CSO Grant Facility


What is the purpose of the Grant Facility?

The Grant Facility serves the purpose to enable civil society organizations to contribute to Gross National Happiness by receiving funds that will be used to promote sustainable development and strengthen good governance at local and national level. The grant fund will, through the implemented activities of civil society, lead to an active and inclusive participation of CSOs and citizenry in democratic consultations and decision-making processes Whereas the Grant Facility promotes citizens’ participation and political empowerment processes, it will also be possible to seek support to economic empowerment initiatives, especially from women, youth and marginalized groups. However, this may not exceed 20% of the project proposal’s budget.

Who can apply?

Civil Society Organizations in Bhutan can apply for the Grant Facility, on the condition that that they adhere to the information provided in this guideline and they:

  • Are an active civil society organization in Bhutan
  • Contribute to the achievement of the 11th and 12th Five Year Plan’s good governance results and vision of sustainable development
  • Are not already receiving ongoing project support through the Grant Facility
  • Demonstrating commitment towards improving the situation of either women, youth or other socially marginalized groups

However, the Grant Facility will pay special attention to support CSOs that have activities in the 10 poorest Dzongkhags and 10 poorest Gewogs of Bhutan.

The CSO grants will be awarded to CSO according to the following categories:

Category A:

Organizations registered with the CSO Authority.

  1. Public Benefit Organizations
  2. Mutual Benefit Organizations

40% of the total grant funds will be disbursed to CSOs in category A.

Category B:

Community based organizations. These include

  1. Farmer groups and cooperatives registered under the Cooperatives Act
  2. Organized but non-registered groups and associations

60% of the total grant funds will be disbursed to CSOs/ CBOs in category B.

What are the areas for CSO support?

In line with the objective of the EU funded project: Support to Civil Society in Bhutan, CSOs can submit proposals that fall within the following categories:

Cluster 1: Civic awareness and actions

  1. participating in and influencing the priorities, planning and decision making of local and central government policies, strategies and plans;
  2. Role and contribution of civil society to local and national development;
  3. Social accountability processes and mechanisms;
  4. Community monitoring of local government plans and budget

Cluster 2: Women’s political and social empowerment

  1. Women’s leadership and participation;
  2. Strengthening women’s role and recognition in society

Cluster 3: Socio -economic empowerment initiatives, especially for women and youth groups in

  1. Sustainable social enterprises;
  2. Employment generating activities of self-help groups

Cluster 4: Vulnerability reduction initiatives

  1. Support to initiatives that directly benefit vulnerable groups
How are the proposals assessed?

A Technical Committee, comprising members of civil society and RGOB agencies will assess the project proposals based on 10 criteria and the scoring is on a scale from 1-5. The first six criteria will carry the weight of 1, and the final four criteria will carry the weight of 0.5.

  1. Relevance of the project compared to the thematic categories
  2. Coherence and clarity of the proposal
  3. Ambition of expected results and impact
  4. Relevance of activities
  5. Strength of gender and social equity perspective
  6. Medium–long term sustainability
  7. Cost-effectiveness and value for money
  8. Adequacy of project management and staffing arrangements
  9. Adequacy of the monitoring & evaluation framework
  10. Innovativeness and scalability
When to apply?

Calls for proposals will happen every 6 months. Applications received after the said deadlines will not be considered and shall have to be re-submitted at the next call for proposals:

Round Call for proposal Deadline for proposals
1 1st December 2017 31st December 2017
2 1st May 2018 31st May 2018
3 1st December 2018 31st December 2018
4 1st July 2019 31st July 2019
What is the duration of projects?

The duration of projects shall be minimum 12 months and maximum 18 months.

What are the budget requirements?

Administrative costs cannot exceed 15%.

  • CSOs can submit joint proposals. The maximum annual amount for each CSO is Euro 30,000
  • CSOs can also submit joint proposals with CBOs. For such proposals, the maximum annual amount for each CSO is Euro 30,000 and maximum annual amount for each CBO is Euro 20,000
  • CBOs cannot submit joint proposals with each other.
  • Organisations who apply for and receive joint funding will no longer be eligible for individual funding.

The maximum and minimum amounts that can be applied for are:

Project duration A: PBO/MBO B: CBO Joint proposals [ A+A ] Joint proposals [ A+B ]
12 months Max. 30,000 / Min. 10,000 Max. 20,000 / Min. 5,000 Max. 60,000 Max 50,000 (for 2 org.) Max 60,000 (> 2 org.)
How and where to apply?

Project proposals can be submitted in either English or Dzongkha. Proposals that do not follow the outline of the application form will not be accepted. Applications will only be accepted if they are submitted in electronic form, either .doc or .pdf versions.

The project proposal shall be accompanied by:

  • The certificate of registration OR
  • Letter of Endorsement from the Dzongkhag Planning Unit (informal groups)

Applications shall either be emailed to csogrant@helvetas.org or via post to:


P.O. Box 157

Dungkar Lam, Lower Mothitang

Thimpu-11001, Bhutan

Should applicants have any further queries that are not covered in this guideline, contact the Project Manager for the Support to Civil Society project: Yuden.Dorji@helvetas.org. All applicant CSOs will receive notification that the proposal has been received. Applications received after the deadline has passed will not be accepted and will be deferred to the next round of applications.


How to file a grievance or complaint?

All persons involved in the Grant Facility, both Grant Management Committee members and applicants, shall be guided by a Code of Conduct, including an Anti-Corruption Clause. The Code of Conduct shall ensure that the management and decision making process is adhering to the fundamental principles of good governance and high ethical standards.

Should an applicant have a grievance or complaint during any step of the grant management cycle there are two paths to make an official complaint to the HELVETAS Bhutan Project Manager Yuden.Dorji@helvetas.org or HELVETAS Bhutan Country Director Tashi.Pem@helvetas.org

Grievances or complaints shall be in written and signed by the complainant. Every effort will be made to ensure the security of the compliant, by protecting that person’s identity (if they wish) and by keeping the content confidential. All grievance and complaint submissions shall be acknowledged by a return call to the person filing the claim, within one day of receipt of the complaint.