FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For the purposes of transparency, the FAQ section features responses to all relevant queries received. Applications are now closed. Screening and evaluation is in process.

  • Do you plan to change the application deadline due to the spread of COVID-19?

    There is an extension to the deadline for applications to the European Social Catalyst Fund and consequent rescheduling of all key dates.

     

    The new deadline for applications is 11th September 2020 17:00 (CEST).

     

    Please download the updated call for applications or visit www.euscf.eu/apply

  • Section 1
     

    Queries related to eligible countries and organisations

  • What is the definition of a non-profit organisation for the purposes of this application?

    Non-profit organisations are not primarily commercial in purpose and do not distribute profits to a set of directors, stockholders, or managers. Non-profit organisations can generate income as a result of their income generation activities in the course of their operations, but any surpluses are reinvested in the objectives of the organisation. A copy of an official document attesting that the organisation has a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to shareholders or individual members will need to be uploaded on the application form. 

  • Can you clarify whether 'public agency' includes an international EU organisation?

    Public agencies include organisations with international mandates (generally funded by contributions from national governments) and state agencies or any local subdivision thereof, or any state or local department, agency, board or commission.

  • Can a Local Authority be the lead organisation in an application to the European Social Catalyst Fund?

    Yes, applications can be made by collaborations involving public and private agencies, public agencies; or private non-profit agencies. The lead applicant must be a non-profit.

  • Can non-profit and for-profit organisations be contracted by applicants to help develop plans?
     

    Contracting non-profit and for-profit expertise is permitted and they may also form part of the consortium if the applicant so wishes. However, it is important to remember that the lead applicant must be a non-profit organisation. When applications are being assessed a judgement will be made about the capacity of the organisation(s) applying to develop and execute an implementation plan.

  • Can an organisation based in a non-EU country submit an application?
     

    Successful applications will focus on scaling social service innovations within or across EU Member States. The lead applicant must be based in an EU Member State. Organisations from non-EU countries may be part of consortia that apply but only EU Member States can benefit from the funding. EU-based organisations applying to the ESCF may contract expertise from outside the EU to assist with the development of plans for implementation within EU Member States – these contracted experts may also form part of the consortium if the applicant so wishes.

  • Will the UK still be considered an EU Member State during the transition period (of 11 months) following their departure from the EU on 31 January 2020?

    It is expected that successful applicants will be involved with the project for a period between February and September 2021 which is beyond the transition period for the UK leaving the European Union. 

  • Is there any other call/program that would not restrict organisations from non-EU Member States from applying for funding?

    This is the only call from the ESCF at this time.

  • Why are organisations from non-EU countries (such as Switzerland and UK), which contribute to the Horizon 2020 programme, ineligible to be a lead organisation of an application?

    We understand that applications for funding to the Horizon 2020 Programme can be made by participating countries including Switzerland, UK, Norway, Turkey, Israel and others. However, the ESCF is a project that applied to the Horizon 2020 Programme and is part-funded by this Programme to address social challenges in EU member states. The original call also states that the applications need to be for plans which are relevant for scaling in EU member states. 

  • In the eligibility criteria you refer to 'private non-profit agencies'. Does this mean 'non-profit organisation'?

    Yes, when we state ‘non-profit agency’ this includes non-profit organisations.

  • Are higher education institutions eligible to apply?

    Applications can be made by collaborations involving public and private agencies, public agencies; or private non-profit agencies. The lead applicant must be a non-profit.
     

    See previous definition of non-profit organisation.

  • Can a religious non-profit organisation apply?

    There is no criterion that would preclude an organisation with religious values from applying.

  • Which EU Member states do you define as Central and Eastern Europe Countries?

    For the purposes of the applications to the ESCF we refer to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which defines the group of Central Eastern European Countries which are also EU Member States to include - Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovakia, Slovenia, and the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. (The OECD list also includes Albania but this is not an EU Member State and therefore falls outside of the ESCF criteria)

  • Can individuals be part of a consortium where the lead applicant is a non-profit organisation?

    Yes individuals may be part of a consortium as long as the lead applicant is a non-profit organisation.

  • What does public purpose organisation mean?

    The lead applicant/organisation must be in a position to address at least one of the priority social challenge areas as outlined in point 2 of the eligibility criteria for the call.

  • Section 2
     

    Queries related to application support

  • I have forgotten my password for the ESCF application portal. How can I retrieve this?

