June 10, 2021

Voices for Climate Action Programme | Call for Proposals (Zambia)

Issuance date: Tuesday, June 01, 2021 
Deadline for submission of Proposals: Monday, June 25, 2021 
Funding Type: Sub-grant 
Project Size: Up to €80,000 annually 

Climate change is considered to be the biggest threat to the modern world. The mean global  temperature has increased by +1.3 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline with  increasingly frequent and extreme climatic events, threatening to drive another 100 million people  into poverty by 2030. Climate change is a “crisis multiplier” with effects on poverty, ecosystems  and water, food and energy security. The Covid-19 pandemic may further exacerbate climate  change impacts, resulting in significant backsliding against the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Like many countries around the world, Zambia is also facing the effects of climate change.  Between 2004 and 2014, Zambia was one of the world’s fastest growing economies with Gross  Domestic Product (GDP) growth averaging 6.7% per annum. Growth slowed to an average 3.4%  per annum from 2015 to 2017, due to falling copper prices, reduction in the country’s power  generation, and depreciation of the kwacha. The adverse impact of the COVID–19 pandemic  further led the economy into a deep recession with real GDP contracting by about 4.9% in 2020.  Half of Zambians, the majority being women and young people, still live in poverty, a situation  worsened by the slump in economic growth and rising inequalities in recent years. High poverty  levels have fueled the unsustainable use of natural resources, which the rural and urban poor  depend on for their food, water and energy security. The unsustainable exploitation of natural  resources has exacerbated the impacts of climate change, while financing systems for climate  action remain weak. Climate change is taking a toll on Zambia in many ways. The increasing  incidents of droughts, floods, rising temperature, heat waves and wildfires have led to energy  shortages, crop failure, water insecurity, collapse in fish stocks, increased health risk, pressure on ecosystems, among others. There has never been a greater urgency for Zambia to work in  new ways to fight against the climate crisis. Climate change is not a remote prospect, it is a crisis  now! 

Voices for Climate Action 
The Voices for Climate Action (VCA) is a 5-year programme (2021-2025) supported by the Dutch  government under the “Power of Voices” framework. The programme aims to scale up Zambia  climate action response targeting vulnerable communities. This action recognizes that climate  change is not only an environmental problem but also a societal challenge that brings in ethical  and human rights issues. Climate change affects the enjoyment of indivisible, interdependent and  interrelated human rights, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest and threatening to increase  existing inequalities between the rich and poor, ethnicities, sexes, generations and communities.  The greatest burden falls on those already in poverty and on underrepresented groups such as  Indigenous peoples, the rural and urban poor, women and youth, although they are the least  responsible for climate change. 

We are at a critical stage, not only in our fight against the climate crisis, but also in addressing  the economic and social challenges to transform our societies in a sustainable, just and inclusive  manner. VCA therefore seeks to drive locally-shaped solutions to climate change challenges by  empowering local civil society groups and citizens to have their voices heard and be advocates  and co-creators in finding solutions. Civil society needs to engage and especially amplify the voices of those who have been left at the margins of decision making and climate action to  influence climate change policies. Business as usual approach to climate action will no longer  suffice and is no longer appropriate. 

Vision: A Zambia where civil society is heard & respected by influencing & co-creating locally  relevant, inclusive and fundable climate solutions that deliver real benefits to people & nature as  part of a local & global response to this crisis. 

Partners: The programme is being implemented through an Alliance of five partners consisting  of WWF Zambia, Hivos Southern Africa, Akina Mama wa Afrika, South South North (SSN) and  Slum Dwellers International (SDI). 

Focus Areas/Districts -: VCA will operate in the Lower Kafue Basin and Lusaka Province regions  across 10 Districts namely; Luangwa, Rufunsa, Chongwe, Lusaka, Kafue, Chirundu, Siavonga, Chikankata, Mazabuka and Itezhi Tezhi. 

The Lower Kafue basin, located 50km from Lusaka city, is directly linked to the climate resilience  of the Lusaka province. It provides 50% of Zambia’s national hydroelectricity supply, 46% of  Lusaka’s water supply, supports the livelihoods of more than 900,000 people (esp. cattle  ranchers), a hub for sugar cane production, sustains vital ecological systems, and hosts one of  Zambia’s most productive wild fisheries, supplying both urban and rural markets with an annual  estimated value of US $30 million.

