157 applications were received for the Active Citizens Fund programme, following the deadline of 30 September 2021 for the submission of a project concept.
The APF programme in Lithuania aims to have the following impact:
1 impact area. Increased participation of citizens in civic activities;
Impact area 2. Stronger civil society oversight/advocacy of public authorities;
Impact area 3. Increased support for human rights;
Impact area 4. Vulnerable groups empowered.
The largest number of applications by impact area was related to impact area 4: 73 (47%), followed by almost a third of applications – 50 – in impact area 1 (32%), which were related to increased citizen participation in civic activities. Impact Areas 2 and 3, on stronger civil society oversight of public authorities and greater support for human rights, received a similar number of applications, 18 and 16 respectively (11% and 10%).
Projects are divided into two types according to the size of the funding and the duration of the project, namely small-scale projects and medium-scale projects. Small projects have a funding size of between EUR 5 and 15 thousand and 25 applications (16%) were received in this group according to the size of funding. Medium-sized projects have a funding size of more than EUR 15,000 but not more than EUR 80,000, with 132 applications (84%).
Projects with partners accounted for two thirds of the total number of applications (105 applications), while projects without partners accounted for one third of the total number of applications (52 applications). The total number of partners involved in the projects amounts to 179, with 58 applicants indicating at least one partner at the time of application and 34 applicants indicating two partners. The highest number of partners identified at the time of application was 11.
An application involving partners from regions (from Lithuanian municipalities, except Vilnius) is given a regional priority to strengthen the civil society sector in Lithuanian regions. 99 applications were received, involving partners from different regions of Lithuania, with the exception of Vilnius City.
The number of projects submitted by regional organisations (i.e. not from Vilnius municipality) amounts to 95 (61%).
Another priority – bilateral cooperation – is given to bilateral partnerships with entities from donor countries (i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Thus, 13 applicants identified partners in Norway and 8 identified partnerships in Iceland.
The total amount of funding requested is €9,021,017, broken down by impact area as follows:
1 impact area. EUR 2 735 913;
Impact Area 2. 1 170 433 euro;
Impact area 3. 923 559 euro;
Impact area 4. 4 191 112 euro.
In terms of the most frequent use of words in the project title, the words “strengthening” and “empowering” were mentioned 10 times in the title, along with “Lithuania” and “Lithuania” and “promotion”.
After the formal criteria have been assessed, the applications will be submitted to a panel of experts (20 specialists in their field). In the second half of November, the Selection Committee, after discussing the experts’ evaluations and the ranked lists of projects based on them, will recommend project concepts for the second round of full applications.
The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund (ACF) are based on the following common values: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. The overarching goal of the APF programme is a strong and vibrant civil society and the empowerment of vulnerable groups.