    You can reset your password on the log in page https://genio.fluxx.io/portal

  • On the ESCF application there is a limit of 3500 characters for some answers. Does this include spaces?

    Yes, the 3500 character limit includes spaces. Please note “characters left for field” in grey font below the text box. This indicates the number of characters available and will count down to zero as you insert text and spaces in the box.

  • I have been working on the application in the ESCF portal and saving as I go along. However, I cannot access my 'application-in-progress' anymore. How do I retrieve it?

    Please contact the ESCF team by emailing info@euscf.eu.

  • Where in the application do we enter the description of our organisation and its model?

    The description of your organisation and its model should go in the ‘Capacities’ section of the application form a) parts I and II.

  • Is it possible to have a phone conversation with the project coordinators about this initiative?

    We are not in a position to take queries over the phone, please email info@euscf.eu and we will respond as quickly as possible. For the purposes of transparency, relevant answered queries will be added to this FAQ page. To download the full details of the call and criteria go to www.euscf.eu/application-criteria.

  • We were unable to download an application pack from the website. Can you send us the application form?

    Applications are accepted through the ESCF online application form only. In order to apply you must complete the eligibility quiz and register your details here: https://genio.fluxx.io/apply/escf

  • Can members of the ESCF consortium assist in the framing of an application?

    Due to conflict of interest issues, personnel from organisations who are part of the ESCF Consortium i.e. Genio, the Robert Bosch Stiftung or the King Baudouin Foundation cannot assist in framing an application to the fund. In cases where a submission is received from an organisation that is currently being (or has in the past been) supported by a member of the ESCF Consortium (e.g. through a grant programme separate to the ESCF) a conflict of interest also applies and that consortium member will recuse himself/herself from the evaluation and decision-making process concerning that submission. 

  • We are implementing a US evidence-based programme and would like to establish a longitudinal study in a European Country. Would this fit the criteria?

    While we are not in a position to comment on specific applications, please note that support from the ESCF is for the development of implementation plans to scale proven social service innovations. Please carefully read the application and evaluation criteria. You may also complete the eligibility quiz on the ESCF application form for further guidance.

  • We are seeking consortium partners to apply to the ESCF. Can you connect us with other organisations?

    We are not in a position to recommend particular organisations for applicants to partner with.

  • Will there be an information session about this project?

    Not at this time. All information is publicly available on the website www.euscf.eu.

  • Section 3
     

    Queries related to finance & budgets 

  • If shortlisted, what documentation will be expected from applicants to provide evidence of adequate management and financial systems?

    It is expected that the lead applicant will have a well-established internal control framework in place underpinned by Financial Policies and Procedures (relevant to the geographic location of the organisation). Shortlisted applicants may be required to provide details of their financial policies and procedures.

  • If we budget for travel but travel is not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic, would we be able to use that budget for other project-related activities (e.g. paying for online videoconferencing and online moderators, increasing staff budgets, etc.)

    Costs incurred to circumvent potential restrictions of Covid-19, with the intention of achieving the same objective outlined in the application budget (such as video conferencing instead of travel costs), will be permissible as long as it does not exceed the original budgeted cost. In the event that this results in cost-savings, money should be returned to the ESCF to be re-allocated to related programme activity.

  • ESCF funding will not be given to cover capital costs. What are capital costs?

    Capital costs relate to fixed assets; generally, this includes items such as purchase of premises/buildings; and office equipment such as computers, phones and IT infrastructure and office furniture. All reasonable costs outside of capital costs will be considered if deemed appropriate to the development of a robust, detailed implementation plan. Costs submitted must be specific and justifiable against the overall application.

  • Are 100% of the costs detailed in the application funded? Are there flat-rate indirect costs or similar?

    Funding from the ESCF is intended to support the planning process and will not be given for capital costs. Applicants must demonstrate that budget items are reasonable and well-substantiated. 100% of costs may be funded by the grant if appropriately outlined. Alternatively, applicants may be in receipt of funding from other sources including the European Union. Applicants are asked to declare if they are receiving funding for the development of the implementation plan to scale social innovations from any other source in addition to the funding they are seeking from the ESCF. Costs submitted must be specific, justifiable and reasonable.

  • Our annual turnover is small. Would that count against us?

    The amount of turnover within the lead (non-profit) organisation is not part of the evaluation criteria but they must:

    • Provide audited financial statements for the previous 2 years and shall complete a declaration that they do not have any ‘going concern’ issues.

