Steps In Grants Management Process
About The Grants Management Unit  |  Categories Of Grant Recipients  |  Steps In Grants Management Process  |  Description of the Steps
 
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Resource Mobilization

Grants management programs at LCN are contingent on effective resource mobilization campaigns.

Providing grants management programs from members and partners is a strategic objective of LCN.

The Board and the Secretariat shall make all reasonable efforts to obtain resources to support grants management programs. Such efforts shall be guided by the strategic plans of LCN and the needs of its members and partners.

Agreements for Grant Management Programs

The Board, with the assistance of the Executive Director, shall be responsible for entering into appropriate arrangements with donors for the provision of funds for grants management programs.

Program Plans and Funding Priorities

The Board, with the assistance of the Secretariat, and in consultation with members and partners, shall determine overall priorities for grants management programs.

Program plans shall then be developed by the Secretariat in consultation with the Board, the Commissions, partners and other relevant stakeholders.

With respect to the Global Fund, the Global Fund Advisory Committee shall be responsible for advising the Board and the Secretariat on funding priorities.

Promotion of Grants Management Opportunities

The LCN Board, Secretariat Staff, the Global Fund Advisory Committee, and LCN members and partners shall take an active role in promoting grants management opportunities at LCN. This will ensure that information is shared as widely and as comprehensively as possible.


Calls for Proposals

Calls for Proposals, once approved, will be posted on the LCN web-site and placed in at least two newspapers with national circulation.

Calls for Proposals will also be posted on partner web-sites and in other relevant locations to facilitate as wide a distribution as possible.

Text messages, emails and other alerts will be sent to LCN members and partners to notify them that a Call for Proposals has been issued.

Calls for proposals shall:
  • clearly describe the funding opportunity that is available;
  • clearly indicate the required format for proposals or direct potential applicants to where such information can be found;
  • clearly indicate the deadline for receipt of proposals and how such proposals may be sent or transmitted;
  • provide contact details where further information or support may be obtained; and,
  • include the LCN logo.

Potential applicants shall usually be able to submit proposals by email, facsimile, post, courier or in person.

These procedures shall apply, with appropriate amendments, to requests for information, expressions of interest, or any similar opportunity requiring the preparation of written submissions for competitive evaluation from interested organizations.

Information Sessions & Proposal Development Workshops

When funds are available, LCN will arrange for information sessions and/or proposal development workshops to assist potential applicants to prepare successful submissions.

Receipt of Proposals at LCN

Proposals shall be received and stamped by the Grants Management Unit. Proposals sent by email shall be printed, including a copy of the date/time the email was transmitted and received.

All proposals that are received shall be logged in a register.

Proposals received within five (5) days after the official deadline shall be stamped and logged. These proposals shall be kept separate from those that were received by the official deadline.

Proposals received after five (5) days shall be returned unopened.

Preliminary Review for Compliance

The Grants Management Unit shall conduct a preliminary review of all submissions (including late submissions) for compliance with the terms and conditions of the Call for Proposals.

The results of the review shall be recorded on a cover sheet to be attached to each submission. Any deficiencies shall be clearly indicated (including late submission where relevant).

Should the deficiencies be minor and, in the opinion of the Grants Management Unit, likely to have resulted in minor oversight on the part of the applicant, the Grants Manager or designate may contact the applicant organization and request that the deficiency be corrected within a maximum of two (2) working days.

Proposed budgets that are part of submissions shall be reviewed for compliance and reasonableness by the Finance & Administration Unit.

Non-compliant and late submissions shall generally not be recommended for further review unless there are compelling circumstances for an exception to this rule. Such exceptions must be clearly explained in the compliance report.

Notification of Award

The Grants Management Unit will prepare a Notification of Award for all successful applicants. The Notification will be signed by the Executive Director.

The text of the Notification will include the following:

  • the name of the funding program and the recommended amount of the funding award;
     
  • a summary of standard terms and conditions for receiving grants from LCN;
     
  • a summary of any other relevant rules or conditions that may be attached to particular funding programs;
     
  • the requirements for organizational capacity assessments or other relevant investigations; and,
     
  • a statement that the award is provisional based on the results of a capacity assessment and fulfilment of any conditions precedent that LCN may require.

