Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General

What are the objectives of the AFGP?

Information about the AFGP’s objectives is available here.

What are the Priority Areas for AFGP grants?

The five AFGP Priority Areas are:

  1. Empowering Vulnerable Populations
  2. Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship
  3. Developing Small-Scale Energy Solutions
  4. Promoting Culture and the Arts
  5. Improving Disaster Preparedness

More information about the Priority Areas is available here.

Can an applicant apply for more than one Priority Area within the same application?

A grant applicant must specify only one Priority Area in the application.  However, it is possible that one application might relate to more than one Priority Area. If an application relates to more than one Priority Area, that fact will not increase or affect the chances of approval for funding.

Will the Priority Areas remain the same throughout the duration of the AFGP?

Not necessarily.  New Priority Areas might be added in the future. The AFGP will announce such changes on the program website.

Where in Pakistan may grant projects be implemented?

AFGP is open to applicants from all provinces of Pakistan (Balochistan, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh), including the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

Applying for a Grant

What is the maximum amount of funds that can be requested for a grant?

The maximum amount is the equivalent of US $50,000 in Pakistani rupees. Any grant application with a budget that is significantly more than this amount will not be reviewed.

Where can I find the required grant application forms?

All the grant application templates are available here.

How can an organization apply for a grant?

AFGP accepts online applications only. The AFGP will not review any applications received in person, by mail, by courier, by email or through any other method. Applicants must upload electronic application materials to the AFGP online system called the Grants Management Information System (GMIS), which can be accessed here.

What is the deadline for submitting a grant application?

There is no deadline. The AFGP accepts and reviews grant applications continuously (on a “rolling” basis).

What is the allowable duration of a grant?

The duration of a grant project may be a maximum of 12 months. There is no minimum grant duration.

What is the maximum amount of funds that can be requested for a grant?

The maximum amount is the equivalent of US $50,000 in Pakistani rupees. Any grant application with a budget that is significantly more than this amount will not be reviewed.

What documents must a grant applicant submit?

A grant applicant must upload the following mandatory (required) documents online on the AFGP Grant Management Information System (GMIS):

  • Technical Application (grant application)
  • Cost Application (budget)
  • Legal Registration Document
  • Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Plan
  • Work Plan
  • Current Organizational Chart
  • List and CVs of Key Project Staff
  • List of Members of the Board of Directors / Board of Trustees
  • Past Performance (details of previous and current projects)

A grant applicant also may upload the following optional supporting documents:

  • Audit Reports
  • No Objection Certificates (NOCs)
  • Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Reports
  • Evaluation Reports of Previous Projects
  • Any other document that helps explain or supports an application

Is the cover page counted in the 15-page limit for an application?

No The cover page, dividers, table of contents, abbreviation list, and annexes (such as CVs, legal registration document, etc.) are not counted in the page limit. There is no page limit on attachments or budgets.

May an applicant submit a grant application in Urdu?

Yes. An applicant may submit a grant application in Urdu.

May an organization submit more than one application?

Grant applicants may submit only one grant application at a time. While the first application is under review, any additional applications submitted by the same organization will not be reviewed. In addition, each organization will be awarded only one grant during the AFGP life cycle (5 years).

My previous application was not approved for a grant. May I submit another application?

Yes. Applicants who receive notification that their applications are not successful are welcome to submit a revised or entirely different application.

How can an applicant track the progress of a grant application?

Applicants may track the status of their applications through the online AFGP Grant Management Information System (GMIS). When submitting an application on the GMIS, applicants should keep a record of their GMIS registration number, user name and password so that they can log back onto the GMIS at any time and track the progress of their applications. In addition, the GMIS will send an email to the applicant if there is any change of status of an application.

If my application is not approved for funding, will I be informed?

Yes. Each grant applicant will be informed about the outcome of their application, including those that are incomplete, ineligible, over-budget and unsuccessful.

Eligibility to Apply for a Grant

Who is eligible to apply for an AFGP grant?

The following types of legally-registered entities are eligible to apply for a grant:

  1. Civil society organizations
  2. Non-government academic, research, and training institutions
  3. Professional and business associations
  4. Trade unions
  5. Media entities
  6. Private sector/for-profit companies (but no profit can be paid)

Who is not eligible (ineligible) to apply for an AFGP grant?

The following types of people and organizations are not eligible to apply for a grant:

  • Entities that are not legally registered in Pakistan
  • Individuals
  • Government institutions
  • Semi-government / quasi-public /parastatal entities
  • Political parties
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Public international organizations
  • Foreign-based organizations

In addition, an entity is ineligible to apply for a grant if:

  • The organization is directly affiliated with USAID or TDEA or any of their directors, trustees, officers or employees
  • The organization (or its key personnel) is on any of the prohibitive or restrictive lists of the Government of Pakistan, United States Government or United Nations
  • The organization has had any previous award terminated by TDEA or USAID on performance grounds under any project or program
  • The organization (or its key personnel) has been convicted at any time by a court of competent jurisdiction for a crime punishable by a fine of more than PKR 50,000 or imprisonment or both

Can a for-profit company / firm / organization apply for a grant?

Yes. However, no fee or profit will be paid in AFGP grant budgets.

Can a government organization apply for a grant?

No. Government or state-owned organizations, including schools and universities, cannot receive a grant from the AFGP.  This includes semi-government, quasi-public and parastatal entities. Direct funding can only be provided to entirely non-governmental entities.

