Belun Small Grant Donors Network (2009)

August 4, 2009

Belun Small Grant Donors Network

The Small Grant Donors Network (SGDN) was established in January 2003, first and foremost as a means for Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) and its local team to learn from and give feedback to other small grants donors, while implementing the Dutch financed World Bank-administered Civil Society Capacity Building (CSCB) Project. As an academic institution, CICR seeks to learn from the experience of others, to create space for information exchanges, and to ensure that what is learned is translated into practice over time. The SGDN flowed naturally from these objectives.

Since 2004, CICR has worked in close collaboration with BELUN, a national organization, to convene the SGDN toward enhanced donor coordination. In addition, the SGDN is a venue to:

  • Raise awareness among small grant donors as to which donors are supporting development initiatives in Timor-Leste;
  • Exchange information on donor priorities and guidelines both according to sector and/or geographic areas of focus;
  • Reflect on challenges faced by small grant donors and to learn from other experiences in TL regarding alternative granting methodologies;
  • Augment opportunities for coordinated or complimentary programming;
  • Prevent duplicate activities in areas where multiple donors support the same organizations, and/or when working in similar geographical areas;
  • Create strategies to enhance opportunities for conflict prevention and augment donor capacity to contribute positively in Timor-Leste;
  • Generate a greater understanding of donor impact and responsibility
  • Develop practical tools such as the Reference Guide for Small Grant Donors, as well as other printed materials on Success Stories, designed to enable quick and easy access to information both in Dili and in the Districts;
  • Complement data collection and sharing activities, especially with respect to BELUN’s National Database of Humanitarian and Community Development Projects;and
  • Influence policy makers, as opportunities exists, toward adjusting granting mechanisms based on lessons learned and best practice.

Building on past momentum and successes, CICR and BELUN continue to manage this important process to redefine the nature of donor coordination, particularly among small grant donors. While participation continues to increase, the realization of the Network’s full potential as an information clearinghouse and venue for learning requires dedicated attention to follow- up on the variety of suggestions and tools requested by its participants.

Ultimately, these efforts aim to contribute to improved programming that directly responds to community goals and aspirations while simultaneously reducing the underlying tensions that could, if unaddressed, lead to violent conflict.

Please contact Rebecca Engel at or at 723 4403 should you require additional information.