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FAQs on the OGP Multi Donor Trust Fund

February 20, 2018

1.What is the purpose of the OGP Trust Fund?

The OGP Steering Committee requested the World Bank to create a dedicated funding mechanism to support participating countries’ and local entities’ fulfillment of OGP commitments; broadening the stakeholder base, particularly by leveraging the Bank’s convening power in countries and local entities engaged in the OGP; supporting non-OGP countries that are considering participation; deepening the research on results and impact; and increasing the number and effectiveness of OGP-related Bank operations.

Additionally, there is significant overlap between the Bank’s and the OGP’s strategic priorities in supporting countries on open government and citizen engagement. By creating a more targeted and better-funded technical assistance program, the OGP Multi Donor Trust Fund can enable World Bank units to leverage their expertise and convening power to support reformers and help implement potentially high impact commitments.

2.What type of activities will the Trust Fund support?

The Trust Fund will support activities that address technical or financial constraints to implementing or developing commitments in a national/local action plan through window 1 on country and local entity support. Through window 2, it will also support activities that advance cross-country research, learning and thematic priorities, to help advance OGP’s “race to the top” on different policy areas and deepen understanding of the impact of open government reforms. These allocations will be made in line with OGP’s thematic priorities and the OGP research agenda. The Trust Fund will also provide an option for countries who have been unable to pay their annual contributions directly to the OGP Support Unit, to pay them via the World Bank.

The partnership between OGP and the World Bank brings to bear the Bank’s ability to work at the nexus of global and local issues, complementing mobilization of financial services with global data and knowledge services through technical and policy advice and convening services through engagement of public, non-government and private sectors. The Trust Fund will support activities that will help to leverage this partnership further.

3.Who can receive funding from the Trust Fund?

The OGP Trust Fund will support activities carried out by government, civil society, research institutions and non-government entities. For activities under Window 1, only countries and local entities in the OGP Local Program with a functioning multi-stakeholder forum will be considered for selection. Grants to support implementation will largely be given to governments as the implementing agency for commitments in the action plan. Given the type of activities undertaken in the co-creation process, civil society are expected to carry out these grants. Governments and civil society – through the multi-stakeholder forum – are encouraged to jointly decide who will be best placed to carry out the activities and manage the grants prior to submitting their application.

Support to activities that advance thematic priorities, research or learning under Window 2 will be provided to government, non-government, research/academic institutions and civil society who are well placed to lead on cross-country projects and are able to demonstrate need.

4.Which countries are eligible?

Developing countries with a multi-stakeholder forum that are eligible to request funding from the OGP Trust Fund are:

Albania 1
Armenia 1
Cabo Verde 1
Costa Rica
Cote d’Ivoire 1
El Salvador 1
Georgia 1
Honduras 1
Indonesia 1
Kenya 1
Macedonia 1
Mongolia 1
Papua New Guinea 1
Paraguay 1
Romania 1
Serbia 1
Sierra Leone 1
Sri Lanka 1
Tunisia 1
Ukraine 1
Uruguay 1

1  – Developing Action Plans in 2018

5.Which local entities in the OGP Local Program are eligible?

Local entities from developing countries with a multi-stakeholder forum that are eligible to request for funding from the OGP Trust Fund are:

1. Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana
2. Bojonegoro, Indonesia
3. Elgeyo-Marakwet, Kenya
4. Tbilisi, Georgia
5. Sao Paulo, Brazil
6. La Libertad, Peru
7. Kigoma Ujiji, Tanzania
8. Jalisco, Mexico
9. Buenos Aires, Argentina

6.What are the criteria for selecting proposals?

The selection criteria for each window and type of activity varies. Generally, countries and local entities seeking financing to support development or implementation of action plans must have a multi-stakeholder forum. Table 1 below outlines the selection criteria in greater detail.

7.When will the Call for Proposals take place?