    • Provide evidence of adequate management and financial systems.

    • Be GDPR compliant.

    • Ensure processes are compliant with EU ethical standards.

    • Demonstrate a commitment to gender equality.

  • What is the funding range for the project?

     

    Each selected application will receive a planning grant of up to €100,000 along with capacity building support. A minimum of €600,000 will be allocated to support at least 6 plans.

  • Our organisation is working on a project that is already in receipt of financing. Is the ESCF compatible with other sources of funding?

    Applicants for ESCF funding may be in receipt of funding from other sources including the European Union. Applicants are asked to declare if they are receiving funding for the development of the implementation plan to scale social innovations from any other source in addition to the funding they are seeking from the ESCF.

  • Are there any co-financing requirements to apply for the ESCF?

    Do applicants need to contribute private funds?

    The ESCF will provide financial and capacity building support to develop implementation plans to scale proven social service innovations. Co-financing is not a requirement to receive funding from the ESCF to develop plans. However, as per previous questions, we will also accept applications which may be in receipt of funding from other sources including the European Union. Applicants are asked to declare if they are receiving funding for the development of the implementation plan to scale social innovations from any other source in addition to the funding they are seeking from the ESCF.

  • Can we as lead applicant hire a new employee under the project?

    Yes, costs for personnel employed, or contracted, to assist in preparing a plan are admissible.

  • With respect to budgeting, can the following costs be included: hiring a researcher to conduct a preliminary analysis as to the feasibility of bringing the intervention to other countries and/or travel/buy out of hours for principal investigators e.g. to facilitate meeting with partners abroad?

    These expenses may be included in a budget. Funding from the ESCF is intended to support the planning process and will not be given for capital costs. Applicants must demonstrate that budget items are reasonable and well-substantiated.

  • If someone is co-ordinating the plan development (project leader/co-ordinator), does it make a difference whether they are employed as an employee or as a 3rd party contractor? Do any specific rules apply in relation to third party contracting?

    The costs for personnel employed, or contracted, to assist in preparing a plan are admissible. Contracting non-profit or for-profit expertise is permitted. The lead applicant must be a non-profit organisation. Organisations/consortia will be evaluated against the published criteria which seek to establish, among other things, the capacities of the applicants to develop and execute a plan for scaling. Applicants must demonstrate that budget items are reasonable and well-substantiated.

  • We would like to include a 3rd level institution in our consortium - the standard practice in 3rd level colleges is to take a flat rate administration fee. Are flat rate charges allowed?

    We are not in a position to comment on specific examples out of context of a full application. Collaborations may involve public and private agencies, public agencies; or private non-profit agencies. Costs submitted must be specific, justifiable and reasonable.

  • Our organisation was established in 2019. The eligibility criteria states "Organisations or lead organisations of consortia applying shall provide audited financial statements for the previous 2 years." Does this mean that each consortium partner has to provide the financial statements?

    For the purposes of the application, only the lead organisation needs to provide audited financial statements for the previous 2 years, if the application is shortlisted. If this is not possible for your organisation i.e. you have not been established for more than 2 years, we would recommend that another more established organisation within your consortium acts as the lead.

  • Can you give more detail on what 'reasonable costs' are? Can the grants be used to employ a consultant to help write the plan?

    Yes, the costs for personnel employed, or contracted, to assist in preparing a plan are admissible. It is important to remember that a judgement will be made about the capacity of the organisation(s) applying to develop and execute an implementation plan. Reasonable costs are non-capital costs that are deemed appropriate to the development of a robust, detailed implementation plan. 

  • Where can I download the application budget template?

    The budget template is available to download within the application portal under ‘Portal Instructions’. It is also available within the application itself under “Quality of the application to develop the plan” part B (iii). Here also is a direct link to the budget template. A pop-up should appear asking you to save the file to your device.

  • If we are successful in receiving funding, does all of the budget have to be spent during the plan development period of February - September 2021.

    The time period for support to develop an implementation plan is from February 2021 to September 2021. As plans supported through the ESCF have to be submitted by 30 September 2021, funding is expected to be spent during the period between February 2021 to September 2021 when planning is taking place. Applicants should only apply for funding up to €100,000 that will be spent on developing the plan. If less is needed to develop the plan, applicants should apply for less.

  • We are interested in scaling up an evidence-based programme. Can we spend the grant on actually scaling this up or is it solely for writing a plan?

    The purpose of the grants is to support the development of detailed implementation plans only to scale up evidence-based social service innovations.

