Active Citizens Fund Malta





Programming period: 2019 - 2024

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For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Malta access

ACF in Malta is established under the specific Programme Area for Civil Society part of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, financial contribution from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltic.

ACF Malta has been awarded a budget of 700.000 Euros, for the period 2019 – 2024, with the aim to foster an enabling environment for the civil society sector, strengthen its capacity and strengthen the support for human rights and social inclusion and increase citizen participation in civic activities.


‘Civil society and active citizenship strengthened, and vulnerable groups empowered‘ is the overall programme objective, which will be attained through projects and activities that cover four areas of support:

  • Democracy, active citizenship, good governance and transparency;
  • Human rights and equal treatment through combating any discrimination;
  • Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups;
  • Environment and climate change.

ACF Malta shall also contribute to the achievement of the objective of the EEA and Norway Grants, to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between Malta and the donor states. ACF Malta reflects the firm recognition of the sector’s role as a fundamental building block of democratic governance, human rights and social cohesion across Europe. ACF Malta will also aim to improve outreach to under-served target groups and ensuring that the programme supports hard-to-reach target groups. This will be ensured through the use of online tools designed to be inclusive for small organisations and informal groups; continuous support to project promoters throughout their project implementation, with a special focus on financial management; a focus on advocating for the rights of under-served groups rather than providing services.

Programme Structure

In order to achieve the objectives of the Active Citizens Fund (ACF) in Malta, the Fund Operator has established with the donor states a set of targets to be achieved, with guiding outcomes and outputs.

The programme includes five outcomes, to which the supported projects, a pre-defined project, bilateral and regional cooperation and a capacity building course should contribute:

Outcome 1 – Increased support for human rights and social inclusion

Outcome 2 – Increased citizen participation in civic activities

Outcome 3 – Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society

Outcome 4 – Enhanced collaboration between beneficiary and donor state entities involved in the programme

Outcome 5 – Strengthened regional (cross-border) cooperation in the civil society sector

Open call for proposals

The programme shall consist of one call open for the enrolled and compliant NGOs and one pre-defined project.

All projects that will be funded through ACF Malta are expected to contribute to the achievement of Output 1 and Output 2. The projects will be selected following a call for applications and a selection process.

Capacity building

Outcome 3 is specifically aiming for enhanced capacity of civil society in Malta. This will be achieved through the implementation of an Online Capacity Building Course and a pre-defined project, by the Fund Operator.

Pre-defined project – Active citizens lab

The programme includes also a pre-defined project, named Active Citizens Lab’, implemented by the fund operator, focusing largely on building the capacity of CSOs and citizens in the fields of democratic culture and active citizenship.

Active Citizens Lab project will also have an offline component offering educational/informational materials and training courses to develop citizen journalism and human rights awareness amongst other skills as well as developing a civic action forum. The Forum shall have a citizen alert web-based feature that will serve to strengthen the capacity of civic voices, empowering the general public to advocate for policy priorities, good governance, respect for human rights and democratic principles.

The Active Citizens Lab will provide professional support and practical assistance offered through an Advisory Board of Experts which will be delivered offline, through face-to-face meetings and online through informative materials and a chat/email based service.

Bilateral and regional cooperation

The scope of Outcome 4, Bilateral Cooperation is to strengthen relations between civil society organisations in Malta and in the Donor States, or international organisations. The activities will be facilitated by the Fun Operator and implemented either as part of the funded projects, or through separate events.

ACF Malta will also aim to collaborate with other ACF programmes and enhance the cross-border cooperation and exchange of experiences and knowledge sharing to strengthen the civil society sectors in beneficiary countries.

 Programming period: 2013-2016



What are the EEA Funds for Non-Governmental Organisations?


Strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.

Which countries  are included?

In the  2009-2014 period, around ˆ146 million was set aside  to support NGO Programmes in all 15 beneficiary states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal,  Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia  and Spain.

What are the priority areas?

  • Democracy,  Equality and Human Rights
  • Social Inequalities and Services
  • Environment and Climate Change

At least 10%  of the  total  programme allocation  shall be allo cated to children or youth  driven activities targeting children and youth.

Key Activities

The NGO Programmes Channel Funding is there to support activities such as fostering active citizenship,  advocacy,  watchdog and monitoring activities,  promoting multi-cultural dialogue and awareness raising. Provision of basic services to vulnerable groups is also considered.

A specific emphasis is placed  on capacity building of the  NGO sector itself. Partnerships between NGOs in donor  and beneficiary countries are encouraged.

Malta NGO Programme 2013-2016

Who is Operating the NGO Programme in Malta?

SOS Malta has been appointed Fund Operator for the  NGO Programme Malta. SOS Malta is a registered Voluntary Organisation (No. 033). SOS Malta works  with local and international organisations to assist socially disadvantaged groups in improving  their quality of life. SOS Malta is built upon 4 pillars: Overseas Development; Social Integration; Research and Training; Volunteering.

What is the objective of the NGO Programme in Malta?

The objective  of the  programme is to strengthen civil society  development and enhance its contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development in Malta.

The programme will contribute to achieving 4 concrete outcomes related to the EEA Programme.

  • Democratic  values,  including human rights, promoted
  • Developed networks  and coalitions of NGOs working  in partnership
  • Increased contribution to sustainable development achieved
  • Strengthened capacity of NGOs and an enabling environment for the sector  promoted.

How will the NGO Programme in Malta be implemented?

The NGO Programme in Malta will be organised into 2 Priority Axes:

1. Strengthening of civil society platforms and networks in Malta for the  effective representation of civil society  organisations at local and national  level.

2.  Thematic calls for proposals for Individual NGOs covering the  4 key thematic areas.

Priority Axis 1

  • Strengthening civil society through the  development and consolidation  of NGO Networks and platforms and the improvement of their advocacy and representation activities.

Project duration: between 12 and 36 months;

Project financing: between ˆ20,000 and ˆ50,000

Priority Axis 2

  • Social and Human Rights Projects including the  following thematic areas: human rights and anti-discrimination, in particular issues  related to migration (racism  and xenophobia); addressing gender equality; tackling social inequality, poverty and exclusion,  in particular for at risk young  people,  people living with disability and those suffering from domestic violence.

Project duration: between 12 and 36 months;

Project financing: between ˆ10,000 and ˆ25,000

  • Environment and climate change  related projects focusing  on the specific needs of Malta.

Project duration: between 12 and 36 months;

Project financing: between ˆ10,000 and ˆ19,925

Over the  course of the programme 2 calls for proposals will be released covering these priority axes.

Who is eligible to apply?

Within this programme, only non- governmental organisations are eligible for support within the programme if they are established in the  Republic of Malta and meet  the following definition:

“A non-profit voluntary organisation established as a legal entity, having a non-commercial purpose, independent of local, regional and central government, public entities,  political parties and commercial organisations. Religious and political parties are not considered NGOs’.

For the  purpose of this fund, all beneficiaries must be registered Voluntary Organisations with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations.

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