The Call for Proposals for the activities each window will support will begin at various time throughout 2018. Please see Table 1 below for more details.

8.What are the grant or award amounts for each activity?

The amount that the Trust Fund will support will vary depending on the type of activity. Please see Table 1 for details.

Table 1 – Different windows/activities in the OGP Trust Fund will have varying selection criteria, implementing agency, amount and call for proposals.

Window and Type of Activity

Example of Support

Implementing Agency


Application Deadline

General Selection Criteria for the Window

Specific Selection Criteria for Type of Activity

Window 1 – Country Support

1.1  Implementation of commitments included in the National/ Local Action Plans

  • Technical support to design a citizen feedback mechanism for an OGP commitment on delivering health care services to marginalized or conflict-affected areas.

Mainly Governments through Recipient-Executed Grants.

Up to $500,000 over 2-3 years

  • Call for Proposals open on July 17, 2018
  • Deadline – October 31, 2018.
  • Demonstrate potential for high impact on the domestic reform agenda.
  • Demonstrate a need for supplemental funding from the OGP Trust Fund.
  • Submit Expression of Interest/proposal during annual call for proposals.
  • Be in good standing in the OGP.
  • Be in support of developing countries.
  • Include commitment in Action Plan composed through inclusive co-creation process.
  • Submit with an endorsement by National/Local OGP multi-stakeholder forum.

1.2  Participation and co-creation

  • Support to undertake more robust action plan consultation process that aim to broaden engagement of OGP among wider groups of regional civil society and strengthen capacity on conducting an inclusive dialogue.

Mainly civil society through Bank-Executed agreements.

From $25,000 to $75,000 over one year

  • Call for Proposals open on February 21, 2018
  • Deadline – March 20, 2018.
  • State intent to undertake actions in line with OGP Participation and Co-Creation Standards.
  • Submit with an endorsement by National/Local OGP multi-stakeholder forum.

1.3 Support to take on actions to gain eligibility to join OGP

  • Technical assistance for developing a strategy to strengthen fiscal transparency or drafting access to information legislation.

Depending on feasibility and capacity, may be Recipient- or Bank-Executed Grants.

Up to $100,000 over one year

  • Call for Proposals open on July 17, 2018.
  • Deadline – October 31, 2018.
  • Have met a minimum of 50 percent of the eligibility score and pass the values check.
  • Submit a written declaration of intent to join once eligible by ministerial level official.
  • Show support from domestic civil society organizations for joining OGP.

Window 2 – Cross-Country Research, Learning and Thematic Priorities

  1.  Research
  • Research to develop contextually appropriate and globally relevant impact studies and other knowledge resources on participatory budgeting for use by OGP.

Research institution or academia through Bank agreements.

Up to $150,000 over one year.

  • Call for Proposals open in April 2018.
  • Deadline – May 2018.
  • Align with OGP principles of transparency, civic engagement and public accountability.
  • Demonstrate strong potential for accelerating the expansion and dissemination of knowledge on impact of open government.
  • Facilitate the implementation, adaptation or scaling up of OGP commitments.
  • Demonstrate a need for supplemental funding from the OGP Trust Fund.
  • Be a global public good that address issues relevant to developing countries.
  • Be in support of the OGP research agenda.
  • Demonstrate practical and policy relevance, and have a clear theory of change.

2.2  Advancing Thematic Priorities

  • Support to enable thematic leaders to deepen technical learning across priority open government policy areas – such as fiscal transparency and beneficial ownership – to improve the ambition, content, and implementation of specific NAP commitments.

Thematic partners through Bank agreements.

Up to $100,000 annually for up to two years.

  • Call for Proposals open in April 2018.
  • Deadline – May 2018.
  • Promote: (i) content-related learning, (ii) process-related learning, or (iii) capacity building among OGP players.
  • Demonstrate sufficient thematic expertise/capacity to deliver.
  • Demonstrate contribution to deepening understanding of policy, technical knowledge, or capacity.

