CWF Pattern

Grants programme

View this year's focus areas

Grants call 2022-2023

As one of the three intergovernmental pillars of the Commonwealth, the Foundation operates within that critical space between government and the people. The Foundation works to bring the voice of civil society into all aspects of governance, supporting civil society engagement in shaping the policies and decisions that affect people’s lives.

The Foundation’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026 is strongly linked to the Commonwealth Charter and its values and aspirations, and it identifies three thematic areas of focus:

  • Health
  • Environment and climate change
  • Freedom of expression

Applications for the 2022-2023 grants call open at 1pm GMT on Thursday 29 September and close at 1pm GMT on Tuesday 1 November. For details on eligibility and the application process please download the call documents below.


Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines for Applicants

Logic Model Template
 
How to Submit Your Grant Application

Application Form Questions

Eligible Countries 2022-2023

Focus Areas

Applicants must address one or more of the Foundation’s three priority themes: 

(i) Health
(ii) Environment and climate change
(iii) Freedom of expression 

We seek to support initiatives that encourage and make possible meaningful and constructive engagement between civil society and government around policy and decision-making relevant to these three themes. 

The Foundation’s themes overlap and connect in myriad ways. Applicants are encouraged to explore those intersections when developing their proposals and, where appropriate, consider addressing more than one theme. 

Possible health focus areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on: 

  • Advocating for universal health coverage 
  • Realising the right to health through better availability, quality, and accountability in health services and delivery 
  • Developing programmes and policies that address the social determinants of health. 

Possible environment and climate change areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on: 

  • Developing, reviewing and improving laws, policies and practices aimed at addressing environmental and climate threats 
  • Monitoring the implementation of relevant laws, policies and practices — such as national climate plans or commitments 
  • Addressing mitigation and adaptation challenges. 

Possible freedom of expression areas may include supporting civil society to engage meaningfully with government on: 

  • Advocating for a legal and regulatory environment that protects and upholds freedom of expression for all 
  • Promoting access to information and transparency in governance, including through a free and independent press, robust freedom of information laws and their practical application 
  • Supporting civil society to work with artists to raise awareness to issues of freedom of expression and engage in advocacy efforts around these issues 

Additional themes 

Applicants are encouraged to reflect on our other themes and considerations which, while important to us, do not necessarily need to be reflected in successful applications. 

Gender 

We recognise that social structures and systems are shaped by gendered power dynamics that often reflect and perpetuate inequality and discrimination. We ask all applicants to demonstrate an understanding of how gender operates within their chosen theme/s and show how they will integrate that understanding into their project. 

Partnerships 

The Foundation understands our limits to fund worthwhile initiatives and we encourage applicants to carefully consider how they can leverage partnerships to further enhance their work. 

Participation of young people 

Young people are central to the Foundation’s mission and vision. Applications are encouraged from CSOs working to support and advance the involvement of young people in their own governance, as well as from CSOs that include young people in their structure. 

Small and vulnerable member states 

The Commonwealth is a champion of small states and carries a special duty to support and advocate for the interests of small and vulnerable states. Applications from eligible small and vulnerable states are strongly encouraged. 

Capacity Development

The Foundation understands the importance of strengthening organisational capacity. Shortlisted projects will therefore be invited to propose capacity strengthening initiatives that cover organisational needs that are broader than the project but that help to enhance organisational effectiveness. See Guidelines for Applicants for more information.