Main content

  • Grant

    Sudden Opportunity Grant

  • Target Groups

    • Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities.
    • Age-discriminated vulnerable groups, notably the young and the elderly
    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people
    • People living with disabilities
    • Women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence
  • Grant amount

    5,000 - 200,000 Euro

    Project duration

    6 - 12 Months

    Closing date

    31 Dec 2018
  • About

    Are you a global or regional coalition or network that is led by one of Voice’s target groups?

    Do you see a sudden and unanticipated opportunity to undertake joint action to influence global and/or regional bodies for your cause?

    Is there a sudden threat to civic space at regional or global level that could have a ripple effect on your access to (productive) resources and employment, access to social services, or your space for political participation?

    Is there a regional or global opportunity for strategic advocacy or litigation, coordination of collective action that can lead to change in legal decision, policy/laws, a shift in public attitudes and practices?

    Will this collective action challenge discrimination, promote equal access and opportunities, enhance social well-being or development?

    If you answered “yes” to any or all of the questions above, then consider applying to this Call for Proposals.

    Please note that this Sudden Opportunity needs to impact at least two countries but preferably a region (such as a regional economic commission) or beyond (such as the African Union or ASEAN). For single country Sudden Opportunity grants please see the open Calls for Proposals.

    This grant is available from Euro 5,000 to Euro 200,000 for an intervention that will last between 6 and 12 months.

    What do we wish to fund?

    This Call for Proposals will help Voice meet its objectives, funding projects that focus on the following target groups:

    • Women facing exploitation, abuse and/or violence,
    • People with Disabilities,
    • Age-discriminated (youth and elderly),
    • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and
    • Indigenous People and Ethnic Minorities.

    Often the most marginalised and discriminated are those who may be vulnerable due to multiple reasons. Therefore, Voice has a strong preference for projects that intend to work with more than one target group to address overlapping vulnerabilities. We also pay special attention to groups that are underrepresented in the Voice grant portfolio such as LGBTI in the West African region.

    Your project can look at any or all of the following themes:

    • Improved access to (productive) resources (finance, land and water) and employment,
    • Improved access to social services, health and education in particular, and
    • Space for political participation

    We are seeking to support unanticipated opportunities that are multi-country or regional. This may mean that your Sudden Opportunity focuses on influencing political bodies (such as the African Union, ASEAN and the East Africa Community) or specialised regional institutions and forums (such as the Africa Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and ECOWAS).  Your project could also interact with mechanisms designed to enable influence and advocacy of vulnerable groups where a sudden opportunity has arisen such as the
African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and the reporting mechanisms of various treaties (for example; the Universal Periodic Review, National Reviews of the Sustainable Development Goals, Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)).

    Proposals that focus on the interaction between national and regional/global influencing are of particular interest to Voice.

    But foremost the opportunity must be sudden and unanticipated. We are open to supporting individual legal and protection costs as long as they are one component of a larger collective campaign rather than a stand alone activity. If the latter is the case we refer you to some guidelines and a handy list from Civicus

    Who do we wish to fund?

    Applications are being accepted where the coalition or network (or lead applicant if you are applying in consortia) is registered in either Africa or Asia and at least one of the consortia members operates in at least  one but preferably more of the ten Voice focus countries.[1]

    The only exception to the above is if the grant cannot be led by a network or coalition based in Africa or Asia due to the nature of the proposed project presenting additional security or safety risks. In this case Voice allows an application led by a coalition or network outside of Africa and Asia (but still implemented in close collaboration with local groups, taking security and safety into account).

    The lead party, coalition or network must be a legally registered not-for-profit civil society with an operational bank account in the applicant’s name.

    The coalition, network or consortia must be target group-led.  This means that the target group that you purport to represent governs and manages the organisation and the principle of Nothing About Us Without Us guide the work.

    What we won’t fund:

    • Consortium Partners of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation “Dialogue and Dissent” Strategic Partnership.[2]
    • Networks, coalitions or consortia with an annual turnover of over €2 million.
    • An application where the grants awarded from Voice are more than 40% for of the total annual income of the applicant organisation. The way to calculate this is to divide the requested amount by the annual income. If the result of this calculation is over 40% you can either reduce the requested amount or team up as part of a consortium where you can add up the budgets
    • Funding of commercial services, investment or other commercial activities.

    Please take our eligibility test available in the next tab to make sure that you qualify for the grant.

    [1] Voice targets the most marginalised and discriminated groups in Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos and Cambodia

    [2] For a full listing of Consortium Partners of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation “Dialogue and Dissent” Strategic Partnership, please refer to


  • How to apply?

    Please follow these steps:

    1. Take the eligibility test available on the next tab to assess whether you are eligible.
    2. If you have passed the eligibility test, you need to send an Email to to describe your collective action in 1 to 2 paragraphs. In this Email you need to describe what the sudden opportunity is, the actions you intend to take, the actors undertaking the collective action, the amount needed and the duration.

    If the collective action meets the criteria of the grant, Voice will contact you to discuss further and send you an application form to complete.  Once the application form has been submitted via Smartsheets, we aim to make decisions within 4 weeks after application. Projects that are rewarded with funding must be implemented within 6-12 months after approval of the application.

    Please Note: Sudden Opportunity Grants must be implemented by a collective of CSOs, consortium and/or network as the nature of this grant requires collective action.

    What if you have questions about the process?

    Questions about this grant and other open grants may be submitted by email. Potential Applicants are encouraged to seek further guidance and can send questions by email to:   We also strongly encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions containing a wealth of information on eligibility, budgets and assessment process. If your question hasn’t been responded to please write the Email address above. We also encourage you to look at the Voice grantees’ page for an overview of what kind of projects Voice funds.

  • Eligibility Test


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