objective must support specific capacity needs identified by the Participants themselves.

Additionally, applicants are strongly recommended to align their capacity enhancement proposals to one or more of the tasks in the “GBIF Implementation Plan 2017-2021 and Annual Work Programme 2019” (please refer to the “summary of planned 2019 tasks”). The degree of alignment to the Implementation Plan and its activities will be taken into account when evaluating the project. Please remember that the main objective of projects submitted to this call must always be enhancing capacity through one or more of the type of actions listed above.

Under the CESP 2019 call, projects invited to submit full proposals must complete capacity self-assessments. In addition, deliverables produced under the “documentation” activity will be peer-reviewed by an editorial board established by the Nodes Steering Group and the GBIF Secretariat.

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Support and help to applicants

If you are looking for project partners, you are welcome to post your request on the GBIF Community Forum in the nodes category explaining the capacity goals you are planning to address and the type of involvement you are looking for.

We invite all nodes to follow the discussions to look for ways to get involved in the programme. In addition to this, the GBIF Secretariat staff are available to address questions related to this call and help Participants considering a proposal submission. Please contact the Secretariat via email (CESP@gbif.org).

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Procedure overview

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, FIRST STAGE

Request for concept notes

The GBIF Secretariat requests that interested parties submit very brief project concept notes (see template). While preparing concept notes, applicants should:

  • Contact ALL partners that will be participating in the project and agree on the general principles of the collaboration
  • Contact the Participation and Engagement team of the GBIF Secretariat as early as possible to receive guidance on the feasibility of the project and on ways to improve it

Concept notes not exceeding two (2) pages —excluding contact information— should be emailed to CESP@gbif.org by 24 February 2019

Assessment of concept notes by the selection panel

A selection panel composed of members of GBIF committees and the Secretariat will use the following evaluation criteria:

  1. The relevance, urgency and scale of the targeted capacity needs
  2. The perceived effectiveness of the proposal to address the declared needs
  3. Expected value of the project’s deliverables
  4. The likelihood of the project achieving sustainable results
  5. Cost-effectiveness (including factors such as the number of Participants benefitting from the project, matching funds leveraged, etc.)
  6. The quality of the plans for monitoring and evaluation of the project outcomes
  7. Alignment with the current GBIF Work Programme

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, SECOND STAGE

Request for full proposals

The selection panel will ask selected candidates to prepare full project proposals. These proposals should expand on the concept notes to include:

  1. A statement of capacity needs from the recipient(s) of the support
  2. A summary of the project work plan, including a description of the different actions planned and how they address the self-identified needs
  3. A description of past and current projects involving the project partners that relate to the proposed activities
  4. A section about monitoring and evaluation of the project outcomes
  5. A general calendar
  6. A planned budget
  7. Other practical and contact information

Full proposals should not exceed five (5) pages, excluding contact information. Project teams are also required to complete capacity self-assessment guidelines for national biodiversity information facilities as part of their application. The panel will provide selected candidates with specific instructions for preparing proposals. The Secretariat Participation and Engagement team may provide direct support in preparing proposals upon request.

Full proposals should be emailed to CESP@gbif.org by 22 April 2019.

Selection of final granted projects

The selection panel will use the same criteria listed above to evaluate the final proposals.

Selected proposals will be informed by 10 May 2019.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION


01 June 2019 – 31 May 2020

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