A healthy and sustainable Lower Kafue landscape is therefore an important lifeline for the city of  Lusaka. The realization of this clear link between these two areas is our driver for change. A  healthy functioning Lower Kafue and Lusaka is not lost yet. There is an opportunity to turn the  tide and redirect developments in the region towards ecological and economic sound investment  propositions for a greater climate resilient Zambia. 

Target Groups: the target group of the VCA intervention in Zambia is centered around those who  are most vulnerable to climate change impacts: women, youth, urban poor, rural communities,  and marginalized groups. Women, young people and other marginalized groups often have critical  perspectives on power structures and alternative approaches to the climate crisis. This Alliance  sees harnessing these diverse perspectives, alternative approaches and women’s leadership as  key to ensure the voices of marginalized groups are heard. 

Thematic Areas: VCA will target five key thematic areas; water, food, energy, health and gender  in relation to climate change. These thematic areas will thus form the basis of our climate action  which is focused on advocacy while emphasizing a rights-based and intersectionality approach  to amplify civil society voices in climate action. 

Strengthening the resilience of natural freshwater and critical human water systems to  reduce risks for communities facing high water stress, inadequate water quality, and  impacted by floods and droughts 

Innovative food system approaches to improve access to sustainable, diverse, and  nutritious food and ensure food security. Sustainable agriculture which addresses the  threat to livelihoods and food and nutrition security through crop failures resulting from  climate impacts 

Strengthening energy security of Zambians in the face of energy shortages as  hydroelectric power is exposed to the variability of rainy seasons. Addressing the  unsustainable use of natural resources resulting in deforestation as the rural and urban  poor continue to depend on wood fuel for energy 

Strengthening the capacity of urban poor communities to cope with climate-related  hazards resulting from poor access to sanitation and drinking water, inadequate solid  waste management and insufficient infrastructure for water and sanitation which leads to  disease outbreaks, particularly during flooding episodes 

Strengthening the feminist and transformational leadership capacity of CSOs, women’s  networks and youth groups to amplify their voices for inclusive, rights based and just  climate transition. Recognizing that the socio-economic and political challenges that  communities face are interlinked and therefore, that the solutions to emerging challenges such as the climate crisis require an intersectional approach for the overall scaling of  climate solutions, especially for women.  

VCA Strategies: 

● Strong lobby and advocacy and movement building efforts for inclusive, locally led nature  based and climate adaptation solutions. Through a strong advocacy agenda, we aim to  influence system-level change as the right level of change 

● Strong focus on learning, learning questions and mutual capacity building throughout the  planning and implementation phases. An in-depth understanding of the context is  essential, and the theory of change will be used to show how and why the desired change  is expected to happen 

● Co-creation of real solutions on the ground to tackle the challenges around climate  focused on water-food-health-energy-gender 

● Adaptive management approach which will provide the flexibility for civil society partners  to adapt to changing circumstances and contexts 

● Linking and strengthening the re-defined narrative in the role of citizens in climate action  and amplifying grassroot voices through a climate movement building  

● Bridging divides (urban-rural, gender, youth) and linking actors through unusual and  innovative partnerships that amplify voices in new unusual ways 

● Innovation around improving transparency and accountability on climate change impacts  on communities 

● Knowledge Brokering and Management strategies for gathering, sharing and uptake, to  ensure that locally relevant and applicable information on climate action is accessible and  usable. This will include mapping key knowledge stakeholders and audiences, identify  opportunities for convening appropriate fora for knowledge exchange, tailoring appropriate  knowledge products to different target audiences, whether these are policy briefs, films,  animations, online tools, games or other innovative products 

● Local COVID-19 context and policies will be taken into account with appropriate  adaptation measures to program implementation to ensure safety for all 

Call for Proposals 
The Alliance welcomes proposals from organizations, collectives, and coalitions registered and  based in Zambia to partner in delivering the Voice for Climate Action program. These can be  grassroots-based organizations or national based organizations or umbrella bodies working  around climate change adaptation and advocacy especially with a focus on women, youth, urban  poor, rural communities, and marginalized groups. Partners will support the creation of multi stakeholder platforms to co-create, document and advocate for local solutions, linking and strengthening existing social and grassroots movements around climate action, Public-Private Community-Partnerships (PPCs) such as informal social audits by bringing the community,  particularly those most vulnerable, and duty bearers together on issues of climate change to  influence policy. 

