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 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
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.