Frequently Asked Questions: From knowledge to climate-resilient action in African countries

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Frequently Asked Questions: From knowledge to climate-resilient action in African countries

CDKN is pleased to announce a call for concept notes under the programme’s new five-year phase (2022-27). The ‘knowledge-to-action’ call will provide grants to projects led by African organisations that mobilise Indigenous and local knowledge to support locally-led and inclusive climate-resilient action in Africa.

Please find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions below:

   1. Where do I find the online application form?

To access the online form, you need to sign up here and create a password. A registration number will then be sent to the email you used to sign up. Take note of this registration number, as you will need it to log in. Anyone with the registration number and the password that you created can then log in using this link, and edit the application.

   2. What if I have internet difficulties and cannot complete the online form?

Should you not be able to complete the application online, copies of the English and French application forms can be downloaded, completed, and emailed to in PDF format by the deadline. If you anticipate problems related to internet connectivity that will affect submitting by the deadline, please alert us at least one week before the submission date.

   3. Can a third party complete my application form?

Concept notes completed by those who will be delivering the work will be given preference. As such we have included a declaration in the application form.

   4. I am still having problems completing the application form. Where can I find more information on how to do this?

An information session was held on the 13th of April. The recording for the information session is available at this link. The English powerpoint is available here and the French powerpoint is available here.

   5. There is no submit button on the online application. How do I submit?

See the screenshot below:

K2A Screenshot

   6. What is meant by “local knowledge”, “Locally-led” and “Indigenous knowledge”?

Please refer to the glossary in the call document.

   7. Can other types of knowledge be included in addition to Indigenous and local knowledge?

Yes. Projects can engage other knowledge types, such as academic evidence, but great care must be taken to ensure knowledge-to-action co-creation processes provide safe and inclusive spaces for various knowledge holders to come together in a way that respects the value and validity of each.

Link here to a useful CDKN essentials.

   8. What is meant by locally-led and inclusive climate-resilient action?

This is highly dependent on your context. However, locally-led projects have been defined as those where localities, communities, local groups, households and individuals have greater individual and collective agency to define, prioritise, design, monitor and evaluate climate-resilient actions, and work with higher levels to implement and deliver resilience solutions. Climate-resilient actions are those that support the capacity of social, economic and ecological systems to respond to the impacts of climate change.

Link here to a useful paper on Adapted from IIED’s definition of locally-led adaptation.

   9. If projects are aligned or relevant to climate change, but not directly climate change projects, do they qualify?

Projects must be clearly related to building climate resilience, through one or more of the CDKN themes stipulated in the call document.

   10. Gender equity and social inclusion is both an optional theme and one of the evaluation criteria. What is the difference?

Every project must integrate gender equity and social inclusion considerations in its design and propose a team that is inclusive and diverse. This will be assessed in the evaluation criteria “Gender equity and social inclusion”.

A  project may also choose to specifically focus on supporting gender equity and inclusion as one of the themes. 

   11. When should grant-funded activities finish?

As per the call document, we cannot fund project activities after October 2026.

   12. Can I apply in my native language?

While CDKN strives for linguistic inclusivity, applications can only be accepted in the following languages: English and French, as per the call document.

   13. Do I need a French speaker as part of my team? 

No. Your team will need to include either a French speaker OR an English speaker, but not both. 

   14. How proficient in English or French should at least one member of the team be?

Communications with the CDKN team will be in English or French. During these verbal and written communications, someone from the project team will need to describe the project activities in detail, as well as share the successes and learnings from the project.

   15. Which countries in Africa are eligible?
All countries in Africa are eligible. However, geographic diversity is important to us and as such we will endeavour to support no more than one project per country where possible.

​​​   16. The country where my project is located is considered a high risk country by IDRC. What does this imply for my concept? 

Projects from these countries are welcome to submit concept notes, and no additional information is required at concept note stage. Concept notes that progress to the proposal stage will be required to submit additional information about how they may mitigate political, conflict, or operational-related risks in their country. 

   17. Can local governments, private businesses, start-ups or faith-based organisations apply?
Yes, we are open to many different types of organisations applying. We also welcome collaborations between different organisations. 

   18. Our organization is internationally headquartered, but has country offices registered in an African country(ies). Are we eligible to apply?
Yes, you are eligible if the Africa-based office leads the application. You will also need to motivate how the project is African-led in the concept note. 

   19. Can I partner with an organisation based outside of Africa?
Yes, although preference will be given to partnerships between organisations based in the Global south, ie. not with European or American-based organisations. The consortium lead must be an African or Africa-based organisation. 

   20. How many organisations can be part of a concept note?
A single organisation can apply for a concept note. At the same time, there is no limit to how many organisations can be part of a concept note.

  21. Can an organisation submit more than one concept note?

Yes. An organisation can submit a maximum of two concept notes as a lead organisation. An organisation may apply as a partner organisation on multiple applications.

   22. Can a concept note be submitted by a consortium of organisations based in different countries?

A group of organisations based in different African countries can implement a project. However, the project must have only one lead organisation responsible for contracting with SouthSouthNorth, and managing project administration and reporting.

   23. What is the difference between an African organisation and an Africa-based organisation? 

An African organisation is one that is founded in and led from Africa. An Africa-based organisation is one with a presence in an African country, but with headquarters elsewhere.

   24. What is SouthSouthNorth?

SouthSouthNorth is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa (see website here) and leads the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) Africa and global programme. SouthSouthNorth will be the contracting organisation and not CDKN.

   25. Which expenses are eligible and which are ineligible? Specifically, will CDKN fund infrastructure and equipment?

There are no ineligible expenses. However, we generally do not fund major equipment and infrastructure expenses, although these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

All expenses budgeted for should be closely related to activities described in the project methodology section.

   26. Is the USD 150,000 budget cap spread over three years or per year? 

The USD 150,000 budget is spread over three years. 

   27. What is included in indirect costs?
Projects can budget for indirect costs up to a maximum of 13% of the total project budget. Indirect costs include expenses incurred by the organisation that are not directly related to delivering the project, such as rent or electricity.