The Local Cooperation Fund is a fund administered by the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria. The fund supports initiatives of local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), science and technology communities, universities and other educational and research institutions, independent media, public corporations and cultural institutions (e.g. museums, libraries and theatres), chambers of commerce and commercial associations, organisations in the area of export and investment promotion, businesses, cooperatives, interest groups of companies and employees, foundations and religious organisations.
LCF is part of the Finnish worldwide development cooperation, which aims at strengthening international stability, security, peace, justice and sustainable development, as well as promoting the rule of law, democracy and human rights. LCF plays a complimentary role to the Finnish cooperation programme in Southern Africa, that of deepening partnerships in the country, as well as in the region. Finland purses development policy and cooperation that yields sustainable results, with a positive long term impact on society.
LCF projects are meant to strengthen the capacity of civil society and its actors in the host country. In addition, support is provided for institutional and private sector actors, in the framework of projects with a verifiable impact on development. LCF also serves as a tool for the Embassy to widen its contacts, through strategic partners, as well as take into account public diplomacy.
The Finnish development policy and development cooperation pursue a human rights-based approach to development. Its aim is that everyone, including the poorest people, know their rights and are able to act for them. The priority areas of the Finnish development policy from 2012 are:
The three cross-cutting objectives highlighted here should underpin any activities or projects: gender equality, reduction of inequality and climate sustainability. Activities are designed on basis of partner countries needs, Finnish expertise and strengths, as well as on the basis of the global division of labour in the development community.
1. SOCIAL INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The first theme is about tackling social or environmental problems through inclusive, market-based approaches; promoting innovation for social impact and environmental sustainability. We can support projects that look at these issues through developing the enabling environment, or through developing new innovations; i.e. products or services. Utilization or development of new technologies, for example ICT is encouraged to be combined with strong social, environmental and economic perspectives. Examples can include:
Special focus will be put on projects that deal with youth unemployment or skills shortages. Links or partnerships with Finnish partners are also encouraged.
2. STRONG CIVIL SOCIETY IN OVERSIGHT ROLE
The second theme focuses on empowering the civil society to act for human rights, good and accountable governance and vibrant democracy. Corruption and misuses of funds prevent the achievement of development and realization of human rights. Through enforced transparency, communities can, for example, act against corrupt decisions and plans which are not in their interest. Funded projects can for example aim at:
Support can also be applied for projects dealing with election support or observation work related to the rule of law -sector.
3. SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Access to justice remains an important field, given the history of South Africa. Problems include the lack of knowledge of individual rights and difficult access to services. Disabled people /children are often found most vulnerable in the poor communities and have a difficulty to realize their rights. LCF supports both livelihood and human rights programmes, in addition to assisting with activities of policy formulation and oversight, when it comes to regional bodies and governmental interaction. The aim is to reduce widely entrenched violence against women, children, adolescents and LGBTI people and also to facilitate the realization of other rights (for example, promoting sexual rights of minorities and other vulnerable groups). Programs should promote equal treatment of all citizens, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Projects can aim at:
Please note that applications for concept note is now closed (Fri 14.12.2012). No applications will be accepted until further notice!
Embassy of Finland, LCF
PO Box 443, Pretoria 0001
Phone: 012 343 0275
Fax: 012 343 3095
OR Email and further enquiries
Ms. Tsakane Bok