UK welcomes proposals focus on “addressing religious intolerance”

The British High Commission in Colombo is inviting Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to bid for grant funding to deliver projects addressing religious intolerance in Sri Lanka.

Objectives and thematic priority

The British High Commission welcomes proposals which will focus on “addressing religious intolerance”.

Suggested areas of work could include (but are not limited to):

  • promoting enhanced levels of tolerance and improving adherence to principles of inclusion, equity and justice among religious scholars and communities vulnerable to intolerance
  • improving Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) literacy among groups facing intercommunal tensions
  • equipping activists and legal advocates to effectively respond to incidents of FoRB related violence and intimidation

Suggested activities could include (but are not limited to):

  • delivery of activities/information/a curriculum to build tolerance in relevant institutions, including religious educational institutions
  • supporting local and community-level organisations to engage in documentation of FoRB incidents, education, advocacy, and providing guidance on engaging with state institutions on FoRB
  • supporting activists and legal advocates responding to FoRB-related incidents including through legal assistance and solidarity

The BHC particularly welcomes proposals which:

  • enhance the capacity of CSOs to work towards effectively responding to incidents of religious intolerance
  • result in increased understanding and awareness among key stakeholders around longstanding and contemporary freedom of religion and belief issues
  • are mindful of cross-cutting themes such as conflict-sensitivity, gender equality and environment
  • demonstrate scalability and sustainability

Delivery mechanisms

Suppliers should consider the best delivery mechanism to meet needs. Suppliers may want to consider capacity building (direct, or through ‘train the trainer’ models) or support to improving existing networks including strengthening engagement with state mechanisms.


The successful implementer should be able to commence work from September 2023 and complete all project activity by March 2024 (subject to final funding decisions).


We anticipate budget provision of up to £50,000 GBP. Proposals with multiple implementing partners should be submitted under one lead contractor. We are unable to support contingency, miscellaneous, small grants, or per diem costs. Admin costs must not exceed 10%.

Projects should aim to achieve 85% spend by 31 December 2023 and activities should be avoided in the final month of the project. Activity Based Budgets should reflect this where possible. However, we recognise this may not be possible with a short implementation period and will try to be flexible as far as is possible.

Bidding guidance

This is open to registered community and civil society organisations. We are looking to fund one project that addresses the core issues set out above. Bidders must provide a broad indication of proposed activities to be delivered, anticipated outcomes, and sustainability approaches. Bidders should factor in risks and mitigation plans.

Bidders must deliver all project activity before 31 March 2024.

Proposals should not be crafted to reach the budget ceiling, but to specifically meet the objectives in pursuit of demonstrable impact and value for money. Read the UK’s value for money guidance (PDF, 556 KB).

The evaluation will select only one Supplier. However, joint bids from consortia with one lead partner will also be considered.

The Suppliers are free to choose who they partner with and where they wish to work in order to deliver the best outcomes.

The selected Supplier will be expected to work constructively with a wider group of stakeholders in order to achieve the objectives of this project.

All successful implementers will sign a standard FCDO grant agreement. The terms of the contract or agreement are not negotiable.

Application process

Proposals must be submitted using the forms listed in the documentation section below.

Bidders must submit documents in standard Microsoft Office formats: font type Arial, font size 12.

Proposals must be submitted to [email protected] with the subject line “Call for proposals, Sri Lanka: John Bunyan Fund 2023 to 2024”.

The deadline for submitting project proposals is 27 August 2023. Late proposals will not be considered. E-mails larger than 10MB are blocked.

The selected bidder/s will need to undergo a Due Diligence Assessment.

The High Commission aims to inform bidders of the outcome of their project proposals by mid-September 2023. We will not be able to provide feedback on unsuccessful bids.


You must include the following documents with your submission:

  • project proposal. Read proposal guidance
  • Activity Based Budget
  • one-pager detailing the implementer’s experience working in this field and track record
  • project proposal part A should not exceed 25 pages
  • bids must be in English
  • complete a separate equipment purchase supporting letter if the purchase of assets is essential for achieving the project outputs and impact
  • digital development costs in excess of £10,000 for “any external-facing service provided through the internet to citizens, businesses, and civil society or non-government organisations” has to be submitted separately using the digital spend proposal form and be approved by FCDO

‘Open mic’ question and answer (Q&A) session

The British High Commission in Colombo will hold an online meeting via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday, 10 August 2023 to take any questions on the call for proposals.

To join the meeting on Thursday, 10 August 2023 at 10:30am (IST), let us know your interest to participate by sending an email to [email protected] before 9 August 2023.

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