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Response Fund

Introduction and Background

The AAWAZ programme is a five-year Voice and Accountability programme in Pakistan to strengthen civil society, funded by DFID and managed by DAI and partners which include leading civil society organizations of Pakistan. The programme focuses on democratic processes in Pakistan and ways of making them more open, inclusive and accountable to citizens. 

What is Response Fund

The Response Fund is a strategic grants mechanism instrument which is to support proposals of a diverse nature, covering the fields of research as well as advocacy, to strengthen voice and accountability processes and meet the new and emerging research needs of the AAWAZ programme. This fund, comprising short-term grants, is exclusively meant to support innovative research and advocacy initiatives around AAWAZ themes, which will add significantly to the body of knowledge on AAWAZ themes, further the impact of the project, and/or raise awareness of relevant issues in a wider audience.  The Response Fund is recognition of the fact that socio-political processes of a society are always subject to change, and programs such as AAWAZ need to take a flexible and innovative approach to get key messages out.


Funding innovative research on AAWAZ themes, or communications and advocacy instruments are one way to ensure that the AAWAZ message goes out to a wider audience.  In addition, the Fund is also meant to be utilized to identify gaps or interventions in the programme implementation process, fill those gaps, fathom the success of the programme, and map the extent to which the programme is being impacted by any seen or unseen factor(s).  The Fund can thus also be used to generate new evidences, develop and disseminate new knowledge and to strengthen the process of accountability, ensuring greater direct engagement of the people with politicians and policy makers.

The Fund is supporting proposals able to demonstrate novelty, diversity and strong capability to handle the research and advocacy/communications initiatives and ensure that their findings or results strengthen voice and accountability mechanisms.  The Fund can also be used to consolidate different AAWAZ themes in the form of one overarching product, which could have a large-scale impact, and send the AAWAZ messages through to a national or even international audience. 


The Response Fund provides leeway to engage wider civil society networks and organizations, media and communications experts, film makers and socially aware persons engaged in the entertainment business, specialized research institutions, and sector experts andactivists who can affiliate with registered entities.   It provides an opportunity for such organisations, which may not otherwise have the means to put forward their ideas, to tap into a resource that enables them to do quality work in their field of choice.


The fund is managed by Strategic Learning Unit (SLU), a knowledge management centre within AAWAZ. The unit, being primarily responsible to collate, interpret data and identify implementation gaps or the need to generate new evidences or develop knowledge, is well placed to assess the proposals and establish their linkage with the overall AAWAZ themes of greater women’s political participation, service delivery, conflict resolution and social cohesion. 


The fund is governed in accordance with parameters defined in the Response Fund Manual.


Application process

In this round, the specific themes under which projects have to be developed to be eligible for Response Fund support are the following: 

  • Community based initiatives for pre-emption of conflict and/or violence against women;
  • Fostering inclusion of differently abled (or disabled) persons;
  • Demonstration of innovative approaches in service delivery for health and education;

Minimum Eligibility Criteria for Fund Applicants


The following kinds of institutions/entities can submit applications for grants:

  • Educational institutions
  • Institutions working in the arts, including the entertainment industry
  • Academic, research or policy institutions
  • Media, including journalist’s organizations and production houses
  • Bar Associations
  • Trade Unions and professional associations
  • Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including:
    • Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
    • Community-based Organizations (CBOs)
    • Advocacy organizations, including coalitions and networks
    • Other not-for-profit institutions of any kind
    • Private sector institutions, including:
      • Firms and private limited companies
      • Partnerships and sole proprietorships

The above mentioned entities will be asked to comply with the following conditions/requirements:

For Local/National Non-Government not for profit organizations:

  • Legal Status - must be legally registered;
  • Sufficient outreach capacity in the designated geographic and programmatic area;
  • Documented evidence of utilization and management of grants funds;
  • Established systems for reporting mechanisms;
  • Experience of three tofive years,
  • Audited financial statements for last two years

For International Non-Government not for profit Organizations:

An international organization with a full-time presence and relationships in Pakistan could add value in some limited cases. Our goals include ensuring Value for Money, maximizing involvement and leadership by Pakistanis, and ensuring the fairness of grant competition. The International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs) can apply for the request for applications for grants, however, the grant applications will be required to conform to the following principles:

  • Grants/funds will not support any costs (direct or indirect) outside Pakistan.
  • All costs, including for operations and management, must be enumerated in detail in the budget.    
  • All funds will be paid in Pakistani Rupees to a project designated separate bank account in Pakistan.  
  • To be eligible to apply for grant/funds, an INGO must be legally registered in Pakistan and must have a registered office in Pakistan.
  • All grant applications from INGOs must include one or more signedMoUs with legally registered Pakistani organisation/s or entity/ies detailing the partnership for implementation of grant activities, capacity development of local partners, and plans for partners’ sustainability after the grant period.

For Non-Government for profit organisations:

For profit organisations must have;

  • Legal Status - must be legally registered;
  • Last three to five years continuous working experience;
  • Last two years audited financial statements;
  • Positive equity for last three years;
  • Quick ratio (current liabilities should not be more then 1:2 of the current assets);

Not in default of any financial institution and government institutions such as FBR and Registration Authorities.

For-profit international organisations may apply for grants, but may not include profit in grant/fund programme budgets.

The Proposal

The proposal is expected to have the following structure:

The grant application format may vary in accordance with the technical specifications and capacity of the potential grantee. Nonetheless, proposals should try to adhere to the following format for purposes of standardization:

  1. Technical Proposal
    1. Cover Letter ( including Executive Summary)
    2. Project Title
    3. Objectives: a statement on how the research findings/advocacy product will be helpful towards AAWAZ Objectives
    4. Detailed methodology (research methodology in case of report, technical and creative process in case of other product), explaining how each point in the TORs will be covered, and methodology of how the research/production process will be carried out and scope (geographical, extent of coverage or audience to be reached).  
    5. Detail of activities to be undertaken, and outputs. Organisational details such as articles of incorporation of NGO registration; organizational references including relevant past programme/activities undertaken and their donors
    6. Detailed work plan for activities with clear milestones and details of when each activity will be completed
    7. Outline of final report or framework of other product

Financial Proposal

  1.  Budget and narratives/notes for each budget item
  2. Statement of cost share (including applicant’s contribution in money or in kind); if necessary
  3. List of team members along with CVs and their roles in the project

The proposal must meet at least one of the programme activities/components and principles noted above. The proposal must contain expected outcomes and results consistent with and linked to overall programme objectives.

 Closing Date for submission of Proposals is December 4, 2015.

Application Form

Financial Proposal Template 

Technical Proposal Template

FAQ's Response Fund


AAWAZ is a DFID-funded, five-year Voice and Accountability programme to strengthen civil Society

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P: +92 51 831 1891 - 4,
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E: info@aawaz.org.pk
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