In this section you may find the answers of the questions and issues coming from you, addressed directly to us by e-mail and social media channels.

We welcome your questions related to the Second Call at our e-mail address by November 30th ( 14 days before the deadline):

info@westernbalkansfund.org

We thank you for your interest and participation!

PARTNERSHIP:

Are the Universities eligible to apply on the level of faculties event if the faculties do not have legal subjectivity?
Yes, universities can apply on the level of faculties.

Could you please give me an information what is the maximum number of partners that could be included in the project under your CfP for Regional Project Proposals?
There is no maximum number of partners but there is a minimum number of partners as is stated in the part 2.1.1 of the guideline

We would like to inquire if the cooperative would be eligible to apply for the call since the call allows for private universities to apply. We are aware, of course, that any grant received from  WBF is for non-profit purposes only.
If cooperatives are registered as non for profit entity than will be eligible to apply under this call. Because private sector companies are not eligible to apply under this call for proposals ( exceptions in given to business clusters, associations, labs, hubs, incubators, that are considered as non for profit entities )

Can private universities apply for the WBF grants?
Yes, private universities can apply for the WBF grants as long as the project action does not have the purpose of generating profits.

Does “contact person” in the application form refer to the project coordinator?
Yes, the “contact person” is the project coordinator for this action.

Should the person who will coordinate the project be from the lead institution?
Yes. The person who will coordinate the project should represent the lead applicant.

Who will be the contact person in the Case of Educational Institutions, Faculties/Schools?
The person who is representing the lead applicant, and is designated as the project coordinator for this action.

Are theaters or other cultural institutions dependent on the Municipalities eligible to apply?
Yes, theaters and other cultural institutions are eligible to apply.

Is there a specific partnership agreement template?
Yes, there is a specific partnership template.  However, please note that it is not necessary to provide this document at the application stage. Only the successful project beneficiaries will be requested to provide the partnership agreement.

Are there still limits on number of partners per country if the partnership is well established between three or more partners from different countries?
There is no limit of maximum number of partners, we have only minimum number. Partnership parties must come from at least three different WBF members / Contracting parties (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo*[1], Serbia).

Can the same activity within a project take place for two or more times (different topics, different beneficiaries/target group)?
Yes, there is no limitation of the number of activities/topics/target groups in one project

Non-governmental, civil society not-for-profit organizations are primary recipients of the funding. Is it allowed for public secondary school to be project lead applicant?
Yes the public school is eligible to apply as lead applicant referring guideline part 2.1.1.1.

Projects are implemented within an active cooperation of at least 3 entities from different WB Contracting Parties (preference will be given to those projects involving a higher number of partners from different Contracting Parties.  Is it necessary that entities come from three different WBF members / Contracting parties? Is it ok to be four partners from two WBF members / Contracting parties?
According the guideline part 2.1.1 Partnership parties must come from at least three different WBF members / Contracting parties (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo*[1], Serbia).

Our company is a legal SME are we eligible to apply? By legal entity do you mean registered business?
No, private sector companies are not eligible to apply under this call for proposals ( exceptions in given to business clusters, associations, labs, hubs, incubators, that are considered as non for profit entities )

Can non-registered groups of agriculture producers be project partners ?
In order to be eligible for the WBF grants the project partners must have legal subjectivity. If the association of agricultural producers is not registered under the pertinent national legislation it is not eligible as the partner under this call for proposals.

Are projects that propose intervention in the III field Sustainable development be eligible if they do not include institutional partners?
According the guideline part 2.1.1.1.the definition for eligibility of applicants refer to the lead applicant and partners. The decision what kind of partners will participate in the project partnership is decision solely based of the partners consortia.

Can a Regional development agency (RDA) be a project partner? RDA’s are registered as ltd. however, they are funded and run by local public authorities, towns and municipalities.
Yes. Regional non for profit entity can apply because According the guideline part 2.1.1.1 A specific type of organization from one of the following categories: A local or regional public entity, or association of local  or regional public entities is eligible.

