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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

ENTITIES ELIGIBLE

Which entities can present proposals? 

The following entities are eligible to submit proposals: 

(i) Public national, sub-national and local institutions in the IDB’s borrowing member countries with legal capacity to enter into agreements with the Bank. 

(ii) Private, non-profit entities that are legally established in one of the IDB’s borrowing member countries. 

(iii) Latin American and/or Caribbean regional or sub-regional institutions with legal capacity to enter into agreements with the IDB. 

 

Which entities can execute proposals? 

The following entities are eligible to execute proposals: 

(i) Public national, sub-national and local institutions in the IDB’s borrowing member countries with legal capacity to enter into agreements with the Bank. 

(ii) Private, non -profit entities that are legally established in one of the IDB’s borrowing member countries. 

(iii) Latin American and/or Caribbean regional or sub-regional institutions with legal capacity to enter into agreements with the IDB. 

Each project can only have one (1) executing agency. 

 

Can the executing agency be the same as the submitting entity? 

Yes. The executing agency may but does not need to have been involved in preparing the proposal. 

 

Should the executing agency provide a commitment letter? 

Yes, the executing agency, like all the participant countries, should provide a commitment letter to the project. 

 

Can a group of private, non-profit entities submit a proposal? 

Yes, if these private, non-profit entities represent more than one country and the proposal is not related to public policy. However, if the RPG is public policy related, the group of private, non-profit entities needs to engage the institutions responsible for public policy design in the area of the proposed RPG in each country. These institutions must commit in writing (by submitting commitment letters) to participate in the project and will be considered the beneficiaries of the project. 

 

Can the private sector entities be the same entity registered in three different countries?  

No. Private non-profit institutions that apply for a project may not be part of the same entity with legal status in different countries. They must be different private non-profit entities. 

 

Can the participating entities be both from the public and non-profit private sector?  

No. The Initiative may not finance “mixed” proposals which involve the participation of non-profit private sector entities in some countries and public sector entities in others. Proposals must respect a symmetry in the actors involved, and these must be either all from the public sector or all from the non-profit private sector. 

 

What does “project symmetry” mean?  

In order to ensure a fluid dialogue between participating countries and efficient project execution, the entities that participate in the project must correspond to the same level in the different countries, whether they are national or sub-national entities. For example, in the case of public sector projects, a project related to energy integration between a group of countries must accompany the letters of commitment from the Ministries of Energy of those countries. In the case of a project with a sub-national scope, the relevant actors will be the sub-national governments of the participating countries, and not a mixture of these with national-level governmental entities. Finally, if the project is proposed by public academic institutions, all letters of commitment must come from public academic institutions and not from a mixture of these with entities of the national or sub-national level government. 

 

Can public universities submit proposals?  

Yes. They may submit and execute proposals. However, the RPG Initiative will not be able to finance projects that only support the creation of networks, regional or national academic studies carried out by public or private universities and/or capacity building events. In addition, projects presented by public universities must involve these public institutions, and not a mix of public universities and other public or private sector participants.  

 

The CFP says that Latin American and/or Caribbean regional or sub-regional institutions can present and execute RPG proposals. Which institutions are you referring to? 

International organizations with a regional scope (referring to the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, such as the Latin American Integration Association - ALADI) or sub-regional scope (such as SICA-affiliated entities in Central America or the Secretariats of the Caribbean Community, Mercosur or the Andean Community). 

 

Can institutions that are not from the Latin American or the Caribbean (LAC) region participate? 

They cannot be beneficiaries or executors of an RPG project. However, they can be partners (contributing technical know-how, resources or both), if the participating LAC countries agree. 

 

Can international organizations with a global or hemispheric (LAC plus the US and Canada) scope participate? 

They cannot be beneficiaries or executors of an RPG project, but they can be strategic partners of the project (contributing technical know-how, resources, or both) if the participating LAC countries agree. 

 

Can strategic partners be remunerated or hired by the project?  

No. Strategic partners of a proposal may contribute resources in cash or in kind and be part of an Advisory Committee of the project, but they will not be able to benefit from IDB resources nor can they be hired to provide consulting services to the project to avoid any conflict of interest. Entities that wish to provide consulting services must be selected by the project beneficiaries and the IDB as consulting firms, and in this capacity, they may not be part of the project's Advisory Committee. 