If my organization was legally registered very recently, may we apply for a grant?

Yes. There is no requirement about the number of years an organization has been registered. Applications will be assessed based on the strength of the technical application and capacity of the organization and project staff. However, the AFGP will conduct pre-award assessments of the capacities of all potential grantees to ensure that they have the systems in place to manage the proposed activities and grant funds competently and transparently.

Can organizations form a consortium to apply for a grant?

Yes. An applicant may form partnerships with other eligible institutions if such collaborations will contribute to achieving the goals of the grant project. However, one eligible organization must be designated as the prime recipient of funding. That organization will be responsible for all reporting, accounting and other legal obligations.

Do grant applicants need to have experience implementing donor-funded projects?

No. Experience implementing donor-funded projects will be considered positively. However, lack of such experience will not be a disadvantage.

If my organization received a grant from USAID's Small Grants and Ambassador's Fund Program (SGAFP), may we apply for an AFGP grant?

Yes. Getting funds from other USAID programs, including the SGAFP, does not make an applicant ineligible to apply for a grant from the AFGP. However, the grant application should be for a new project that has not been previously funded.

If my organization was legally registered very recently, may we apply for a grant?

Yes. There is no requirement about the number of years an organization has been registered. Applications will be assessed based on the strength of the technical application and capacity of the organization and project staff. However, the AFGP will conduct pre-award assessments of the capacities of all potential grantees to ensure that they have the systems in place to manage the proposed activities and grant funds competently and transparently.

Ineligible Activities and Commodities

Will the AFGP fund an ongoing project or activity?

No, the AFGP will not fund an existing or ongoing project.

What kinds of activities are not eligible (ineligible) for a grant?

The following kinds of activities cannot be funded under an AFGP grant:

  • Construction, alteration, or repair (including dredging and excavation) of buildings, structures, or other real property, including, without limitation, improvements, renovation, alteration and refurbishment. The term “construction” includes, without limitation, roads, power plants, buildings, bridges, water treatment facilities, and vertical structures.
  • Partisan activities or those that encourage or support sectarian, linguistic, religious, gender, ethnic, racial or other divisions
  • International travel
  • Activities that violate any Pakistani law
  • In general, agricultural production activities are not eligible. However, grant projects may include small cottage agro-processing activities.

What kinds of items cannot be purchased with AFGP funds?

The following kinds of commodities cannot be funded under an AFGP grant:

 

  • Military equipment
  • Surveillance equipment
  • Commodities and services for support of police and other law enforcement activities
  • Abortion equipment and services
  • Luxury goods
  • Gambling equipment
  • Weather modification equipment

 

The following kinds of commodities are significantly restricted and discouraged for funding under an AFGP grant:

 

  • Agricultural commodities
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Contraceptive products and services
  • Motor vehicles

Used equipment

Grant Selection and Grant Management

How much time does the grant application approval process take?

Approval of a grant application for funding is likely to take 6-12 months.

Can an organization get another grant after successful completion of a grant?

No. One organization can receive only one grant during the life of the AFGP.

Does an AFGP grantee have to publicize the fact that the funding comes from USAID?

Yes. The AFGP has specific “branding and marking” requirements which are binding on all successful applicants. These requirements are part of the obligations in each grant agreement. No waiver of these requirements is possible for any AFGP grant.

What happens if the grant funds are not fully spent by the end of the grant period?

Grant funds that have not been spent by the end of the grant agreement period will not be disbursed to the grantee.

Can a grant be extended for a longer period of time?

No. Grantees must complete the activities in the agreed period of time. Only in extraordinary circumstances, the AFGP might consider the possibility of a time extension.

Grant Reporting and Monitoring

What are the grantee reporting requirements?

Grantees are required to submit monthly and final reports about grant activity progress. Funds will not be disbursed to grantees until reports and other deliverables are submitted to the AFGP.

Will the AFGP visit the project location to monitor implementation of activities?

Yes. AFGP staff will visit all grant project locations to monitor progress.

Is there any role of the Government in monitoring AFGP grant projects?

No, the Government of Pakistan does not have any direct role in the AFGP process of monitoring grant projects.

Financial Integrity and Compliance

What is a 'cost share'?

A cost share is not mandatory for AFGP grant applicants. “Cost share” means the applicant’s contribution (in cash or kind) to the grant project. Examples include personnel and infrastructure costs that are not included in the budget requested from the AFGP.

Does the grantee need to have a bank account?

Yes. All grant applicants must have a bank account.

Will grantees receive any training in financial management and compliance with USAID rules and regulations?

Yes. All grantees will receive training and ongoing support to ensure the integrity of financial management and compliance with all relevant USAID rules and regulations.

Can the grant funds be used for anything other than approved grant project activities?

No. USAID funds must be used only for approved project activities as per the signed grant agreement. Any grantee that uses USAID funds for any non-approved purpose will return or forfeit funds for the disallowed costs.

What are the consequences of fraud, corruption, embezzlement or misappropriation of grant funds by the grantee?

The AFGP reserves the right to terminate the grant agreement. In addition, the AFGP may take other legal action as deemed appropriate.

Will the AFGP audit grant projects?

Yes. The AFGP may conduct a financial audit of the project at any stage, either internally or through a Chartered Accountant Auditing Firm.