• img
  • logo1
  • logo2



The goals of the proposals and their outcomes are to identify problem areas and find practical solutions to issues concerning environmental protection and conservation of natural resources. The proposals submitted by the network members would address several issues in the fields of ecology, the conservation and protection of environment and natural resources of the South Asian region, specifically Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The proposals should include information on developing an understanding of the environment and ecology of a target area within the region and devising strategies and solutions for environmental protection and management, in a way that will achieve sustainable development. Moreover, these proposals will enable Climate Action Champions Network (Network) members to channel their entrepreneurial spirit to create workable proposals that are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Priority Thematic Areas

  • Promote sustainable agriculture
  • Promote sound water and waste-water management
  • Reduce plastic pollution
  • Protect the ocean
  • Conserve and restore forests
  • Mitigate air polluting emissions and improve air quality
  • Mitigate greenhouse gasses to avoid future warming, and adapt to impacts now

ORF and the regional co-implementers will promote and facilitate the small grants element of the Network among the network members in their respective countries. The small grants program will include the following stages:

  1. Publicize the small grants opportunity to members of the network with information about how to apply and selection criteria
  2. Development and submission of project proposals from network members
  3. Review and selection of the small grant proposals
  4. Disbursement, monitoring and evaluation of the small grant
  5. Report on the small grant’s performance through regular and comprehensive reports compiled by ORF with input from co-implementers (who will also report in parallel directly to their respective GOs and GORs). This report should contain key parameters with respect to the performance appraisals conducted on the small grants disbursed by each individual co-Implementers.

Implementation Timeline 

Stages Timeline
Workshop on Small Grants Program 9th February 2023
Opening of Application Process 15th February 2023
Development and submission deadline for small grant proposals 15th March 2023
Review and selection of the small grant proposals 15th April 2023
Disbursement, monitoring and evaluation of the small grant, including reporting through quarterly reports to GOs and GORs 15th April 2023 – March 2024

Applicants of Project Proposals

  • Proposals from cohort members as individuals or in teams of 2-7 cohort members organized by a common goal.
  • Members of the cohort will identify and connect with their preferred team members as per their convenience and preferences.
  • Members of the cohort will ensure that they adhere to policies, statutes, laws, and regulations of their home countries when accepting or dealing with the Climate Action Champions Network grant amount and/or related funds.  Members should carefully consider any of the restrictions related to foreign funding.
  • Members of the cohort will provide, in writing to their co-implementing partner, details of their registered civil society organization or cooperative which is legally permitted to accept foreign funding by their national or state government, in case the grants applicants cannot accept funds as individuals.

Please note that any individual or entity associated with the Climate Action Champions Network, including individuals or sections of the U.S. government or co-implementing partners, will not be liable in any form for any issue arising due to non-compliance of the cohort members’ home country-specific laws and regulations, or any such situations.

Types for Project Proposals

  • Biodiversity conservation including issues of alien and invasive species and human-wildlife interface. ecosystems conservation & management (mountain, forest, coastal, wetlands, pastoral, oceans. etc.) and evaluation of ecosystem services.
  • Socio-economic issues of environment and sustainable development.
  • Conservation and management of landscapes and ecologically sensitive areas including issues of sustainable livelihoods.
  • Sustainable management of natural resources.
  • Climate change vulnerability & risk assessment, process, mitigation, and adaptation.
  • Pollution (air, water, plastics, etc.) prevention – clean technologies and processes, cleaner production, resource efficiency, recycling, waste minimization and management, etc.
  • Other Climate Related Projects.

Examples of Project Proposal Types

  • A discrete, specific, and concise research project proposal that could include a pilot or feasibility study, collection of preliminary data, secondary analysis of existing data, small, self-contained research projects, development of new research technology, or ideas that have potential for commercialization.
  • High quality conferences/scientific meetings that are relevant to the Network’s mission and to the environment.
  • In-depth stories for an online, print, A/V, television, radio audience that raises awareness on climate and environmental change, natural resource management or related issues, such as climate-induced migration, agricultural and water issues or food security or applications that support socio-environmental reporting and climate resilience-building. Suggested stories include:
    • Text-based stories: 1,000 to 3,000 words
    • Photo stories: 10-20 images with descriptive captions and a short 200–400-word introduction
    • Multimedia package: Text between 600 to 1,500 words with 2–4-minute video and/or graphics, photos and maps
    • Broadcast: Video piece around 4-6 minutes in length with a short, roughly 200-word introduction
    • Audio report/podcast: Feature of up to 20 minutes in length with short text to summarize the audio.
  • An industry partnership or a planning or start-up grant or a facilities, equipment or capital grants for the initial project development work or the long-term sustainability of a climate related project. The grant should be used for the startup of a project or used in an ongoing project to boost its long-term sustainability.
  • Any other type of project that is climate related.

