Application & Assessment Process in Two Stages

STAGE 1: Concept Note & Assessment Process

Launch of calls for proposals

Applicants please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants (pdf) and eligibility criteria before applying

Register in SmartME, the online application system

Create and submit the concept note in SmartME

Concept notes received, screened and shortlisted

Only shortlisted Applicants are invited to submit full proposals

STAGE 2: Full Proposal & Assessment Process (Only if invited by SIFA)

Please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants (pdf) before applying

Create and submit the full proposal in SmartME

Full Proposals assessed and ranked

Due Diligence conducted on shortlisted Full Proposals

SIFA Investment Committee selects winners

Winners sign Implementation Agreement

For general questions, please check the FAQs. If you cannot find the right answer, please contact us using the contact form. For technical questions, login to the SIFA Financing Facility online management system (SmartME) and visit the SmartME helpdesk.

Funding Windows

Window I

Currently no open calls for proposals. For call status and timeline, please click on the link below.

Call Status and Deadlines

Large skills development investment projects.

Grant Amount per project
Up to EUR 3 million

Thematic Area
Large investment projects

Eligible Applicants

Lead: Domestic public or private accredited training provider
Primary partner
: Domestic private sector entity

Applicant contribution
At least 10 % of total project cost/investment

Project Implementation Period
Up to 30 months

Please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants

Window II

Currently no open calls for proposals. For details, please click on the link below.

Call Status and Deadlines

Skills development investment projects

Grant Amount per project
Between EUR 1 and EUR 1.5 million

Thematic Area
Skills development investment projects

Eligible Applicants
Lead: International company with training activities
Primary partner:
Domestic public or private accredited training provider

Applicant contribution
At least 30 % of total project cost/ investment

Project Implementation Period
24 to 30 months

Please check the Instruction Guide for Applicants

Window III

Currently no open calls. Details to be announced.

Innovative skills (pilot) projects

Grant Amount per project
Between EUR 0.2 and 1 million

Thematic Area
Innovative skills projects

Eligible Applicants
Lead: Domestic public or private entity. If the Lead is public then one of the partners must be private.

Applicant contribution
At least 10 % of total project cost/investment

Project Implementation Period
Up to 24 months

Funding Window III: Application requirements and modalities currently under revision - Updated information will be published soon.

ELIGIBILITY Criteria

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Each Applicant (consortium) must:

  • Consist of legally registered entities according to the list of eligible entities for the respective Funding Window
  • Be able to demonstrate financial capacity for the last three years
  • Demonstrate their human capacity to implement the proposed project idea
  • Demonstrate proof of counterpart funding

Each Applicant must provide the following evidence as proof of eligibility of the consortium:

  • Copies of documentation of legal status / registration showing that the Lead and its Partners belong to the list of eligible entities
  • Copies of accreditation documents of training providers
  • Audited or certified financial statements of the Lead for the last three years
  • Number and qualifications of relevant staff
  • At least one reference of a project with a financial scope that is similar to the proposed project idea
  • Commitment letter for counterpart funding, showing breakdown of estimated value of proposed complementary (in-kind) measures

CONCEPT NOTE - CHECKLIST

  • The proposed project idea (outline of activities) must belong to one of the stated eligible project activities.
  • For construction works and procurement of equipment, the application must include documentation for ownership or lease hold of buildings or lands.
  • The application must address the skills and employment needs of women and youth (e.g. access, enrolment, job opportunities, etc.) in proposed project concept (outline of activities).
  • The application must demonstrate private sector engagement in the proposed project activities

FULL PROPOSAL – CHECKLIST

The full proposal must include:

  • A detailed implementation plan
  • A detailed budget
  • A proposal-specific results framework
  • Draft technical designs and/or specifications for construction and equipment, including draft procurement plan
  • Draft operational and maintenance plan, including financing
  • A market assessment analysing the growth potential of the industrial sector under consideration within the specific country, and an assessment of the training needs against the skills currently available.

Applications will be considered NON-eligible if they do not demonstrate the above stated requirements.

For all three funding windows, premium will be placed on:

Employment-oriented skills development initiatives that are of high quality, relevant to priority growth sectors, financially viable and ready to implement. Innovativeness, involvement of the private sector, positive impact on growth-oriented employment opportunities for youth, women, the disabled, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, sustainability of the initiative and prospects for regional replicability and upscaling are among the important factors that must be addressed.

Eligible PROJECTS for Window I

A combination of 5 technical and didactical interventions:

  1. Procurement of training equipment
  2. Construction, rehabilitation or expansion of learning infrastructure
  3. Training of trainers*
  4. Curriculum design*
  5. Learner scholarships*

*The activities 3-5 can be funded only in combination with the core activities 1 and/or 2 and only up to 5 % of the total project cost.

Eligible APPLICANTS for Window I

Eligible Applicants will be experienced stakeholders in the field of skills development. One responsible Lead will always form a consortium with either one or two partners.