9.How can a country/local entity submit a proposal?

Firstly, through the multi-stakeholder forum, the government and civil society must jointly identify the issue or problem that could benefit from supplemental technical/financial support. Interested countries/local entities are encouraged to discuss the potential for support with the OGP Support Unit and World Bank teams in country and at headquarters. This initial discussion can help determine the scope of work, budget, suitable implementing agency (may be a non-government entity or a ministry other than the main OGP counterpart), and execution modality (recipient- or Bank-executed). Upon endorsement by the multi-stakeholder forum, the country or local entity can prepare a proposal or Expression of Interest in line with the criteria and requirements and submit by the pre-determined deadline.

10.Can any government ministry or civil society organization directly submit a proposal?

To avoid the risk of overlaps and un-coordinated requests for financing, all proposals from government and civil society for activities supported under Window 1 must be endorsed by the national or local multi-stakeholder forum. The Trust Fund Council (see below) will only consider proposals that were identified and endorsed by the forum as requiring supplemental funding from the Trust Fund.

11.Will the Trust Fund support entire action plans?

Although it will play a significant role, the Trust Fund is not the sole financing mechanism for all components and activities included in an OGP action plan. Countries and local entities must also consider other financing sources including, first and foremost, their own budgets; followed by bilateral, multilateral and philanthropic support from donor agencies, foundations, and civil society organizations; as well as OGP resources managed by the Support Unit.

12.What are the requirements for proposals?

Each type of support financed by the Trust Fund will have a different proposal and set of requirements. Countries and local entities seeking funding for Window 1 will be required to submit a brief Expression of Interest (EIO) and an endorsement letter signed by the chair(s) of the multi-stakeholder forum. The EIO, or proposal, outlines the project objectives, description, activities and timelines, relevance to the domestic OGP efforts, rationale for Trust Fund support, implementation arrangements, budget, and risks and mitigation.

Additionally, for support to implementation of commitments, countries and local entities are expected to submit (i) a letter of financial commitment to fund other commitments and activities under the same action plan; and (ii) a letter of commitment to implementation by the implementing agency (which in some cases may be different from the OGP Point of Contact).

Applicants for Cross-country Research, Learning and Thematic Priorities support must submit a brief proposal that demonstrates how the activities will advance thematic priorities across OGP, contribute to a deepening understanding of policy or technical knowledge, or build local capacity. Specific application guidelines and forms will be made available when the Call for Proposals opens.

13.What are the eligibility requirements for civil society organizations to receive funds?

As outlined in the Guidance on Involving Nongovernmental Organizations in Bank-Supported Activities, the World Bank has outlined the following qualities to consider in selecting CSO partners:

  • Credibility: acceptability to both stakeholders and government;
  • Competence: relevant technical skills and experience (i.e. institutional, fiduciary, and safeguards capacity) and proven track record;
  • Local knowledge: understanding of local context based on experience;
  • Representation: community ties, accountability to members’ beneficiaries, gender sensitivity;
  • Governance: sound internal management, transparency, financial accountability, efficiency;
  • Legal status: formal registration in that country/local entity (e.g. certification); and
  • Institutional capacity: sufficient scale of operations, facilities, and equipment.

Smaller civil society organizations interested in applying for grants from the Trust Fund are encouraged to work together with larger organizations with proven track record on relevant issues and in carrying out larger grants.

14.Who will select the proposals?

The OGP Trust Fund Council will make final endorsements of proposals submitted. The Council will ensure the Trust Fund supports activities that are in line with fund’s strategic priorities and the OGP Strategy. Their endorsement will be based on an initial technical review and recommendations by the OGP Support Unit and the World Bank.

15.What is the selection process?