Successful applicants will be required to acknowledge the notice in writing within five (5) days of its receipt.

Organizational Capacity Assessment

All first-time grant recipients will be required to undergo an organizational capacity assessment conducted by the Grants Management Unit. Repeated assessment of subsequent grant recipients shall be done at the discretion of the Grants Management Unit.

The assessment will follow a standard format to be developed by the Grants Management Unit.

The results of the assessment will determine whether the funding award can proceed or whether any remedial actions are necessary to address capacity gaps prior to proceeding with the award.

The remedial actions will be in the form of a capacity building plan that sets out the interventions or trainings that are required, target dates for completion and the measures to be used to monitor improvement.

Grant Agreement Negotiations

Once the capacity assessment is complete, formal negotiations to conclude a grant agreement will begin.

The aim of the negotiations is to arrive at a final project description, budget, monitoring and evaluation plan, and capacity-building plan. The negotiations will also clarify the financial and administrative requirements for the grant.

Once a grant agreement is in its final form, it will be reviewed by the Grants Manager and the Finance & Administration Manager prior to submission to the Executive Director. A cover page will be attached to the final version of the agreement indicated that is has been appropriately reviewed.

Preparation of First Disbursement

Once the grant agreement has been duly signed and executed, the Finance & Administration Unit will prepare the first disbursement according to the terms and conditions of payment set out in the grant agreement.

Disbursements shall be subject to the accounting policy and procedures set out the in Finance & Administration Manual of LCN.

Implementation Start

Grant recipients shall be encouraged to implement start-up events or other activities to promote the funded activities in their respective areas.

As time and resources allow, the Grants Management Unit and other LCN staff, will assist grant recipients to develop appropriate promotional plans and activities.

Where feasible, members of the Grants Management Unit, and/or members of the LCN Board or Secretariat, shall participate in promotional activities at the community level.

Monitoring & Evaluation Requirements

Grant agreements shall clearly state the monitoring and evaluation requirements for each grant recipient.

All approved project plans shall have relevant indicators and targets, a data collection plan, and a schedule for report preparation and submission.

Indicators and targets for Global Fund grant recipients shall be aligned with the approved Performance Framework.

To the greatest extent possible, monitoring and evaluation plans shall be aligned with national M&E frameworks.

The M&E Officer, as time and resources allow, will provide assistance to grant recipients to develop and implement monitoring and evaluation plans.

Submission of Programmatic and Financial Reports

Grant agreements shall set out a schedule for submission of programmatic and financial reports. Programmatic reports are brief narrative descriptions of accomplishments and challenges during the reporting period.

The Grants Management Unit will develop appropriate formats for submission of programmatic reports. The Finance & Administration Unit will develop formats for submission of financial reports.

Formats and reporting requirements will reflect the guiding principles of grants management at LCN.

Capacity Building Requirements

Grant agreements shall include detailed capacity building plans utilizing the capacity-building resources provided by LCN through the Grants Management Unit and those of the capacity-building partners which LCN may from time to time engage.

Participation in capacity-building programs will be mandatory where these arrangements are specified in the grant agreement.

Requests for Grant Agreement Amendments (including extensions)

Grant recipients shall send a request in writing to LCN to modify the project implementation plan. This may include altering specific activities or changing the implementation schedule.

Modification must be in line with the original objectives of the project.

No amendment to an approved project proposal may be implemented until written confirmation is issued by the Grants Management Unit.

Grant recipients shall immediately notify LCN in writing of any organizational changes that may affect the implementation of approved projects.


Cooperation with Validation Requests and Site Visits

Grant recipients may from time to time be requested to validate narrative or financial reports with additional supporting documentation. Grant recipients may also be requested to participate in site visits by LCN staff, CCM members, LFA staff, Global Fund staff or others.

Grant recipients shall make all reasonable efforts to fully comply with validation requests and site visit activities.

Conflict Management

Any conflicts that arise with respect to grant agreements or project implementation plans will be settled by way of amicable and constructive discussion between the parties concerned.

When necessary, the Executive Director may be called on to intervene and resolve conflicts.

In exceptional cases, the Executive Director may appeal to the Global Fund Advisory Committee or the Executive Committee for assistance.

