*Updated on 17 July 2019

Under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for migrant protection and reintegration, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for West and Central Africa will award five grants to projects whose aim is to promote innovative approaches to raising awareness on irregular migration in the following countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

Through these grants, IOM offers a chance to small scale local organisations or SMEs to contribute to the wellbeing of migrants, youth and their communities. The current guidelines describe who’s eligible and how local organisations can submit their ideas through the IOM officer in their country. 



The objective of this initiative is to enable third parties to organize relevant activities or develop tools that promote the social integration of (returned/transit) migrants, access to information on migration and/or access to information on alternatives to irregular migration.

The underlying goal is to increase the project management capacity of local organisations, giving them an opportunity to become professional partners with proven experience. The initiative will enable IOM to learn from partners on-the-ground, and explore new and innovative approaches to raising awareness about alternatives to irregular migration.

The initiative targets small scale projects with a maximum budget of €8000 per project, and which are fully initiated and carried out by local organisations. Each candidate organisation can only receive funding once.



Local organisations (including community centers, migrant associations, sports clubs, theatre, dance or music groups, schools, youth movement groups, students’ associations, cultural organisations, or PMEs) can submit a request for funding if they:

  • Have been legally established in one the target countries[1] since for at least 12 months and have a bank account;
  • Have proven experience working on migration issues or the promotion of local opportunities; and
  • Have a strong interest in empowering youth.


Proposal from individuals, international NGOs, International Governmental Organizations or large companies[2] are not eligible for funding.

Activities are eligible for funding if they seek to[3]:

  • inform about irregular migration, local opportunities or legal alternatives in a creative and innovative manner; or
  • actively promote social cohesion between migrant and host communities; or
  • facilitate the integration of migrants (including children and youth) in host communities; or
  • improve the access of young people to alternatives to irregular migration; or
  • empower youth and boost their confidence; or
  • be participative and focus on the inclusion of vulnerable individuals; or
  • facilitate the integration of youth, including returned and potential migrants in existing projects and structures (cf. sport clubs, music schools, other leisure activities).

The following criteria will give organisations a better chance to be selected:

  • long term projects rather than oneshot activities (cf. an eight-week sports training program vs. one tournament) as they generally create lasting change and have a deeper impact
  • projects that are based on an original idea, unconditional formats or innovative approaches
  • evidence that the project will support the organisation to learn and grow

All activities need to have a clear link with migration and/or involve (returned) migrants. Organizations are free to submit up to three proposals but can only receive financial support through the fund once. 


how to apply?

A standard application form is available at the bottom of this page. Interested organisations are invited to submit their application form by email, to the address projectideas@iom.int Your country should be included in the title of the email!

After initial feedback and eligibility check, IOM will get in touch with the shortlisted applicants.

Proposal can be submitted starting from the online publication date and until 31 May 2020, or until the total budget is consumed. All proposed activities must be completed before 30 September 2020.


    approval process

    Proposals will be evaluated – based on the reception of duly filled application forms and passing the eligibility criteria – on a first come first serve principle. Priority may be given to projects that stand out because of their innovative or original approach. The fund will accept proposals until 31 May 2020, or until all available budget is spent.

    To ensure that sufficient time remains to implement activities application will be evaluated according to the following dates :

    • First round: 17 October 2019
    • Second round: 17 December 2020
    • Third round: 17 February 2020
    • Fourth round: 17 April 2020


    Type of costs supported

    The following expenses can be funded by the innovation fund (non-exhaustive list):

    • costs incurred during the duration of the activity
    • staff salary costs for the duration of the activity (but should not exceed 30% of overall budget)[4]
    • volunteer reimbursements
    • costs of services
    • production of materials for the activity
    • purchase of equipment
    • food and drinks during an event or activity
    • rent of a venue
    • communication costs
    • travel and accommodation


    Non-eligible costs under the innovation fund are:

    • direct financial support to return and reintegration of migrants (other mechanisms are already in place)
    • construction of buildings
    • capacity building or activities not related to irregular migration
    • in-kind contributions: these are contributions that are not invoiced, such as voluntary work, equipment or premises made available free of charge
    • any other costs that would be ineligible according to IOM financial rules and procedures


    To be eligible, the total budget submitted for funding cannot exceed €8000. The overall cost of the activity can be higher than this limit, but the submitting organisation should deliver proof of additional resources to cover the remaining expenses.

    All costs should be reasonable, justified and comply with the principle of sound financial management. Successful applicants must take care to avoid unnecessary or unnecessarily high expenditure.


    application form

    The application form can be downloaded here. Every section must be filled out, following instructions in the proposal. Unduly filled application forms will not be taken into consideration.

    Completed application forms can be sent to projectideas@iom.int mentioning in the title “Application from (organisation’s name) for (the country you are based)”.


    You can print the Application Guidelines for the Call for Proposals here.


    [1] Target countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

    [2] Only companies with fewer than 100 employees will be considered for funding

    [3] At least one of these criteria must be fulfilled to be eligible

    [4] The salary costs should not exceed the rates corresponding the applicant organisation’s usual policy on remuneration.