FINANCING AND DURATION

What is the size of the grants for projects financed under the Initiative? 

The size of the grant typically averages US$600,000 per project. In the case of second phase proposals, the cap for financing is US$250,000.  

 

Does the proposal need to include counterpart resources? Which is the minimum amount? 

Yes, a proposal needs to include counterpart resources from the participating countries. The contribution can be in cash and/or in-kind. The in-kind contribution typically represents the time that specialists of the participating institutions will dedicate to the project. There is no minimum amount. However, the counterpart contribution reflects the commitment of the institutions with the proposal and its objectives, and it will be evaluated as such. 

 

Can the RPG Initiative finance the preparation of a proposal? 

No. The RPG Initiative or the IDB is not responsible for these costs, irrespective of the results of the selection process. 

 

What is the duration of a project? 

The period to implement an RPG project will be of a maximum of three (3) years. 

ELIGIBLE TOPICS

Which is the definition of regional public good used by the Initiative? 

The Initiative defines regional public goods (“RPG”) as goods, services or resources that are produced and consumed collectively by the public sector and, if appropriate, the private, non-profit sector in a minimum of three borrowing member countries of the IDB. The public aspect of the “goods” is in the shared benefits. Benefits are shared to the extent that there is no competition among consumers for the enjoyment of benefits, so new consumers can be added continuously without prejudice to existing users (nonrivalry). A corollary is the non-excludability of benefits, in that public goods are available to all potential users at no cost. 

The RPG Initiative seeks to finance specific regional coordination products that can then be implemented at the national level by the participating countries and other interested countries that could not participate in the original project. This type of products can be, for example, regional regulatory frameworks, harmonized legislation and common agreements or standards among countries; regional sectoral strategies and action plans; diagnoses and studies in support of investment decisions or projects at the regional level; and methodologies and instruments of regional application. 

 

Which sectors are eligible? 

Alignment with the IDB’s goals, objectives and priorities is a selection criterion. The RPG Initiative will only finance proposals that address the cross-cutting challenges of the IDB's Institutional Strategy. The proposals submitted must be framed in one or more of the following five (5) priority areas of the Vision 2025 of the IDB Group for the implementation of the IDB’s Institutional Strategy and the region’s post-pandemic recovery: (i) strengthening of regional value chains; (ii) digital economy; (iii) support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); (iv) gender equality and diversity; and (v) climate change. The RPG Initiative will prioritize the resources available to finance proposals related to the coordination of policies and solutions at the regional level to address, prevent and deal in the future with the consequences of COVID-19 in LAC within the five (5) priority areas mentioned. 

 

Does the Initiative finance networks and studies? 

Although knowledge networks and regional studies are valuable instruments for cooperation between countries, given the limited resources available for the RPG Initiative, it will not be able to finance projects that only support the creation of networks, regional or national academic studies carried out by public or private universities and/or capacity building events. 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the RPGs may include as part of their activities the formation of networks, the financing of specific studies and specific events related to the RPG, as long as these do not constitute the ultimate goal of the project. 

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

The Initiative may finance the following expenses: 

a) Consulting fees, understood as national or international individual or firms; 

b) Travel and per diem expenses for national and international consultants hired under the project, and staff of participating institutions to attend project-related meetings, workshops and training events; 

c) Costs of organizing meetings, including simultaneous interpretation and related support services (technical support), secretarial services required to organize and/or conduct meetings; rental of equipment necessary and purchase of certain meeting-related supplies, etc.; 

d) Publication/reproduction of documents and materials, including printing, editing, translation, distribution of documents and materials and the right to reproduce them (copyright), provided that this documentation results from, or is used in, project-related activities; 

e) Project evaluation and audit (mandatory requirement for all projects). 

 

The Initiative may not finance the following expenses: 

a) Compensation or professional fees of beneficiary and counterpart institutions, including the executing agency; 

b) Rental of premises necessary for project activities; 

c) Social activities resulting from IDB-financed activities throughout the project; and 

d) The acquisition of equipment or other goods. Nevertheless, under exceptional circumstances, up to thirty percent (30%) of IDB resources may be used for the purchase or rental of equipment and supplies that are directly related to project activities. Please note a justification on why these expenses cannot be covered by the executing agency or counterpart resources will have to be provided. 

