The Incentive Fund has a five-stage application process that organisations must work through with the Incentive Fund office to be eligible for funding. The first step is to complete a Concept Proposal application form, which is available via download or from the Incentive Fund office. Eligible organisations can submit their Concept Proposals at any time. The Incentive Fund’s SMG meets on a quarterly basis where it reviews and decides which Concept Proposals proceed to the next stage of the process.
At each stage of the competitive grants process, both successful and unsuccessful applicants are notified of the outcome of their application. Further explanation is provided to unsuccessful applicants to review and strengthen their Concept Proposals, should they wish to re-submit.
Stage One – Gateway Screening
Members of the Incentive Fund team review Concept Proposals when they are received. If the Concept Proposal passes the gateway criteria screening then it is progressed to the Operational Management Group (OMG) for development priority screening – Stage Two of the grant process.
Stage Two – Development Screening
The OMG reviews Concept Proposals against the development priorities of the Governments of PNG and Australia. The OMG provides feedback to the Incentive Fund team on whether Concept Proposals meet or do not meet the development priorities.
The Incentive Fund then collates the Concept Proposals and provides the OMG recommendations to the SMG for deliberation at their next meeting. The SMG makes a decision on which Concept Proposals will progress to an Organisational Assessment (OA) and which will not.
Stage Three – Organisational Assessment
An underlying premise of the Incentive Fund is that it collaborates with high-performing organisations. The OA is the process by which Incentive Fund determines if an organisation can manage the grant and sustain the proposed initiative following project completion.
As part of the OA process, representatives from the organisation, their key stakeholders and members of the Incentive Fund team meet to discuss the applying organisation’s operating context, including approaches to social inclusion, project management, monitoring and evaluation and financial management.
The OA reports prepared by the Incentive Fund Team are reviewed by the OMG. The OMG’s OA recommendations are then provided to the next SMG meeting. The SMG reviews and decides which OAs will progress to the Detailed Proposal stage and those that will not.
Stage Four – Detailed Proposal
Organisations that pass the OA stage may be invited by the SMG to prepare a Detailed Proposal (DP). Organisations preparing DPs must ensure they meet the DP requirements. The DP is first reviewed by the OMG and recommendations, along with the respective DPs, are then provided to the SMG for its funding decision.
The DPs are expected to be submitted within three months of being invited to submit, whereupon it will be considered at the next scheduled SMG meeting. The DP must ensure implementation plans, detailed budgets, design drawings for infrastructure activities, project management arrangements and how it intends to implement, monitor and measure its project contributions towards the three end-of-program targets are clearly outlined.
Stage Five – Agreement
If an organisation’s DP is approved by the SMG, the Incentive Fund signs an Incentive Fund Agreement (IFA) with the Partner Organisation and project implementation commences. The IFA will outline requirements, including roles and responsibilities of the Incentive Fund (Coffey) and the Partner Organisation.