Granting guidelines

10 Jun 2022

End Water Poverty (EWP) operates on the principle that social change starts with civil society: without human rights defenders, there are no human rights. We specialise in funding community-led direct civil society action that counters regression and advances accountability, justice and human rights. Each year we provide mini-grants of £1,000-£5,000 through Claim Your Water Rights, a global public pressure campaign that mobilises, emboldens and unites civil society who support communities to claim their rights to safe water and sanitation.

Who is eligible for funding?

Every EWP member is eligible to apply for a mini-grant. We open calls for funding twice a year in June and October. Each member can only submit one concept note per application cycle; multiple submissions from the same member will be discarded. Members applying for mini-grants must be sure that they can receive funds from international organisations according to national laws and processes.

Over the course of each financial year we strive to reflect the geographical spread of our membership through our grants. Last year we funded 22 organisations in 12 different countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. To ensure funds are distributed fairly among EWP’s different regional constituencies, we will provide a maximum of two grants per country so submitting joint concept notes with other members in your country or region could strengthen your chances of receiving funding.

Our membership includes a range of organisations from community-based groups to local civil society groups, trade unions, national/regional networks and international non-government organisations (INGOs). Given the dearth of international funding for local advocacy, we devote most funds to grassroots campaigns. We will not fund applications from INGO members unless they are submitted jointly with members working at sub-national level.

What will we fund?

The all-encompassing nature of Claim Your Water Rights allows members to advocate on a range of different human rights issues related to water and sanitation. This means members can adapt their campaign approach to their local or national context while working in global solidarity under one banner.

While Claim Your Water Rights is designed to embrace diverse approaches and content areas, we have identified several sub-themes that are of strategic importance to the coalition and of common interest to members working across different countries and continents. To serve as many members as possible, we will choose concept notes that engage with at least one of the following sub-themes:

  • Climate justice: water depletion, pollution and extractive industries
  • Corporate accountability: business and human rights
  • Expanding civic space: legal empowerment, meaningful participation, protesting and more
  • Media influencing: Using radio, TV, written and social media to inform, influence and empower
  • National and international human rights institutions: strengthening, collaborating, lodging complaints
  • Public control of water and sanitation services: resisting privatisation, making the case for public ownership
  • Supporting marginalised communities to claim their rights: examples include asylum seekers and refugees, indigenous communities, informal settlement residents, LGBTQI+ communities, rural communities, sanitation workers, waste pickers, women and girls, etc.

Since launching Claim Your Water Rights in December 2019, EWP members have employed creative tactics to support varied rights claiming strategies. These tactics include:

  • Collaborating with national and international human rights bodies
  • Community mobilisations
  • Demonstrations, protests and rallies
  • Direct engagement with government
  • Documenting, monitoring and publicising data
  • Litigation
  • Lodging complaints to regulators or national human rights institutions
  • Media influencing
  • Mobilising elected representatives
  • Research and policy advocacy

The above list is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive. We will fund campaigns that utilise a variety of tactics.

What won’t we fund?

  • Partisan political purposes.
  • Provision of services and infrastructure development.
  • One-off events (i.e. events that do not instigate further action).
  • Unsolicited proposals from non-EWP members.

What do we expect from members who receive funds?

We expect all members who receive funds to:

  • Seek value for money.
  • Proactively share campaigning experience and expertise with other EWP members at national, regional and international level. This could include by speaking at learning exchanges, contributing written case studies or organising joint events.
  • Publicise work online, tagging @EndWaterPoverty on social media.
  • Send regular updates to End Water Poverty’s senior engagement officer, including pictures, videos, documents, news clippings, weblinks.
  • Submit a mid-project and final project report that covers the activities and aims stated in your concept note with links to outcomes and outputs.
  • Complete campaign activities typically within six months.

How do I apply for a mini-grant?

Download and complete the concept note form. To be considered for funding in this application cycle, you must submit your concept note to before 11 July. The Secretariat alone will decide which proposals to fund. We will try to provide written feedback to members whose applications are unsuccessful.

More information and resources: