USAID Announces new priority areas for funding under Ambassador Fund Program

The U.S. Ambassador’s Fund supports small scale, high impact projects to improve communities throughout Pakistan. This five-year program provides resources for initiatives designed by Pakistan’s grassroots organizations and community groups. It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by the National Rural Support Program (NRSP).

The size of each grant can be up to $75,000 to support activities for up to one year in duration. Communities and civil society groups should ensure significant local contribution in cash, labor or material.

To be eligible for a grant under the Ambassador’s Fund the applicant organization/ proposed project should:

  • Demonstrate adequate ability to manage and implement donor funded projects with adequately functional management systems.
  • The application for funding assistance must fall under the USAID priority areas
  • Be completed in one year or less
  • Have significant community participation and contribution in cash, labor or material
  • Focus on inclusive development (women, men, girls, boys, disabled & minorities)
  • Have Gender sensitive approach
  • Have a significant impact, benefitting the greatest number of people possible
  • Improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community level

Grants under the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund will only support activities in the following priority areas:

  • Empowering Vulnerable Populations: Grants in this sector seek to empower vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities, widows, orphans, the elderly, religious and ethnic minorities, victims of violence, street children, displaced persons, and other vulnerable groups. Applicants may propose a variety of mechanisms to counter vulnerability, such as legal assistance, rights protection, or increasing employment opportunities. Some examples include providing free legal assistance or improving physical facilitates for litigants in courts; providing vocational training; improving facilities at homes for orphans or the elderly; mainstreaming vulnerable groups into normal life through education, sports, and life skills; and raising awareness of gender-based violence, forced and early marriages, or racial discrimination.
  • Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship: Grant applications in this sector should identify economic or social problems and propose innovative, sustainable, and scalable business opportunities through formation of social enterprises. Social enterprises measure success through social change more than wealth creation (though both are important.) Social enterprises provide products or services in difficult market conditions, re-invest income, are democratically owned, hold stakeholders accountable, and are autonomous in their decision making. Some examples include innovative methods to provide affordable, clean drinking water to poor communities; low-cost solar-based solutions for remote communities offering viable alternative to kerosene oil-based lanterns; low-cost engineering and construction solutions to improve home insulation; organic food or fertilizer production; and solid waste recycling.
  • Developing Small-Scale Energy Solutions: Grant applications in this sector should improve access of remote and underserved areas to alternative and renewable energy solutions. Projects should not only emphasize renewable energy sources for generating livelihoods and improving quality of life, but also contribute to easing pressure on existing energy infrastructure. Applicants are encouraged to propose sustainable, small scale renewable energy projects and locally adapted energy solutions that result in knowledge and technology transfer to communities. Examples include provision of energy efficient stoves in areas where communities are dependent on forest wood; construction of bio-gas plants at household or cluster level; construction of micro-hydro power stations or home-based solar systems in areas not linked with grid electricity; and construction of solar dehydration plants for drying fresh fruit.
  • Promoting Culture and the Arts: Grant applications in this sector aim to preserve key components of Pakistan’s rich heritage while creating income for host communities. Projects can preserve languages and dialects, cuisine, aesthetics (art, music, dances, and fashion), architecture, and traditional recreational activities such as festivals and sporting events. Examples include recording folk singers and establishing profit-sharing mechanisms; training artisans in traditional handicrafts; training actors to demonstrate folklore; or renovating and repurposing traditional buildings.
  • Improving Disaster Preparedness: Grant applications in this sector should support community-based projects that prepare communities to respond to natural disasters, improve their resilience and enhance their ability to compliment government disaster relief efforts. Examples include raising awareness through education; developing community-specific drills; creating local early warning systems; and carrying out preventive measures such as small-scale construction activities to address hazards.

Applications are especially encouraged from under represented geographic areas (i.e. where USAID is not currently implementing large programs), especially Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK.

While preparing applications, the applicants should ensure that the timeline for proposed projects should begin approximately 4 months after submission of an application (to allow for grants processing time) with a completion date no later than April 30, 2017.

Any application that is not compliant with this criteria will not be accepted.