Ethiopia seeking Applications for Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program 2020

Community Grants Office
Last date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
United States

Detailed Description

The U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa / Community Grants Office (CGO) is pleased to announce an open competition to submit applications for community-initiated projects that support community self-reliance at the grassroots level in the areas of livelihood, education, women empowerment, people with disability support, water and sanitation, health, and environment through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program (SSHP).

The Self-Help Program funding is designed to respond to needs/requests from local communities through small-scale community driven projects that have immediate impact, and further mission policies and objectives of improving the welfare of the local community.

The program aims to benefit target communities through activities that would often not be funded within a larger, structured assistance programs. Special Self-Help projects should be initiated and administered at local level and include significant community contributions in cash, labor or materials. The program seeks to encourage communities to be self-reliant and undertake similar activities on their own in the future.

The general criteria to be used for determining self-help projects include;

  • Self-Help activities should have a significant impact, benefiting the greatest number of people possible. Projects that directly benefit a limited number of people are discouraged.
  • Activities must help improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community or village level;
  • Self-Help projects must also be viable and sustainable in terms of finance, personnel support (i.e. teachers for schoolrooms), and necessary expertise and services. Communities that incur costs and other obligations they cannot meet, or embark on projects that are too ambitious to manage efficiently, may damage their reputation and create negative feelings toward the U.S. Government support.
  • Self-Help activities must also fall within the ability of the local community to implement. Activities that are too complex should be avoided.

Unacceptable Activities include:

  • Remodeling or renovating an existing facility that is in disrepair as a result of neglect or lack of money (purchasing paint to repaint a school).
  • Activities with unmitigated and negative environmental consequences, such as dams, roads through relatively pristine forest lands; activities that contribute to commercial deforestation or conversion of land-use from forest to livestock; actions that are likely to jeopardize, threaten, or endanger species and/or their habitat, and actions that are likely to degrade protected areas significantly, such as introduction of exotic plants or animals.
  • Sports equipment or uniforms for a national sports team.
  • Musical instruments or uniforms for a national orchestra or dance company.
  • Salaries.
  • Travel.
  • Ongoing needs for education/training.
  • Office supplies such as pencils, paper, forms and folders.
  • Human Rights-Related Activities: Seminars, publications of journals and constitutions.
  • Revolving Loan Funds/Seed Money: Revolving loan funds and grants for seed money for new enterprises do not fall under acceptable projects and therefore must be avoided.

Funding Information

  • Number of awards anticipated: 3-5 awards
  • Award amounts: Awards range from $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000
  • Anticipated program start date: October 1, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

SSH funds are meant for activities that are community driven and serve the community at large where they are being funded.

  • Strong preference is given to local community based organizations, traditional community groups or associations that are established and led by communities themselves.
  • Other grassroots level organizations that are not-for-profit may also apply, if they have community generated projects that will be jointly implemented and managed with the communities and can provide evidence of significant community contributions in either cash, labor or materials.


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