  • On the budget template, what is entailed in budget category "Stationery"?

    ‘Stationery’ may also be described as ‘office supplies’. The budget categories are suggestions only and it is not necessary to include each category if it is not relevant to your application.

  • I am unsure which budget category some of our budget items fall under in the budget template. 

    The budget categories are suggestions only and it is not necessary to include each category if it is not relevant to your application. There is also an ‘Other’ category on the dropdown list if you feel the available options do not apply to your budget lines. On the application form, within the Budget Section Part iii, you have the opportunity to explain the budget items you have entered. Applicants must demonstrate that budget items are reasonable and well-substantiated.

  • In the budget template document - do we need to specify costs under each budget category for the consortium or for each individual partner? 

    One budget document only should be submitted per application to include all costs across the consortium. Under budget categories, (i) you may enter multiple budget lines for each category with costs for each partner on separate lines; or (ii) you can summarise all costs within a budget category on one line, but in this case please include an explanation note detailing the breakdown across the consortium. The most important thing is that the budget items are clearly explained.

  • Can we include the purchase of equipment or depreciation costs within the budget category ‘IT’? 

    ESCF funding will not be given for capital costs. Purchase of equipment and depreciation costs are considered capital costs and therefore are not eligible. 

  • Section 4
     

    Queries related to research & evidence

  • Can we use national data and statistics as evidence to explain the need for our model?

    Yes, national data and statistics can be used to explain the need for the innovation proposed in the application. The evidence requirements above relate to evidence showing the proven effectiveness of the innovation proposed to date.

  • Can specialists in our sector of work give a critical review of our operations as evidence?

    This would equate to Level VII Evidence from the opinion of authorities and/or reports of expert committees as per the hierarchy of evidence document provided.

  • Can you give examples of projects that would fall under all criteria, especially the evidence-based criteria, to determine, whether our project idea would fit this call?

    The information provided in the ESCF call and criteria document describes the criteria and the way in which different types of evidence are graded. The purpose of this information is to assist potential applicants to make a judgement as to whether their innovation might be a good fit for this Call which is open and competitive. While the information provided makes clear the various criteria that will be used to evaluate applications, the ESCF is a new initiative, launched in January 2020, and there are no previous examples of innovations supported through the ESCF available at this stage.

  • Where can we find Appendix 1 and 2?

    Full details on the call and eligibility criteria including Appendix 1 and 2 may be downloaded here. 

  • Our project is a highly practical approach with substantial impact - however, the level of evidence we can provide is on the level of 'evidence from the opinion of authorities and/or reports of expert committees'. Could you let us know if intitiatives with evidence at this level have a serious chance of getting accepted?

    The Call for Applications to the European Social Catalyst Fund is an open competitive one and it is not possible at this stage to predict how applications will score on criteria grouped under various headings. Please refer to the evaluation criteria which details how each criterion will be scored.

  • Does the evidence base for the development of the implementation plan have to be at national or international level? We have tested our model in one city and have strong evidence for this region, but we do not yet have national-level evidence. 

    To be eligible to apply for ESCF funding, the organisation/consortium must propose an innovation which is evidence-based. The evidence base does not have to be at a national level to apply but as per the evaluation guidelines preference will be given to innovations that have the most robust evidence of success. Please see appendix 1 of the call document for more details on the hierarchy of evidence and appendix 2 for the levels of social service adoption.

  • Can the application be based on evidence-based models of intervention that have been tried and tested outside of EU Member States?

    Yes, however, at least one member of the organisation(s) making the application has to have experience of applying the model and as per the assessment criteria outlined on the call for applications (see www.euscf.eu/application-criteria), innovations that already have a level of adoption within EU Member States will be weighted more heavily.

  • We are currently working on a plan to create a common model and dataset based on an evidence-based pogramme. Would this fit the eligibility criterion for 'evidence-based models of intervention that have been tried and tested.'

    While we are not in a position to comment on specific applications, please note that support from the ESCF is for the development of implementation plans to scale proven social service innovations. Please carefully read the application and evaluation criteria. You may also complete the eligibility quiz on the ESCF application form for further guidance.

  • How would you consider interventions that have already been implemented at a local level by the applicant organisation, but for which the evidence-base has been established by other institutions that will not be part of the consortium?

    This is admissible as per the application and evaluation criteria

  • Where can we find information on evidence-based models of intervention?

