Hub Cymru Africa launches women’s empowerment grants for partnerships working in Uganda and Wales.

As part of Hub Cymru Africa’s gender equality work funded by the Welsh Government, we are making two grants available for partnerships working between Wales and Uganda.

We are accepting applications for between £25,000 and £50,000 from partnerships working with women on issues impacting them in Sub Saharan Africa, including livelihoods, climate change, legal rights, political representation, gender-based violence, maternal healthcare and education.

We are hoping to see applications that are able to meet these principles or will seek to embed them across the course of the grant.

  • Engaging and empowering women and girls by using the strengths of social connectivity, strong networks and communication
  • Work should be in partnership with credible African partners, preferably with women in leadership roles
  • Build upon existing partnerships and work according to asset-based principles
  • Acknowledgement of the complexity of issues especially at the intersection of gender, disability, sexuality and ethnicity.


In general we encourage you to consider the current size of your organisational income and/or that of your African partner, and the largest grants you/they have handled successfully (from the Wales for Africa programme or other funders) before. If your African partner has a higher income than you that is fine, as long as one of you has experience of handling grants of the size you are applying for.  Grant funders generally want to see that that you have a strong track record and able to handle the size of funding requested.

Also please look at the grant application forms and assessment criteria at each level. You will be expected to demonstrate fully the need for the activity, and that you are working with local partners in the delivery of the grant.

It is a good idea to consider if you could still undertake some of your proposed activities with a smaller grant than you requested, and be ready to discuss this if necessary. In this case, following discussion with you, we would need you to resubmit your budget and project activity plan.

A constituted group has a written agreement of what that group is going to do and how they will do it. This document will have been agreed by a committee, including a chair, treasurer and secretary as a minimum.

A constitutional document could be a governing document (if you are a registered charity), an MOU (for instance with a NHS health board or Trust), or a steering group Terms of Reference.

Guidance on what your constitution should contain can be found here.

Your constituted group must have a bank account with two unrelated signatories

When working collaboratively with others, it is essential you collectively write a partnership agreement or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is then signed and dated by representatives from each of the organisations involved.

Many Wales Africa groups have told us how the process of writing the partnership agreement was as important as the document itself in providing clarity and focus, and it is common practice in community-, development-, and contracting work.

The purpose of the agreement is to provide a common reference point on joint activities and helps avoid misunderstandings. It outlines roles and responsibilities, individual organisational aims, as well as the joint project’s aims and activities. It is worthwhile highlighting the benefits to each partner of the collaboration, and can identify how long the collaboration will last and how the collaboration can be dissolved.

It is worth having a section on communications between your organisations (key contacts, communications method, frequency and responsiveness) and to the public (how to reference your funders appropriately). Decision making and dispute resolution should also feature in this section.

Financial management needs to be articulated too, to ensure clear accountability for your trustees. For example, how money will be managed and who is responsible for what in regards to raising funds and over-seeing expenditure.

A basic example of what an MOU or partnership agreement can look like is here.

Further advice has been provide by the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) here.

Each of us in Wales will benefit from and be challenged by our experiences working within this global and local programme. While everyone feels these benefits differently and needs to articulate them in their own words, some of the types of benefits to Wales could include:

  • Facilitating volunteering and skills sharing and building relationships which are stimulating and stretching, contributing to overall wellbeing
  • Building confidence to understand how choices taken in Wales have an impact internationally and the capacity to act differently (e.g. buying fair trade, recycling, buying sustainably produced products, local advocacy and outreach etc)
  • Generating global awareness through schools talks, photo exhibitions, partner visits; and knowledge of global health conditions which have an impact on domestic diaspora communities
  • Supporting more inclusive classrooms, playgrounds, communities, villages, towns, universities and workplaces and building upon Wales’ heritage as a cohesive and welcoming community
  • Personal development and skills development, contributing to the Welsh economy. For example, creativity in the workplace through adapting to lower resource settings, or providing challenging out of work/secondment experiences which leads to job satisfaction on return
  • Youth engagement as a catalyst for young people in Wales to enhance their employability and aspirations, strengthening Wales’ workforce in a global market
  • Cultural exchange, supporting inclusion and understanding through exposure to communities in Wales and Africa
  • Practice exchange such as sharing solutions and working innovatively in resource poor situations.

