For Norwegian entities
As a Norwegian entity, you partner up in cooperation projects with organizations from the 14 beneficiary countries.
In addition to working as partners, you can also participate in study visits, experience exchange meetings, conferences and seminars to strengthen bilateral relations between Norway and the beneficiary countries.
You can cooperate with a partner from a beneficiary country in the following areas:
- Democracy, active citizenship, good governance and transparency
- Human rights and equal treatment through combating any discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity
- Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups
- Gender equality and gender-based violence
- Environment and climate change
More specific topics for cooperation are defined by the fund operators of the Active Citizens Fund in each beneficiary country.
Norwegian organisations may benefit from the Active Citizens Fund via two measures:
- Project support – projects where a partnership with Norwegian organizations is encouraged. Funds are made available through open calls launched in each beneficiary country. Projects can run over several years.
- Bilateral initiatives – short initiatives promoting exchange of experience through in-person meetings, conferences, workshops, study visits and partnership development. Funds are made available through open calls. Contrarily to project support, Norwegian entities can take the initiative and apply directly to the Fund Operator.
August 2022 status: Most calls for projects in the 2014-2021 programme have now passed. However, there remains considerable funding available in bilateral initiatives.
Tips and advice for establishing partnerships
• To become engaged in the Active Citizens Fund, you need a partner from one of the beneficiary countries. It is the partner organization from the beneficiary country that is the lead applicant for a project and is responsible for the application, project implementation and management. For smaller, bilateral initiative projects, it is possible for Norwegian entities to apply directly, though a local partner in the beneficiary county is still needed.
• Organizations in the beneficiary countries are encouraged to engage Norwegian partners in Active Citizens Fund projects to foster good bilateral relations and ensure mutual learning. Should you be interested in cooperating under the Active Citizens Fund, sign up to our newsletter to receive news about open calls.
• If you are looking for a partner in one of the beneficiary countries, we recommend that you start with a search in our Active Citizens Fund database for organizations. Here you can search for possible partner organizations or register your own organization as open for cooperation. Registration is free and voluntary, and we recommend it. Your future partner may contact you!
• You can contact us for tips and suggestions we may have on a particular beneficiary country.
• You can also contact the Norwegian embassies in the beneficiary countries you are interested in for advice.
• Sign up to our newsletter and receive information about launching events, matchmaking seminars and other relevant Active Citizens Fund events where you can network and meet potential partners.
• The application procedures can vary from country to country, but it is the lead applicant that is responsible for writing and sending the project application. We encourage you, as a Norwegian partner, to be engaged in the project development process from the beginning to ensure that the activities are relevant to you and that your expenses will be included in the budget and covered.
• Feel free to use our Rough guide to expenses in Norway as indicative for budgetary purposes.
• Make sure the project agreement is in a language you understand, preferably English. The agreement should clearly state the role and responsibilities of all partners in the project. At this stage make sure you also clarify with your partner what the documentation requirements will be (invoices in original, copies of receipts, bank transfer documentation, stamps, etc.). Many countries require more extensive documentation than in Norway.
• As a rule, a report by an independent auditor qualified to carry out statutory audits of accounting documents, certifying that all expenses are incurred in accordance with the agreement, is sufficient proof of expenditure for you as a project partner. Auditing expenses can be included in the project’s budget.
• A 10% co-financing of the project is required under the Active Citizens Fund, half of this can be in-kind contribution in the form of voluntary work. Norwegian partners are not required to contribute to the co-financing, but you may be asked to provide the in-kind contribution in form of voluntary work. Make sure you clarify this point.
• Apply for bilateral funding where possible to be able to meet with your partner before the project application deadline in order to work out the application together.
Project applications are evaluated by the designated fund operator in the country, independent experts and a selection committee. The selection criteria may vary from country to country and will be published on the Active Citizens Fund country sections. The NHC as contact point is not involved in this process.
We have asked a wide range of organizations from Norway to tell us why they became engaged in cooperation under these funds and what they get out of this cooperation. Check some of the answers here.
For more advice you can access the Partnership Guide created by the Financial Mechanism Office
Follow the open calls calendar to see when ACF funding becomes available in the beneficiary countries.