Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects
20 January 2017
The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?
The ERRC is supporting projects that we, Roma, will lead in 2017 to enable us to use the courts and our legal rights to achieve our goals. These projects will take a more “grassroots” approach to law and legal rights: putting lawyers and the law at the service of our communities, to give us the chance to see how we can use the law to further our own communities’ goals. The ERRC does not only want to provide funds but also wants to make its lawyers and other staff available to us to make our projects a success. The ERRC also believes that this kind of grassroots work can produce outcomes in court that are as game-changing, or even more game-changing, as the so-called “elite” cases designed from Budapest. Through these projects, we might change the way ERRC approaches its legal work altogether.
Eligible countries: The ERRC can only support projects in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and/or Turkey. But given that the ERRC has limited funds, they will only wind up supporting projects in two or three of these countries.
Budget: The ERRC has enough funding to support two or three projects with budgets between €20,000 and €50,000 each.
Timing: The projects must take place in 2017.
Other eligibility criteria: Applicants must be legally constituted non-government organisations capable of receiving grants and reporting on how funds are spent.
Application process: Please send the following two documents by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17 February 2017. The ERRC expects to make a decision by mid-March.
Narrative application. This should be a Word document in English. Don’t worry about writing in perfect English – the ERRC is not judging us on the quality of our writing, but on our vision and whether we can make it happen. We should answer the following questions in those five pages:
- Who are we, where are we located, what do we do in our community, and what is our track record?
- How many people are in our community, what are our community’s biggest problems, and how is our community suitable for a project like this?
- What is our vision for this project? How do we hope to change our community through this project? Are there any risks if we fail (or succeed)?
- Who is going to work with us? In particular, how will we involve local lawyers and/or the ERRC’s lawyers? Our own staff? Other community members?
- Do we have the capacity to carry this out? Have we carried out projects like this in the past? Please keep in mind that, because of its own accounting rules, the ERRC will need a detailed financial report in the end with evidence of how the money was spent, so we will need to spend some time on administration.
- How can we use the nine months of the project to create something with the potential to be sustainable?
Budget. This should be an Excel or Word document in English with at least four columns:
- description of expense (e.g. “legal fees”, “staff salaries”, or other category);
- amount (in EUR and, optionally, local currency – stating source and date of exchange rate used for currency conversions);
- detail of amount calculation (e.g. “retainer for local lawyer to work with us x hours a week at y EUR per hour” or “30% of staff time for 2 months”);
- evidence to be produced (e.g. “contracts and invoices from lawyer”, “staff payslips”).
The budget should be as detailed as possible, and please note that you should not put more than 10% of the total project cost into a single “indirect costs” (i.e. overheads) category.