In July 2009, the Ambassador of the United States in Afghanistan announced a grant program for Afghan organizations that help women secure opportunities and advocate for themselves. The Ambassador’s Small Grants Program to Support Gender Equality in Afghanistan (ASGP) works with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and women focused Afghan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across the country.
The program provides strategic Institutional Capacity Development to the selected CSOs and strengthens Gender Advocacy efforts in Afghanistan. Flexible, rapid response Grants address Afghan women’s needs in education, healthcare, skills training, economic opportunities, counseling on family issues, and public advocacy. The Program is financed by the U.S. Government. ASGP carries out program activities nationwide from six regional offices and a main office in Kabul. Currently, the Program includes the following components:
INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: Applicant organizations are reinforced with a technical support program. A collaborative institutional and gender audit is used to assess applicants’ organizational capacity to implement programs and promote gender equality within their organizations. The audit identifies where applicants need technical assistance to be more effective in supporting Afghan women and girls. Applicants benefit from targeted, practical support such as strategic planning, establishing a board of directors, accounting, monitoring and evaluation, information and program management systems, human resource policy and procedures, on-the-job training, mentoring, and procurement of essential equipment. The initial audit also serves to track progress by grantees and the sector as a whole.
GENDER ADVOCACY: The program is working with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to build cohesion among grantees and other organizations. This mutual support is important to sustaining a viable civil society network. Established Afghan partners serve as advocates in framing this larger purpose. The Program sponsors national and regional gatherings of Afghan organizations supporting women. Outreach to rural organizations is a priority, including sponsorship of their involvement in national and regional events.
GRANTS: Eligible Afghan organizations receive funding to help women and girls in areas including education and literacy, health, economic opportunities, gender-based violence, advocacy, access to justice, coalition building, public awareness and peaceful co-existence. The technical and organizational capacity of eligible organizations is developed using Grants to deliver lasting benefits to Afghan women and girls. There are four types of grants:
Type of Grants
- QUICK IMPACT GRANTS (QIG): These grants help small, rural organizations and women’s groups rapidly provide goods and services, while becoming more active in their communities. These grants last less than 120 days from award to completion. This grant cycle facilitates an immediate, positive impact in the lives of Afghan women and girls. Quick Impact Grants will be awarded over the life of the program.
- SERVICE DELIVERY GRANTS (SDG): These are traditional grants fund one-year projects to increase the organizational and programmatic capacity of organizations to provide access to reproductive health, education and literacy, economic development, peaceful co-existence, awareness, and other issues relevant to women in Afghanistan. Service Delivery Grant proposals from women-focused CSOs will be regularly solicited, and reviewed and awarded quarterly.
- ADVOCACY COORDINATION GRANTS (ACG): These one year grants help urban organizations improve their advocacy efforts for democratic, institutional and policy change. Grants support campaigns to promote education for girls, access to justice for women, coalition building for economic opportunities, community based women’s organization networks, and address gender-based violence. These grants also foster collaborative grant submissions.
- TARGETED SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS (TSG): A key goal is to create a sustainable organization to effectively manage donor-support for women-focused Afghan CSOs after the Program ends. This grant provides support for an organization to undertake all aspects of capacity building and grants management. At the end of the Program, this organization will be qualified to receive and channel donor funds to local organizations throughout Afghanistan. The Program will mentor the organization to serve as a community foundation to competitively solicit, assess, manage, evaluate and audit grants.
How to Apply
Participation and Referral
The first step for a current or potential women-focused CSO to take in order to apply for a grant and participate in the program is either to apply independently or be referred to ASGP. The CSO will then be contacted by one of the ASGP Capacity Development Facilitators (CDFs) who will invite the CSO to submit a grant application. The CSO will be assisted to identify its capacity development priorities and develop an application and budget for a grant. The CDFs in the ASGP offices will assist the CSOs in this process. Please note that submission of a grant application does not guarantee funding. The participating CSOs will be identified and followed up by the CDFs who are knowledgeable about the sector in their regions. Please see the contact information below for your province and contact them directly.
ASGP relies greatly on referral agencies to identify potential CSOs. The staffs of the US Government, the PRTs, and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) are significant referral agencies, as are local government leaders, shuras, and other Ministries of the GIRoA including Economy, Justice and Culture who register CSOs. Larger CSOs who are umbrellas for multiple women-focused CSOs also serve as referral agencies.
ASGP accepts referrals from CSOs, women’s groups, and/or individual projects with headquarters located in any of the provinces listed below. The referral process is simple. Send the name, purpose of the CSO and contact information for the CSO, women’s group or project directly to the relevant ASGP office. Please do not forward proposals on behalf of the CSOs or group. The CDFs will assist them to develop applications in the appropriate format
Central Region: Tel. +93 (0) 796 777 134, Email: email@example.com
Covering provinces: Kabul, Kapisa, Panjshir, and Parwan
Central Highlands Region: Tel. +93 (0)796 777 161, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covering provinces: Bamyan, Wardak, and Daikundi
East Region: Tel. +93(0)7967 77188, Email: email@example.com
Covering provinces: Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman, and Nooristan
North Region: Tel. +93 (0) 7967 77140, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covering provinces: Balkh, Jawzjan, Samangan, Faryab, and SariPul
North East Region: Tel. +93(0)7967 77151, Email: email@example.com
Covering provinces: Kunduz, Badakhshan, Takhar, and Baghlan
South Region:Tel. +93 (0) 7967 77199, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covering provinces: Kandahar, Zabul, Nimroz, Uruzgan, and Helmand
South East Region: Tel. +93(0)7967 77178, Email: email@example.com
Covering provinces: Khost, Paktya, Paktika, Logar, and Ghazni
West Region: Tel. +93(0) 7967 77177, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covering provinces: Herat, Badghis, Farah, and Ghor
ASGP looks forward to receiving your referrals and thanks you very much for your interest.