Frequently asked questions

Local government and other state authorities and public agencies could, and how, participate in the Program?

Participation is only possible through a partnership with non-governmental organizations interested in implementing a project in synergy with other NGOs and / or local authorities, thus responding to the Call for Proposals. In each case, host / local municipalities may be included as non-funded partners. Non-funded partners can contribute to the project proposal with beneficiaries and through allocation of premises and/or staff, participation and active promotion of information as well as sensitization campaigns.

I represent an NGO which has the profile you describe and fulfills the two years of experience criterion. The process to submit a proposal is open and on-going?

No. Funded projects will occur as a result of an open Call for Proposals and final selection based on specific criteria as described in the Invitation. Any other proposal, beyond this frame, will not be taken into account.

How has been determined the framework of the SOAM Program? Why IOM has set these specific objectives and target groups?

The SOAM Program is based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Greece and the Donor states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) in November of 2011 as well as in the Agreement of the IOM Athens with the Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA Grants. IOM Athens acts as a Fund Operator being responsible for the overall development, implementation and monitoring of the Program, releasing EEA funding to the NGOs based on project progress.

In the Call for Proposals, under point 2 (Aim and Scope of the Call), it is mentioned that the purpose is to invite NGOs registered in Greece that either run a center or wish to run a center. Can, therefore, a NGO registered in Greece lead a proposal under this call even though it does not run or wish to run a center but only propose to provide services to centers (e.g. legal services or medical services)? If no, is it eligible to lead a proposal if one or more centers are partners in the proposal?

In all cases, such NGO could participate in the Project as partner and not leader. Leader can only be a NGO which runs / wish to run a reception center.

In point 2.1 of the Proposal it is stated that the expected outcomes of the Program are a) improved quality (in line with Directive on Minimum Standards), b) improved quantity (100 new places). In this framework, can proposals that achieve only one of the expected outcomes (e.g. higher quality) be considered for funding? In addition, can proposals that improve the quality in an already existing center (or more) and also increase the capacity to a certain extent (e.g. 20 new places) be considered for funding?

Applicant NGOs should respond to both quality and quantity. Regarding the possibility to divert from the provision for 100 new seats, yes it is possible.

Can a NGO submit proposal only for the 60 new places dedicated for unaccompanied minors? If no and, if these 60 new places can be distributed in no more than 2 centers, the rest of 40 new places could be distributed in a third center even fourth?

Yes, it is possible to submit a proposal only for the 60 places for unaccompanied minors (distributed between no more than two reception centers) or for just 30 places for unaccompanied minors in one center. Regarding distribution of 100 beneficiaries in more than 2 or even 3 and 4 reception centers, this will be up to the NGOs to decide in their proposals. Please note that in such cases, the administrative costs might be higher if the places are divided into several sites. Matters of this kind will be addressed/ assessed during the selection procedure according to the selection criteria set in the Call for Proposals.

What if a NGO does not have audit reports produced by an approved external auditor certifying its accounts? Could such a NGO submit a proposal as leader? If no and, taking into account that this audit procedure would require about 2 months to be completed, would it be possible for the NGO to submit these documents later (namely after the call expires) but in all cases before the evaluation procedure is completed?

Providing such audit reports produced by external auditor is a prerequisite. Nevertheless, it is possible to submit such documents after the deadline for submission of project proposals, within 30-40 days and, no later than the 13th of May 2013 (due to the Orthodox Easter).

Since standard operating procedures are not applied in Greece why are they mentioned in the Call for Proposals?

Since such standard operating procedures will, at some point in the near future, be applied, NGOs should know that they will have to take them into account whenever this happens in the course of the SOAM Program.

Is it possible, in the case of forty (40) beneficiaries from vulnerable groups, instead of establishing a reception center, alternatively to rent a certain number of protected apartments to be used for the covering of the housing needs of these people?

Yes, it might be possible, though you should bear in mind that the existence of many project sites may increase the administrative costs of the project also in relation with the need for the residents’ security.

Does the eligibility of expenditure comprise the renting of a building and/or apartments?

Yes, though in this case too, one should take into consideration the cost-effectiveness of project activities.

Is it possible that project actions may be extended to two (2) different geographical areas yet securing complementarity between structures? For example, with respect to the sixty (60) unaccompanied minors the following structures to be established: a) structure for thirty (30) unaccompanied minors in the province b) structure for fifteen (15) unaccompanied minors in Athens and c) reinforcing the capacity of an existing structure in Athens with the creation of another fifteen (15) new places?

Complementarity of actions, as well as structures created outside the Attica Periphery, are desired Project outcomes. Once again, it should be taken into account the possibility of increasing the project’s administrative costs, the need for security provisions in all project sites and the existence of necessary construction/ user permits.

Is there a timeframe set, during which a building should be allocated to /secured for SOAM project activities? I heard somewhere that 10 years are requested.

Securing ownership and use of a building for SOAM activities, in all cases, should cover for at least the duration of the Program (three years minimum) and as long as possible after the completion of the Program to ensure sustainability of its achievements.

Could studies, regarding works in buildings, be considered eligible expenditure under SOAM?

Such studies may be an eligible expenditure. Nevertheless, applicants should take under serious consideration the time needed for such a study and that the expected start date and maturity of a project will be valued accordingly. Projects demonstrating higher level of maturity and readiness will have a plus in this case. In addition, please take into account the provision stating that “costs related to reconstruction, renovation, or refurbishment of a real estate shall not exceed 50% of the eligible direct cost of the project”.

Is there a possibility of evaluating and/or approving part of a project proposal? For instance, are we allowed to submit a project proposal with many different actions/ components which could be implemented independently one from the other and, subsequently, some of them to be examined and perhaps approved?

In order for project proposals to be measurable, comparable and evaluated, they need to be seen and treated as entities, even though they might consist of many actions and sub-actions.
Taking into account that a) there is no predetermined number of proposals which will be implemented b) the Call provides that project proposals which achieve less than 60% of the total available points are not subject to funding c) the scoring chart reflects the overall picture and quality of the proposal d) NGOs have the possibility to propose actions and participate in up to two Consortia (as Leaders and project partners), project proposals cannot be partly examined and evaluated. This, of course, does not mean that at the final stage and, after having selected projects for funding, minor changes and improvements cannot be suggested. In all cases, such interventions shall not alter the nature of the approved proposals.

In the expected outcomes, it is mentioned the creation of 100 new places in reception centers. Please specify whether this is the target number set by the Call for the project proposals.

The 100 new places, as already answered in previous set of questions, is an indicative and desirable expected quantitative output. It is not absolutely necessary for an NGO, in order to submit a proposal, to create 100 new places. The number of places of each project depends on the structures and the administrative capacity of the NGOs. In all cases, cost-effectiveness counts.

In the Guide for Applicants, in the financial aspects of grants (page 4), it is mentioned that contribution in kind in the form of volunteer work shall be documented by dully signed timesheets detailing the tasks carried out. Please specify whether these timesheets are concrete and will be provided by SOAM?

It is possible that templates of such documents/ timesheets with details requested may be provided by the Program in order to secure a certain data uniformity and easier control. Alternatively, each beneficiary NGO may create such timesheets or use existing templates (valid for both Applicant NGO and partners). At this stage of the SOAM Program, it might not be the best timing for answering such a question which, nevertheless, does not change the basic parameters of the Call for Proposals