Shifting aid priorities and shrinking budgets have forced many donors in Kosovo to close their grant programs or decrease funding for non-governmental organizations. Other donors have funds available, but have difficult application procedures and/or only give sizeable grants. Women’s groups with limited full-time human resources and English language skills face difficulties obtaining funding for their important initiatives towards gender equality and women’s rights.
Therefore, the Kosova Women’s Network (KWN) in close consultation with its members and supported by Kvinna till Kvinna established a Kosovo Women’s Fund in 2012. The Fund provides small grants for women’s organizations that lack access to other sources of funding and that seek to further women’s rights, particularly among rural and/or marginalized groups.
In 2015, the Kosovo Women’s Fund is receiving support from the Austrian Development Agency and Europian Union.
KWN also provides capacity development opportunities for grant recipients, as well as other member organizations, in grant-writing, project cycle management, and financial management, furthering their capacities to apply for funding from other donors in the future.
Click here to read about grant recipients' work.
Towards a rights-based approach and towards supporting more sustainable changes, KWN will only support initiatives that involve advocacy. Just as some examples, this could perhaps include:
- Gathering women and involving them in advocating for recently elected municipal officials to better meet women’s priorities within their communities.
- Advocating to banks for improved interest rates for small loans to women.
- Advocating for specific institutions to consider gender when creating their annual budgets, including increasing expenditures for budget lines that will contribute to furthering gender equality.
- Involving women (and men) in the community in advocating for the municipality to provide free transportation to all children for obligatory education.
- Advocating to local and national institutions to provide health services that are included in their strategies and action plans.
- Monitoring the work of relevant institutions at the local level and advocating for them to further implement their responsibilities according to the laws and strategies relating to trafficking and domestic violence.
- Assisting women in advocating for and claiming their right to property and inheritance, including by raising awareness of their family members.
- Advocating for agricultural subsidies for women farmers.
Please read the Request for Applications for more information.
In order to apply, organizations must fulfill the following criteria:
- Be an official KWN member;
- Plan and implement activities in accordance with their own organizational strategy;
- Undertake activities that contribute to at least one strategic objective in KWN’s Strategic Plan, which include:
- Strengthening the capacities of KWN and its members;
- Furthering women’s participation in politics and decision - making;
- Improving women’s access to quality healthcare;
- Combating domestic violence and trafficking; and/or
- Advocation to empower women economically
The Grant Review Committee will prioritize funding for initiatives that involve advocacy, towards bringing about sustainable changes in supporting, protecting, or promoting women’s rights and gender equality at municipal and/or national levels.
- Reach grassroots and/or marginalized persons and groups; and
- Lack other opportunities to secure funds from donors.
How the Fund Works
The Grant Review Committee meets three times per year to decide whether grant proposals meet the aforementioned criteria and to award grants based on this criteria. The deadline for submitting proposals is published on the KWN website and KWN members are informed about upcoming deadlines via email.
The process of reviewing proposals will take 30 days. The Grant Selection Committee will take one month after the grant proposal submission deadline to examine proposals and to inform members which projects will receive grants. If the project is not approved, the Grant Selection Committee shall give feedback to help the organization write better project proposals in the future. If an organization does not receive a grant when it first applies, it can apply again in the next call for proposals with a revised application.
All KWN members will be informed via the KWN website about grants awarded, their purpose, and amount. Organizations should send only one application form when they apply for grants. If an organization receives a grant, they may not apply for another grant during the same year.
Grant Review Committee
KWN members will elect the new Grant Review Committee members at their February bimonthly meeting.