Call for Applications: Commonwealth Foundation ‘Participatory Governance Grants’

Deadline: January 31, 2013

The Commonwealth Foundation invites Civil Society Organisations to submit an application addressing either Dialogue or Collaboration within the broader theme of ‘Participatory Governance’ or a combination of the two areas.

At a glance:

  • The Foundation will give grants to fund activities or projects of registered CSOs
  • Beneficiaries will be from a Commonwealth Foundation member country
  • Grants will be up to £30,000 per year
  • Grants are available for multi-year funding (up to three years)
  • Grant applicants are encouraged to show clear evidence of counterpart resourcing
  • Up to 10% of the total grant will fund a monitoring, evaluation and learning element
  • Up to 15% of the total grant will fund indirect and overhead costs

Participatory governance is about how the state, the market and Civil Society interact to effect change. These interactions involve the inclusion of Civil Society in decision-making processes, enabling citizens to exercise voice and vote and engaging in policy formation among others. “Citizens are engaged in public venues at a variety of times…thus allowing them to be involved in policy formation, selection and oversight”.


You are eligible to apply if you meet all of the following criteria:

a) Organisation is a registered Civil Society Organisation (CSO) and you can provide a copy of your registration document to verify this.

b) Your project addresses one of Commonwealth Foundation’s short-term outcomes.

c) Your project is being delivered in a Commonwealth Foundation developing country. Your project or activity budget is no more than £30,000 per annum.

d) The duration of your project or activity is no longer than 3 years.

e) You do not currently have an existing grant with the Commonwealth Foundation at the time the call is announced

The Commonwealth Foundation uses the following definition of a CSO:

Civil society organisations are registered entities, who work within the law, but outside the state or the market, which seek to forward positive social agendas which have at their heart a commitment to democratic values and the equal treatment of all people. Civil society organisations are diverse and include: volunteer organisations, indigenous peoples’ organisations, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, labour unions, faith-based organisations, charitable and philanthropic organisations, professional associations and foundations and parts of media and academia.


The grants programme will be particularly supportive of proposals that mainstream the Foundation’s cross-cutting outcome areas in their project design:

  1. Gender equality
  2. Environmental sustainability
  3. Cultural respect and understanding

For more information, click here.