Selavip annual cycle
Every year in May and July SELAVIP extends an open invitation to present projects aimed at improving shelter of poorest urban communities and families excluded who cannot access conventional programmes to solve their critical housing problems. Partners and friends all over the world collaborate in an active way with SELAVIP by publishing the “Call for Projects” on their websites and/or forwarding it to other agencies. That is why we can reach so many community organizations, NGOs, students and professionals working in the field of urban housing and community organization. The document that is published specifies basic conditions that proposals should meet to be eligible for SELAVIP funding. We also include a simple form to facilitate the presentation of projects and to make sure that we receive all basic information to fully understand the initiative. This information refers to 4 areas:
I. Background information;
II. Objectives and brief description of the project;
III. Eventual problems that could arise during the implementation or after that;
IV. Additional information about the organization.
Most initiatives are presented in a simple way but we can recognize that their implementation can be quite complex in order to meet their goals.
We invite groups working in developing countries, young professional and poor urban communities to send innovative projects and apply through our online application system. Only applications sent through this system will be reviewed and considered for funding. If applicants have extra documents which do not fit on the online application system, or have any further queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The formats are in English, French and Spanish
We usually receive over 100 projects responding to our call. Considering the resources available we have to select carefully those that can be funded. To enter the pre selection process each project has to comply with the following preconditions:
- It should be in line with our focus, that is, housing for the poorest of poor;
- Conditions mentioned in our Call cost of units and others should be met
- All information to understand the proposal is available.
- Projects that do not meet these initial requirements are excluded from the future pre selection process.
After this first screening we carefully study the content of each proposal to prepare a shortlist that will be presented to the Board
Each year in November some members of our operational unit travel to Belgium to present the pre-selected projects to our Board in Brussels. The Directors are informed about the background and characteristics of each project so they can decide the first list of those that will be funded during the next year.
The funds assigned for these selected projects can either cover the total amount requested in the proposal or a part of the original budget. Therefore SELAVIP immediately contacts each executing entity to verify that the project can be implemented with the funds that were assigned.
Once the feasibility of each project is confirmed a definitive list is prepared with all proposals that will be financed by SELAVIP during the following year.
Because of the limited resources available it is not possible to approve all projects, so many very good proposals, or those presented by groups who are doing a very important job to help the poor will not have access to funds that they need to keep on working. As each year more and more groups and communities are presenting initiatives that respond to different housing needs and priorities of the urban poor in cities of the developing world, it gets harder to select the best among so many good projects. That makes our task of selecting some of them even more difficult. We suggest that those who do not obtain funding should not be too disappointed and hopefully adjust or present their renewed proposal again in the future.
Based on the list of projects, the funds that were assigned and the original proposals we prepare a draft agreement for each selected project stating aspects that will determine the relation between SELAVIP and the executing agency, such as:
- Project objectives
- Expected results (quantitative and qualitative)
- Person in charge of implementing the project within the executing agency.
- Approval of funds: amount of funds expressed in US dollars that were approved by the SELAVIP Board and will be transferred by the financing Foundation Van der Rest Emsens.
- Transfers: total budget, matching funds coming from other donors, NGO, local authorities, community, etc.;
- Type of contribution: cash, building materials, labour, land, complementary investment or other items. Usually SELAVIP funds are provided to buy building materials, for we do not cover operational costs like professional and technical aid or administration. Preliminary activities that should be completed before transfers are requested are also described in detail.
- Technical and financial reports: contents of intermediate and final reports, documentation, files and graphical backup that will be sent to SELAVIP to inform about the implementation process and facilitate follow up.}
- Reference of SELAVIP: activities to be developed to inform direct beneficiaries and other relevant parties about the collaboration of SELAVIP and others during implementation. An active exchange by e-mail with local partners (including the beneficiaries) makes possible to adjust the draft agreement prepared by SELAVIP until all parties have reached consensus; then the definitive agreement is signed by the community, the executing entity and SELAVIP.
As described in the agreement, some activities need to be completed before the local partner can demand the transfer of funds. These activities usually comprise surveys, working plans, organization of families, training, formalization of matching funds, preparing on-site work and other preparatory actions.
The local agency informs SELAVIP as soon as preliminary activities are completed by sending an intermediate report that describes and documents the progress. Once this report is received, SELAVIP asks the funding agency (Foundation Van der Rest Emsens) to initiate the process of transfer of funds. This procedure can be repeated for next phases as stated in the agreement.
With the previous activities conducted and the report received by SELAVIP, we ask first transfer of funds. The subsequent transfers are requested when the NGO confirms the implementation of the activities involved in the Agreement and sends us the respective seatbacks of the progress.
To have a clear and constant idea of how the project is progressing and what outcomes are being obtained, we ask the executing agency to report in a regular manner about the activities that are being developed. For SELAVIP the entities responsible of the implementation of projects are our local partners. Our relation is based on trust but we also have follow up procedures by internet to try to help them to move on according to the strategies that were agreed upon, and to solve problems that can come up and ask for eventual adjustments. So, we work on two different levels to verify how the project is progressing and to know more on how the partners are dealing with new challenges:
- Visits to the projects: an agenda is organized each year to visit selected projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa. These visits are mostly done by SELAVIP members. Sometimes collaborating agencies and persons help us on the field. Experience shows that meeting our partners and communities on site is by far the best way to learn from each other and share ideas on how to fight homelessness of the poor.
- Progress reports: For those projects that cannot be visited directly we use simple forms so our partners can inform us about the main activities completed, the challenges faced and the outcomes achieved by their projects. Photos that illustrate these outcomes are extremely useful to assess the development of each project. These progress reports are generally sent to SELAVIP every 3 months by internet.
At the end of each project, or at least in September a final report should be sent to SELAVIP with the following information:
- Comparison between agreement and outcomes: the concrete results obtained after implementing the project are revised considering those that were initially agreed upon (costs, outcomes, timing, families benefitted, etc).
- Persons in charge of implementation: relevant actors who contributed during the project are mentioned, with their e-mail and phone number in case SELAVIP needs to contact them individually to clarify some aspect.
- Approach and strategy: strategy applied to achieve the objectives, procedures to select beneficiaries, training programmes, community organization, savings, contact and collaboration with local authorities, etc.
- Outcomes: quantitative and qualitative results, goals achieved and still to be met hopefully before the end of the year.
- Participants/ beneficiaries: Nr. of persons/families who benefitted from the project, socio-economic, cultural and housing conditions of beneficiaries; participation in the process.
- Problems faced: challenges and problems that appeared during the implementation and the way they were managed by the local entity
- Impacts: positive and negative impacts that can be attributed to the project; changes that the projects may have caused at a national or local level, for example on public policies.
- Sustainability: assessment of the future development of the project and if other actors and/or the community can replicate it in other places.
- Closure: activities and ceremonies organized at the end of the project to enhance results as valuable achievements and share them with the community, the local context and communication media.
- Financial report: a complete report - duly documented- about expenditures of SELAVIP funds and other contributions is finally requested.
Reports of all projects that were implemented and the follow up activities provide inputs for a general report that SELAVIP prepares to be presented to the Directors during the Board meeting in November. This report makes possible to assess if our work was effective and what adjustments could be made to improve our impact and to use resources in a more efficient manner. This report about results achieved by all people working with SELAVIP - mainly the professional staff and our collaborators on the field - becomes the keystone for decisions about the new projects that should be funded next year.