Reengagement with Small Grants Program Recipients

Published Date
February 29th, 2024
Close Date
April 30th, 2024
Award Ceiling
Award Floor
Opportunity No.


U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan (DOS-KAZ)

Eligible Applicants


Funding Category


Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement

Opportunity Category


Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement



The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan is seeking proposals for a program to monitor and evaluate the impact of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program in Kazakhstan. The program aims to support the development of democratic institutions and civil society by competitively awarding small grants to Kazakhstani nonprofit organizations, civil society organizations, and independent local media organizations. The selected implementer will conduct an evaluation of past grantee organizations and categorize the impact and lessons learned from implementing the small grants. Additionally, the program will facilitate networking and collaboration among former grantee organizations and provide mentorship and training opportunities for emerging civil society organizations. The deadline for submission is April 30, 2024. For more information, please refer to the Notice of Funding Opportunity on


A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Executive Summary: U.S. Mission Kazakhstan’s Public Diplomacy Sections (PDS) are pleased to announce a funding opportunity through the Mission’s Democracy Commission Small Grants Program (SGP). This program historically supported capacity building of democratic institutions and civil society in Kazakhstan by competitively awarding small grants to Kazakhstan’s nonprofit organizations and civil society. This year's focus will strive to measure and evaluate the impact of previous small grants awarded to independent NGOs and CSOs spanning the last 15 years. The second project focus is to help create a network of previous SGP grantees. This NOFO solicits proposals from organizations that will be able to deliver the program outcomes specified below. Organizations based in Kazakhstan with a proven M&E track record or a track record in data analysis and convening of networks are encouraged to apply. Applicants should pay close attention to the Public Diplomacy Section’s goals, priority program areas, target audiences, and monitoring & evaluation priorities when developing their proposals. Background: Since its inception in 2008, the Small Grants Program (SGP) of the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan has supported the development of a robust and healthy civil society in Kazakhstan. Through the provision of small grants, civil society organizations have been equipped to work effectively with local, regional, and national governments, leveraging their resources and influence to enact meaningful change. Furthermore, SGP initiatives have sparked widespread interest within the civic community, igniting conversations and fostering a sense of collective responsibility towards tackling common challenges. Projects funded through SGP encompass a wide array of critical issues, ranging from environmental sustainability and climate resilience to combating trafficking in persons, promoting alternative energy sources, and advocating for transparency in governance. These projects represent a diverse spectrum of concerns, reflecting the multifaceted nature of grassroots challenges. In line with our commitment to continuous improvement, the current funding opportunity will focus on monitoring and evaluation. By systematically assessing the impact of past projects, we aim to gain deeper insights into how these initiatives have influenced key issue areas. Understanding the effectiveness of past interventions is crucial for refining strategies and maximizing the program’s impact on Kazakhstan’s civil society in the future. The establishment of a network comprising SGP alumni organizations holds immense potential for fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange. By bringing together these diverse entities, we can leverage their collective expertise and resources to address grassroots issues more effectively. This collaborative approach not only enhances the sustainability of our efforts, but also cultivates a sense of cooperation and shared experiences among civil society organizations working towards common goals. Furthermore, such a network creates a mechanism for potential new SGP grant recipients to learn about U.S. Government programming and funding, as well as provide support for new SGP grantees. Project Goal: Strengthen civil society in Kazakhstan by understanding the impact of, and lessons learned from, the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program, and applying those lessons in the creation of a network of SGP recipients. To achieve the above goal, the implementer should conduct an evaluation to gauge the impact of, and lessons learned from, past Democracy Commission’s Small Grants Program (SGP) grants. The selected implementer will work with Mission Kazakhstan’s Public Diplomacy Sections to identify previous SGP grantee organizations and work with the points of contact to understand and categorize any impact and lessons learned from implementing the small grants. In addition, the implementer should have in its proposal a component that defines how the project will help SGP grantees network with one another, possibly in a capstone event as part of the networking opportunity. Please note: any developed products under this award must be published in English, Russian, and Kazakh languages. Project Audience(s): The primary beneficiaries of this initiative will be previous recipients of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program from 2008 to 2023. Several dozen Kazakhstan-based NGOs received funding through this program. Note: In cases where the NGOs may no longer exist, the Points of Contacts who implemented the SGP grants are the beneficiaries. As this is a cooperative agreement, it is envisioned that the implementer will closely work with the Mission’s Public Diplomacy Sections to work with previous SGP grantees. Project Objectives: Objective 1: Identify the broader impact of, and lessons learned from, Democracy Commission Small Grants Program grants on civil society over the past 15+ years through an external evaluation. Objective 2: Increase knowledge and awareness among former SGP grantees and emerging CSOs on evaluation findings, lessons learned, and best practices. Objective 3: Facilitate networking and collaboration between former SGP grantees in their various fields of expertise through networking events and mentorship opportunities. Objective 4: Equip emerging CSOs with skills to apply for funding opportunities through mentorship and training opportunities with SGP alumni. Expected Project Activities: 1. Track and Understand: Help research and establish contact with past recipients of SGP grants by conducting an external evaluation of past grantees in order to identify key findings, trends, and lessons learned regarding the impact of the Small Grants Program. Employ a mix of methodologies to include baseline survey designs, focus group discussions, and face-to-face and virtual meetings/events to gain insights into the current activities of these organizations and understand any impact of the Small Grants Program, culminating in the production of an M&E report. 2. Forge a Collaborative Network: Using data from the evaluation, identify and establish communication with at least 80% of past recipients of the Democracy Commission Small Grants program. In partnership with U.S. Mission Public Diplomacy Sections, orchestrate a series of five in-person workshops focused on resource management, advocacy, networking, collaboration, etc... in the five regions of Kazakhstan containing the highest concentration of currently active former Small Grants Program recipients in order to bring them together for networking and sharing of best practices. Establish an integrated network of previous recipients of the Small Grants Program to allow for communication, sharing of best practices, and collaboration among the former project beneficiaries. 3. Prepare the New Network of Experts as Mentors of Future SGP Grantees: Develop a manual or a training course in English, Kazakh and Russian languages on the application for SGP opportunities for fledgling NGOs, thereby enabling fledgling NGOs to be competitive for SGP opportunities in Kazakhstan. See all the requirements in the Related Documents field for the full text and required documents of Notice of Funding Opportunity.

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