Q1: Do funds also apply to ICAT implementing agencies? If not, we wonder if a for-profit company is eligible to submit a proposal?
A1: A for profit company may submit a proposal and will be eligible if the budget stays within the 10% of overhead charges.
Q2: Are letters of support required to strengthen the proposal?
A2: Letters of support are not required but can be useful as background information if they confirm experience of the organisation in relevant areas.
Q3: Would it be possible that the funds are used to build infrastructure such as registries to increase the overall capacities of counties in terms of transparency?
A3: The country projects must be designed to achieve the outcomes as specified in the CFP. The activities for individual countries are designed together with the countries once country selection has been completed. As per the MELU framework, new or refined GHG inventories are indeed one of the possible desired outcomes of the project. Please refer to this link (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OZCi_hhlUDESdk6PXuAy6ZgFjmWQ4TcYZK6m0W-ULD4/edit) for a full list of desired outcomes.
Q4: In reading the CFP section 5 (Activity 1. Scoping phase) I came across an “indicative amount of USD 175,000 per country” and was not so sure what that meant. Does it mean that successful implementing partners will receive an additional USD 175,000 depending on the required ICAT tool per country or could this be extended to other activities identified during the scoping phase? Will this also require an application because the understanding is that one can only be aware about such a need only after the scoping phase? Does this also mean that there could be other resources that could be accessed by local partners?
A4: The 175,000 USD amount quoted is in respect to funds that will be provided directly to the beneficiary countries to finance the work of national consultants etc. The selected implementing partner will be required to help the respective countries/entities to prepare work plans and budget accordingly. For each country module, up to USD 108,000 will be paid to the implementing partner based on the budget provided in the grant proposal.
Q5: If we are applying to work in more than one country, should we insert separate tables explaining the cost per country even when the cost seems to be the same?
A5: For grant categories 1 and 2, budgets submitted should be per country and in line with the tables on pp 31-35 of the call for proposals document. A detailed budget is required to be submitted in Excel to further explain the summarised budget on the application form. For category 3, the budget proposal should cover support to the COMIFAC Secretariat.
Q6; One requirement is the submission of past project reports or reference letters, I was just wondering if they need to be stamped by the donor or if any report or letter that shows a past project experience suffice for this purpose and if there is any language preference? Will a report or reference letter in German language be accepted?
A6: All project reports or letters that show past project experience would suffice for this purpose. You are also welcome to insert links to any such reports if they are available online. We do not have a language requirement for these specific documents so you are welcome to share what you have.
Q7: I wish to know if the Administrative cost of 10% is the same as project overhead cost? I wish to know if it should be calculated within the grant limit (e.g. up to USD 108,000 for category 1) of each category or comes on top of the grant limit of each category?
A7: Your understanding is correct. The overheads/administrative costs should be calculated within the limit of 108,000 USD.
Q8: Do we have a page limit to the application form? Can I attach additional documents explaining specific past of my application when sending my application? I am also assuming that some of the texts on the application form can be deleted. I don’t know if that is the case?
A8: There is no page limit for the grant application form. Please add all the details that you believe will support your application, without making any changes to the template itself and the questions therein.
Q9: Are we allowed to remove categories that we are not applying from the application?
Q10: Are we allowed to insert new tables to better explain our application?
A10: If this is in respect to the budget, you can definitely do so in the Excel document that is required to show the detailed breakdown of the budget lines/categories. You are also welcome to introduce tables on the grant application form or add them as annexes to the application.
Q11: For the new countries component and for the deepening engagement component, there is a sentence which states “Estimated Budget: Up to USD 108,000 for each country module.” I understand that these 108,000 USD refers to the funds allocated to the international partner (international partner staff time for technical work, coordination work and travel)? It means that the budget template to include in the proposal should not include “sub-contract line to partner countries” and that the country budget will be established by the ICAT Secretariat under a different process. Could you please confirm that my understanding is correct?
A11: Your understanding is correct. The proposal should only include the budget for the international support. The Project Cooperation Agreements for countries would be issued by UNOPS, based on work plans and budgets prepared in dialogue between the implementing partner, the ICAT Secretariat and the beneficiary countries.
Q12: Will the Project Cooperation Agreements with the countries be signed directly between UNOPS and the beneficiary countries (regardless of whether the projects are first, second or third phase projects)? If yes, will the country budgets then be managed by UNOPS?
A12: The default option is that the Project Cooperation Agreements are issued by UNOPS and the budgets managed through UNOPS. This Call for Proposals also leaves space for situations where it is necessary to channel funds through implementing partners. This could be in cases where for some reason it would not be possible for the Government of a given country to sign a Project Cooperation Agreement with UNOPS or if there are other reasons that make it more efficient to set-up the project in a different way than through a UNOPS Project Cooperation Agreement. Since the grant proposal should be generic and not country specific, please focus the budget on the element of international support. Of course any capacity to work in certain countries or to channel funds/issue Project Cooperation Agreements is worth mentioning in the proposal, since the latter may be necessary in a limited number of cases.
Q13: The budget has been requested per module per country. It means that the budget should be a breakdown of the 108,000 USD (if we chose to work with the max total amount stated in the terms of reference of the call). This breakdown is of course possible when budgeting the work to be done with one country (as per the budget lines personnel, travel etc.). However, this becomes difficult when planning the budget for overall coordination (ICAT country calls, Initiative Coordination Team calls and travel meetings etc.) and overall communication activities.
