Created on Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 17:05:22

Strengthening linkages and collaboration between CSOs/NGOs and the formal health system in the OECS through joint referral systems.



The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition is putting out a Call for Concept Notes for small grants.  CSOs/NGOs implementation of grants will involve setting up a community based entry point to referral pathways to enhance treatment outcomes for Key Populations in the OECS. This call for proposal will be conducted in two (2) phases. In phase one only concept notes should be submitted for evaluation. Shortlisted applicants will then be invited to submit proposals based on stipulated guidelines.

Organizations that submit strong concept notes will receive technical support and mentoring from CVC to complete and submit full applications and can expect to receive funding and technical assistance to further develop their model Community-based referral project into a promising practice for possible scale-up by National AIDS Programs and donor agencies throughout the OECS.

Available Funding

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) is a sub-recipient of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) grant through funding provided from The Global Fund is calling for proposals from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Antigua, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia & St. Vincent and the Grenadines working in the area of HIV that focus on work on interventions related to the continuum of care, working with Persons living with HIV (PLWHIV), Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) Transgender People, Sex Workers (SW) Marginalized Youth (MY) and former inmates.

Each organization may apply for an award of maximum $15,000USD to support project-related costs for a period of up to 15 months. Applications for supporting general administrative and operational costs cannot be considered.

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

Non-governmental or community-based organizations in Antigua, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia & St. Vincent and the Grenadines working in the area of STI/HIV , HIV/TB that focus on work with Men Who Have Sex with Men(MSM) Transgender People, Sex Workers(SW), Migrants, Prisoners and Marginalised Youth(MY) identified in these Key populations

Purpose of the Grant

Integrating Community and Clinical health services in the OECS is an important strategy to facilitate achieving the 90 90 90 targets as it pertains to Key Populations in the OECS. The purpose of the grant is support and strengthen the capacity of CSOs/NGOs/CBOs in the OECS with the objective of enhancing Care and Treatment Outcomes for Key Populations through the development of Community-based referral and counter referral systems to help key populations access testing and care, and if HIV positive, enhance their treatment outcomes.  

Community-based systems are still poorly represented in health system and health system strengthening frameworks in the OECS. There is a tendency to view communities primarily as clients of clinical health services, and not active participants in the health system. This call invites CSO and local authorities to come together to discuss and explore new approaches and ways of thinking that link community and clinic components together rather than regard them as discrete independent elements.

The CBO/MOH joint work developing a Community based referral system will assist in developing a commonly agreed upon framework that emphasizes specific community aspects and/or functions that can complement and enhance services delivered by the formal health sector. Interested CSOs/NGOs/CBOs are therefore requested to submit a concept note as a potential grant implementer after sustaining conversations with the local authorities on how they can collaborate together to make the referral system as integrated and complementary as possible. The Concept Note should be based on the discussions and agreements reached. In a community-based referral system supported by this grant, the objectives and processes are very similar to those of the health facility-based system. What varies is that in the former, an organization based in the community coordinates the referral system. In its coordination role, the CBO is responsible for establishing linkages, managing the network, developing and updating referral forms, and conducting quality assurance to ensure client linkage and satisfaction with services.

Concept Note Guidelines  

The Concept Note should not be more than five pages long, single space and 1 inch margins in Ariel 11 font. It should be accompanied by an Outline Budget (in word or in excel) that identifies the main budget lines envisaged in the 15 month grant.

The Concept Note should be presented provide a clear definition of the breadth and members of the referral system. It should specify the following key components of the referral system:

Concept Note Format:

  1. Introduction/Background

The Introduction/Background section should explain in a couple of paragraphs how the concept note was developed, which organisations have been involved and what agreements have been reached with the National AIDS Programme, Ministry of Health and other local authorities regarding the establishment of a Community-based referral system. This section should include any country specific data/experiences past or current with referral systems and explain how the proposed model will build on or collaborate with any such initiatives.

  1. Implementation Organisation

The Concept Note should clarify

  1. Scope and Coverage

The Concept Note should outline the intended coverage of the referral system, which specific populations it will serve, the type of programme/health areas that the referral system proposes to address, the scope of the referral system (national versus local), and the types of organizations involved in the referral system. It should include all existing or possible services the programme proposes to offer, even if these services are not offered in all locations.

  1. Conclusion

The Concept Note should end with a brief account about why the establishment of a Community-based referral system as described in this Concept Note would be beneficial to key populations in your country.

  1. Annexes

The applicant may submit Letters of support from key partner organisations who will be involved in the referral system including from the local authorities.



All Concept Notes will be considered and reviewed by a Committee and scored against the Form, and the following criteria: Scores

1. Relevance of the action



1.1 How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals?*


1.2 How relevant to the particular needs and constraints of the target population(s) is the proposal?


2. Design of the action



2.1 How coherent is the overall design of the action?

In particular, does it reflect the analysis of the problems involved, take into account external factors and relevant stakeholders?


2.2 Is the action feasible and consistent in relation to the objectives?






The Application should be sent in a word document, and include the 4 sections described in the Concept Note Guidelines section of this call. It should be submitted in English. Please read all of the all the instructions in this call carefully as the call provides all the information necessary for the proper preparation and submission of a successful concept note.

Submission of Applications

Please submit all applications to:

Please include subject line – „Community Grant Proposal OECS – (country you are applying for) – (Referral Systems Grant) ‟. For example, „Community Grant Proposal OECS – Antigua – Referral Systems Grant ‟

All applications must be received no later than: August 21st, 2017

Confidentiality and Communications

Throughout the review and award process, CVC respects the privacy of the applicant and is committed to protecting from disclosure any confidential or proprietary information contained in a submitted proposal.

Requirements and Restrictions

CVC seeks to support quality and accountable programs. Therefore, all organizations funded through this grant-process will be required to provide monthly, mid-term and final reports.

Organizations should be able and ready to document appropriate financial and accounting controls, including measures to prevent duplicated use or misappropriation of funds. CVC will provide close technical support and financial oversight of all mini-grants awarded.




Deadline for submission of Concept Notes

August 21st, 2017

5:00 PM Jamaica time

Invitations to submit Full Application Form

August 31st, 2017

Deadline for submission of Full Application Form

September  15th, 2017

5:00PM Jamaica time

Information to applicants on the evaluation of the Full Application

September 29th,2017

Contract signature

October 2nd, 2017

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