In your guidance, you have stated that the government level institutions are not eligible to apply. Does this apply to Public institutions, since these three museums are public institutions and are funded (partly) by their respected governments?
Governmental (national)  level of institutions according our guide are not eligible to apply, but local or regional public institutions are eligible to apply ( specific type are explained in the part 2.1.1.1.The lead-applicant

Is there a specific partnership agreement template?
At this phase there is no need of partnership agreement, for the potential grantees the partnership form will be required in the later stage of the evaluation ( template format will be provided by WBF )

Under the priority of Second Call for proposal / A. Sustainable development, is it eligible to organize same sport manifestation in three WBF members / Contracting parties. In Application form , we did not find that organization of sports manifestations are considered to be eligible and can be supported through this grant
Please refer to the part of the guideline 2.1.1.1 where you will find the eligible organizations as lead applicant and partners ( sport associations are listed there too)

We want to organize conference at the place of our partner, and we are applicant. How our partner can organize the event? You are going to send the money, or lead applicant gets all the money and redistribute later?
Design of the project activities are based on the decision between the partners applicants. There is no limitation or restriction based in how many countries activities will take place. The only requirement is the activity to take place in the WB region as it stated in the part 2.1.2.4 of the guideline. WBF is signing the agreement with the lead applicant and is transferring the money to the lead applicant because the lead applicant is responsible for all payments related to project activities.

 

MANAGEMENT & ELIGIBLE COSTS:

 If the project accountant, could be covered by the fund. If this can be covered, should the amount be listed in the human resources or in the overhead section in the budget?
All cost related to HR that are not under the expert’s fees should be listed under the overhead section. There is no limitation for what purposes the 10% overhead will be used, but these cost should be connected with the project activities.

Each partner applicant, has the separate grant? 12.000 EURO, is for lead applicant and 1200 EUR) for each partner applicant ?
Distribution of the grant budget is decision on the partners that participate in the project application. Defined budget lines ( eligible cost) and the 10% overhead are only limitation based on the WBF criteria that should be followed.

Do you fund initiatives that are already happening in two WB6 members / Contracting parties? But that aim to develop and expand in other WB6 members / Contracting parties?
Design of the project activities are based on the decision between the partners applicants. There is no limitation or restriction based in how many CPs activities will take place. The only requirement is the activity to take place in the WB region as it stated in the part 2.1.2.4 of the guideline.

 I would kindly like to ask you if purchasing specific equipment (for example satellite transmitters for bird tagging) is eligible under this call for the proposal?
Purchase of equipment is not considered as eligible cost under this call

 Which types of costs cannot be covered from a grant?
The grant cannot be used to cover the following costs (for a list of eligible cost categories please see paragraph 2.1.3.1.): capital investments, internal costs (e.g. renting one’s own premises), VAT refunds, or one’s own internal indirect costs or running costs (e.g. utility bills, project coordination or accounting, tangible and intangible assets – goods or services related to the project) exceeding 10% of the granted sum (overhead costs).

Are the bank charges eligible costs?
The WBF will cover the expenses of the bank charges when transferring the grant to the account of the project beneficiary.

What are overhead costs?
Overhead costs refer to any indirect or operating costs linked to the project (e.g. project coordination, accountancy, one’s own work on the project or other running expenses)—the Fund’s limit per grant is 10% of the granted sum.

Are payments in cash allowed?
Bank transactions are the principal means of payment. Payments in cash are allowed only when the bank transactions are not possible. They, however, must be duly justified and substantiated by adequate proves of payment, bills or invoices that must be signed and dated by the vendor. The cash payments must not exceed 40% of the grant amount. In dully justified cases the WBF Project Coordinator can decide to increase the cash payment ceiling.

What is the percentage of advance payment as compared to the final grant installment?
Advance payment shall cover 80% of the total granted amount, and shall be transferred to the lead-applicant’s account upon signing of the project contract. The final installment of 20% will be paid upon the submission and approval of the final report, a final invoice and the financial report.

What exchange rate shall I use for the preparation of the final invoice?
The final invoice shall be prepared by using the middle exchange rate of the respective national bank on the date of the invoice. Please use all decimals of the exchange rate exactly as declared by the respective national bank. If the invoice is issued and paid in EUR currency (while your bank account is also held in EUR), it is not necessary to converse the paid amount by the exchange rate of the national bank on the date of payment as the Fund will reimburse the paid amount in EUR.

Are the WBF grants VAT exempted?
Under this Call for Proposals the WBF grants are not VAT exempted.

 How will the funding be managed? Shall the project partners and the lead partner have separate bank accounts in their place of origin?
The project funds will be transferred to the account of the lead-applicant who will be responsible for the financial management of the funds.

 Will the grant be divided according to the project partners per activity?
This depends on the nature of the specific project activities and will be determined on the case by case basis. The lead applicant is directly responsible for the management of the grant including financial management of the project.