These may be part of the project, provided they are financed with counterpart resources from the countries or from the executing agency or strategic partners, if any. 

 

What type of consultants can the Initiative finance? 

Individual consultants or firms are hired for a pre-determined period to produce well-defined deliverables, either professional or administrative. IDB resources shall not be used to hire individual consultants who presently (or in the six (6) months prior to the submittal of the proposal to the IDB) belong to the regular or temporary staff of the institution granted financing (executing agency), or to an institution that is the beneficiary of the services to be provided by the individual consultant. 

COLLECTIVE ACTION REQUIREMENTS

What about proposals that consist exclusively of transferring technology and knowledge from one country to others? 

These proposals are not eligible, because the solution to a regional issue must be produced collectively by the countries involved. However, often the process of collective action can involve some technology transfer from one country to others. 

 

Are bi-national projects eligible? 

Yes, if they meet the meet all of the following conditions:(i) the issue to be addressed is of strictly bi-national nature; (ii) the proposal fully justifies that the regional public good to be produced has the potential for an exceptionally high development impact; and (iii) the regional public good produced can be replicated in other contexts should similar circumstances arise. All other eligibility criteria of the Initiative will continue to apply. 

 

Bi-national proposals have to demonstrate that the issue to be addressed is of strictly bi-national nature. What does this requirement mean? 

An issue of strictly bi-national nature refers to a problem to be solved or an opportunity to be seized that, due to its very nature, involves only two countries. This could be a human or animal disease that only affects two countries. It could refer or be related to an infrastructure project (a bridge, road, etc.) that connects two countries. Or it could be an issue in connection with a natural resource that is shared by two countries, such as fishing in a lake that borders two countries or the preservation of a bi-national biosphere reserve. 

 

What are the main responsibilities of Project Steering Committees?

Project Steering Committees are comprised of representatives from all participating countries. The main functions of a Steering Committee are: (i) to analyze the development of the project’s work program, procurement plan, and budget, as well as its financial and progress reports; (ii) review the terms of reference for the hiring processes to be carried out under the project; and (iii) facilitate the development of activities in order to achieve the objectives of the project, including contact and cooperation with relevant institutions in each country, the provision of the necessary information to project consultants to carry out their work, the participation in meetings and workshops organized, and the review of technical inputs and products generated within the framework of the project.

RPGS RELATED TO PUBLIC POLICY

Do government agencies have to be involved in public policy RPGs? 

Yes. Agencies responsible for public policies in the area or the sector of the RPG must participate in its promotion and submit a letter of commitment to that effect. The agencies can represent government at the national/federal or sub-national level, depending on the issue. Occasionally, governments delegate policy formulation, implementation and/or monitoring to semi-public or private (usually non-profit) institutions. In that case, these institutions should be part of the process of promoting the RPG and submit the letters of commitment. 

Non-governmental entities are stakeholders and therefore participate in many RPG projects. 

 

Can cities and provinces participate? 

Yes. City, district or any other sub-national governments can participate by associating themselves with other subnational government agencies of other countries. 

 

What is the purpose of the letters of commitment? 

The purpose of the letters of commitment are to: (i) demonstrate the interest that each country has in cooperating with others in the process of producing the RPG; (ii) verify the availability of financial and human resources to implement the activities as stated in the proposal; and (iii) guarantee the sustainability of the process of generating the RPG beyond the IDB’s financial support. Although letters of commitment demonstrate the interest of the requesting entities in a proposal, the financing of such proposal, once selected, is conditional on obtaining, through the corresponding IDB country offices, the letters of non-objection of official IDB liaisons in each participating country. 

 

Can the private, for-profit sector submit an RPG proposal or execute an RPG project? 

No, the for-profit private sector cannot present, execute or be a beneficiary of a proposal. However, to the extent that the private, for-profit sector is a stakeholder in the issue to be addressed in the proposal, it should be included into the project as a strategic partner who provides resources or technical expertise. 

RPGS NOT RELATED TO PUBLIC POLICY

What are the conditions that proposals not related to public policy have to meet? 

