The Grant Program focuses on decreasing the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. Underpinned with organizational values of tenacity, justice and accountability, the Grant Program seeks to increase the number of educated Roma children, youth and parents aimed to become active voices of change. In parallel, the program supports result-oriented actions, provides evidence for the effectiveness and efficiency of REF models, and assist schools in translating REF interventions to evidence-based policy proposals. After more than ten years of assessing and meeting the needs of the Roma community through grant management, monitoring and evaluation, the Grant Program has designed five core models that guide its decision whether to support an application and how applications must fulfill basic requirements that compliment REF’s mission and strategic objectives:
- Expanding Access to Preschool Education
- Ensuring Full Roma Participation in Basic Education
- Expanding Access to Secondary Education
- Expanding access to Higher Education
- Assuring Desegregation and Integration of Roma in Education
All five program areas work hand in hand to improve the quality of educational outcomes through the provision of additional support. Moreover, a new effort is being developed to improve employability and skills through job training programs for young adults and REF alumni from Secondary and Tertiary Education.
Several stakeholders including the European Commission, World Bank, and national governments have acknowledged that REF has made a valuable contribution in bettering the educational outcomes of Roma children. In several countries, REF has well-established partnerships with governments, local municipalities, and civil society organizations. For instance, according to an EU Thematic Evaluation on IPA Support to Roma Communities, “Education has achieved desired institutional changes where there were clear links between national policy and IPA support. Evidence for improved educational attainment is piecemeal and anecdotal – but points strongly in the right direction. The role of the Roma Education Fund must be recognized as a force for positive policy models and practice”.
The Grant Program targets consortia of different stakeholders focusing on Roma education outcomes. REF may intensify its technical assistance role by supporting Governments to foster high-quality and inclusive education initiatives and policies, including scaling up REF practices and leveraging funds for bigger impact, as it has done successfully since 2010 with the implementation of “A Good Start”.
If you or your organization are considering applying to the Grants Program, REF recommends downloading and reading its recent Annual Reports in order to understand the constellation of organizations and projects it supports and what results and impacts are expected. All grantees are subject to rigorous financial and technical monitoring and evaluation, and in parallel, REF offer its technical advice as well as opportunities for smaller NGOs to build their capacity, knowledge and management skills.
Effective in 2018, REF issues specific calls and deadlines to reflect the priorities of the Grant Program, and unsolicited submissions will be rejected. Regularly visit our website or follow REF on social media for upcoming and current calls