    There is no shortlist of accepted evidence-based models for this application process. It is expected that applicants will identify a proven innovation for which they seek to develop an implementation plan; and that an existing understanding and experience of that innovation is represented in the organisation or consortium of organisations applying. Preference will be given to innovations that have the most robust evidence of success.

  • The criteria states 'Demonstrating relevance to at least 5 EU Member States, including at least 2 countries in Central and Eastern Europe'. How might we demonstrate the relevance? Is referencing policy or research enough?

    Demonstrating relevance should refer to the extent of the challenge in the particular country and the extent to which conditions for implementing a plan to scale the social service innovation to meet that challenge pertain (in as far as is possible at this point). Whether demonstrating relevance by referring to policy and research findings will be adequate will vary depending on the particular social challenge and the existence of adequate research.  

  • Section 5
     

    Successful applications and application documentation

  • What is the expected duration of successful applicants' participation once innovations are selected?

    The participation period for successful applicants will be February 2021 to December 2021.

    The purpose of the grants is to support the development of detailed implementation plans only. February 2021 – September 2021 is the timeline for the development of an implementation plan. 30 September 2021 is the date for the submission of a fully developed plan. It is intended that during the project a further phase will be designed, which will include a focus on supporting implementation of the plans to scale.

  • How are the funding instalments organised for successful grantees? Will there be a sum allocated immediately after selecting the successful plan proposals or will there be several instalments issued during the period of plan development?

    It is intended that there will be three payments over the course of the plan development period. Upon receipt of reports and subject to progress, the ESCF will issue payments to the awardees of the ESCF as they develop their plans. February 2021 – September 2021 is the timeline for the development of an implementation plan.

  • Can you advise about the potential administrative burden for successful applicants? Our team is small and we would like to know if this would be a big part of our workload.

    We do not anticipate the administrative burden for successful applicants to be too onerous. It will be expected that information on spending against an agreed budget, including receipts, will be provided. There will also be monitoring and support visits during the planning process that successful applicants will be expected to engage in. We will be designing an impact evaluation framework that we would like successful applicants to contribute views to, based on their experience. We will have some opportunities for shared learning amongst successful applicants.

  • How detailed and long will the implementation plan need to be? Is it expected that the plan be designed and printed (and this cost included in the budget) or is an online electronic document sufficient?

    It is not necessary for the applicant to have the plan designed and printed – an online electronic document will be sufficient. There is no limit on the length the plan must be. The important point is that the plans provide adequate detail concerning how, by whom, with what resources, over what timeframe and to what extent the implementation will contribute to meeting the particular social challenge in question.  

  • Will the six innovations selected for funding be from across Europe or could they all be from the same country?

    The ESCF is accepting applications from across EU Member States. It is anticipated that the successful applicants will represent a range of social challenge and geographic areas.

  • What documentation is expected where the criteria states 'Organisations or lead organisations of consortia applying shall:

     

    • Provide audited financial statements (or equivalent available documentation in-line with the financial regulations of the lead applicant’s country) for the previous 2 years 

    • Provide evidence of adequate management and financial systems.

    • Be GDPR compliant. 

    • Ensure processes are compliant with EU ethical standards

    • Demonstrate a commitment to gender equality

    This is not required at the application stage and will only be required of applicants who have been shortlisted.

  • Regarding the criteria: 'Organisations or lead organisations of consortia applying shall provide audited financial statements for the previous 2 years.’ Our organisation has 2 years of accounts prepared by external, registered accountants. Will we need to provide an audit report as well as our annual financial statements? 

    In recognition that there are slight variations in financial regulations within different countries, equivalent available documentation to audited financial statements will be considered, which are in-line with the financial regulations of the lead applicant’s country. Please note, this documentation will only be required from shortlisted applicants.

  • If shortlisted, what documentation will be expected from applicants to demonstrate GDPR compliance?

    The organisation will be expected to provide a statement of commitment with the general principles of GDPR legislation and guidelines. Complete compliance guidelines and support can be found here.

  • If shortlisted, what documentation is expected from applicants regarding EU ethical standards?

    The organisation will be expected to provide a statement of commitment to comply - where relevant – with EU ethical standards which can be found here.

  • What is expected if we are to demonstrate a commitment to gender equality if we are shortlisted?

    Applicants must take measures to promote equal opportunities between men and women in the implementation of the action. The management and decision-making structures of each implementation plan will be examined to ensure commitment to reach a gender balance at a target of 50%. Applicants will be required to provide a statement of commitment and actions relating to these measures.

