Grants Programmes

The SECTOR grants programme was designed to provide financial means for the implementation of regional, national and community-based CSO priority activities in Belarus and Moldova. Through the provision of national, local and networking grants, the programme supported CSO dialogue with the authorities and other stakeholders and facilitated thematic networking among CSOs. In addition, cooperative grants were provided to facilitate the exchange of best practices and experience on topics of common interest between CSOs in Belarus and Moldova.


The SECTOR granting procedure was based on either a one-round or a two-round application cycle. In the one-round procedure, used in the case of networking and cooperative grants, organisations submitted a single full proposal. Within the two-round procedure, which was used for both national and local grants that were announced simultaneously within one call for proposals, organisations first submitted a short concept paper briefly describing their projects. A subset of projects was then selected using specially developed criteria, and the shortlisted CSOs prepared a detailed project proposal. In addition, the SECTOR team organised national trainings to assist applicants in the preparation of high-quality full proposals in line with REC requirements.
In both the one- and two-round application cycles, the full project proposals were evaluated by independent advisory boards. Some grantees were invited to modify their projects in line with the suggestions of the advisory board and were subsequently awarded a grant amount decided by the board. All grantees took part in a winners’ meeting, where they had an opportunity to modify their award agreements and to receive training on the grants implementation procedures as well as on the narrative and financial reporting requirements. Detailed information about the grants procedures and calls for proposals can be found in the Announcement section of the website.


Only CSOs or groups registered in the country with activities predominantly in the environmental protection and sustainable development fields were eligible for grants. Applicants for national and cooperative grants were expected to have the human and organisational capacity to develop and implement projects, a proven track record in project implementation and access to the minimum equipment and facilities necessary. In the case of local grants, CSOs had to operate, or be based, in the municipality/community/region in which the grant project was implemented. At least two CSOs had to cooperate in the implementation of national and cooperative projects, one of them acting as consortium leader.


Initiatives/activities addressing environmental protection and sustainability that were eligible for support under the grants programme included:

  • environmental demonstration projects;
  • capacity-building events;
  • on-the-job training or learning-by-doing training;
  • information dissemination and promotional campaigns;
  • education and awareness-raising activities;
  • pilot and demonstration projects;
  • networking, cooperation and platform building with other CSOs and different actors at national, local and regional level (authorities, academia, journalists, young people, businesses, women’s groups, faith-based organisations etc.) on concrete environmental topics; and
  • concrete local environmental improvement actions (e.g. constructing a walking trail, planting trees or introducing sustainable agriculture).


The grants programme was implemented between the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2015. The implementation of national and local grants in Moldova started in June 2013; the implementation of national and local grants in Belarus started in September 2013; and the implementation of cooperative and networking grants in both countries began in November 2013 and May 2014 respectively. The project implementation period varied from 3 to 18 months, depending on the type of project and the starting date.


The total amount awarded in topical grants was almost EUR 1 million. The distribution of awarded funds, according to grant type, is shown in the graph below.


SECTOR awarded a total of 58 topical grants in Belarus and Moldova. Of these, 7 were cooperative grants, 8 were networking grants, 17 were national grants and 26 were local grants.

In total, 43 organisations from Moldova and 29 organisations from Belarus benefited from SECTOR grants. Many organisations (21 percent in Belarus and 24 percent in Moldova) received more than one grant, as lead organisation under one grant and as partner under several others. The distribution of SECTOR beneficiaries according to the type of grant can be seen in the graph below.

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