A13: The budget for coordination should indeed come out of the 108,000 USD per country. It should be noted that should an organisation have many country modules assigned, the level of engagement in the mentioned forums would be expected to be higher, that is you would be expected to present more often and share more experiences when you are working in 10 countries as opposed to one. If the submitting organisation wishes to raise concerns about the budget structure/limit they may include this in their proposal. If the submitting organisation wants to present/include an element of economies of scale in their proposal, they are also welcome to do that.
Q14: Which countries are considered to be category 2 countries? (The question included reference to countries that have been anonymised here).
A14: Any country that has already formalised ICAT engagement through a project cooperation agreement or MOU will be considered under category 2. We are unable to comment on specific countries, but you may include examples of countries where you have expertise in your application. For your reference, the list of countries where ICAT is already engaged can be found here (https://climateactiontransparency.org/country-activities/).
Q15: Would it be appropriate to consider local branches of our organisation as national consultants and assume that their budget would be covered as part of the (up to) 175,000 USD set aside for beneficiary countries?
A15: To promote national ownership and facilitate capacity building, a national partner should be selected by the government entity in charge and ideally be a local institution. One of the objectives of ICAT projects is also to build capacity in the country for experts that can support similar work in future after completion of the ICAT project. The indicative amount of 175,000 USD will be channeled through the government partner or in accordance with an agreement concluded with the government entity responsible for the project, for payments to national consultants or a national expert institution and for other national expenses. This would in most cases be through a UNOPS Project Cooperation Agreement, but in some cases the grantee may be asked to facilitate the transfer of funds. As such, please indicate any such capacity in your submission.
Q16: Please elaborate on the set-up and division of activities between UNOPS, partner countries and the implementing partner/grantee.
A16: As a default option, UNOPS will formalize engagements through the signature of Project Cooperation Agreements with a government entity in the partner countries. Once these are in place, the technical support provided by the selected implementing partner/grantee will begin, starting with the scoping phase that establishes the needed country work plan. Funds will be provided directly to the national entities, except in cases where the national entity is not able to receive funds from UNOPS or if there are other conditions that indicate that the project will be implemented more efficiently if the funds are transferred through other channels.
Q17: Please confirm that we should not include costs related to in-country support and we can assume that the funds will be channeled through the national government.
A17: Correct. Funds for the international implementing partners are intended to provide expert support and advice to the implementation of in-country transparency efforts and capacity development activities as outlined in the call.
Q18: For Categories 1 and 2, Activity 2, one of the outputs specified are regular brief updates (at least monthly). Is this considered in addition to the existing updates in place through the ICAT Country Update Tool, as well as the Initiative Coordination Team and Country/Toolbox calls and formal grant reporting?
A18: Regular participation in ICAT Initiative Coordination Team and Country and Toolbox Group calls as well as regular updates (at least once every month) to the ICAT Country Update Tool constitutes regular updates. In case of issues with implementation, it is also expected that the implementing partner highlights these to the ICAT Secretariat, if necessary through bilateral meetings.
Q19: For Category 2, Activity 1, what other types of legal documents or agreements are envisioned, and are these instead of or in addition to the Project Cooperation Agreement, as referenced on page 12 in the CFP?
A19: The default option is a UNOPS Project Cooperation Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement. Depending on the country case and if necessary, the selected implementing partner may be required to sign a Project Cooperation Agreement or Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement with ICAT partner countries. Please indicate in the proposal if the submitting organisation has the capacity to do so.
Q20: For Category 3, Activity 4, the first output/deliverable related to a Hub workplan appears redundant to the 3rd output under Activity 1. Can you clarify if these are the same output, or if they are conceived as serving different purposes or are different versions of the same output. For example, is the Activity 4 output a revised version in years 2 and 3 of the work plan?
A20: The third output under Activity 1 refers to one-time multi-stakeholder inception workshop to agree on concrete and final sectors of priority as well as the capacity building needs for the region, after the scoping phase, whilst the first output under Activity 4 is in respect to the long term and annual workplans that will be prepared for the engagement period.
Q21: For Category 3, Activity 4, for the second output bullet related to regular progress reports, can you clarify how this output is different (if so) than the progress report output under Activity 3 (second bullet)? Or are these the same progress reporting and only listed again to clarify both activities should be addressed in progress reporting (versus separate reports)?
A21: Both are listed to highlight the importance of these outputs being addressed in milestone/progress reports. The frequency of submission of such reports and the precise reports required will be specified in the Grant Support Agreement to be discussed and signed with the selected implementing partner.
Q22: Recognizing that for the remainder of 2021 and potentially well into 2022, there will still be international travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, should we plan a travel budget that explicitly accounts for this by using primarily virtual meetings and training workshops? If so, when should we assume travel restrictions will be lifted?
A22: As a principle, we recommend virtual meetings and workshops whenever possible. At this point in time, it is difficult to say when travel will be possible, please make the estimate based on your organisation's guidelines. Since this will have an element of uncertainty, please note that whenever justified, and in consultation with the ICAT Secretariat, funds can be moved to/from travel budget lines.
Q23: One question regarding the 10% cap for indirect costs. As a research and consulting company, we usually bill by our daily fees, which include more than 10% indirect cost (management cost, office rent cost, IT cost, etc.). Is our company generally excluded from participating in this call? How should we present the budget for the call in order to be eligible?
A23: To be compliant with the requirements, the indirect costs of the submitting institution for each grant category should not exceed 10% of the proposed budget. The submitting organisation should clearly indicate the cost of staff time and overhead separately (not as a combined rate). The submitting organisation may consider providing in-kind contribution in terms of office/rent/use of equipment etc. to stay within the 10% indirect costs.