Please note that our policies require acknowledgment of support and a disclaimer for publications, inventions, and other research products.

Review and selection of small grant proposals

Guidelines for Project proposals:

The topic and content of the project proposal should be innovative and aligned with the mandate of the Climate Action Champions Network. Moreover, the proposal should: 

  • Demonstrate the quality, relevance, and contributions of individual project team members
  • Include mechanisms for maintaining transparency and budget accuracy
  • Incorporate proposed media coverage and public relations, and networking effect
  • Demonstrate how the project will lead to the development of local/regional communities with an emphasis on reducing existing and future vulnerabilities of the communities
  • Proposing team members must demonstrate in their proposal a sound knowledge of climate action and of the particular geographical area or issue that they wish to contribute to through their project.
  • Provide an account for how the long-term sustainability of the project or long-term impact of the idea was incorporated into the decision for the topic of the proposal.
  • Include a monitoring and evaluation plan for the project that is submitted in the prescribed format to the country-wise co-implementers
  • The key parameters for monitoring and evaluation will be disseminated to the cohort members during the application process
  • Potential for replicability and the multiplicative effect across communities in the region will be preferred
  • Experience of the project team with similar types of projects and experience and a track record of working in local communities will be considered
  • Project that includes the involvement of local community members, youth or women in its implementation will be given priority

Eligibility and Ranking Criteria

  • The minimum duration of the project should be of one month and maximum of one year (Latest by March 2024)
  • The project should fall under the priority thematic areas of the Climate Action Champions Network and should adhere to the guidelines and information provided on the application form.
  • The scale of the project should be such that funding awarded covers the entire requirement of the project. If the proposed project is a smaller part of a larger endeavor, in that case the small grants program proposal should be designed in such a manner such that a smaller well-defined section of the larger program should be completed using the small grants funding. It should fulfill the requirement to produce measurable and verifiable results within the end of the CACN program in March 2024.
  • The small grants funded project should be able to show significant progress in key performance parameters, defined in the grant application form filled by the network member by March 2024.
  • Projects focusing on regions outside South Asia will not be eligible, however project that are cross border in-nature within the South Asian
  • Project must have a clearly articulated rationale that demonstrates urgency and need for the work.
  • Project must achieve a clear outcome within the project timeframe with measurable results.
  • Project must be implemented by the applicant itself. Forwarding funds to other implementing partners cannot be processed.
  • Proposal should contain an operational plan including indicators and a detailed budget plan demonstrating how the funding will be used including precisely budgeted amounts with detailed explanation for each line item
  • The budget of the proposal should be between USD 500 and USD 5000

Assistance with project proposals

  • The country-wise implementers will be provided with information about expectations from small grant proposals for them to assist the network members with their proposals
  • The co-implementers to curate a separate list of guides who will assist the network members in development and submission of the project proposal. These guides will help the network members who are not fully acquainted in making project proposals, in forming competitive proposals for their small grant projects.
  • The guides will be assigned to teams, based on their need as assessed by the country-wise co-implementers.

Scoring Matrix

Criteria Score
Topic and content of the project being aligned with the mandate of the CACN 20%
Quality and relevance of the project and contribution of individual project team members 25%
Transparency and accuracy of the proposed budget of the project 10%
Development potential of local/regional communities through the project and outreach potential 10%
Long-term sustainability and impact of the project 15%
Potential for replicability of the project 10%
Experience of the project team with similar types of projects 5%
Potential for cross-border collaboration of the project within the different CACN focus South Asian countries 5%

Selection Process

  1. Local Co-Implementer shall review and evaluate the applications based on the scoring matrix and record their scores, comments, suggestion on the evaluation sheet.
  2. ORF will vet the proposals including budget and implementation timelines based on the scoring matrix then send proposals to the US Mission for final approval.
  3. After review by the co-implementers and by ORF of the small grants proposals, ORF will send the applications and comments/suggestions to USG. Along with the proposals, a country-wise evaluation list of grants along with the amounts of grants requested will be sent to country wise co-implementers and the respective GO’s and GOR’s. Any grant amount for cross-border projects will be split between the respective country’s co-implementers, GO’s and GOR’s evaluation list, based on the geographic and financial distribution of the proposed budget amount for the particular small grants’ proposal.
  4. The total amount comprising of all country-wise small grants proposals approved by the USG can disbursed to the respective co-implementer, who can then disburse the amounts to the grant winner’s account.
  5. Winning teams will be notified and provided with a Monitoring and Evaluation form that they would need to fill out and send to their co-implementers on a monthly/quarterly basis

