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OVERVIEW: Deciding who will receive a grant

Who's going to make the decisions about who receives a grant, and how will they decide? Transparent decision-making structures and processes are essential to accountability.

You need a decision-making policy that takes into consideration:

  • Who is part of the decision-making chain? E.g. eligibility checkers, application assessors and final decision-makers?
  • Which decisions are made at which point in the chain? What are the deadlines?
  • Who makes the final decision on who will receive grants? Will the decision be made collectively by a board or council, or by an individual such as a minister or CEO?
  • What criteria must the decision-makers follow in making their decisions? Are these criteria different from the assessment criteria?
  • On what evidence will the final decision-makers base their judgement?
  • Can the decision-makers ask the assessment team for clarification or further information? Under what circumstances?
  • Can the decision-makers ask for information not included in the selection criteria and not reflected in promotion and application documents? Under what circumstances?
  • How will decisions be recorded?
  • Will the reasons for decisions be recorded? Will these reasons be made available to the grant applicant concerned?
  • Is the final decision truly final, or is there a review or appeal process? What is that process?
  • What is the process for justifying and recording decisions that fall outside the program guidelines?
  • If the decision-makers are unable to separate some applicants, how will they break the deadlock? Request more information? Make more than one grant available?
  • Who will be informed about the decisions? How?
  • Will the identity of the decision-makers be kept confidential or made public?

SmartyGrants TipSmartyGrants users: When you record decisions in SmartyGrants, you can also add notes about funding conditions, allocate funding against specific budgets, keep a tally of allocated funding, run reports on all of this, and much more. Learn more

Related templates

Tip

Beware of processes that might expose your decision makers to lobbying or post-decision complaints from disgruntled applicants. If necessary, provide coaching for them on how to deal with such approaches. Give your decision makers clear guidance about decision-making criteria at the outset.