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Guidelines for Nordic Gender Equality Fund

These guidelines are based on the decision made in the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality on 23 June 2013 to establish the Gender Equality Fund and most recently established by the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality (EK-JÄM) on 29 November 2018. These guidelines describe what the Nordic Council of Ministers is looking for in applicant projects and organisations.

Purpose and criteria

The Fund aims to stimulate Nordic co-operation in the area of gender equality within the framework of the Gender Equality ministers’ co-operation programme and its priorities.

Funding is granted to projects that add Nordic benefit as well as adding value to gender policy. All applications must state whether they have included the following perspectives:

·         Sustainable development (for inspiration see Agenda 2030 and SDGs at the local level—a brief start-up guide)

·         Inclusive of the perspective of children and young people (see the Nordic strategy for children and young people)

The Gender Equality Fund finances activities initiated in the same year as the funding is granted and which are concluded within two years of the contract signing. Activities commenced before the application deadline are not eligible for funding.

All applications must state and will be assessed on the basis of how well they meet the following requirements and aims:

a)    Nordic benefit

This means the extent to which the project:

  • Generates significant positive effects through Nordic co-operation, compared to the project having been implemented at the national level
    • Manifests and develops Nordic cohesion, both within and outside the region
  • Contributes new infrastructure that strengthens Nordic co-operation on gender equality
    • Responds in a constructive way to the challenges of Nordic co-operation such as national barriers and differences.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Justifies why the project should be implemented as Nordic co-operation
    • Describes the added value and the challenges that the co-operating parties perceive in working together across country borders.

b)    Added value for gender policy

This refers to the extent to which the project:

  • Aims to respond to the problems of gender inequality concerning the rights, conditions, and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys, as well as the power to shape their lives and contribute to the development of society.
    • Contributes new/updated knowledge about methods and models of gender inequality/equality and/or exchanges of experience concerning knowledge about methods and models of gender inequality/equality
    • Helps to respond to the challenges identified in the Nordic co-operation programme on gender equality.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Describes the problems of gender inequality that the co-operating parties have identified and which the project intends to respond to
    • Shows how well the co-operating parties understand these problems based on theoretical knowledge and/or tried and tested experience
    • Demonstrates an awareness of previous work, knowledge and/or research concerning the problems that the co-operating parties intend to respond to and, based on this awareness, describes how the project will contribute to change and add new knowledge.

c)    Sustainability/long-term view

Sustainability means the degree to which:

  • The project design provides scope for others to draw conclusions and learn from the project’s successes and setbacks
    • The project results and efforts are expected to have lasting effects through infrastructure and products which persist after the end of the project such as networks, websites, reports, etc., and how these have been designed to reach relevant target groups.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Describes how and with which target groups the co-operating parties plan to communicate the project and its results, and how they will ensure that these results will be available even after the end of the project.

d)    Implementation

Implementation means here:

  • How likely it is, in light of the applicant’s skills and experience, that the project will be implemented in the manner described by the applicants
    • What bases do the applicants have for working together, for example that they contribute different skills, perspectives and experience which means that they can complement each other.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Describes how the co-operating parties plan to go about responding to the identified problems, and the justification they have provided for their choice of approach with regard to the feasibility of achieving the results and drawing conclusions from these results
    • Describes what the main applicant and each of the partner organisations will contribute to the project, as well as their previous experience of similar collaborations.

e)    Economic viability

Organisations applying for funding need to be able to contribute at least 20 per cent themselves and/or have other sources of funding.  The organisation’s own contribution and/or other sources of funding could come from sponsorship or other financial contributions, voluntary work, participant fees, or indirect costs for example.

The amount applied for should be between DKK 50,000 and DKK 500,000.

The application must be accompanied by a budget containing all items specified in DKK, and include the total amount. Self-funding and total funding must be made apparent in the budget. The budget should explicitly state what the funding amount applied for is intended to cover in the total budget.

Funding will not be given for audits or travel expenses (with the exception of travel expenses for representatives of volunteer organisations/not-for-profit organisations and invited speakers).

Funding cannot be provided to cover indirect costs, such as the support organisation’s salaries and other running costs (such as rent, electricity, IT).

Funding will not be granted for:

  • Activities already financed wholly or in part by Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality (MR-JÄM), or the Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Activities that do not submit a budget in DKK
  • Activities whose purpose is to generate a profit or equivalent for the funding beneficiary.

Successful applicants may be granted a lower total amount of funding than they have applied for in all or in parts of their applications.

Requirements on activities and beneficiaries

The following activities may be funded:

  • Staging of Nordic gatherings/meetings
  • Investigations/inquiries
  • Network-building
  • Activity projects
  • The participation of volunteer organisations in Nordic or international conferences/courses/meetings/gatherings.

The Gender Equality Fund addresses a broad target group and calls for proposals are open to a variety of activities and organisations including:

  • Volunteer organisations (citizen organisations/not-for-profit organisations)
  • Networks
  • Government agencies and other public sector activities (such as municipalities, university departments, divisions, etc.)
  • Other non-commercial actors
  • Business enterprises (SMEs).

Each project must involve at least the three Nordic countries, where the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Aaland Islands may constitute one of these only. In addition, funding may be granted to activities involving co-operation in the neighbouring regions, i.e. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and nort-west Russia*, where at least two Nordic countries are participating. The principal applicant should come from a Nordic country or the Faroe Islands, Greenland, or the Aaland Islands.

* Please note that cooperation with independent organisations in Russia are possible, as long as the activities are located outside of Russia and the independence of the organisation is confirmed in a specific vetting procedure defined by the Nordic Council of Ministers..


Funding will not be granted for:

  • Activities already financed wholly or in part by Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality (MR-JÄM), or the Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Activities that submit a budget in a currency other than DKK
  • Applications submitted after the deadline
  • Activities that submit an incomplete application (all mandatory fields not filled in or applications without the requisite attached documentation)
  • Political party organisations
  • Private individuals
  • Activities whose purpose is to generate a profit or equivalent for the funding beneficiary.

Application and time limits

Applications are to be made in one of the three Scandinavian languages or English on a form specifically for this purpose available on NIKK’s website ( The application form will be available to download from approximately one month before the deadline for applications.

Grant applications are to be accompanied by a timetable and budget for the planned activity. In the application, one of the applicant parties is to be designated as the principal applicant.

Decisions, contracts, and reporting

NIKK will communicate its decision via e-mail to each applicant in May after the decision has been made and the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality (EK-JÄM) has been afforded the opportunity to veto the decision.

Activities granted funding are required to draw up a contract with NIKK in accordance with specific procedures. After the contract is signed, payment can be made. The applicant should take into account that funds will be paid to them at the earliest one month after requisitioning the funds.

Standard procedure is that 85 per cent of the activity’s total funding amount is paid based on a requisition at the start of the project, with the remaining 15 per cent being paid after approval of the final report.

The principal party responsible for the project is responsible for submitting the final report (self-evaluation) and financial accounts to NIKK no later than two months after the end of the project. Any unused funds are to be repaid to NIKK.

The final report is to include the following:

  • What is the benefit of the activity to Nordic co-operation?
  • What value has the activity added to gender equality policy?
  • What results (such as products, knowledge, processes, procedures) has the activity produced?
  • How has information about and knowledge from the activity been communicated (how many individuals/countries has the activity reached, which target groups, which channels)?
  • How will (the results from) the activity continue to be spread/used within the applicants’ organisations?
  • The most important lessons learned from the activity.