Media coverage for small grant projects

All events implemented and all documents produced as well as all public relations undertaken in the execution of the project must make reference to the Climate Action Champions Network and, where applicable, include the CACN logo (e.g., in printed materials, documents, signage etc.). The CACN logo is the property of the Climate Action Champions Network program and should not be used without the prior permission of ORF and/or the co-implementers; moreover, grant recipients and mentors may not edit the design, color, or proportions of the logo’s original format. The name, logo, etc. of the CACN program should be used along with an explicit expression that the projects implemented under the program are executed by the individual or team of cohort members and are a part of an initiative of the small grants program of the CACN and has been undertaken directly and independently by a cohort member of the CACN program. As the use of the CACN name and logo is an endorsement of the project proposal by the CACN program, ORF or the co-implementers, please use the name of the program and its logo keeping in mind the reputation of the network, the co-implementers and other stakeholders including the funders of the program, Public Diplomacy, Department of State, United States.

Monitoring and evaluation of the small grant recipients

The small grants recipients shall remain in constant contact with the Climate Action Champions Network’s Advisory Board lead implementer and co-implementers throughout the duration of the program and update the co-implementers about any developments on their proposed projects. Any changes to the proposal, i.e., timeline extensions, changes in team members, budget deviations, etc., must be requested in writing, and may or may not be approved by co-implementers and the GO’s and GOR’s of the network. The changes that may arise in the program should not change the initial outcome as defined in the original project proposal.

The grantees must report any deviation from the project proposal and actual implementation of the project with respect to the adherence to the themes of the CACN, quality and relevance of the project, budget, sustainability, and impact potential etc. promptly to ORF and the co-implementers.

Grantees must prepare monthly/quarterly progress reports on the Monitoring and Evaluation form. Grantees also must submit a final report on the project that includes a detailed expenditure report and that allows project evaluation and oversight.

The co-implementers will communicate to the relevant Grants Officer and Grants Officer Representative updates and progress on the running projects funded by Small Grants and any major changes to the project proposals including changes in team members, execution method, budget, etc. through the Small Grants quarterly reports. 


Monitoring and Evaluation Metrics

Example Submission Format: 

Type of Indicator Indicator Baseline (Before Small Grants) Target  Achieved (After successful intervention) Achievement Percentage (Achievement/Target) 

Input Indicators


(Resources needed for the implementation of an activity or intervention. Policies, human resources, materials, financial resources are examples of input indicators.)

Number of waste bins needed for plastic recycling project 0 100 78 78%

Input Indicators


(Resources needed for the implementation of an activity or intervention. Policies, human resources, materials, financial resources are examples of input indicators.)

No of waste management professionals inducted into project 0 5 4 80%

Process Indicators


(Measure whether planned activities took place. Examples include holding of meetings, conduct of training courses, distribution of medicines, development, and testing of health education materials)

Number of workshops conducted to train waste management professionals 0 2 2 100%

Output Indicators


(Details in relation to the output of the activity, e.g., the number and categories of health providers trained in case management or communications skills, the number and type of radio spots produced and broadcast. Example: the output of a training course on case management may be the number of medical assistants trained and, consequently, the number or proportion of them with improved knowledge and skills in case management)

Number of different types of waste being recycled 0 30 25 83.33%

Outcome and Impact Indicators


(Objectives of an intervention, that is its ‘results’, its outcome. They are the result of both the “quantity” (“how many”) and quality (“how well”) of the activities implemented. Example: the outcome of a training of health providers in the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) should be improved management of sick children under 5 years old, e.g., the proportion of sick children correctly managed by the trained health providers, proportion of under-five children with suspected pneumonia treated with antibiotics, proportion of under-five children with diarrhea given oral rehydration therapy, proportion of infants 0-5 months old who are exclusively breastfed, etc.)

Number of villages that are completely recycling all of their recyclable waste 0 10 Baseline/Target*100

Please note that except for certain types of information that may be considered proprietary or private information that cannot be released, most grant-related information submitted to the Climate Action Champions Network by the applicant(s) or recipient(s) in the application or in the post-award phase is considered public information.  Once an award is made, that information is subject to possible release to individuals or organizations outside Climate Action Champions Network.  This is intended to foster an accountability and fairness related to the funding source as well as funded activities.