Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who can receive support?
A. NHRF grants can be given to Human Rights organisations working locally, regionally, nationally and/or internationally. The NHRF supports local initiatives and actors who know the local structures and work where human rights violations take place, so called front line organisations. NHRF grant support can be separated into two categories: support to projects in priority countries and support to human rights defenders at risk, which is not limited by geography. Currently, the NHRF will assess project applications from the following countries: Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, Liberia, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Q. How were these countries chosen?
A. The NHRF has developed a set of criteria for its selection of countries which emphasises: the human rights situation; opportunities for improvements through advocacy work and work for access to justice; the presence of competent organisations; and the need for the type of support which the NHRF can offer. Inputs from donors and owners are considered in the mapping of new countries, in addition to possible synergies with networks and owner organisations.

Q. My organisation is not in one of these countries. Can I still apply?
A. The NHRF’s grant support is open to organisations working for the protection of human rights defenders (HRD) independent from the geographical priorities above. HRD grants can be given to organisations, institutions, networks and groups working for the protection of human rights defenders regardless of the country of origin, however at least one the following aims of the program must be met:

  • Better protection of human rights defenders at risk
  • Better working conditions for human rights defenders
  • Support human rights defenders were the situation is critical

Q. Our organisation is not based in a NHRF priority country or works on human rights defenders
protection, but work with one of the NHRF two other priority areas. Can we be supported?

A. At the moment this is not be possible, but please feel free to register in our Portal and complete our eligibility quiz. In it, write us a message why your country or your project should be supported. This might be important input for us when it comes to our future strategic thinking and planning.

Q. What kinds of projects can receive support? What does the NHRF prioritise in its support?
A. The NHRF prioritises projects where vulnerable and marginalized groups mobilise and take the lead in the struggle for their own rights. The NHRF also supports professional human rights actors’ work for the protection of the rights of vulnerable and marginalized individuals and groups through initiatives such as legal assistance, advocacy work, documentation and rights education.
The NHRF look to support projects with the following objectives:

  • Work against impunity and for access to justice
  • Work against discrimination and/or marginalisation of vulnerable individuals and groups
  • Support to improved working conditions and security for human rights defenders

In the assessment of applications, the NHRF will also prioritise projects which use one or more of the following methods:

  • Advocacy towards decision makers
  • Access to justice
  • Competence building which equips vulnerable groups to make better use of existing legal frameworks to defend their rights

For HRD projects, at least one of the following aims of the program must be met:

  • Better protection of human rights defenders at risk
  • Better working conditions for human rights defenders
  • Support human rights defenders where the situation is critical

Also, HRD projects with the following qualities are prioritised:

  • Project that can avert immediate risk or give immediate relief;
  • Project that focuses on defenders situation needing special attention, such as women HRDs and HRDs from vulnerable and marginalised groups;
  • Project that work with a meaningful link between local/national/international level;

Additionally, the focus on women’s participation, women’s rights and gender equality is integrated and prioritised in the NHRF’s work. Also, organisations with few other donors will be given priority. For both general or HRD projects, organisations must also have proven experience and competence within the area of work they are proposing to work in.

Q. What kinds of projects are unlikely to receive support?
A. For general grants, the NHRF does not support:

  • projects limited to general awareness-raising;
  • projects doing general work for peace and democracy;
  • projects limited to development aid nor humanitarian aid;
  • projects covered by other Norwegian governmental or non-governmental support schemes;
  • individual human rights defenders (but a grant can be given to organisations, institutions,networks and groups working for the protection of HRDs);
  • Organisations with an annual budget above US$ 150 000;
  • International organisations or organisations based in high-income countries (This also applies if the project applied for is located in a low-income country. Organisations that are compelled to work in exile can be supported but it shall be clear how it will benefit human rights defenders at risk.).

Q. Our organisation does not have international references; Can we still apply for a grant?
A. Yes, but the NHRF would like to have at least one donor reference and an international reference, if possible. If you have not had any previous donor or you do not have an international reference, please list your in-country references. The NHRF will need at least two references.

Q. Our organization/network is not officially registered. Can we still apply?
A. Yes, the NHRF does give support to organisations and networks without legal status, however, we will need a fiscal sponsor to take care of the financial aspect of the grant. The NHRF does not transfer funds to individual bank accounts.