Lead

  • Public TVET institutions supported by sector ministry
  • Legally autonomous public TVET institution
  • Accredited private training provider
  • Registered domestic NGO or Foundation accredited to offer skills training
  • National TVET Agency or TVET authority responsible for TVET provision

A lead must have one of the following as a primary partner:

  • Domestic public or private company
  • Domestic Chamber of Commerce or Industry and Employer Association that supports skills development
  • Incubation centre or company involved in product development

In addition, the lead can have one of the following as a secondary partner:

  • Public TVET institutions supported by sector ministry
  • Legally autonomous public TVET institutions
  • Accredited private training provider
  • Registered domestic NGO or Foundation involved in training provision
  • Chambers of Commerce or Industry and Employer Associations that supports skills development
  • International NGO or Foundation accredited to offer skills training
  • National TVET Agency or TVET authority responsible for TVET provision

Counterpart (Applicant’s own) contribution
At least 10 % of total project cost

Project Implementation Period
Up to 30 months

Eligible PROJECTS for Window II

A combination of 5 technical and didactical interventions:

  1. Procurement of training equipment
  2. Construction, rehabilitation or expansion of learning infrastructure
  3. Training of trainers*
  4. Curriculum design*
  5. Learner scholarships*

*The activities 3-5 can be funded only in combination with the core activities 1 and/or 2 and only up to 5 % of the total project cost.

Eligible APPLICANTS for Window II

Lead

  • International Company with training activities

The lead must have one of the following as a primary partner:

  • Public TVET institutions supported by sector ministry
  • Legally autonomous public TVET institutions
  • Accredited private training providers
  • Registered domestic NGO or Foundation accredited to offer skills training
  • Domestic Chamber of Commerce or Industry and Employer Association that supports skills development

In addition, the lead can have one of the following as a secondary partner:

  • Public TVET institutions supported by sector ministry
  • Legally autonomous public TVET institutions
  • Accredited private training provider
  • Registered domestic NGO or foundation accredited to offer skills training
  • Chambers of Commerce or Industry and Employer Association that supports skills development
  • National TVET Agency or TVET authority responsible for TVET provision

Counterpart (Applicant’s own) contribution
At least 30 % of total project cost

Project Implementation Period
Up to 36 months

Eligible PROJECTS for Window III

  • Image campaigns for promoting skills development
  • ICT-based approaches to skills development
  • Entrepreneurship/mentorships programs.
  • Equipping of workshops, classrooms, alternative/innovative learning spaces
  • Student or Learner Scholarships
  • Curriculum design
  • Training of Trainers Program (excluding recurrent costs)

Eligible APPLICANTS for Window III

Lead

Domestic public or private entity:

  • Public TVET institution supported by sector ministry
  • Legally autonomous public TVET institution
  • Accredited private training provider
  • Registered domestic NGO or Foundation accredited to offer skills training
  • Chamber of Commerce or Industry and Employer Association that supports skills development
  • National TVET Agency or TVET authority responsible TVET provision

Partner(s)

One or two partners to be selected from among the entities below. If the Lead is public then one of the partners needs to be private.

  • Public TVET institutions supported by sector ministry
  • Legally autonomous public TVET institutions
  • Accredited private training provider
  • Registered domestic NGO or Foundation accredited to offer skills training
  • Chamber of Commerce or Industry and Employer Association that supports skills development
  • Domestic public or private company
  • International NGO or Foundation involved in training provision
  • National TVET Agency or TVET authority responsible for TVET provision

Counterpart (Applicant’s own) contribution
At least 10 % of total project cost/investment

Project Implementation Period
Up to 24 months

Assessment Criteria

Maximum Points: 20

It is important that proposals, in particular if focused on construction or large procurements, are ready-to-be implemented projects, i.e.

  • A prior concept development /technical planning exists (and is documented) e.g. detailed design, specifications, approvals, environmental studies and certificates etc.
  • Counterpart funding is substantiated and documented.

Maximum Points: 5

Proposals present innovativeness in terms of innovative training design and delivery or technology-enabled learning or digitalised skills programmes and financing partnerships.

Maximum Points: 5

  • Proposals outline growth potential of the sector in the specific country, training needs, and a viable sustainable financing strategy.
  • Risks and how they will be mitigated as well as measures and strategies to sustain the investment / initiative are explained.

Maximum Points: 10

Proposals demonstrate possibility for becoming a regional show case / best practice provider of employable skills development, such as:

  • Importance for regional development goals
  • Offering access to skills training for students from the region
  • Drawing on regional expertise
  • Potential for becoming a regional centre of excellence

Maximum Points: 10

Proposed project must involve the private sector from the start and show evidence of involvement of private sector in:

  • Design of training and institutionalisation of the involvement in design
  • Delivery of training and further institutionalisation in the form of internships and job fairs supported by relevant MOUs

Maximum Points: 20

Proposals must include specific measures to address the specific needs or employment opportunities for women, youth and vulnerable groups, including refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons, the disadvantaged and disabled (e.g. female and youth enrolment, advocacy strategies and retention and job placements).

Maximum Points: 20

Demonstrated by the coherence and completeness of the documentation provided.

Maximum Points: 10

Relevance of the proposal in terms of the expected impact on employability and contribution to national human resource development agenda.

Total maximum Points: 100

All eligible proposals will be ranked and the highest ranked will be selected. To qualify for short-listing, the proposal must obtain a minimum score of 60 points.

The three highest ranked Concept Notes for each participating country will be short-listed and invited to submit Full Proposals. Only one Full Proposal per Funding Window per participating country will be selected for funding.

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