We can fund a variety of different activity and operational costs, including, for example:

  • training and associated costs (e.g. partner travel in Africa, venue hire, refreshments)
  • communication materials
  • equipment/supplies and infrastructure (where this is an essential part of your activities)
  • staff salaries or associated costs (for the running costs of the organisations involved)
  • office and utility costs (for the running costs of organisations involved).

However, we will be looking for budget costings that show good value for money, awareness of sustainability issues, and match/in-kind contributions wherever possible.

We do not fund:

  • the costs or expenses of any organisations involved (e.g. international NGOs) that are based outside Wales or Africa
  • training courses for individuals (in Wales or Africa) where this is not an integral part of a wider project/programme
  • academic research
  • unrestricted donations to southern partners
  • humanitarian (emergency relief) operations
  • direct applications from Southern-based organisations
  • evangelical or proselytising activities
  • for-profit activities (exceptions may be made in the case of community cooperatives or microfinance initiatives within a livelihoods programme)
  • political parties
  • activities that aim to deny equal rights.

When considering whether your project is good value for money, lots of factors need to be considered and weighed up against each other. There’s no single rule, but rather it is about the balance of what is most pertinent to your project. For example, some things you might want to consider when compiling your budget are the rationale for:

  • Can you demonstrate significant in-kind or match funding?
  • Is the purchase of equipment appropriate? Could it be purchased in country, to avoid costly delays, issues with customs as well as supporting local markets?
  • Do the staff and volunteers have the appropriate skills and qualities to support the project’s success and build relationships with your partner?
  • Are you requesting unreasonable consultancy fees or staff costs?
  • Will your project have a positive impact?

If your costs seem high to you, can you explain why? Is it because you are working with a particularly remote or hard-to-reach group? Consider how this can be demonstrated within the form so that when the budget is considered the costs are understandable.

An in-kind cost is a contribution in the form of goods or services rather than cash. These can be quantified and given a financial value which can be added to your budget.

In-kind costs can be the un-paid volunteer time people give in delivering the project, or a service offered for free, such as printing for a local event or free radio advertising.

Some of the costs which could be included are:

  • Printing (if it can be provided for free)
  • Volunteer coordination time (e.g. see rates on budget tab)
  • Professional time given voluntarily (e.g. see rates on budget tab).

We define match funding as any contribution of cash funds to the project that comes from another source. This could include your own organisation’s fundraising activities, a grant from another funder or donated funds from a local business, for example.

It can be easy for projects to (accidentally or otherwise) exclude certain people or groups from their activities. For example, holding whole community discussions can sometimes exclude women if the community leaders are all male, or if women are not able to attend due to the timing of a gathering, or if it is not culturally acceptable for men and women to discuss certain topics together. If this is relevant to your activity and community, how will you ensure that any community discussions include participation by men and women?

If your activity is led by a local organisation with a clear religious ethos (e.g. Christian), or project events are held on particular church premises, what steps will you take to ensure that people of other denominations/faiths/beliefs are included and do not feel excluded from participating in the activity?

If your activity is something that should be accessible to all of a community, including disabled people, what will you do to make sure they are not excluded, e.g. due to physical, practical issues such as lack of transport?

We expect you to consider these issues and design activities in such a way as to ensure that people (from your relevant target groups) are not excluded from participation. In this section on the application form, explain this thinking and what you will do ensure that your project is inclusive.

The most frequently quoted definition of Sustainable Development is from the Brundtland Report:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

(United Nations Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, 1987).

So, here we are asking you to consider the different types of sustainability and how you will address them.

