Irish Aid – Poverty Alleviation Program
Irish Aid engages primarily with grass root NGOs in tackling the causes and consequences of poverty by supporting qualitative and innovative projects with measurable outcomes in terms of social and economic development of the under served people groups.
In-Country Micro Project Scheme (ICMPS):
Irish Aid in India is managed by the Embassy of Ireland, New Delhi, through In-Country Micro Project Scheme (ICMPS). The Scheme is designed to provide financial assistance primarily to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) implementing innovative projects in line with the objectives of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially projects that address the root causes of poverty in a way that is strategic and cost effective, enhances local capacity and ownership, and is consistent with Irish Aid’s other programme of work.
Key principles and Thematic Sectors:
The key principles are as follows: Relevance and poverty focus, Sustainability, Gender, Effectiveness and efficiency, Use of appropriate and innovative technologies, Local Community’s stake holding or public private partnership. As resources available are scarce, and the scale of developmental challenges in India and the region are immense, it is necessary to adopt a selective approach. While circumstances will vary from country to country, priority will be given to projects in the following sectors: Basic Education, Primary Health Care, Water and Sanitation, Micro-enterprise development, Training and Capacity Building, HIV/AIDS, and Democratic Governance.
The geographical focus is generally on under served districts of Orissa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Delhi NCR and Tamil Nadu along with similar areas of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Projects NOT eligible
· Projects that are primarily of a welfare nature and that are clearly not sustainable without external support, such as feeding programmes or the provision of financial relief
· Emergency projects that are in response to natural or human disasters
· Projects that involve evangelisation or the proselytising of religious beliefs
· Projects involving sponsorship of individuals or families
Projects that have received funding in the past from Irish Aid under other budget lines such as the NGO Co-financing Scheme or the Human Rights and Democratisation Scheme
Organisations eligible for consideration under this definition include registered NGOs, community based organisations, faith-based organisations involved in development work, cooperatives, farmer associations and trade unions, registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of the Government of India. Applicant organisations are expected to possess a verifiable track record of public-private partnerships, transparency in governance, financial accountability and facilitation of community stake holding, in their previous projects.
Size of grants and Budgetary Concerns
The ceiling of micro-project grant will be decided on a case to case basis, based on nature of the proposed project, the size and financial capacity of the NGO, technical expertise, geographical reach, scope of generating income, and extent of verifiable outcome within the project lifecycle. Approximately, 75 % of the cost of the project can be applied for. Support for recurrent costs, such as salaries, fuel and maintenance, will be considered provided there is clear evidence that the outcome or the progress of the project will not be undermined when Irish Aid funding ceases. Vehicles and building construction will be low priorities under the scheme. International travel or costs associated with expatriate personnel will not be covered under the scheme.
Duration of Funding
Grants approved under the scheme can be for projects of a once-off, short-term nature, i.e. six months (in case of a pilot project) to one year, or to cover projects with a longer life cycle, up to a maximum of three years. Projects that have received funding under the scheme for a three-year period will not be eligible for any additional grants, thereafter.
Administration of the Scheme
The scheme is administered by the Development Cooperation Section at the Embassy of Ireland, New Delhi, in coordination with Department of External Affairs, Ministry of Finance (Government of India), who are joint reviewers of the applications. A well defined and objective processing methodology is adapted to review applications. When possible, a preliminary visit is made to the applicant’s project area to assess the technical expertise required to implement the proposed project. The funding scheme and its operations are inspected and audited periodically, to ensure transparency and efficiency of funding.
Prospective applicant organisations / networks and inquirers are advised to send in a concept note (not more than 3 to 4 pages) describing the proposed project with an outline budget. If the concept qualifies, an application pack will be dispatched to the NGO, in order to submit a full proposal, with all relevant annexure and detailed budget. The Embassy also does not respond to appeals from individuals, in any form. Due to a number of applications and inquiry letters, the processing of concept note normally takes 2 to 3 weeks. When the concept is found viable, application pack will be sent to the applicant organisation. It takes 3 months on an average to process application/full proposal, due to the involvement of joint review by concerned departments of the Government of India.
Development Cooperation Section,
Embassy of Ireland, 230 Jor Bagh, New Delhi
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