The decision of the Executive Director or the Executive Committee shall be binding.

Addressing Poor Performance

LCN, through its Grants Management Unit, will take an enabling approach to poor performance on the part of grant recipients. This may include providing additional capacity-building support, changing implementation arrangements, facilitating partnerships for capacity-building and skills transfer, or granting of extensions for completion of project activities.

Notwithstanding these efforts, LCN shall take all necessary measures to ensure that overall grant performance for the Global Fund, or other donor funds, is not jeopardized by poor performance on the part of individual grant recipients.

Grant Agreement Suspension

Where all other attempts to resolve conflicts and to address poor performance have not been successful, the Grants Manager may recommend that a grant agreement be suspended.

Suspension means that no further disbursements are made to the grant recipient until issues of poor performance are addressed.

Grant agreement suspensions may be recommended in the following circumstances:

  • persistent failure to submit progress reports at the required times;
  • persistent failure to submit financial reports;
  • improper accounting for funds received;
  • making substantial changes to the project design and/or the implementation schedule without prior approval;
  • persistent failure to implement the project as described in the grant agreement;
  • suspected misuse of funds.

A recommendation for suspension must be authorized by the Executive Director before it takes effect. The recommendation shall include a justification with appropriate supporting evidence.

The suspension shall be issued for a period not exceeding three months allowing sufficient time for LCN and the grant recipient to investigate and resolve performance issues.

If there is no resolution once the period of suspension has expired, the grant agreement shall automatically be cancelled.

Grant recipients may appeal the suspension to the Global Fund Advisory Committee.

The Committee will deal with the appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The Chair of the Committee may call a special meeting at his or her discretion depending on the circumstances of the case or at the recommendation of other committee members or the Executive Director.

The Committee shall make a recommendation to the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall endorse the recommendation or substitute his or her own decision. In the case of the latter, a written justification must be prepared and forwarded to the Executive Committee for approval.

Grant Agreement Cancellation

Grant agreements shall automatically be cancelled by LCN for any or all of the following reasons:

  • use of funds for purposes other than those specified in the grant agreement;
  • commission of fraud or other criminal acts on the part of the grant recipient;
  • insolvency or dissolution of the grant recipient;
  • failure to take appropriate remedial action during a period of grant agreement suspension;
  • inability on the part of the grant recipient to carry out the funded project.

Grant recipients shall be notified in writing of the cancellation of the agreement.

Grant agreements may also be cancelled at the request of grant recipients. Such request shall be made in writing to the Executive Director.

Upon cancellation, the following actions must occur:

  • All funds must be accounted for up to the date of cancellation and any unused funds immediately returned to LCN.
  • If necessary, staff from the Grants Management Unit and the Finance & Administration Unit will visit the grant recipient to attempt to recover unused funds.
  • LCN shall write to the bank where the funds are deposited to requested suspension of grant accounts.
  • Equipment and remaining supplies purchased with grant funds shall be accounted for and returned to LCN.
  • Notice of grant agreement cancellation will be posted on the LCN web-site.

Project Close

At the end of a funded project, the grant recipient will within 30 days complete a programmatic and financial report for submission to the Grants Management Unit.

The reports shall be made in a format to be determined by the Grants Management Unit.
Grants Management Unit staff may visit the grant recipient to verify information in the project report and to assist in an overall assessment of the achievements of the project.

The project report shall include a list of all assets purchased under the grant agreement. The Grants Management Unit will work collaboratively with the grant recipient to determine the final disposition of such assets.

Financial and programmatic records must be kept for a minimum of three years following the end of the project.

Grant recipients shall work collaboratively with LCN during any evaluation studies conducted either by LCN or by external entities, including the LFA or other Global Fund partners.

Grant Agreement Close

At the end of each funded project, once all reports have been received, the Grants Management Unit and the Finance & Administration Unit shall conduct a final audit of the grant agreement.

The audit report shall be in the form of a check-list jointly developed by the Grants Management Unit and the Finance & Administration Unit. The Grants Manager and the Finance & Administration Manager shall sign the completed check-list and present it to the Executive Director for endorsement.

Significant performance or compliance issues shall be noted and stored with the grant agreement. This information may be taken into account when receiving further funding requests from the grant recipient.

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