Human sustainability

Human sustainability aims to maintain and improve the human capital in society.  So here we are asking you to think about how your project will develop skills and human capacity to support the work of the project once the funding has ended and how it will promote the wellbeing of the communities and society as a whole.

Social sustainability

Social sustainability focuses on maintaining and improving social quality with concepts such as cohesion, reciprocity and honesty and the importance of relationships amongst people. We are asking you to demonstrate how your project will use the strengths of social connectivity, strong networks and communication amongst women to improve some of these factors.

Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability focuses on the efficient use of assets and resources and ensuring that there is a plan for the projects continuation (if needed) at the end of the funding.  How will you ensure that resources are used efficiently?  Is there a plan to ensure there is further funding to support the project at grant end?

Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is about improving human welfare through the protection of the environment and natural capital (e.g. land, air, water, minerals etc.). Projects are described as environmentally sustainable when they ensure that the needs of the population are met without the risk of compromising the needs of future generations. How will your project do this?

Yes! Your project doesn’t need to be obviously ‘hazardous’ to have some risks. All projects have some degree and level of risk. For example:

Risks involved in implementing the project

The people coordinating your activities (in Wales and/or Africa) may become ill or unable to fulfil their role. What would you do if this happened? Are there others in the group/organisation who could take over the project? Could severe weather, political turbulence, conflict or outbreak of disease in Africa potentially interrupt your activities, and if so how might you handle your project in these circumstances? If you intend to hold an event in Wales, is there a risk that very few people come? Do you need to consider timing of the event and in what time of year it takes place? How will you promote/publicise the event or work with other partners to ensure that you achieve good attendance and participation?

Risks to sustainability of the project

If you are training people to acquire new skills and ways of working, do they have the resources to be able to use their new skills in the future? Will there be any further support to monitor or assist these people following the end of the project funding? If you are funding salary-type payments for delivering a new or additional service, what will happen to these workers when the grant comes to an end? If you are providing important equipment, are there arrangements in place to ensure that it can be maintained and spare parts replaced?

Financial risks to the project

Is your match funding secure? If not, can you still deliver the project activities or can they be scaled-down appropriately? If your partner NGO in Africa lost its core funding and had to significantly downsize or close in the middle of your project, would there be any alternative way to deliver the project? What would happen if currency fluctuations or rises in costs meant a significant increase in key project activities? How would you handle this?

Sustainable Development Goals

The Goals are part of a United Nations “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”. They were adopted by all UN Member States in September 2015 in the document Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The plan is a successor to the Millennium Development Goals which lasted until 2015. The Goals are to be achieved by 2030. There are 17 goals and 169 targets underneath them.

The preamble to the document declares: “We resolve, between now and 2030, to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. We resolve also to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.”

The goals in a nutshell:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

We ask you to demonstrate (for any funding over £1,000) how your project is going to support the delivery of the SDGs. To do that, we recommend that you highlight those goals which are immediately relevant to your project activities and write a brief paragraph explaining how your project will contribute. More information on the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here.

Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015

The Well-being of Future Generations Act was passed by the National Assembly for Wales in 2015. The Act aims to make the UN Sustainable Development Goals real within a Welsh context.

The Act places a duty on many Welsh Government funded bodies, including health and fire services and local authorities (and on the Welsh Government itself), to “carry out sustainable development” and to take action to achieve the following seven well-being goals:

  1. A prosperous Wales: An innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change); and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work
  2. A resilient Wales: A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change)
  3. A healthier Wales: A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood
  4. A more equal Wales: A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio economic background and circumstances)
  5. A Wales of cohesive communities: Attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities
  6. A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language: A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, and sports and recreation
  7. A globally responsible Wales: A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being.

We ask you to demonstrate (for any funding over £1,000) how your project is going to contribute to achieving the aims of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. To do that, we recommend that you highlight those goals which are immediately relevant to your project activities and write a brief paragraph explaining how your project will contribute. More information on the Well-Being of Future Generations Act can be found here – just skip to the factsheet for the goal most relevant to you.