Responses to clarifying questions

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Applicant’s Contribution

Any other funding can be proposed if it is not earmarked or has already been spent on other projects.

Yes, as long as the grant does not come from the Dutch Government, except for venture capital or debt finance originating from the Dutch Government including the Dutch Good Governance Fund or FMO. The idea is that this would lead to an increase in impact. We will assess the level of additionality for each project.


In-kind support should be valued at market rates, and staff time budgeted as in-kind support must be reasonably justified as related to the project.

We do not have any budget restrictions at this stage.

Both in kind and in cash contributions are accepted as both are considered investments from the Implementing Partner. However, this is a competitive funding process, and a project with a heavy emphasis on in-kind contributions might not be considered as strong as a project with more emphasis on in-cash contributions. In-cash support would be a financial investment. In-kind support should be valued at market rates, and staff time budgeted as in-kind support must be reasonably justified as relevant to the project.

By stating this in the business case and confirming all information they are presenting is true. A due diligence will take place before signing a contract.

Application Process

Check the country-specific page on the website, and download the Application & Selection Brochure for more information.

For specific questions not included in our FAQs or more clarifications on the application/selection process, please contact us at the country-specific email address mentioned on the country’s Call for Solutions page on the website.

Check the country-specific page on the website, and download the Application & Selection Brochure for more information.

No, the minimum criteria for eligibility must be met before a Concept Note application can be accepted.


While our guidance is available in French, we will only accept/assess applications written in English.

Check the country-specific page on the website, and download the Application & Selection Brochure for more information.

In theory, this is possible. However, we recommend focusing on one robust / well-constructed project proposal.

Consortium & Partnerships

The lead organisation on any consortium must be a private company, but it is possible to work with ministries as part of a consortium.

The lead organisation in a consortium must be a private firm, but NGOs may be part of the delivery consortium.

The private sector partner will need to take the lead in implementing the project. However, you may team up with an NGO for other developmental aspects, e.g., gender inclusion or youth engagement.

This is one of the possible approaches. However, we are open to different types of consortia/different ways in which partners can work together to deliver the project outcomes and impact.

Yes, as long as you can present a strong case suggesting that the minimum number of jobs (for women) and other parameters are clearly met.

Fund’s Contribution

The 10% to 50% contribution of the Challenge Fund is the total contribution, including technical assistance provided by the Fund. The remainder of the budget must be covered by the applicant, either through existing or external funding, and includes both cash and in-kind support.

Applicants are invited to apply for a financial contribution, technical assistance contribution, or a combination. We don’t expect to receive many proposals solely for technical assistance, but this is possible. It is also possible to request technical assistance later in the project.

Additional technical assistance (TA) that is offered depends on the need and type of project. Any capacity building that is essential to the project should be included in the project design and thus is part of the overall project budget. Additional TA refers to aspects that are not part of the project design per se, but can enhance the outcomes. The range of additional TA that can be offered is wide, including gender, financial management, decent work, monitoring & evaluation, etc.

There is no ceiling on the grant amount, but we will consider whether your budget is feasible and realistic and whether you can come up with the required co-funding. We will also assess if the cost per job is competitive. We will make that assessment in more detail in the second phase (detailed business cases), where we will assign coaches to shortlisted applicants.

The grant may include an amount for capacity building to project beneficiaries (such as job seekers, employees, or entrepreneurs). When we refer to TA (technical assistance), we usually mean TA to the entities that are implementing the project. This TA is provided free of cost, as a complement to the grant funding. Thus, the TA is directly linked to the project you will be implementing. If you only need to cover the cost of TA within the project with grant funding, then the grant can be for TA only.

Funding may be requested to scale up existing activities (leading to an acceleration of results in jobs). However, we would look critically at the additionality of our grant; in other words, to what extent this scaling up would have taken place without the CFYE grant and how the grant improved the outcomes. The CFYE baseline starts when CFYE funded activities start, so only jobs created after the grant has been awarded would count.

This will depend on the potential of the market and the projects that are presented and selected based on a strong business case and a high value for money.

Overall Fund Design

We have not allocated a certain amount per country.

Our next calls will cover a selection of the following countries in North Africa: Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and/or Egypt. In the Sahel/West Africa region: Senegal, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and/or Nigeria.

That depends on the project and the profile of the private sector partner. If (one of) the private sector partner(s) is a training institution, then it stands to reason that they will play a role in upskilling. In general, we believe the private sector has a significant role in providing sustainable employment opportunities to youth. If a private company is leading the project or is part of the consortium that will create jobs, this will increase the degree of control of the implementing partners over the expected outcomes. You will need to show where the jobs will be created, matched, or improved, and this is easier to show if they come from the (value chain) of the private sector partner(s).