Q. What are the conditions for support?
A. Grants are given to one project at time, but the NHRF encourages the applicants to develop two or three years’ project plans. If the progress of the work is satisfactory, the NHRF will do its best to allow the grantee to carry out a multi-year project without interruptions.

Organisation can be given a maximum of five grants. The NHRF will assist the grantees in making the results of their work sustainable, and the grantees are encouraged to find other sources of income during the time of support.

Reports and audited financial statements showing how the grant was spent must be sent to the NHRF within the agreed deadline and meet the requirements spelled out in the contract for the project. Satisfactory reporting is a precondition for repeated support.

Q. What is the size of a NHRF grant? How much should my organization apply for?
A. The size of the grants is determined by the nature of the project applied for on a case-by-case basis. Maximum grant is US$ 35 000,-, but the NHRF will normally start with a lower grant for a first time support. First time applicants are advised to solicit support with a budget in the range US$ 5 000,- to 25 000,-.

Q. How can my organisation apply for support?
A. If your organisation meets the criteria above, please go to the NHRF Grant Portal to submit your organisation’s information and eligibility quiz. The NHRF will read your submission to assess the eligibility for your proposed project. If deemed eligible, you will be invited to submit an application.

Q. What is an eligibility quiz? What does it mean in my application process?
A. The eligibility quiz is a short questionnaire with questions that will help the NHRF determine whether or not your organisation’s proposed project is eligible for support. If you are deemed eligible, you will be invited to submit an application.

Q. Is there a deadline for applications?
A. The NHRF will have a Spring and Autumn deadline for new applicants. For 2017, the deadlines for applications are the following-

  • For new applicants (not current grantees): 5 May 2017 & 1 October 2017
  •  For current grantees: After all reports are submitted for the current ongoing project, after the summer 2017

Organisations’ information and eligibility quizzes may be submitted throughout the year and are processed continuously.

The Application Process & Navigating the Grant Portal

Q. What are the different stages of the application process? What can we expect?
A. The application process is divided into six different stages.

  1. Pre-Qualification stage: In this stage, you will be asked to enter your organisation’s information and answer a few questions that will help the NHRF determine whether or not your organisation’s proposed project is eligible for support. If you are deemed eligible, you will be invited to submit an application.
  2. Application stage: In this stage, you will be completing the application and all its required additional documents for your proposed project. Please read each of the tasks and questions carefully. Should you have any questions, please check the FAQ page. If your question is not addressed there, write your question in the Communication tab. 
  3. Decision stage: After your application is submitted, your project will be in the decision stage,where the NHRF will make a decision on support. You will be promptly notified when the decision is made. However, due to a heavy workload and the influx of applications, please note that it may take some weeks before you hear from us with possible follow-up questions.
  4. Contract stage: In this stage, you will be reading, signing and submitting your contract and its annex. In addition to the contract notice email from the NHRF, you will be able to find your Contract and its annex in the “Documents” tab. Upon receipt of the signed contract and confirmation of your submitted bank information, a bank transfer will be made for the project grant.
  5. Ongoing stage: In this stage, you will be implementing the project and communicating with your NHRF project coordinator. Any tasks required of you can be found in the “Tasks” tab and you can communicate with your project coordinator in the “Communications” tab.
  6. Reporting and closing of grant stage: In this stage, you will be completing the reports - narrative, financial, audit— for your completed project. Please read each of the tasks and questions carefully. Should you have any questions, please check the FAQ page. If your question is not addressed there, write your question in the “Communication” tab.

Q. We’ve begun the application process. What are “tabs”?
A. Upon logging into the NHRF Grant Portal, click your project title, under Proposals. The “tabs” can be found towards the top of the page, under your project title and name. The tabs are:

  • “Overview”— This tab shows the organisation information and eligibility quiz you submitted.
  • “Tasks”— This tab shows the tasks that are pending in this stage. This page will continue to change and be updated with new tasks, as you move forward in the application process, please do check back.
  • “Documents”— This tab shows the documents that pertain to your application. Should you move into the contract stage, your contract will be found here. 
  •  “Communication” — This tab is where you can discuss and ask questions about your project to the NHRF. Once a project coordinator is assigned to your project, you will be able to communicate with them here. You can also invite other colleagues within your organisation to the project here.
  • “Process”— This tab is where you can see what stage your application/ project is in. This ranges from the Pre-Qualification stage to the Reporting stage, after the implementation of your project, should it be funded.