These proposals have to represent innovative ideas and demonstrate that (i) the benefits to be generated by the RPG are expected to be exceptionally significant; and (ii) the RPG can be produced in a sustainable manner beyond the financing of the Initiative.

Please note that the RPG will always need to be promoted by means of collective action among the private, non-profit institutions of a minimum of three (3) borrowing member countries of the Bank. Therefore, the RPG is necessarily a response to a concern or a missed opportunity that these institutions share and wish to resolve by means of cooperation. It is not the delivery of a good, service or resource to the public by a group of non-profit organizations from various countries.

Can non-profit private sector entities present more than one proposal?  

No. Non-profit private sector entities may present a maximum of one proposal within the framework of each CFP. Notwithstanding the foregoing, they may participate in other proposals that are presented by other non-profit entities. 

SECOND STAGE RPGS

Can second stage RPGs be financed?  

The RPG Initiative can support second stages for RPG projects that have been successful in generating the expected results during the first phase. These proposals have to demonstrate that a second stage would be critical in consolidating and/or expanding the results of the first phase. The second stage proposal should include a specific section on outputs and outcomes achieved during the first stage, as results would have an important role on the proposal assessment. Please note second stage RPGs have a financing cap of US$250.000. 

HOW TO APPLY

How do I apply? 

1. Register online here before the deadline for user registration indicated in each Call for Proposals. Only registered users may complete and submit online submission forms.  

2. Fill the online proposal form. Please note that the online proposal submission system will shut down promptly at the date and time indicated for each Call for Proposals (U.S. Eastern Daylight Time). To avoid any technical difficulties, we recommend that you do not wait until the last moment to submit the proposal. There would be no exceptions. 

3. Submit annexes to the proposal: Letters of commitment to be issued by the agencies responsible for the public policy (or private sector if the proposal if the proposal does not impact public policy) in each participating country if and by the executing agency. For a proposal to be considered properly submitted, it will need to include: (i) the completed online proposal submission form, and (ii) the letters of commitment. 

 

Should letters of commitment be sent to IDB via email?  

No. Although the heading of the letters of commitment must be addressed to the IDB in accordance with the sample available on the Initiative's electronic portal, these letters must be attached to the online application form and must not be sent to the official mailbox of the BPR Initiative. Only letters received through the online application system will be considered. We would appreciate informing all participating countries in your proposals that the letters are to be compiled by the entity or person in charge of submitting the proposal through the online system, and that the letters of commitment should not be individually sent to the IDB. 

 

Who can I ask if I have a question on the CFP? 

Applicants may direct inquiries to the RPG team at BPR@iadb.org. Please note that the RPG team will only answer questions related to the present Guidelines. Such information represents the opinion of a member of the RPG team; it should not be interpreted as an official statement from the Eligibility Committee of the RPG Initiative, nor does it represent or entail a commitment of any kind from the RPG Initiative or the IDB to finance a proposal. 

 

In what language can the proposal be submitted? 

Proposals may be submitted in Spanish or English. 

 

Can I re-submit a proposal that was presented under a previous CFP? 

Yes. It is possible to re-submit a proposal. Please contact the RPG Helpdesk at BPR@iadb.org   for further information. 

 

Can the IDB request additional information about the proposals? 

Yes. The Bank may request clarifications or further information regarding proposals throughout the proposal evaluation process. Both the requests and the relevant answers shall be completed in writing. It should be noted that in clarifying or supplementing proposals, no costs or critical items shall be significantly modified, unless the Bank expressly requests otherwise. 

Applicants of selected proposals will be contacted at a later stage to provide proof of the executing agency’s legal registration in one of the IDB’s borrowing member countries. 

 

When and how will I know if a proposal was selected? 

The proposal evaluation process will conclude at the end of June/beginning of July each year. The RPG team will contact applicants at that point. 

 

What happens with proposals that have been selected for financing? 

The selected proposals enter a phase whose objective is to flash out last details and prepare an IDB technical cooperation (TC) document. This document is prepared jointly by representatives of the agencies that submitted the proposal and a team of IDB specialists. After the approval of the TC document, the Bank and the executing agency for the project will sign an agreement to start implementing the project activities.