PA10 - Description of Programme Area



Why is the programme needed?
Civil society in Portugal is experiencing substantial challenges in the context of the country’s financial, economic and social crisis. According to National Statistics Institute, the unemployment rate in Portugal was 16.90 % in the fourth quarter of 2012, with youth unemployment at 40%. Social needs are rising as social benefits are being cut. In this context, civil society in Portugal acts as a key player, mobilising citizens, promoting democratic values and providing key services.

What will the programme achieve?
The Programme places major emphasis on capacity building of NGOs, by giving priority to projects developed in partnership with other entities (local authorities, NGOs, public entities), as well as projects on empowering target groups. Moreover, the programme supports a more active role of NGOs in the provision of welfare and basic services, not as a substitute of the State but rather as a partner. This way, the programme can contribute to building coalitions between the relatively diverse civil society sector in Portugal, and at the same time strengthen NGOs capacity in addressing the needs of the sector.

The promotion of human rights, gender equality and anti-discrimination is also important components of the programme. The Programme will make a positive contribution towards addressing the needs of young people and children, refugees, immigrants and other groups at risk. The Programme also addresses horizontal concerns such as hate speech, extremism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, tolerance/multicultural societies, Roma, sexual harassment, violence against women and trafficking.

How will it be achieved?
The programme supports large and small projects in the following three priority areas:

  • Participation of NGOs in public policy design and instruments (policies) implementation;
  • Active role in human rights, minorities and anti‐discrimination;
  • Effectiveness of NGO action.

Support is provided through 3 annual open calls.

How will bilateral relations be strengthened?
Funding for bilateral activities shall increase cooperation between NGOs in Portugal and the donor countries, improve knowledge and mutual understanding and the sharing of results. The bilateral funds is used to support the search for partners for donor partnership projects, knowledge transfer, networking and exchange between project promoters and entities in the Donor States. 

What are the partnership opportunities?
The Programme expects to achieve at least 10 partnership agreements at project level as well as 10 project activities (conferences, workshops, study tours, consultancies and information activities) with Donor Country entities. 

Who can apply for funding under this programme?
Eligible applicants are NGOs established in Portugal, defined as “A non-profit voluntary organisation established as a legal entity, having a non-commercial purpose, independent of local, regional and central government, public entities, political parties and commercial organisations. Religious institutions and political parties are not considered NGOs.”


Total programme amount: €5,800,000

From Norway Grants: €0

From EEA Grants: €5,800,000

Date of approval: 7 March 2013


Programme operator: Calouste Gulbenkian
Foundation (CGF)

Programme operator’s website:

Donor programme partner: N/A

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