Applications Invited for Commonwealth Open grant

Applications Invited for Commonwealth Open grant

Organization: Commonwealth Foundation

Apply By: 23 Oct 2023

Grant Amount: 30000 Pound

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About the Organization

The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation established by Heads of Government in support of the belief that the Commonwealth is as much an association of peoples as it is of governments.

It is the Commonwealth agency for civil society; an organisation dedicated to strengthening people’s participation in all aspects of public dialogue, so they can act together and learn from each other to build democratic societies.

About the Grant

Every year, we offer grants of up to £30,000 for projects lasting up to two years to civil society organisations in the Commonwealth. We support projects that seek to facilitate constructive engagement between civil society and decision makers, including civil society participation in policy development and decision-making.

Applications must address one or more of our three priority themes and other funding considerations such as partnerships and exclusions. Suggested areas of focus under each theme and other important funding considerations are set out below:

Health Justice

Projects could support civil society to engage meaningfully with government on:

  • Universal health coverage
  • Realising the right to health: better availability, accessibility, quality, participation and accountability in health services and delivery
  • Programmes and policies that focus on social determinants of health as part of the inclusive right to health
  • Challenging systemic discrimination in health systems and promoting equitable access to health services for marginalised groups and those with special needs
  • Promoting the participation of marginalised groups and those with special needs in decision-making processes
  • Promoting health and well-being by combating communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Equitable access to essential medicines

Freedom of Expression

Projects could support civil society to engage meaningfully with government on:

  • Advancing a legal and regulatory environment that protects and upholds freedom of expression for all.
  • Advancing a legal and regulatory environment that promotes the freedom, growth, and vibrancy of civil society.
  • Promoting access to information and transparency in governance, including through a free and independent press, robust freedom of information laws and their practical application.
  • Advancing civil society engagement in national, regional and/or international mechanisms and processes to promote freedom of expression (e.g., national human rights institutions; Universal Periodic Reviews).
  • Promoting art and creativity as means of advocating for and raising awareness of freedom of expression.

Climate Justice

Projects could support civil society to engage meaningfully with government on:

  • Ensuring representation, inclusion, and protecting the rights of those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
  • Addressing the social, political, and economic root causes of climate injustice.
  • Strengthening the voices of those most affected by the climate crisis in multilateral and national spaces. 
  • Ensuring that the voice, agency, and leadership of young women and men are at the centre of policy discussions and decision-making at all levels.
  • Advocating for corrective justice for environmental harm, including compensation mechanisms, access to justice and effective remedy, and legal empowerment.
  • Ensuring accountability and effective remedy for human rights harms caused by climate change. 
  • Developing, reviewing, improving, and monitoring laws, policies and practices promoting climate justice. 
  • Exposing and addressing the factors that contribute to the increased vulnerability of social groups to the consequences of climate change.
  • Exposing and addressing negative social and distributional outcomes of climate change mitigation policies and/or encourage support for the development of pro-poor mitigation approaches.

Other important funding considerations

  • The Foundation’s three themes overlap and connect in myriad ways. For example, freedom of expression and protection of the free flow of information are critical to ensuring meaningful progress on health justice and climate justice.
  • Applicants are encouraged to explore the intersections between our three themes when developing their proposals and, where appropriate, to consider addressing more than one.

For example, a project could focus on using freedom of information legislation to ensure access to reliable information on the state of the environment or to promote government accountability in relation to climate laws and policies. Another project might focus on the links between climate change and health and how these can be addressed at the national level in ways that make a difference to vulnerable groups.


  • Only applications meeting the eligibility criteria will be considered.
  • The applicant must be a not-for-profit civil society organisation (CSO) registered in an eligible Commonwealth Foundation Member State.
  • Applicant organisations that are currently implementing, or that have recently completed, a Commonwealth Foundation Grant but have not received their final payment, are not eligible to apply to this grant call.

How to apply

The deadline for this year's call is 23 October 2023 1pm BST

Apply now

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