KCSF grant evaluation system is designed to ensure integrity and good reputation of the process by being impartial, objective, competitive, traceable and transparent. This is achieved through detailed elaboration of all steps and sequences; clear division of roles and responsibilities for KCSF staff, external evaluators and donors; predetermined criteria and procedures that are public in advance; public information on pool of external evaluators, including criteria for selection and their profiles; public and fully accessible interviews; avoidance of any external interference in the sound judgment of external evaluators and full traceability of their evaluation; publication of evaluation results and detailed information about supported grants; detailed information for unsuccessful applicants and a fully-fledged complaint mechanism; as well as possibility for the public to report any suspicion of any wrongdoing by any party by a public anonymous whistle-blower mechanism.
An external evaluation team consisting of 5 experts with relevant expertise and knowledge will conduct the evaluation of applications. Evaluation teams of external experts are contracted on a rotation basis and based on specific calls and instruments. An exception to the rule is that urgent grants applications applications will be evaluated by the KCSF.
Donors are not involved in the evaluation process. Yet, donors may exercise their veto right on recommended applications that are considered against the values promoted by the donor or are overlapping with other similar interventions.
SELECTION OF THE GRANT EVALUATION TEAM (GET) MEMBERS
The Grant Evaluation Team (GET) members are selected from a pool of evaluators created and maintained by KCSF.
Experts from Kosovo or the region are selected based on the following criteria:
1) Knowledge about socio-political context in Kosovo and democratization process in general;
2) Knowledge about civil society and/or about the areas covered by the respective program;
3) Experience with donor-funded projects and Project Cycle Management;
4) High level of personal integrity and good professional reputation ;
5) No conflict of interests with regards to the work and scope of the program and KCSF;
6) Does not belong to any of the categories of Politically Exposed Persons as per definition of KCSF and
7) Proficient in Albanian and English, whereby Serbian is an advantage.
The pool of evaluators will be updated on regular basis, either by inclusion of new experts or by removal of those who a) are not anymore available, b) have not performed according to expected standards, c) in the meantime do not fulfill the original criteria upon which they have been selected. Information on pool of external evaluators, including criteria for selection and their individual profiles will be public.
Grant Evaluation Teams for specific calls are chosen randomly from the Pool of external evaluators, with specific control clauses applied (I.e. the same evaluator cannot be part of three successive GET teams, even in cases when the random draw has resulted with his/her name). KCSF intention is to have trilingual evaluators where possible, however, where this is not possible, the necessary materials and public interviews are translated.
EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS BY GET
GET members will evaluate the proposals in two stages:
1) Initial evaluation based on review of submitted documents by applicants, and
2) Final evaluation after Public interviews
All applicants that have passed administrative control will be evaluated from the GET.
The applications will be evaluated in the following five categories:
1) Quality of the application and relevance;
2) Level of involvement of the citizens/target groups in the work of the organization/initiative;
3) Level of organisational capacity and internal governance;
4) Relevance of previous experience;
5) Cost-effectiveness of the proposed budget;
Furthermore, through screening by KCSF and veto right by the donors, the evaluation process will ensure that the funded interventions do not overlap with similar interventions funded by KCSF or its donors, do not have budgets that are not cost-effective, as well as are not implemented by applicants who have a bad track record of implementation of previous interventions funded by KCSF or its donors.
The above general categories may be adjusted in case of specific instruments. The weighing of the categories should serve the specific purpose of the instrument and the call.
Each GET member evaluates applications as per requirement set in the Guidelines for Evaluation of Applications. The evaluation of each GET member has the same weight.
For each instrument there is a minimum threshold of points from the initial evaluation that is necessary to be considered for short list. All applications that pass the set threshold as well as half of available points (50%) in each of main evaluation categories are short listed for the next stage of evaluation i.e public interviews.
Each shortlisted applicant will be interviewed by the Grant Evaluation Team (GET) members. All shortlisted applicants must be notified for the time of their interview at least five days prior to their interviews.
All interviews will be announced publicly in advance and will be open for all interested, both through physical presence in the meeting room or through online live streaming. The live stream will allow all interested parties to have access to interviews also at a later stage. The interviews will have a specific time limit, equal for all shortlisted applicants. For grant applicants the interview is set at max. 20 minutes. Interviews will be conducted in the language selected from the applicant (Albanian, Serbian or English) and if needed simultaneous translation will be provided. In case of simultaneous translation, the available time will be added. During the interviews, one or more representatives of the applicant will: 1) briefly present the main elements of their proposal/strategy; and 2) respond to the specific questions from GET. Following the interviews, every GET member will review their initial individual evaluation grid based on additional information from both screening and public interviews, where they will confirm/adjust the scores provided by them for the respective applicant.
Each applicant who has participated in the application process receives a response regarding the evaluation process and the result of their application.
1)First Phase - Each unsuccessful applicant is informed in written with the overall evaluation (total score), and the possibility to request clarification. Requests for clarifications must be made within two working days after receipt of the information from KCSF.
2) Second phase (Clarifications) – All applicants who requests clarification will be informed on the achieved scores per evaluation categories, as well as about the possibility to request additional clarification within two working days after receipt of clarifications from KCSF.
3) Third Phase (Additional clarifications) – All applicants who request additional clarification will be informed on the detailed comments made by each evaluator following the structure of evaluation categories, as well as the possibility to submit a formal complaint within two working days after receipt of additional clarifications from KCSF.
An exception to this rule is the Awards instrument, where unsuccessful applicants are informed on the result of their nomination without any possibility for clarification or complaint.