  • When would we have to report the costs of the project and how?

    Successful applicants will be required to retain verifiable evidence of all expenditure against the agreed budget. Further details of this will be discussed with successful applicants when grant contracts are issued for sign off.

  • The application must be accompanied by a document confirming that the lead applicant is a non-profit organisation. Should all documents be translated into English based on a sworn translation?

    A sworn translation may be required if your application is shortlisted. This is not necessary for the initial application.

  • Can we obtain a pdf file with the content of the submitted application?

    If you click on the small print icon at the right hand top of the page of the application form it creates a pdf that can be saved and printed.

  • Section 6

    Further phase of ESCF

  • What is the likelihood that this 'planning' call will be followed by an 'implementation' call?

     

    What will the timing and budget be for the next call?

    Decisions have not been made concerning a further phase of the ESCF as it will be designed on the basis of learning during this phase. Therefore, there is no guarantee of funding from a further phase at this point. However, applicants that succeed in competing for support this year for planning from the ESCF will be well placed to apply for support for implementation, should a further phase be established.

  • What do you mean by a further phase of the ESCF?

    There are 6 objectives of the European Social Catalyst Fund (ESCF). The 6th objective is to design a further phase of the ESCF based on learning obtained in the process of achieving the first 5 objectives.

     

    This further phase will be designed to focus on providing a stimulus at EU level to unlock public and private resources at EU Member State level for the implementation of plans to scale proven social innovations. 

  • Section 7

    Consortia & collaboration

  • Within a consortium of partners from different countries, would you accept proposals that plan to scale several, but complementary solutions to the same social challenge?

    Several proposals to scale proven solutions will be accepted but must be made individually to enable evaluation of each one against the published criteria. The applications will need to demonstrate that all approaches have strong evidence and potential impact and will need to demonstrate that they are part of a single overall, integrated innovation to address a social challenge.

  • Are projects that collaborate looked on more favourably than those from a single organisation?

    Can a single NGO apply by themselves?

    Applicants will be evaluated against the published criteria which seek to establish, among other things, the capacities of the applicants to develop a plan for scaling. It would be unusual for one organisation to have all the capacities required to significantly tackle a social challenge without collaborating with others to succeed.

  • Is there a minimum role or involvement under which partner organisations wouldn't be considered as part of the consortium?

    It is important that each partner organisation has a clear role. A judgement will be made about the capacity of the organisation(s) applying to develop and execute an implementation plan. Please provide as much relevant detail as possible to demonstrate the roles that each consortium member will play.

  • Our project has been piloted in one country. Do we need to identify EU partners for the ESCF application stage or can this be part of the plan development if the application is successful? 

    You may submit a proposal to develop a plan that aims to scale proven innovations within one country, or across a number of countries. If you aim to scale an innovation across a number of countries it is likely that the consortium will have members from the countries targeted. Also, you must explain how the plan is relevant to at least 5 EU Member States, including the one(s), in which you actually intend to scale.

  • If we work with associates in the delivery of the implementation plan, should they be included as part of the consortium or are they associates that we should reference elsewhere? 

    Applications can be made by collaborations involving public and private agencies, public agencies; or private non-profit agencies. It is up to applicants to decide who to include in consortia.

  • Do we need to partner with organisations from at least five countries?

    As per previous query, you may submit a proposal to develop a plan that aims to scale proven innovations within one country, or across a number of countries. If you aim to scale an innovation across a number of countries it is likely that the consortium will have members from the countries targeted. Also, you must explain how the plan is relevant to at least 5 EU Member States, including the one(s), in which you actually intend to scale.

  • Does the application require us to show formal evidence of a partnership between the lead applicant and other partners of the consortium?

    Applicants are asked to answer the question ‘What is the evidence that key partners (public, private, non-profit, philanthropic) are open to collaborating on developing the plan in the geographic area where the planning will take place and what are the current linkages between the proposers and these organisations? Do the applicants have strong international linkages that could assist with this planning?' Formal documentation is not being requested at this stage but will be required of shortlisted applicants.

  • Do we need to show proof of an agreement of principle between the lead applicant and other organisations at this stage? Or is a description of each member's role sufficient?

    It is assumed for the purpose of the application that agreement and consent for the involvement of all organisations listed as consortium members has been established prior to submitting the application. Written agreements between organisations in consortia applying to the ESCF are not being requested at this stage but will be required of shortlisted consortia applying. 

