Guidelines for Government Funded Projects

All organisations, institutions and churches are in principle eligible to apply for funds from NMS. However, the applicant must be registered and be allowed to work in the country and must adhere to values that NMS stand for. Please refer to the website for further information on who we are. To apply for this, it is a requirement that NMS have supported projects in that country for a minimum of two years. It is therefore pertinent to engage in conversations with NMS before applying.

Before you prepare an application, we recommend that you contact NMS to get feedback on the likelihood of receiving support for the project and input on

any changes that will increase the chances of the project being approved.

New projects, and applications for extensions of existing projects, are presented for approval or rejection in the NMS Global Meeting where the General Secretary, Global Manager, and department directors participate.

Government Funds

Government funded projects (GRF) receive funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs under which the directorate Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) works to ensure effective foreign aid, with quality assurance and evaluation. Digni is an umbrella organisation consisting of 20 faith-based NGOs and mission organisations that receive funding from Norad on behalf of their members (including NMS).

General Guidelines

For a project to be approved, active participation from the partner in the preparation and application process is a prerequisite. Applications must be signed by the partner to receive support. Projects must have a clearly defined goal hierarchy, be based on participatory methods and have a phase-out plan. All approved projects need to include a baseline and one external evaluation (either midterm or end).

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Norad only supports projects that are linked to the sustainable development goals.
  • Norad does not support projects with a prominent religious appearance.
  • Digni also does not fund the construction of infrastructure unless justified and as per the Digni guidelines (contact NMS for more information on these guidelines).
  • Funds secured from Norad cannot be used to distribute food, clothing or other handouts unless former approval is secured (like for example in the time of Covid-19, projects were allowed to hand out sanitizers).
  • NMS will not support salary to directors or CEO’s or Church leaders, only staff that are directly linked to the implementation of the project.
  • A project is approved for from 3 to 5 years.

Previous projects that have received government support via NMS have had an annual budget of 500,000 to 3,500,000 NOK.

Below you will see more specific guidelines and criteria that NMS uses to evaluate applications for this kind of support.

Due Diligence

All partners that receive Norad support will have to go through a due diligence assessment.

A due diligence measures the partners capacity to manage a project funded with Government funds, which are administratively rather demanding. It looks at what policies the partner has in place, the human resources and financial procedures and policies. If all the policies are not in place, the partner must be willing to work on that as part of the grant

About the Process

Here is a description of the application process:

  1. Engage in conversation with NMS before writing the application
  2. Develop the logical framework with goals and indicators (use the Digni template)
  3. Develop the budget and the application (use the NMS/Digni templates)
  4. Send a signed application and a signed budget to the field coordinator within the deadline (link til deadlines)
  5. The field coordinator will then evaluate the application based on a check list.
  6. The field coordinator sends it to NMS.
  7. The relevant NMS advisor will further evaluate the application together with the department leader and the NMS controller. The partner will receive feedback ASAP on the application in order to be able to send a second draft.
  8. The partner will get an answer by October.

Assessment of Applications

Below are some of the points that NMS will be using when consider an application in addition to the above-mentioned general guidelines This list is not complete and other factors might also weigh in (for example, how is the relationship with the partner etc.)

  1. Does the application demonstrate a clear link with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?
  2. Does the project link to NMS strategies and priorities?
  3. Does the partner have competent and enough staff to implement the project?
  4. Does the application contain a realistic and updated situational analysis?
  5. To what degree does the application comply with the partner’s own strategies?
  6. To what degree does the project comply with national strategies?
  7. Is there clarification of the target group/participants (preferable as much of a breakdown as possible)
  8. Is the partner’s administration and management of the project described? Does it demonstrate capacity to follow up an administratively heavy project?
  9. Is there an explanation of the method and strategy – how the project will be carried out to achieve the results?
  10. Is the ultimate goal linked to an overarching policy, goal or strategy?
  11. Are the outcomes SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) and do the outcome indicators give a good indication of the level of outcome achievement?
  12. Are the outputs SMART and do the output indicators give a good indication of the level of output achievement?
  13. Are the activities properly described?
  14. Is there a logical connection between outcome, outputs and activities in the results framework?
  15. If relevant, are earlier results and lessons learned presented, and what experiences provide a basis for a new strategy?
  16. Are results and lessons learned conveyed to the project’s stakeholders to duplicate and learn?
  17. Is there a strategy for sustainability – what happens when the project is complete?
  18. Does the document include a risk analysis and a conflict analysis? If the project has a predominantly gender focus, a gender analysis needs to be included.
  19. Is there a plan for monitoring and evaluation of the project? This should contain indicators, data tools, frequency of collection.
  20. Is there sufficient budget for monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEAL)? A guide here is 8 – 10 % of the total budget, exclusive of salary support for MEAL officer.
  21. Are the cross-cutting issues addressed and properly assessed?
  22. Is the budget cost-efficient?
  23. Has the partner covered a share of the expenses?  At least 10% of the project costs should be covered locally. This can be in the form of materials, human resources, or finances.  If the local share is in the form of volunteer work or materials, an explanation should be included in the budget note.
  24. Is the project salary heavy? Norad does not support projects that are salary leading.
  25. Is there logic between the project and administration cost? We strive for a 20 % on administration cost and 80 % allocation towards project costs.
  26. Does the partner have all the legal registration in place to operate in the country?
  27. Norad does not allow any hands out of medicine or money to individuals. Does the budget include this?
  28. Do the salaries include % time, taxes and other allowances under each staff?
  29. Are the salary allocations logical in terms of workload and needs?
  30. Does the project include big investments such as purchase of car?
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