The first grant window, called ‘Community Skyrocket’ supports “bottom-up” learning exchanges among development professionals and community members. Rather than assuming that child marriage programs have a monopoly on knowledge and experience on how change happens, we believe that adolescent girls and other community actors, such as community-based organizations, religious and traditional leaders and families have valuable knowledge about addressing adolescent girl sexuality and dismantling child marriage.
The objective of Community Skyrocket is for practitioners to exchange with communities. They listen to their knowledge, strategy, and experiences and reflect with them on what this can mean for improving the design, implementation, and advocacy of development interventions. The Spark fund offers organizations and communities the chance to come together around these issues and questions that excite them in exploring the links between adolescent sexuality and child marriage.
The maximum grant for a Community Skyrocket exchange is 6,000 EURO.
The call for applications for this first grant window opened on 25 June, followed by an orientation call to address questions of interested organizations. We received 31 applications at the deadline of 10 July. 3 applications from Ethiopia arrived a few weeks later due to a general cut off from internet in the country.
A two-step process was used for assessing incoming proposals. First, the applications were screened against eligibility criteria and assessed on their completeness and general alignment with the ToR. After this first selection, a total of 20 applications were sent to the Grants Committees, composed of 18 experts and girls/community members from 9 countries. Each application was reviewed by the country committee pair in the host country. When a potential conflict of interest was at stake, applications were screened by a Grants Committee of another country.
The thematic expert and the girl assessed each application individually, scored them against a list of criteria, and decided together to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for funding the proposal. In most countries, one winner was selected. However, in India, due to the many high quality proposals received and the size of the country, a total of three grantees were awarded.