The OGP Support Unit and the World Bank will coordinate the proposal selection process, which consists of the following steps:

  • Eligibility Check – Applications received are checked for compliance with the selection criteria and civil society eligibility requirements.
  • Technical Quality and Feasibility Review – Applications are initially reviewed by the OGP Support Unit and the World Bank to assess their technical quality, feasibility and relevance to enhancing engagement and ambition on open government. The OGP Support Unit and the World Bank will provide recommendations to the Trust Fund Council.
  • Trust Fund Council Endorsement – The Trust Fund Council considers the recommendations by the Support Unit and the World Bank and selects and endorses proposals.
  • Publication of Selected Proposals – The OGP Support Unit publishes the list of selected proposals online.
  • Grant/Contract Execution – The World Bank works with the selected main recipient to develop the grant agreement or Terms of Reference for a contract to perform the agreed upon activities.

16.Can the Support Unit help draft or provide feedback on the application?

To avoid conflict of interest in carrying out its role in evaluating proposals for technical feasibility and relevance, the Support Unit will not assist in the drafting of proposals beyond clarifying the process, selection criteria and good practices for a proposal. Along the application and approval process, the Support Unit will continue its current role in facilitating dialogue and collaboration among domestic OGP actors seeking funding from the OGP Trust Fund to ensure sustained engagement and link with OGP processes and principles.

17.Who are the members of the OGP Trust Fund Council?

The Trust Fund Council consists of representatives of the Bank, including as Chair; a representative of each Donor contributing a minimum of US$500,000 to the Trust Fund; two representatives of the OGP Steering Committee (one representative from a national government and one representative from a civil society organization, both selected by the OGP SC); and a representative from the OGP Support Unit. To avoid duplication of interest and ensure representation of differing perspectives, the government representative of the OGP SC must be chosen from OGP SC members who are not also donors to the MDTF.

18.What is the role of the OGP Steering Committee in the Trust Fund?

The OGP Steering Committee (SC) selects two of its members – one government and one civil society representative – to represent the SC on the OGP Trust Fund Council. The SC representatives to the MDTF will ensure strategic priorities are in line with the overarching OGP Principles and Strategic Refresh. They will also assist in identifying opportunities for additional resources and expansion of the program.

19.What is the role of the World Bank?

As the trustee, the World Bank will assume supervisory and fiduciary responsibilities of managing the Trust Fund. There will be a secretariat housed in the Governance Global Practice tasked with providing administrative services to the OGP MDTF, including managing the OGP MDTF portfolio, organizing Council meetings, coordinating with the OGP Support Unit, administering the budget, and providing annual progress reports. World Bank country offices will also provide assistance and supervision in the design and implementation of different activities, giving recipients on-the-ground support.

20.What additional resources are available to support OGP governments and civil society?

The Support Unit currently provides micro-grants to civil society organizations to help support more inclusive co-creation processes. The World Bank, through its traditional lending and International Development Assistance (IDA) supports governments on broader open government and citizen engagement related lending projects. Development partners may also have funding to support OGP related activities in different countries. Outreach and coordination among development partners operating in the country or local entity will determine who has the funding and is best placed to support government and civil society.

21.What are the requirements for countries interested in channeling their annual contributions through the Trust Fund?

Any country interested in paying their annual country contribution to the Support Unit via the Trust Fund must: i) verify that the ministry making the contribution is registered as a donor at the World Bank (one country may have multiple ministries/agencies registered as a donor at the Bank; ministries that have not yet registered as a donor may reach out to the World Bank to register as a donor by completing a simple form); and 2) sign the Trust Fund Administrative Agreement. Countries solely channeling country contributions through the Trust Fund will not be considered a donor and will not serve in the Trust Fund Council. Countries, development partners and foundations are considered a donor if they contribute more than USD 500,000.

For more information, please contact Aichida Ul-Aflaha at

[1] This document intends to provide a brief background on the OGP Multi Donor Trust Fund. Some details of the grant making processes may change as the OGP Support Unit and the World bank work together to determine a process and selection criteria that best reflects the principles and spirit of OGP.

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