Leading from the South

Leading from the South is a programme resourced by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It supports activism devised, implemented, and led by women’s rights organisations in the Global South. The fund is being implemented by four women’s funds in the Global South, of which Women’s Fund Asia is the implementing fund in the Asia region.

Women’s rights organisations in 18 countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam) are eligible to apply for this programme under three grant categories. The categories are based on organisations’ size and scope of work.

  • Frontline Defenders grants (small-size grants) are directed to organisations working at the community and sub-national levels as the front line of defence against rights violations, and mobilisers of women’s and trans* people’s movements.
  • Amplifying Voices grants (medium-sized grants) are directed to national and sub-regional organisations and networks working on policy advocacy with key stakeholders and states, as well as campaigns on women’s and trans* people’s human rights.
  • Promoting Regional Feminist Agenda Grants (large-size grants) are directed to cross national, sub-regional, and regional groups and networks undertaking capacity, knowledge, and leadership building and advocacy for state accountability to advance women’s and trans* rights.

WFA has opened its 2018 Call for Proposals from 1 October through 15 November 2018. Please download the application files below. Applications should be submitted to grants@wf-asia.org with the appropriate subject line: "Frontline Defenders grant application," "Amplifying Voices grant application," or "Promoting Regional Feminist Agendas grant application." If you have any questions, please contact us at the same email.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the basic eligibility criteria to apply for the LFS grant?

You will find the eligibility criteria in the LFS call for applications.


What is the geographical scope of this call for applications?

The call for proposals extends to 18 countries in Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. Applicant organisations need to be registered, based in, and working in the countries mentioned above.


Can country offices of multilaterals organisations, international organisations, and international financial organisations apply?

Please note that the country offices of multilateral organisations, international organisations, and international financial organisations are not eligible to apply for this grant. We urge you to carefully read the LFS call for application package. The core mandate of WFA is to support women’s and trans* rights groups and activists in Asia and to address the non-availability of resources for women's and trans* rights work in the region. Please also note that WFA supports self-led women and trans* groups and whose vision and mission and rooted in the region. Please read our technical criteria very carefully.


What are the other kinds of organisations that are not eligible to apply for the LFS grant?

Political parties, faith-based organizations, educational institutions (schools, colleges, and universities), and individuals are not eligible for funding either independently or as part of a consortium.


What does it mean to be a women-led/trans* people-led organization?

For the purpose of this call, WFA identifies women and/or trans* people led organizations as those who have:

Board Composition: The board should be led by a woman or a trans* person and the board composition should be as follows:

➢  Frontline Defenders: At least 60% of the governing board should be comprised of women and/or trans* people;

➢  Amplifying Voices: At least 70% of the governing board should be comprised of women and/or trans* people. In case of a consortium grant, the board composition of the lead organisation should be minimum of 60% women and trans*; but the rest of the consortium members should be women and/or trans* led.

➢  Promoting Regional Feminist Agendas: At least 70% of the governing board should be comprised of women and/or trans* people

Please do note that the advisory will consider that the board and staff of applying organisations should be representative of the region.  


What are the activities that are not eligible for grants?

Activities that are not eligible for grants are: microcredit, microfinance, and other income generation activities; sponsorships and scholarships; service provisions activities such as running of health camps; direct or indirect interventions in electoral or party-based political activities such as election campaigns, election processes, supporting or opposing a political candidate during elections, and contributions to political parties or individual candidate’s fund (even if independent); regranting or sub-granting to other organisations, groups or individuals; and buying land or any construction activities.

Please note that women’s funds can apply only for capacity building, knowledge building, and research activities under this programme.


Does the application have to be submitted in English?

For the categories of Amplifying Voices and Promoting Regional Feminist Agendas the applications must be submitted in English, using the provided formats. If you are applying for the Frontline Defenders category, you may submit the application in your local language. Please ensure all the questions provided in our format are answered. If you require any assistance or would be like us to link you with technical support for this process, please ensure you reach out to us at least three weeks before the deadline.


Are all the listed documents on the checklist required for the applications?

Please note that an application will not be shortlisted for review if any of the required documents are missing - such an application will be considered incomplete. If you have any questions regarding the documents, please reach out to us at least two weeks before the deadline.


Can current grantee partners under the Leading from the South apply for this call?

Yes, we will be accepting applications from grantees who are currently funded under the LFS programme, as long as their contracts are ending by May 2019, and they will demonstrate that they will be able to complete the work described in the proposal in time.


Can an organisation submit an application as a lead applicant and another as a part of a consortium?

It is possible for an organisation to apply as a lead applicant as well as a part of a consortium. It is, however, important to share that Women Fund Asia’s review and selection process aims to ensure that the funds are not concentrated and are more equitably distributed amongst selected grantees, geographies, strategies, and interventions.