Yes. However, please consider your capacity to implement two projects simultaneously. We strongly recommend against taking the lead in more than one project. We would also need reassurance that a single company isn’t receiving funding multiple times for the same costs that would be used on both projects (e.g., an asset, a person, etc.).

Results and Impact

We are following the ILO’s definition, which states, “Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives, and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.”
Decent work will be defined and addressed as relevant for each project context. It may not always be a static assessment, but rather a process towards improvement across various specific areas such as working hours, productivity, income, better prospects, etc.”

The country-specific Call for Solutions will indicate which type of employment is eligible (for example formal or informal self-employment, wage employment or semi self-employment/agency models). 
While there are no standard indicators required at the concept note stage, it would be helpful to have a clear understanding of the nature of the jobs to which the proposed interventions would lead including a description of full-time vs part-time, self-employed vs. wage-earning, seasonal, etc. The only firm requirements are that the job must meet the country-specific Call for Solutions definition of eligible employment and meet a certain standard of decency and income, which will be assessed on a project-by-project basis.

The country-specific Call for Solutions will indicate which type of employment is eligible (for example formal or informal self-employment, wage employment or semi self-employment/agency models). See the question above.

The Fund has a specific goal to support young women to find and gain decent employment. This means that at least 50% of the people reached in each individual project must be women and, in the case of Egypt, if less than 500 jobs are created then at least 250 of those jobs should be for women.

At concept note stage, the project needs to demonstrate that it has considered the specific context of women, explain how women are able to benefit, and have a clear strategy for achieving this.

In general, projects must demonstrate how they will create, match, or improve employment for people aged 15-35. If projects also aim to create jobs for people older than 35, they would still be eligible, but the Fund’s employment target refers only to people aged 15-35. The minimum age of the youth involved can differ per country, as it depends on the minimum age for legal employment.

Projects will need to report on progress towards results targets at least biannually. The jobs target should be achieved by the end of the project (in principle, after 2-3 years), along with a plan for sustainability.

Yes, this is possible as long as the project can demonstrate that it contributed to the indirect jobs, and that they can be measured and verified.

Check the country-specific pages on the website and download the Application & Selection Brochure for more information.

Selection Criteria

The present call is only open for projects in Kenya, Jordan, Sudan and South-Sudan. We plan to launch calls for proposals in other countries later. A foreign company or consortium can submit a project, if the project will take place in the selected countries, and if they or one of the partners in the consortium is already operating in those countries.

We do not have a preference so long as the applicant’s consortium includes a private company.

Yes, it’s possible as long as there is capacity in the organization to run multiple projects

There is no limit, but it should be workable and the lead partner should be a private company.


There is no cost-per-job requirement, but projects should demonstrate value for money by showing cost effectiveness.

This could be something we would consider, but the main objective for this call is to create decent employment in the call specific countries.

We expect most CFYE projects to be for approximately 2-3 years, but this depends on the type of intervention.

One or more applicants can be based overseas, but at least one of the private sector partners (with confirmed labour demand) must be operating in Country x. This can be a company that operates in other countries as well.

We look closely at your organisation and the ability to grow or remain stable (Covid-resilience or options to pivot to other sources of business), as healthy businesses create steady jobs. We review the entire picture – your project idea, your organization(s), and the people who will work on the project. A healthy cash flow is clearly important for your company’s sustainability, and as such, will be taken into account. However, it is not an important outcome if this cash flow does not translate into a significant number of decent jobs created, matched, or improved.

You are welcome to apply under any preferred sector. We have highlighted priority sectors where we see potential job growth. Still, your application will be considered if you believe that your sector has potential for job growth (and specifically your project idea).  Regardless of the sector, you will also need to provide evidence or reasoning behind the job potential in the chosen sector. We do take Covid resilience/Covid pivoting ideas into account -this may be relevant, for instance, for a proposed project in the tourism sector.

Our Concept Note stage is fairly simple and does not require a high level of detail. Any costs relevant to the project you are applying for are eligible. The detailed budget breakdown will be a requirement at the Business Case stage. Detailed guidance will be provided.

There is no agreed scoring system. Applicants will need to address a combination of Create and/or Match with the other two pillars. In other words, for both Create and Match categories, applicants will need to ensure that jobs are of good quality and sustainable.

Selection Process

That will depend on the quality of the presented concept notes. We do not have a strict maximum, but probably not more than 15.

The application process is first initiated by submitting a Concept Note, and upon shortlisting, you will be invited to submit a full proposal – a Business Case. The typical timeframe from a Call for Solutions launch until a Business Case is awarded is approximately 6 months. The duration may differ based on the Call for Solution in a specific country. Refer to the country-specific landing page on the website to learn more.

Refer to the CFYE Principles page on the website to know more about the overarching selection criteria. Each Call for Solutions will have its own set of eligibility criteria that would determine the minimum requirements to apply.