Rotary International District 1040
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Future Vision: Some Immediate Implications
This paper explains the key implications of Future Vision insofar as it affects our use of the district designated fund (DDF) for district simplified grants (DSG) and matching grants from 1st July this year until the world-wide launch of future Vision in 2013.
Future Vision will come into full effect throughout Rotary from 1st July 2013. In order to test the proposed Future Vision regime and to improve it where necessary, a controlled evaluation process has been set up. One hundred districts have been designated as pilot districts and they will operate under the new rules of Future Vision throughout the three-year interim period beginning 1st July 2010. In order to maintain integrity of the evaluation, The Rotary Foundation (TRF) has introduced special rules concerning how pilot districts and non-pilot districts are able to seek WF funding for projects.
Last year D1040 applied for pilot district designation but we were unsuccessful. Four districts within RIBI have been designated pilot districts.
The current system of re-cycling donations made to TRF will be retained. Three years following a year in which donations are made, the money is reallocated in two parts. Half is allocated to the TRF's World Fund (WF) and can, following a successful application by districts, be used to match monies contributed by districts and clubs in a grant application. The remaining 50% of DDF is returned to districts for districts to determine how it should be used, within guidelines.
The DDF can currently be allocated by districts as DSG (20%) and the remainder for matching grants, ambassadorial scholarships etc. Future Vision makes three important changes to this situation (from 1st July 2010 for pilot districts and from 2013 for all districts).
First, the norm will be for DSG to remain at 20% of DDF but a district will be able to request up to 50% of its DDF to be allocated as a District Grant to be used for relatively small budget projects promoted by the district's clubs. However, TRF will only agree to this after the district has successfully come through an extensive qualification procedure and after the district has provided detailed proposals with its application.
Second, matching grants will be phased out. New applications will not be accepted for 2013-14 and beyond but those in operation at 1st July 2013 will proceed to completion.
Third, global grants will be introduced. These will result in larger projects and will be subject to more scrutiny in terms on sustainability and management capability. The minimum project value will be roughly three times larger. Key features are listed below.
· The minimum award from WF by TRF is US$15,000, which results in a minimum project budget of $30,000. However within D1040 we 100% match a club's contribution with funds from our DDF and, therefore, the minimum project size in D1040 will be $35,000 (For example, club raises $10k + D1040 matches club $10k from DDF and TRF grants $15k from WF by matching 50% club and 100% DDF. Total project size $35k).
· Projects must be demonstrably sustainable.
· Projects must meet at least one of the six areas of focus (not difficult as they are very wide ranging).
· Sponsoring districts must first qualify by demonstrating, inter alia, that they have established a managing committee and that it has the required management capability.
· The application process has two stages. A proposal must be submitted to TRF. Following approval an application for Global grant can be made. This process could take up to a year.
The process encourages clubs to plan ahead to form partnerships able to fund and then manage implementation of large projects. In D1040, clubs may need to work in partnership to raise their minimum $10k and to assemble the skills to manage projects.
Interim situation – from July 2010 to July 2013
The 100 pilot districts will not be eligible to participate in applications for matching grants; instead they will be able to seek global grants (see above). They will also be able to apply to use up to 50% of their DDF as DSG.
The remaining 330 non-pilot districts will not be eligible to participate in applications for global grants; instead whey will continue to operate under the current system of matching grants and 20% of DDF as DSG.
This means that pilot districts cannot form partnerships with non-pilot districts for projects seeking matching or global grants. For D1040 this means that our proposed applications for matching grant funding of projects in the Pilot districts of West Africa (D9100), East Africa (D9200) and elsewhere cannot proceed.
Non-pilot districts can continue to support projects in pilot districts by using their DSG but this is limited to 20% of DDF. For D1040 this is only $16k in the coming year and our long-standing policy has been to use DSG exclusively for community projects, located within the district.
For both matching and global grants it is possible for an application to be made using DDF only, with zero WF contribution. However, such applications are subject to the appropriate application procedures for those grants. As such, a non-pilot district could not use its DDF for a grant application in a pilot district.
Non-pilot districts could transfer DDF to a pilot district (host or international partner) but the transferred funds would become part of the total funding pool of the pilot district to be used at its sole discretion. The funds could be used by the recipient district in an application for a global grant, in which case the applicant would have management responsibility, including financial responsibility, for the project. In this situation there is room here for a pilot district to adopt a non-pilot project and also to give an undertaking to use any gifted non-pilot DDF as part of a global grant application by the pilot district.
The Way Forward
As Future Vision is being phased in over three years, we can take the opportunity to use this interim period to prepare fully for 2013. Future Vision encourages clubs to plan ahead. Whether pilot or non-pilot, we should start now to:-
- prepare for the pre-qualification process,
- develop large sustainable projects for funding under global grant arrangements;
- form partnerships with host clubs, able to implement and monitor and report on large projects;
- form partnerships with other clubs to raise the minimum club $10k and to develop appropriate project management skills.
Continue to develop and implement humanitarian projects in the developing world. Thankfully, many of our current matching grant proposals are in collaboration with other non-pilot districts. These, and future ones with non-pilot districts, can proceed during the interim period up to and including 2012-13. Do check early though that your proposed partner club is not in a Pilot District; do this by searching Future Vision on the RI website to find the list of Pilot Districts.
For projects involving pilot districts, at least for projects which could meet the
minimum size of $35k, a way forward could be to seek a pilot district willing to
take on the project as international partner in a global grant application. DDF
would then be transferred from D1040 to the pilot district which in turn would
undertake to use it in its global grant application in support of the project. The
pilot district would have sole responsibility for all aspects of project management
but the D1040 club would act as project consultant, thereby importing project
knowledge, maintaining host district relationships and retaining some ownership.
For smaller projects in pilot districts and for projects which cannot be grouped or
grown to meet the minimum for global grant, the only current way forward would
be to raise funds without expectation of DDF or global grant.
D1040 is aware of the difficulties and anomalies which the planned phased introduction of Future Vision appears to create and is actively seeking to find solutions through dialogue with TRF, particularly with those who are steering Future Vision through its phased introduction.
The issue is moving.