  • Is there a specific format we should use to explain relationships between members or stakeholders of the consortium?

    The section on ‘Capacities’ within the application form invites you to describe the capacities, experience, networks and linkages between the consortia members. It is up to applicants as to how this information is presented, we are not seeking a specific format.

  • One of the objectives of the ESCF states 'Plans also must be relevant to the social and implementation challenges in at least five EU Member States, two of which will be Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).' Can we include four CEECs?

    Yes, the plan must be relevant to at least 5 EU Member States, including at least two Central and Eastern European Countries - but you may include as many CEECs as you wish as long as they are EU Member States.

  • What level of philanthropic/private sector engagement does the ESCF expect to see in the proposals?

    It is expected that applicants will identify the appropriate activities and engagement for the planning process specific to the social service innovation being proposed for scale.

  • Section 8

    Miscellaneous

  • What do you mean by the term 'social service innovation'? Is this limited to the health or care sector? Could you give some examples?

    The ESCF will provide financial and capacity building support to develop plans to scale proven social service innovations. It is expected that applicants will identify a proven innovation for which they seek to develop an implementation plan; and that an existing understanding and experience of that innovation is represented in the organisation or consortium of organisations applying.

    These innovations are not confined to the health or care areas. You will see in the ESCF call and criteria document the challenge areas that are relevant. 

  • How relevant is the scaling track record of the social innovation? Will applications be considered that propose innovatiopns which have been scaled only nationally so far?

    Please refer to appendix 2 of the call document for the rating scheme of adoption of social innovations. Scaling might for example be at a regional, national or international level. You can see the weighting assigned on the evaluation criteria under ‘Potential Impact’ section c) Evidence.

  • Can an organisation submit more than one application?

    Yes. Each application submitted will be evaluated individually and independently of each other.

  • What initiatives have been supported by the ESCF in the past?

    The ESCF is a new initiative designed to have significant impact on some of Europe’s most pressing social challenges. The fund was first launched in January 2020 so there are no previous initiatives supported through the ESCF.

  • Do you have any data regarding the successful rate for this call?

    The ESCF is a new initiative launched in January 2020 so we have no data regarding the successful rate for this call. It is anticipated that at least 6 applications will be selected. The call for applications is open and competitive. Please review the evaluation criteria which details how each criterion is scored on the application. 

  • What does it mean to develop plans to scale?

    Plans should detail how the ESCF criteria will be met. These refer to the:
     

    • Relevance and extent of the specific social challenge.

    • Potential impact on the challenge.

    • Evidence of success of the innovation.

    • Scope of potential impact geographically.

    • Promotion of citizen-centred approaches.

    • Capacities of the applicant(s).

    • Networks and linkages.

    • Activities, timeframe, Methodology and risk management.

    • Budget.

  • Is it possible to obtain information on the call for applications in a language other than English? 

    Are you accepting applications in languages other than English? 

    Unfortunately, the call is only available in English and we are only in a position to accept applications in English. This is in order to facilitate processing of the application. In addition, English will be used to communicate with beneficiaries regarding the follow up and the monitoring of grants.

  • One of the social challenge areas listed is called 'ecological and social transition'. Could you help me understand how specifically 'ecological transition' is defined?

    Ecological transition refers to energy transition (energy efficiency, preference for renewable energies), industrial transition (local production of recyclable goods in a circular economy perspective) as well as agri-food transition (replacement of an industrial agriculture by an organic one). Social-ecological transition refers to actions that respond to environmental change in socially progressive ways.  

  • Do applicants need to write a plan for 5 EU countries or just a plan for one country?

    You may submit a proposal to develop a plan that aims to scale proven innovations within one country, or across a number of countries. If you aim to scale an innovation across a number of countries it is likely that the consortium will have members from the countries targeted. Preference will be given to applications that aim to reach the most significant scale.


    However, you must explain how the plan is relevant to at least 5 EU Member States, including the one(s), in which you actually intend to scale and at least 2 Central and Eastern Europe Countries (CEECs). 

Applicants may view their submission through the application portal to read only

We are no longer accepting new or revised submissions. Evaluation currently in process.

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CONTACT EUROPEAN SOCIAL CATALYST FUND

Genio (Ireland) is the lead contact on the ESCF. We will respond to queries by email up to the 4th September 2020.

19 - 21 Westland Sq., Pearse St., Dublin 2

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