USAID SARI-Energy What We Do

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Small Grants Program (2008-2010)


The Small Grants Program (SGP) seeks to build the capacity of local institutions and to increase the number of institutions engaged in regional and rural energy issues. This is expected to be one of the main vehicles for public participation in SARI/Energy projects, among others, by community organizations and is expected to raise awareness and involvement at grassroots, local, national and regional levels by improving business and/or livelihood practices in SARI/Energy countries. In the breadth of its scope, it is considered valuable for SARI/Energy to also connect and engage local communities and facilitate the start of local action to address pertinent energy concerns.

The Small Grants Program Activities are and should be:

  • for non-political and non-religious purposes
  • sponsored by a legitimate, established NGO or community group
  • for social and economic development purposes, especially related to rural areas and/or low income disadvantaged people; and
  • based on a substantial element of self-help, and complement the community’s own efforts

The SGP also supports the South Asia Women-in-Energy (SAWIE) network, by providing assistance to small-scale self-help endeavors of qualified nongovernmental and community groups implementing relevant energy programs oriented towards women.

Geographic Areas

SGP will fund initiatives throughout targeted South Asian countries provided they are linked to SARI/E Project activities. The target countries for the program are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Request for Applications (RFA) – Round 1

The first RFA for the 2008 – 2010 Small Grants Program was announced on the 20th of March 2009 and concluded on the 20th of April 2009. A total     of 46 proposals were received from 6 South-East Asian nations- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and India.

The proposals were highly diversified in the range of issues they sought to address, such as:
(i) Renewable Energy Technology (RET) dissemination and awareness generation

(ii) capacity building of rural beneficiaries for sustainable energy independence

(iii) entrepreneurship development with specific emphasis on gender mainstreaming, and

(iv) research studies and prototype assessment programs.

The submissions were made by an encouraging blend of NGO’s, educational establishments, and Research and Development (R&D) institutes. The RFA round also witnessed an eagerness among cross-border entities to collaborate on addressing pertinent issues common to their regions of influence.

Evaluation and Grant Award

All the 46 Proposals were critically reviewed by the SGP Evaluation Committee against a number of carefully selected parameters, with special focus on:

  • Sustainability of the exercise post project implementation period
  • Inclusion of women and under served sections of society and,
  • Cost realism/cost-effectiveness of the exercise.

The evaluation committee has since short listed proposals for grant award. The projects commenced on the 30th of June 2009 and are being monitored by the Program Office.

For further information, please contact:

Shreerupa Mitra
Small Grants Program
South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy (SARI/Energy)

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