Is the requested grant from WBF (12.000 EUR) equal to 80% on which applicant adds 20%?
Yes.

Should the 20% financial support of the joint contribution be shared equally between the partners in the project or should it be divided based on the financial opportunities that each partner has?
No, it is not necessary that the financial support of the joint contribution is shared equally between the project partners. It is up to the project partners to decide and agree on the level of the contribution of each partner based to their own financial capabilities and the project specifics.

Is 20% co-funding exclusively in-kind allowed? 
The 20% co-financing can be presented as value ( money) contribution or in-kind contribution

It is stated that ‘utilities’ and telephone costs are not allowed; are Internet costs allowed since the action in regional and a lot of partner communication will be needed?
These type of cost can be covered under the Overhead costs—max. 10% of the granted sum (e.g. project coordination, accountancy, one’s own work on the project or other running expenses)

Our project is about preservation of cultural heritage, namely preservation and revitalization of pottery .For activities of preservation we need to purchase/make certain equipment and supplies, if these costs could be covered with the project.
Yes you can cover these costs, Please refer to the part in the guideline : 2.1.3.1 where under Eligible direct costs you will find that the following fees are eligible : Office supplies/Consumption material/Entrance fees  ( these are cost related to the activities and everything that is needed for activity to be implemented)

Are meals and refreshment considered eligible costs?
Please refer to the part in the guideline : 2.1.3.1 where under Eligible direct costs you will find that the following fees are eligible : Accommodation and board ( meals) as well as Office supplies/Consumption material ( ref : refreshments etc) /Entrance fees

Are per diems for experts and artists considered eligible costs?
Please refer to the part in the guideline : 2.1.3.1 where under Eligible direct costs you will find that the following fees are eligible : 3.Fees for artists/Copyrights 4.Fees for experts

Can additional lines be added to the budget line 3 – Other costs, services?
Yes, as long as they do not fall under the category of “ineligible costs” as indicated in the chapter 2.1.3.2 of the Guidelines.

Are bank fees for money transfer to partners, conversion to local currency and transaction costs when paying project costs by bank, eligible costs? If yes, are they under “overhead” category?
Yes, bank fees for money transfer to partners, conversion to local currency and transaction costs when paying project costs by bank are eligible costs. They fall under the category of “Overheads”. Please note that the WBF will cover the expenses of the bank charges when transferring the grant to the account of the project beneficiary.

 In the case of a successful application, how will be the grant treated, whether domestic or foreign?
The money will be transfer from our Secretariat in Tirana to all beneficiaries in EUR currency, meaning will be treated as foreign donor grant.

Do the project leaders directly pay for the partner’s activities or part of the grant will be paid to partner organizations?
Depending on the nature of the activity, the lead-applicant can either pay for the partner’s activities, or transfer the pertinent share of the grant to the partner organization. However, please note that the lead-applicant holds the full responsibility for the financial management of the grant and is therefore obliged to provide full evidence of the incurred expenses to the designated WBF Coordinator for the expenditure verification.

 Are travel and accommodation costs for Project partner representatives considered eligible costs? 
Yes, travel and accommodation of project partners are eligible costs.

For example, if we organize kick-off meeting, round table, or training, can one or two representatives from the Partner organization attend this event in the Lead Partner place of origin and charge the costs under travel and accommodation?
Yes they can if the activity takes place in one of the WB6 CPs

Should the 20% financial support of the joint contribution be shared equally between the partners in the project or should e divided based on the financial opportunities that each partner has?
No it is no necessary the financial support to be shared equally between the partners. Its up to the project partners to decide and agree on the level of the contribution of each partner based on their own financial capabilities and the project specifics,.

 REPORTING:

When do I have to send the final report, final invoice and the financial report?
The project beneficiaries must submit a final report, a final invoice and the financial report at the end of the period of implementation of the project. The draft final report must be submitted not later than one month after the end of the period of implementation of the project activities.

How do we justify in-kind (what kind of documents, papers do we need to present)? 
Supporting document that present the cash value for the in-kind contribution ( example: invoice for venue rent per day, agreement with expert where the fee per day will be defined etc…)

Is it necessary to have an external audit? Should the external audit costs be planned?
No. External audit is not necessary. The designated WBF Project Coordinator will carry out both Results Oriented Monitoring and the Expenditure Verification Analysis.

 

HERE you will FIND FAQ from info sessions in 6 WB Capitals 2018