The Alliance encourages applications from coalitions of local civil society actors (including formal  and informal CSOs, CBOs, FBOs, grassroots organizations, local climate action champions etc).  Coalitions should include unusual groups and bridge divides (national-local, urban-rural, gender,  youth), to amplify the voices for just climate action especially in relation to the following outcomes: 

● Local civil society and marginal groups capacity and collective action are strengthened for  an inclusive policy dialogue and leadership for climate solutions. 

● Powerful narrative and shared platform established to effectively amplify the voice of local  and national level civil society for just transition. 

● Locally-shaped climate solutions (including local food systems, decentralized renewable  energy, nature-based solutions, new financial schemes, technology innovation and  access, local knowledge and wisdom, governance of natural resources) are documented,  formally recognized and adopted. 

In this regard, we encourage proposals that seek to engage the following minoritized groups:  

∙ People with disabilities  

∙ Youth  

∙ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex People 

∙ Women and women groups 

∙ The elderly/senior citizens  

∙ Indigenous people and ethnic minorities 

We have a strong preference for projects that are designed from an intersectional point of view.  This means projects should aim to work with more than one of the above groups to address  overlapping vulnerabilities and/or forms of discrimination. 

Who is eligible to apply? 

● Locally registered non-profit Zambian organizations 

● Coalitions, networks, consortiums, and alliances with at least one locally registered non profit Zambian organization with sufficient operational and financial management  experience 

● Applicant with a clean human rights record 

● Applicant with track record on developing and advocating for locally shaped climate  solutions 

● Applicant with ability to link to and mobilize larger networks or capacity to access, mobilize,  convene, and influence power holders 

● It will be considered favorable if the coalitions/organizations: 

➢ Have prior experience carrying out activities in priority areas (water-food-energy health nexus). 

➢ Includes actors not traditionally working in climate justice issues, but that have  skills and tools which are relevant and/or scalable

➢ Reflects a diverse perspective and intersectionality approach which will enhance  participation and strengthen the wider climate justice movement and advocacy ➢ Led by or who work with women groups, youth, persons with disabilities, or other  marginalized groups. 

➢ Willing to collaborate with other actors to influence stronger impacts and to build  capacity over time and jointly develop and implement a capacity strengthening  plan. 

Evaluation Criteria 
Generally, applications will be assessed based on eligibility or threshold criteria (minimum  standards must be met), the quality of the proposal and the quality of the applicant organization  or lead party of the coalition. 

Specifically, the following criteria will be used during proposal review and selection: 

● Clear aim and objective: the proposal is instrumental and/or strategic in contributing to  VCA strategic interventions 

● Context analysis: the extent to which the proposal defines the problem and objective ● Rightsholder representation: the degree to which the organization involves, represents,  and potentially amplifies the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups and  communities 

● Advocacy and lobby: the degree to which the project potentially influences the  stakeholders to implement new procedures and policies, create new and unexpected  connections and practice 

● Innovation: the degree to which the project/coalition provides clear innovative methods to  enhance civil society participation in climate action 

● Knowledge brokering: how the project plans to use the available knowledge and package  relevant information in easily accessible formats, to reach key stakeholders to support  evidence-based decision-making for just climate action 

● Thematic focus and relevance: project addresses at least one of the thematic areas  (water-food-energy-health nexus) 

● Intersectionality approach: adopts a diverse, gender-equality and rights-based  perspective to climate action and advocacy 

● Regional presence: works in or able to work in the regions of interest: Lower Kafue Basin and Lusaka Province 

● Covid-19 context: clearly outlines covid-19 context and effective ways of working in light  of the pandemic 

Grant Value 
Grants will be awarded annually for the duration of the VCA programme (2021 – 2025) depending  on performance and availability of funds. Grants range up to 80,000 euros annually and  applications should be within this range. Applications should include a budget using the template  provided. 

Note: Grants will be awarded separately by respective Alliance members (WWF, Hivos, Akina  Mama wa Afrika, SSN and SDI) directly to selected partners, depending on the thematic area(s) chosen and applicant suitability. Grants will not be awarded collectively by the Alliance.  

Application deadline is 25 June 2021, 17:00 (Central African Time). 

To apply, submit completed Proposals to [email protected] . Find the proposal template here.
For further information, questions or clarifications, please contact [email protected]

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