Q. There are two or more people working on this project application and/or project itself. We would like to separately log into the system. How do I invite my colleagues into the project application process?
A. First, make sure that the individual in question has an account. You can do this here. Then, log into the NHRF Grant Portal and click your project title, under Proposals. Go to the “Communication” tab, and click the “Invite a new team member” button on the right. To minimise error, we advise that only those directly responsible for the implementation of the project (i.e. project officer, coordinator, etc.) be active in the Grant Portal.

Q. We are in the application phase. Our organisation has its own budget template we use for all projects. Can we submit this instead of the NHRF budget template?
A. Yes, you may submit the project budget proposal in your own format. Should you choose to do this, please make sure your budget includes:

  • An audit for the project or the organisation: According to the NHRF's regulations, grantees must submit an audited financial statement for the fiscal year(s) in which the contribution is spent. The audit might be exclusively for this contribution, or an audit that covers the general finances of the organisation, including this contribution. If the audit is an organisational audit, with other contributing donors, please explain. The audit budget item should be listed under program costs.
  • Administrative costs lower than 7%: Administrative costs are the operations and maintenance costs necessary the implementing organisation incurs in while running the project, (i.e. utility costs, office supplies, depreciation of equipment, rent, etc.). The NHRF admits a maximum amount of 7% over the total amount of the project. If your administrative costs exceeds 7%, please explain;
  • Budget in both USD and local currency (please specify which currency);
  • Other donors: kindly include other donors involved in this project.
  • Please also note that equipments can be supported, if strictly necessary for the implementation of the project and/or strengthening of the organisation's work. Please thoroughly explain the need and use for the equipment.

The NHRF does not set a maximum amount for salaries, but the involvement must always be explained in the context of the project (type of work, percentage of individual's salaries dedicated to the NHRF project or stipends/ fees paid, etc.) and explained in the project application. Please also notify us if any salaries are co-financed by other donors. If a bulk of the budget is for salaries, please explain why this is needed for this intervention. For clarity in communication and follow-up, we advise that you use the NHRF’s budget proposal template, which can be found in your tasks of the application stage.

Q. What is my project reference number?
A. Upon logging into the NHRF Grant Portal, click your project title, under Proposals. Under the title of your project, you will find a “NHRF-####”. This is the reference number to your project, unless otherwise specified by the NHRF.

About Security and Technology

Q. How is the data in the Grant Portal being protected?
A. The NHRF’s Grant Portal is powered by Induct Software, in which:

  •  All requests are encrypted using SSL (HTTPS);
  •  All pages in the application use authorisation;
  • All servers are protected by firewalls Authentication can be forced to be done through Single Sign-On;
  • Forms Based Authentication login gives 5 attempts before captcha is required. 10 failed attempts will give a 15 minutes lock-out;
  • Users’ passwords are encrypted in a non-retrievable way, meaning there is no way to decrypt a password back to its original state;
  • Organisations can choose to limit the access to the solution based on the enterprise’s IP range when using SSO;
  • Data is backed up on a daily basis Application and infrastructure tests are conducted, based on the OWASP Top 10 methodology
  • Induct also has an internal Information Security Management System, with internal security policy with procedures.

Q. How is the data in the Grant Portal being backed up and stored?
A. Induct run daily backups that are transferred on a secure link to a separate datacentre in Norway. The backups are encrypted and stored on a secure dedicated server. No third party access is allowed to this server. Restore tests are conducted every month. The data centres are designed and operated according to best practices, and in consideration of threats appropriate to the site such as hurricanes, tornados, power outages and intruders. There are separate data centres locations for the production environment and the backup servers. The Induct Innovation Community is hosted on dedicated servers which do not share server space with any other applications. The physical access to the servers is controlled through access control, on-site security and video surveillance that covers the entire hosting facilities.