FAQ

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Application procedure

Can we submit a full proposal all at once?

No. The quick scan is compulsory before you can submit a full proposal. It allows you to pitch your project and partnership ideas in an easy and accessible way. The EPRM will provide you with feedback including a recommendation (positive or negative) on whether or not to go ahead with developing your ideas. It may also include recommendations on how to do this. Upon receiving an advice from the EPRM/RVO.nl, it is possible to submit a full proposal.

 

Threshold criteria

What are the threshold criteria and where do I find them?

These criteria describe the type of organisation, its size, the requirements for partnerships, organisational capacity, grant size, project duration. A short list of threshold criteria can be downloaded here and more information is to be found in the English translation in the Government Gazette.

Will the requested budget be entirely (100%) supported by EPRM or is there a requirement for the principal applicant to co-finance the project?

The grant amounts to a maximum of 70% of the eligible costs per application and at most €340.000. The grant amount requested may not exceed €340,000. The remaining costs should be financed by an own contribution, which is the difference between the amount of the total project budget and the grant. The own contribution to the project of the partners of the partnership is financed with means (cash or in-kind) that have not been obtained by means of a direct or indirect grant or contribution from the budget of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What type of organisation should be part of the partnership, and what other types of organisations are allowed to be part of the partnership?

Every partnership needs at least one company that is part of the mineral supply chain to qualify for an EPRM grant. This company needs to have a direct, sustainable link (producing/using/transacting/etc) with(in) the supply chain. This can be upstream, midstream and/or downstream. So, the company can be a mining company but also a smelter for example. Multinational and/or national are both possible. The company can also be a local private actor as long as it is part of the mineral supply chain.

If there are other companies part of the partnership that are not part of the mineral supply chain, these companies need to:

  • Be necessary to implement and manage the project and have a project interest as well;
  • Provide a balanced part of the necessary efforts and take a balanced part of the attendant risks;
  • Contribute financially (in cash or in kind) in proportion to the overall scope and ambition of the project;
  • Have a proven track record in the area of responsible artisanal and small-scale mining and market linkage and have sufficient leverage to have an impact on the subjects of conflict minerals and/or supply chain Due Diligence.

It is important to explain thoroughly how the company complies to these requirements in the full proposal. If these requirements are not met, these companies should be hired as a third party.

Any other organisation not defined as a company, can be part of the partnership without being part of the minerals supply chain. Therefore, universities, NGO’s, Government organisations, etc. can be part of the partnership.

Please read the administrative rules carefully, which also contain clarifying definitions regarding among other things “company” and “supply chain approach”.

Can a research and advice company or financial institution also be considered as a supply chain actor?

Financial institutions, banks, or companies that mainly provide advisory services are not considered to be part of the mineral supply chain. They do not have a direct, sustainable link (producing/refining/extraction/etc) with(in) the supply chain. If there is another company present in the partnership that does qualify as being part of the mineral supply chain, these companies can be part of the partnership if they meet the requirements mentioned in the question above. Otherwise, these companies can be hired as a third party. Third parties are hired externally by the grant recipient, i.e. the partnership. They are paid through invoices. These costs are eligible. Third parties can contribute financially to (partially) cover the own contribution part.  

 

Content quick scan/proposal

To what extent does the project need to link up with the EPRM Theory of Change?

The Theory of Change (ToC) is the backbone of the EPRM, so it is very important that your proposal is related to the ToC. Especially the outputs and outcomes described in the right column of the ToC (upstream side) are very relevant for this Call for Proposals. Make sure your proposal contributes to these outcomes and motivate how: 1) Mines have access to markets and improved technical and financial ability to produce responsibly and 2) Pooled financial and technical resources to support mine improvement via strategic partnerships in targeted countries.

Can the project be implemented in any country of the world or is there a geographical limitation?

This call has a global scope, as opposed to the previous call, which was focused on countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). However, it is required that activities are conducted in a Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Area (CAHRA). The EPRM follows the guidelines of the European Commission and OECD with respect to the definition of a CAHRA. 

Can the project be focused on just any ‘conflict mineral’?

The present call for proposals focuses exclusively on activities aimed at or linked to improving the conditions in and around 3TG (gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten) mines.

 

Assessment

What are the assessment criteria and where do I find them?

These criteria describe the policy relevance of the project, the quality of the partnership, and the technical quality of the proposal related to the design and implementation of the project. See section 7.1 of the English translation in the Government Gazette, which can be downloaded here.

 

Policy regarding sexual intimidation and other serious misconduct or inappropriate behavior

What forms or documents have to be included in Annex V?

In the Administrative Rules, the following is stated:

To be eligible for a grant, the lead party must demonstrate that it and its partners endeavour to prevent serious sexual and other misconducts and other serious forms of inappropriate behaviour towards employees and other individuals when implementing the proposed activities, and that in the event of such incidents, they will act as promptly as possible to put an end to the misconduct or inappropriate behaviour and mitigate the consequences.

Through its integrity policy, code of conduct(s) or other relevant documents, the lead party shows:

  • What is understood by ‘sexual intimidation and other forms of inappropriate behaviour’,
  • What kind of reporting procedure is present within the company in case of sexual intimidation or other cross-border behaviour,
  • The procedure for handling these kinds of reports or signals,
  • What actions are taken should the presence of sexual intimidation or other inappropriate behaviour be confirmed,
  • How this is reported and accounted for to relevant authorities, among which sponsors.

What kind of behaviour falls under ‘sexual and other misconducts and other serious forms of inappropriate behaviour towards employees and other individuals’?

At any case, this concerns punishable and prohibited behaviour according to the standards of Dutch legislation. In addition, serious misconducts can occur which are strictly speaking not punishable or illegal, but which are within the context of the own integrity policy and code of conducts indicated as severe and which can, for example, lead to (immediate) dismissal or other heavy disciplinary measures.

I have a small company (less than 50 employees). Do I also have to provide an integrity policy, code of conduct or other relevant documents?

For smaller organisations, we cannot expect that such documents are available. For this reason, it is important to explain in what way your company applies the integrity policy in practice and how you monitor compliance. The principle of ‘comply or explain’ is applicable here. Dependent on the circumstances, extra requirements can be included in the final grant decision.

Does only the lead party have to show relevant documents related to the integrity policy?

Yes. The other partners will have to declare to comply with the integrity policy of the lead party. They do so in the Partner Form (Annex III).

 

Other/general