The NRT Pooled Conservancy Fund (PCF) is open for any NRT member conservancy to apply to. Conservancy boards make the resolve to apply, and the conservancy manager does so on behalf of their community. The PCF is supported by USAID, The Nature Conservancy, DANIDA and Tusk Trust. Split into two categories – the Conservancy Operations Fund and the Conservancy Livelihoods Fund – conservancies may apply for either or both, depending on their needs.
NRT conservancies require (i) recurrent annual operational budgets to build their institutions, maintain basic operations and security, pay staff and keep a presence; and (ii) development budgets to support community programmes that build peace, develop enterprises and livelihoods, improve access to education, health and water, improve rangelands and manage wildlife.
Both of these are essential to building resilient communities and ecosystems – strengthening community institutions and supporting their development programmes. Until now, NRT has done much of the work to raise operational funds for individual conservancies, and development has often been supply-driven, by NRT, development NGOs, private investors or Government. NRT’s Pooled Conservancy Fund is designed to transform this imbalance, to empower communities through their conservancies to prioritise, plan, fund-raise and implement their operations and their own community development programmes. This will strengthen ownership and the conservancy institutions, achieve higher impact, and build long-term sustainability.
NRT maintains a strong support and oversight role in accountability for these funds. Close scrutiny is given to budgets to ensure cost-effectiveness across NRT. The NRT County Coordinator is responsible for maintaining oversight of livelihoods funds, advising the Manager and Board on execution, and raising concerns relating to governance and management. Successful applicants account to NRT for funds spent, and a single annual report is provided to all donors, showing impacts and accounting for funds. The Conservancy is required to complete an audit of alloperational and community accounts each year.
The Conservancy Livelihood Fund supports peace building initiatives such as reconciliation meetings, dialogue sessions and training
What funds are available?
Two funding windows are now open in the Pooled Conservancy Fund for the FY 2016:
Conservancy Operations Fund 2016
For recurrent annual operations, to build conservancy institutions, maintain basic operations and security, pay staff and keep a presence. The Operations Fund is explicitly for raising performance standards in conservancy management, so the application criteria reflect good governance, planning and management, and financial oversight.
Conservancy Livelihoods Fund 2016
For development budgets to support community programmes that build peace, develop enterprises and livelihoods, improve access to education, health and water, improve rangelands and manage wildlife. The Livelihoods Fund is explicitly for creating incentives for membership of strong conservancies, so the criteria reflect good participation, communication and targeting of beneficiaries.
The Conservancy Operations Fund aims to help conservancies maintain security, pay wages, and raise performance standards
Criteria and Conditions – Conservancy Operations Fund
Eligibility and funds available: All NRT conservancies are eligible (except NRT-North Rift because of alternative funding arrangements). Each conservancy can make only one application per year, by 20th November. There is no financial limit per application, but the Operations Fund will be distributed amongst conservancies according to need, proposal quality and past performance.
Use of funds: the funds may be used for any operational purposes, including salaries and staff costs, fuel and vehicle maintenance, conservancy capital costs, board and community meetings, communications and office management. The funds are to supplement existing operational budgets from government, commercial revenues (the 40%), and direct or restricted donor funds – these revenue sources must be shown in applications.
Criteria for application:
- Core governing documents: legal status, constitution, management plan, benefits distribution and communication plan
- An effective board, showing leadership, vision and good communication across the conservancy, and high quality AGMs with good attendance
- An effective manager, showing good organisational and financial management, reporting and communications to members (notices on CoMMs, Management Plan, staff and board roles, maps, published budget)
- A well-functioning CoMMS, used in communications and decision-making
- An annual operational plan for the year with clear targets, drawn from the Conservancy Community Development and Management Plan
- An annual budget showing secured income streams and gaps, following NRT operational cost norms
- Accounts and audit from previous year
- The application must be approved and signed by the Manager, Chairman and NRT RC
Criteria and Conditions – Conservancy Livelihood Fund
Eligibility and funds available: All NRT conservancies are eligible (except NRT-North Rift). Each conservancy can make only one application per year, with a financial limit of KES 2 Million per application. We highly encourage matching funds from other sources. There are limited funds available, so only the best proposals will be funded.
Use of funds: the funds must be used for improving the livelihoods of members of the conservancy, including programmes that build peace, develop enterprises and livelihoods, support education, health and access to water, improve rangelands and manage wildlife for tourism. The funds can be used to top up existing community funds or livelihood projects, but priorities must be agreed through community participation (e.g. in the Management Plan or at the AGM). Funds cannot be used for routine conservancy operations.
Criteria for application:
- Must meet the criteria for governance, planning, operational performance and sound financial management set out for the Operations Fund
- The focus of the application must have been identified through active community participation (e.g. priority identified in the Conservancy Community Development and Management Plan and/or Annual Operational Plan)
- The specific location and benefitting members under the application must have been agreed by the Board or through the AGM, through the same process of agreeing use of the conservancy’s Community Fund
- Matching funds from the Conservancy’s own Community Fund, or any other source, will be highly rated in scoring applications
- Demonstrate how the grant will generate stronger community ownership of the conservancy
- Must show cost-effectiveness and value-for-money
- The application must be approved and signed by the Manager, Board Chairman and NRT County Coordinator