This methodology describes the different phases of the evaluation, selection and implementation processes the applicant organisations have gone through since the announcement of the first call for grant applications.
The first call for applications was announced in February 2017. Thirty-nine arts and culture organisations, including art collectives and academic institutions active in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, submitted applications in April 2017. The applications were assessed through a series of evaluation phases, beginning with the formation of an independent jury composed of artists Suleiman Mansour and Ibrahim Al-Mozayen writer and critic Adania Shibli, artist and curator Ala Younis, curator and gallerist Samar Martha, and the cultural management consultant Huda Odeh. The six jurors reviewed the eligible applications and discussed their assessments. The jury also conducted explanatory interviews with representatives of a number of the applicant organisations. Thirteen organisations were selected for the initial shortlist. Grant applications were evaluated on the basis of the following criteria with regard to how the proposed projects would:
• contribute to the achievement of all (or some) of VAFF’s defined outcomes
• enhance the efficiency and sustainability of the applicant organisations
• improve the quality of the applicant organisation’s programmes
• develop the capacities of the applicant organisations for reaching wider audiences.
In the second evaluation phase, the jury assessed the additional information submitted by the organisations and reviewed the results of an Organisational Capacity Assessment (OCA) conducted by two audit firms contracted by the Foundation. In addition, an independent consultant, also contracted by the Foundation, discussed with the jury their findings and recommendations on the organisations’ sustainability, plans, and their budgeting and programming processes. This second phase resulted in the announcement of the second shortlist for the VAFF project comprising ten applicant organisations.
In light of the recommendations and results that came out of this selection process, AMQF worked closely with each shortlisted organisation on developing the different components of their project, especially those related to planning, governance and transparency, capacity development, audience building, quality of output, sustainability and resource mobilisation. The Foundation then made their decisions regarding the final grant recipients and the financial value of the grants. Two of the applicant organisations subsequently withdrew from this phase, and thus eight institutions (seven in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip) signed grant implementation agreements and received grants totalling US$1,590,500 as part of the first round of funding.
A study was commissioned to collect baseline data before the partner organisations embarked on the implementation of their projects. This aimed to set the benchmark for the mid-term and final evaluations of the VAFF project and inform the monitoring and evaluation framework. The study included all the organisations that were shortlisted for the VAFF grants. The consultant commissioned to carry out the study, collected data through mixed methods from all the targeted organisations. In addition to field visits, they also conducted two focus group discussions as well as in-depth meetings and interviews in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The VAFF project team has been providing administrative and financial support to the partner organisations so as to ensure efficient management of the VAFF grants. Regular meetings with the organisations and monitoring field visits have also been conducted to ensure the achievement of planned results.
A mid-term evaluation was conducted in early 2019, covering the implementation period of the VAFF project since its inception in February 2017. The aim of this was to reflect on the outcomes of the project and to develop any learning regarding the improvement of the process of the first round of funding of the project before AMQF publishes the call for grant applications for the second round of funding (2019/2021).
The first round of funding will close gradually by August 2019, while the second round will be announced in the first quarter of 2019.
The implementation methodology of the first round is summarised in the following diagram: