The Republic of Moldova is going through unprecedented times, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of this critical condition, the working group appointed within the Local Grants Program for the Center Development Region, funded by the European Union, implemented by the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance AGER, in partnership with AO “HABITAT”, managed to examine the 104 project proposals received, pre-selecting 20 organizations for the final evaluation stage.

The local grants program, launched in November 2019, aims to stimulate the involvement of citizens and civil society organizations in the decision-making processes, including the governance of public investment projects in the following sectors: water supply and sewage (WSS), solid waste management (SWM), energy efficiency (EE), environmental issues related to local services, which will lead to increased transparency and accountability of public authorities.

The overall objective of the project is to provide citizens with competences through constructive participation in decision-making processes at local, regional and national level. Men and women alike, will have the opportunity to contribute to the participatory planning of public infrastructure by local public administration in a significant way. Likewise, they will have the mission to monitor the procurement processes and the activities of the local public authorities in the process of managing and maintaining the public infrastructure, in order to prevent and combat corruption.

Since the beginning of the project, training sessions have been organized for civil society organizations, in order to prepare the project proposals, within the Local Grants Program. In order to achieve this objective, the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance AGER, in partnership with AO “HABITAT”, have organized five training sessions, three in Chisinau, one in Ungheni and Rezina. Over 110 people from the localities of the Center Development Region have benefited from these trainings.

A number of 104 project proposals, including 20 project proposals for the small grants category (up to 10,000 Euro), 26 for the medium grant category (up to 30,000 Euro) and 58 for the large grants category (up to 50,000 Euro), have been submitted by January 31, 2020, the deadline for submission of project proposals. The total requested budget of the submitted proposals was 3 577 514 euro, which exceeded the budget planned for funding of projects under the Local Grants Program, financed by the EU, by 4.77 times.

Between February 3 – March 23, 2020, the project proposals submitted by CSOs from the Development Center Region passed the stages of administrative verification and technical evaluation, in strict accordance with the procedures established by the Association for Efficient and Responsible Governance AGER and approved by the EU.

Given the large number of relevant project proposals received, the mission of the evaluation committee was difficult, but very responsible. The content evaluation process was a complex one, each project proposal being subject to thorough analysis.

As a result of the evaluation process, 20 projects, which met the eligibility criteria stipulated in the Applicant’s Guide, published on the page www.eu4civilsociety.md and accumulated the highest scores, were pre-selected.

“The proposals, which accumulated the highest scores, were selected as a result of the evaluation process. Their number was limited by the resources available for financing within the first grant call”, mentioned the Project Director for the Center Region, Ala Revenco.

Out of the 20 project proposals, 5 were from the small grants category, 2 from the medium and 13 from the large grants categories. Most of the organizations, totaling 18, have aimed to raise awareness on investments in the field of solid waste management, water supply and sewage, energy efficiency of public buildings. Two other organizations decided to carry out activities related to participatory planning and monitoring.

The final stage of the evaluation process – due diligence visits to the pre-selected organizations will be carried out throughout April 2020. In the context of the epidemiological situation in the country, diligence visits will be replaced by online conferences.

The following organizations from the Center Development Region have been pre-selected for the final evaluation stage:

1.    Center for Innovation and Policies in Moldova, Chisinau

2.    Regional Center for Sustainable Development, Ungheni

3.    National Association for Inbound Tourism in Moldova, Codru

4.    Centre for Community Development 21, Nisporeni

5.    National Environment Center, Chisinau

6.    EcoVisio, Chisinau

7.    IDIS Viitorul, Chisinau

8.    Eco Răzeni, Ialoveni

9.    Iedera – Dubăsarii Vechi, Criuleni

10.  Urban Development Institute, Chisinau

11.  Women’s Club „Inspirație”, Dubasari

12.  Farmers’ Federation in Moldova „FARM”, Chisinau

13.  The Association for Waste Recovery, Chisinau

14.  Ciorești – baștina mea!, Nisporeni

15.  Orhei Community Foundation, Orhei 

16.  The association of natives „Zubrea”, Strașeni

17.  Uranus, Orhei 

18.  Șerpenenii de Pretutindeni, Anenii-Noi

19. Rise up for a chance, Criuleni

20.  ASCED, Calarasi

The local grants program was launched on the basis of the Single Support Framework of the European Union (EU), granted for the Republic of Moldova (2017-2020) under the European Neighborhood Instrument, through the project “Enabling citizens in the Republic of Moldova” (2019-2021), financed by the EU and implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ Moldova).

For information on the further development of the project and new opportunities, we recommend following the project page www.eu4civilsociety.md