maltaflagActive Citizens Fund 2014-2021 


Total allocation: €8 million
Allocation to Active Citizens Fund: €0.7 million

More information on the fund in the 2014-2021 period to become available on an ongoing basis.

See the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 fact sheet for Malta. 

NGO Programme 2009-2014

Total allocation: €4.5 mln
Allocation to NGO Fund: €500,000

In the funding period 2009-14, Malta has been allocated €4.5 million, up from €3.6 million in the previous period. Environment and justice are the largest sectors, while there will be funding to civil society and social partners for the first time.

There is a very active volunteering sector in Malta. This in part stems from the tradition of the charity arm of the Catholic church which is very strong within Malta. There are around 650 registered Voluntary Organisations in Malta. While this number is growing, these are mainly made up of small and medium sized organisations in terms of the number of employees. Many are run on a voluntary basis with no permanent members of staff. The type of Voluntary Organisation varies from local community organisations such as band clubs, church groups, or other local organisations, to larger organisations dealing mainly with the provision of basic services. Only a few organisations are engaged in concrete sustained advocacy actions on the rights of the most marginalised groups. Key NGO sectors in Malta deal with Human rights and migration, health, disability, environment, women and children.

The fact that many organisations are limited in terms of capacity poses a major challenge in trying to build up the advocacy role of organisations. As such, within Malta there is a lack of a joint approach by NGOs to engage together to influence the government for policy change and to strengthen democracy. In terms of networks, while thematic NGOs do often work together in an ad-hoc manner on specific issues arising, instituted Networks and platforms are small in number (around 5). As such advocacy and dialogue efforts among civil society with government bodies is often reactive rather than proactive and sustained efforts to engage in policy dialogue with government is often difficult.

Furthermore, given the small size of the country and the sector, funding opportunities are limited. Many NGOs are dependent on either Government funding or EU funding which are very much tied to delivery of project outcomes in a specific field in the short term (1-2 years) and often to the provision of services, rather than investing in the development of civil society and the structures of the sector as a whole to be able to carry out its role effectively. These funding limitations are further excerbated by the fact that the organisations are heavily dependent on volunteers, which while a positive aspect of an active civil society, often leaves the organisations in a weak position vis-a-vis their organisational sustainability.

The objective of the programme will be to strengthen civil society development and enhance its contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development in Malta. The programme will strive to achieve 4 concrete outcomes. These being:
  • Democratic values, including human rights, promoted
  • Developed networks and coalitions of NGOs working in partnership
  • Increased contribution to sustainable development achieved
  • Strengthened capacity of NGOs and an enabling environment for the sector promoted
To achieve these 4 outcomes, the programme of works will focus on 5 key issues. These being:
  1. Strengthening civil society through the development and consolidation of NGO Networks and platforms and the improvement of their advocacy and representation activities
  2. Protection of the Environment and Climate Change focusing on the specific needs of Malta
  3. Human rights and anti-discrimination, in particular issues related to migration ( racism and xenophobia)
  4. Addressing Gender equality
  5. Tackling Social Inequality, poverty and exclusion, in particular for at risk young people, people living with disability and those suffering from domestic violence
For the purpose of the Calls, these 5 key issues will be split into two priority axes. These are:
  1. Strengthening of civil society platforms and networks in Malta for the effective representation of civil society organisations at local and national level
  2. Thematic calls for proposals covering the 4 remaining key thematic sectors as stated above

Over the course of the programme 2 calls for proposals will be released covering these priority axes. One call will be released in mid 2013 and a further call released in mid 2014. The funding will be distributed equally across the 2 calls.

The programme will consist of the following outputs: 2 calls for proposals in total for the NGO Programme. These 2 call for proposals will seek to support:

  1. Approximately 2 projects for networks approved per call. Networks and platforms will be requested to submit proposals for the strengthening and running of their network as a whole. The number of projects approved may be greater depending on budgets and length of projects. Therefore, approximately 4 networks will be supported. Key aspects of the proposal will be the inclusion of plans for the sustainability of the platform/network after the end of the support.
  2. Approximately 4 projects for individual NGOs per call will be approved for the other thematic areas which will be divided into the 4 remaining priority actions. This will consist of approximately 3 projects for the social and human rights sphere and 1 project for Environment and climate change. These calls will invite proposals from organisations looking at innovative approaches to contributing to tackling those issues highlighted above. Partnerships will be encouraged within this call.
Within these calls, actions that will be supported include the following types of activity:
  • Advocacy, watchdog and monitoring activities
  • Awareness raising activities
  • Participation in policy and decision making processes
  • Promotion of multicultural dialogue and cultural activities that promote integration
  • Provision of welfare and basic services
  • Capacity building and organisational support to NGOs
  • Network and coalition building
  • Education and training activities
  • Cultural initiatives to promote key areas of support
As a result of the calls for proposals we would be seeking to achieve the following:
  • At least 4 (new or existing) platforms/networks strengthened and able to maintain effective functioning after the project end
  • At least 6 NGOs which show considerable advancement in contributing to tackling social exclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups (migrants, women, children and young people, people living with disabilities)
  • At least 2 NGOs which contribute to the sustainable development of Malta including through addressing adaptation and mitigation to climate change.
Bilateral cooperation
The Bilateral Fund available for the NGO Programme Malta amounts to €7500. We are proposing one major conference to be held in Malta, to which all Fund Operators and relevant grantees across the beneficiary countries will be invited. Additionally, at least 5 representatives from the donor countries will be invited to participate. The conference will focus on cultural diversity as the predominant theme.

This conference will take place in February 2013 to coincide with the official launch of the NGO fund in Malta.

The conference will consist of panel of speakers (including international speakers) who will discuss different aspects on the theme and how different countries in Europe are working on the theme (including tackling discrimination, promoting integration etc). Additionally, there will be different smaller workshops on aspects of the theme in order to share experiences among conference participants and share good practices among NGOs and other stakeholders. The conference will be followed by a dedicated networking session that will allow for fund operators and NGO recipients or potential recipients to informally discuss aspects of the fund, its themes, the potential of working together and opportunities for bilateral relations. This will give potential Maltese recipients of the fund opportunities to make contact and partnerships with NGOs in other European countries and benefit from other bilateral initiatives taking place in Europe

NGO operators participating will also be brought together to discuss the potential of building a Community of Practice among Fund Operators, establishing a forum for exchange of information and good practice. This would include the set up of an online forum in which documents, experiences and information would be shared. The conference would provide an opportunity to discuss how this might be developed, managed and utilised.

Call for proposals 
1st call: May 2013
2nd call: June 2014
Programme operator
Solidarity Overseas Service Malta
CEO: Claudia Taylor-East
Programme Manager: Lorna Muscat
Address: 10 Triq Il-Ward, Santa Venera, Malta, SVR 1640
Tel: +356 2124 4123
Fax: +356 2122 4742
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Resources and more information
Website of the Maltese NGO Programme
Latest news on Malta
Further information on the EEA Grants in Malta