The European Development Fund (EDF) provides development assistance to the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). As described in the revised Cotonou Agreement its objective is to promote the economic, cultural and social development of the ACP states, with a view to contributing to peace and security and to promoting a stable and democratic political environment. The partnership is centred on the objective of eradicating poverty consistent with the objectives of sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy. The instrument works in 5-year rounds. The current round is the 9th EDF which applies to the period from 2000 to 2007. The 10th EDF goes from 2008 to 2013. On average 3.78 billion € are expected to be disbursed annually, ie 22.7 billion € over the whole period.
The exact amounts of each grant and tender are announced in the Guidelines for each call for proposal, which can be found on the following link: ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/funding/index_en.htm and the delegation website; ec.europa.eu/external_relations/delegations/web_en.htm
To get an indication of a grant size before a call for proposal is published; please refer to the “Annual Work Programmes”: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/ap/index_en.htm
The percentage of own contribution or co-funding necessary, is specified in the Guidelines of each call. The status of your organisation will also effect how much of your own contribution you will be expected to provide.
The main objectives of the instrument are: achieving economic growth, human and social development, promoting cultural values of communities; institutional reforms; environmental sustainability; cross cutting themes such as gender issues, environmental issues and institutional development and capacity building. However, funding priorities are different from one ACP country to another, according to their Country Strategy Papers.
Under the Cotonou agreement non-state actors are eligible for EDF funding. The opportunities for NGOs to access funding, depends on the implementation of the EDF in their country.
There are two main documents which regulate the practical implementation of the EDF:
- “Practical Guide to Contract Procedures for EC External Actions” (PRAG). The updated PRAG version, after the adoption of the Lisbon treaty, is available here. The purpose of the PRAG is to provide users with all the information necessary to undertake procurement or a grant procedure from the very first steps to the award of contracts. The annexes cover both the procurement phase and the execution of contracts.
- “Rules and Procedures”. This document explains the basic principles the implementation of an action. It is available here.
General guidelines have been prepared by the ACP Secretariat and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM). The “Cotonou Agreement - A User’s Guide for Non-State Actors” is available from the website of the ACP Secretariat.
The duration of an action is defined in the guidelines for the individual call. However, almost all actions have implementation periods exceeding 12 months.
The deadline for submission will be defined in the guidelines for the specific call for proposal.
To get an indicative deadline, it is advisable to look at the “Annual work plan” available on this link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/ap/index_en.htm or the “call for proposal forecasts” available on this link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/funding/index_en.htm and the delegation website: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/delegations/web_en.htm
Application Forms are published at the same time as the call for proposal and the guidelines. They are available online, see web links provided in the previous section.
Each time a call for proposal is published, guidelines for that particular call is also published. If the call for proposals is a “Restricted call”, applicants will be asked to submit a Concept Note. Thereafter, applicants whose Concept Notes have been pre-selected will be invited to submit a Full Application Form. However, if the call for proposal is an “Open Call”, all applicants are invited to send in their Concept Notes and Full Proposals at the same time.
Application and Procedures
Management of the geographic programmes is shared by the Europe Aid Co-operation Office in Brussels and the EU Delegations. Call for proposals are published on the Europe Aid website; https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?ADSSChck=1224846858672&do=publi.welcome&userlanguage=en and the delegation website; http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/delegations/web_en.htm
In order to apply for a grant, your organisation must register in the “Potential Applicants Data Online Registration” PADOR. To register in PADOR follow this link: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/onlineservices/pador/index_en.htm
In order to succeed in accessing EDF funds, check the Country Strategy Paper of your country first. Check whether the priority sectors of the Country Strategy Paper include health and whether capacity building programmes for Non-State Actors are envisioned. The second step is to get information on how the EDF is managed in your country. You have to find out how you can access these funds. Find out about calls for proposals or possible tenders.