Making the Cut : Exploring Application Evaluation and Programme Accessibility in Embassy-based Small Grant Schemes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHolm, N. G. L. (2020). Making the Cut: Exploring Application Evaluation and Programme Accessibility in Embassy-based Small Grant Schemes. Forum for Development Studies, 47(2), 327-350- doi: 10.1080/08039410.2020.1739123
Embassy-based mall grant schemes provide opportunities for local actors to achieve development and human security functionings that are locally valued but may otherwise go unaddressed; however, accessing these funds is highly competitive, with only a fraction of applicant claims being successful and resulting in funding. This qualitative study explores the factors behind successful grant-seeking from the perspectives of grant scheme managers and evaluators. It explores how accessing small grant schemes is mediated by a system of practices and preferences at both the personal and programme level. The study highlights how some processes and patterns inherent in small grant schemes can result in capital-rich actors being more successful, counter-normative to the inclusive aims of such grant programmes; however, interviews also highlight an awareness of these barriers by grant programme staff, and indicate a number of practices to enable greater accessibility. Interviewees report that local actors who are able to construct effective narratives can compensate for disparities in other social and cultural capital.