NORHED announced a call for seed funding applications in September, with a deadline of 5 November. The announcement called for applications in all NORHEDs six sub-programme areas. Seed Funds is given to provide an opportunity to develop complete NORHED applications for the main call which has a deadline 15 March 2013. Seed funds must therefore be used for this purpose, and within this deadline.
The three programs Education and training; Health; Natural resource management, climate and environment accounted for 210 applications, whereas the other three programs: Democratic and Economic Governance; Humanities, Culture, Media and Communication; and Capacity Building in South Sudan, accounted for 60 applications. 38 applications were categorized as not eligible.
All applications have been assessed by the relevant departments in Norad, and also the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The applications have been assessed against the following criteria:
- To needs and priorities at the LMIC partner institution(s)
- To the result chain and priorities of NORHED
- To the specific NORHED sub programmes
- Design, time frame and content of the seed funding project
- Realism of plans and budget
- Partnership arrangements and implementation capacities
In addition, applications have been assessed according to geographic priorities for NORHED.
The relevant embassies have been asked to comment on the applications’ relevance to national strategies, Norwegian priorities in the given country, and experience and assessment of the applicant institution. Finally, NORAD has made a decision based on an overall assessment.
- Norad has considered all applications received through the online form and by e-mail. For the main round, only applications received through the online form will be assessed.
- Norad has not assessed the applications that was received in after 5 November, 16.00 CET.
- Norad has not assessed applications that was longer than the maximum of 5 pages (3 projects).
- Norad has not assessed applications that plan their activities later than 15 March 2013.
- Some of the applications cannot be given support based on criteria of who is eligible to apply for the scheme. This concerns mostly partners in low-and middle-income countries who do not have a Norwegian partner, or where the institution is not an accredited higher education institution.
- Some of the applications are rejected because it is not clear that the project aims to build capacity of higher education and research in the south.
- Very few applications have included NORHED cross-cutting concerns. Particularly striking is that few projects are concerned with gender equality. This has not disqualified applications in this round, but will be expected focused and included in a completely different way to achieve NORHED grants in the main round.
- Several applications include student scholarships in their projects. It should be noted that NORHED does not allow general use of student scholarships. If used, student scholarships should be set up as a mechanism to increase access to higher education for underrepresented groups.
- NORHED Seed Funding requires that the partners are accredited higher education institution. Partners must be able to document this if necessary.
- All NORHED projects should include both research and educational components.
- There are few seed funding applications that include development of baseline and result framework in their plans. This is essential for a NORHED main proposal, and seed funding is an opportunity to develop this.
- Many applications include many partners. NORHED encourages regional south-south cooperation, but it is to be noted that the partnerships should be strategic, and the choice of partners must be justified.
- Norad will prepare a document summarizing the experiences from the Seed Funding, and emphasize and clarify the basic elements of NORHED program.
- Norad is planning for information meetings in Norway in January and in selected countries in Africa and Asia in January / February.
All applicants will receive a written reply, either a grant letter or rejection letter. The grant letter will include the
sum awarded for the seed project. The sum granted may be adjusted compared to the budget in the application.
The applicant has the right to submit a complaint. The right to complain is limited to the cases of procedural error. The appeal shall be in writing, and submitted to Norad, firstname.lastname@example.org, which initially will process the complaint, and forward to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if necessary.