Voices for Climate Change Action Programme – Call for Proposals
Lusaka, Zambia Salary: Closes: June 25, 2021
Voices for Climate Action Programme | Call for Proposals
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.
● 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
· 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.
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
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 and submission Timelines
Date & Item
June 01, 2021
Issuance of ‘Call for Proposals’
June 25, 2021
Deadline for submission of Proposals
June 26 – July 2, 2021
Assessment of Proposals
July 5 – July 9, 2021
Successful applicants are notified
July 12 – July 15, 2021
Due diligence, including operational and financial management, integrity and governance, human rights
July 16, 2021
Signing of contracts
Application deadline is 25 June 2021, 17:00 (Central African Time).
Kindly request for the proposal template, budget template and work plan template from firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed Proposals should be submitted to email@example.com.
For further information, questions or clarifications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org