Call for Proposal: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) Programme – for South Africans

Hivos Southern African Hub aims towards an open and green society, inspired by humanist values such as freedom, dignity, responsibility and curiosity. Our objective is that every person can live in freedom and dignity on a planet that is sustainable. We pride ourselves as upholding the principles of Social innovation of generating new ideas and approaches that resolve existing social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges for the benefit of people and planet.

The Regional SRHR Fund (RSRHR Fund) is a regional mechanism that was set up by Ford Foundation and Hivos Southern Africa in 2010 to strengthen regional work in the region on SRHR with a view to improve coordination efforts to address major SRHR issues. At the end of 2017 the Fund signed a contract for additional funding from the Swedish Embassy in Lusaka to enable it to expand the breadth and focus of its work. The Fund currently focuses its efforts on Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR). To do so, it supports civil society responses to a diversity of ASRHR issues that are relevant at both the national and regional levels using grant-making as the main mechanism of support.

Funding:  Grants will be provided to organisations proposing innovative ways to address the key challenges that young people and adolescents face in accessing sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) services. Grants will principally focus on providing support to regional ASRHR advocacy and capacity development efforts, although strategic linkages with broader initiatives in other regions will be encouraged.

The following funding categories are open:

Category 1 Grants: Youth led organisations (both established and emerging):

This category supports activities at a national level to a maximum of $25, 000. Category 1 grants aim to ensure that youth-led organisations have enhanced capacity to conceptualise, design and coordinate Adolescent SRHR targeted activities in a more efficient and effective way. These activities will include advocacy, organisational capacity strengthening and knowledge management. A total of 8 grants will be awarded under category 1.

Category 2: Youth focused and serving organisations

This category supports activities at both national and regional level. Applicants may apply for a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $100, 000. Category 2 grants aim to support youth focused initiatives that significantly and meaningfully contribute to improving adolescent SRHR outcomes at national and regional level. The maximum number of grants to be awarded under this category is 10.

Category 3: Research organisations and Institutions

This category supports both national and regional research initiatives to a maximum of $20,000.  Category 3 grants aim to support innovative adolescent focused SRHR research initiatives from both academic and non-academic institutions. Priority will be given to research that aims to identify the key challenges and solutions in relation to young people and adolescent’s ability to access and utilize SRHR services including a focus on the most marginalized groups and on addressing gender inequalities. A total of 2 grants will be awarded under this category.

Geographic Focus:  Southern and East Africa including; Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya. Regional Applications will also be considered.


With the additional funding from Sida, the Fund seeks to support efforts to advocate for or take actions that can lead to improvements in the availability and accessibility of SRHR services for young people and adolescents in the Southern and East Africa region with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized people including young women and girls.

The intermediate outcome of the ASRHR programme is:

Stronger and more coordinated youth-led and youth-focused civil society in Southern and Eastern Africa that can promote, addressing and advancing ASRHR and its interconnection to HIV at the regional level, with a key focus on adolescents and youth as a highly vulnerable and underserved population, despite being an expanding demographic in the region.

The key objectives of the ASRHR programme are:

Objective 1: Capacity Strengthening – Youth-led and/or youth-focused organisations are trained, mentored and upskilled in all areas of organizational and programmatic capacity to enable them to gather evidence, and to promote and advocate for improved access for adolescents and youth to SRHR services

Objective 2: Knowledge Management – There is improved knowledge sharing, networking and data collection on SRHR in the region by youth-led and/or youth-focused organisations and individuals, as well as increased capacity for youth-driven research

Objective 3: Advocacy and Awareness Raising – Youth-led and/or youth-focused organisations have improved capacity to conceptualise, design and coordinate joint ASRHR advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns in the region

Objective 4: Coordination / convening – Youth-led and/or youth focused organisations have enhanced capacity to coordinate SRHR activities and convene spaces through integrated and inter-linked initiatives, including with similar organizations in East Africa

Proposal Focus

In the Southern and East African region conservative, religious and cultural beliefs mean that adolescent and youth sexual activity is viewed negatively, and prevailing attitudes make it difficult for young people to access the SRHR services that they need.  Young people are, however, already taking steps to develop and implement awareness raising and advocacy campaigns on SRHR issues of relevance to them. There is an emergence of a new cadre of young leaders and youth organizations who are seeking to take the lead on advocating for tailored SRH services. While some are showing impressive capacity to spearhead and lead initiatives, many individuals and organizations still need a level of capacity building, mentorship as well as tools and resources to usher in the changes that they feel are critical to meeting their specific SRH needs and rights.  Capacity building is also needed to facilitate genuine youth participation and leadership, to enable youth to gather and control the knowledge about their SRHR needs and issues as well as to build the foundation for a cadre of youth-led organizations that can sustain their efforts over the longer term.

The Regional SRHR Fund is therefore seeking proposals that put forward approaches and activities that seek to improve the SRHR outcomes for young people and adolescents.

Activities can include:

  • developing and implementing initiatives to improve the capacity of youth led and youth focused organisation to gather evidence, and to promote and advocate for improved access for adolescents and youth to SRHR services; and
  • advocacy efforts that seek to change/implement policies or programs at the national and regional level;
  • research to gather, document and share evidence on key challenges that young people and adolescents face in accessing SRHR services;
  • pilot testing programs that seek to strengthen capacity for youth-driven research

Proposals should clearly demonstrate anticipated outcomes linked to the objectives of the proposal call. Applicants should be based or able to work in one of the identified countries (Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe or Kenya).  The maximum length of a proposal is 10 pages (including budget, results-framework and work plan). The proposal could build on existing activities or initiatives of applicants. The proposed intervention should not be less than 6 months and should not exceed 12 months.

Funding is limited is therefore preference will be given to:

  1. Proposals that are well thought out and demonstrate a clear connection to the objectives of the Regional SRHR Fund and the proposal call.
  2. Proposals that demonstrate innovative approaches that seek to gather, and document best practices and lessons learned on undertaking advocacy and awareness-raising on ASRHR that are geared to young audiences and utilize relevant ICT technologies;
  3. Proposals that have the potential to have the greatest impact in improving access to SRHR services for young people and adolescents in Southern and East Africa.
  4. Proposals that include elements of sustainability

Additional Information

  • Proposals should be rooted in the existing work and core activities of the organization
  • Proposals should demonstrate that the organization applying for the grant is working in and has relationships with relevant stakeholders in one of the target countries.
  • The organization should be able to demonstrate an understanding of SRHR in the region and the connection to young people and adolescents
  • Proposals should be submitted with a corresponding budget, work plan and results framework.
  • Proposals must adhere to international safety and ethical guidelines
  • Proposals must be received on time and should conform with the information requested as articulated in the proposal guidelines.
  • Applicants must be able to ensure strong governance and financial management arrangements through the provision of the necessary paperwork to demonstrate this.
  • Only activity-based costs (admin costs included) will be considered.
  • Previous Fund recipients are eligible to apply as long as they fulfil the criteria stated above.
  • Preference will be given to supporting organizations that are seeking to work at the regional or multi-country level and applications that focus on the inclusion  of marginalised groups of young people.
  • Submission of a proposal does not automatically guarantee funding.
  • Review of proposals will be done by a Selection Committee that will review proposals against the set selection criteria.

Proposal Templates

Prospective applicants should request for templates from the provided email address (i.e.

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