1.0  Study Purpose

The study informs profit and nonprofit businesses and organizations about EU funding allocations and priorities over 22017-2018 in order for them to anticipate, engage, position and capture new contracts and grants across the Middle East and North Africa region. This include an analysis of country-specific sectoral funding in terms of budget allocations and number of opportunities made available. The report below supports businesses and organizations to plan their business and understand EU developmental approaches and directions more informatively.

2.0  Inroduction

Navigating the European Union’s complex aid architecture can be tough, especially for smaller professional services providers and nonprofit organizations located in the MENA region. Call for proposals are administrated by EU country missions (delegations) in order to maintain relevancy, objectivity, transparency and a level playing field for everybody. Businesses and organizations have to invest a lot to put a proposal on the table to win a contract or a grant from the EU.

The European Union (EU) is the fourth-largest donor globally, with net official development assistance (ODA) at US$16 billion in 2017. The funding will increase from €94.5 billion in the period 2014-2020, to €123 billion from 2021-2027 up by 30% in order to address today's global challenges.

Such allocated funding will support EU strategic goal to achieve a space of stability, security and prosperity close to the EU's borders.[1]

The EU is a key promoter of the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. EU maintains its role as the leading development actor, assisting other partners to eradicate poverty and respond to global challenges, while ensuring they leave no one behind.

[1] It is worth to note that there were little to none publicly announced competitive procurement notices by the EU in the years of 2017 and 2018 in the following MENA countries: Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; Bahrain; Kuwait; Oman; Qatar; Iraq; Libya and Yemen

3.0  Procurement Notices Analytics per country: Tenders Versus Grants Budget-based Analysis

  • For the years 2017 & 2018, the total allocated budget for Technical Assistance Tenders is 61,240,000€ (35%) whereas 119,108,318€ (65%) is channeled through grants across the MENA region
  • The countries with more percentage allocated for grants would then be more attractive for NGOs to track EU projects whereas when there is an equal emphasis on Tenders and Grants as the contracting mechanism then both the private sector and NGOs do have equal opportunities as in the case of Morocco, Alegria and Tunisia.
  • EU funds allocation over the years 2017 and 2018 were most allocated to Jordan (19%), Egypt (18%), Morocco (17%), Tunisia (12%) and Syrian (11%).

4.0  Procurement Notices Analytics Per Developmental Sectors

4.1  Regional level Budget-Based Analysis 2017-2018

From the MENA regional perspective, the highest allocation of funds was slated towards

  • Democratic Governance including Civil Society Strengthening, Peace and Conflict Resolution (28%)
  • Economic Growth including economic inclusion, jobs creation and enterprise development (16%)
  • Education, Health and Human Rights with (8%) each.

Both democratic governance and economic growth areas of practice support EU policy in maintaining a space of stability, security and prosperity close to the EU's borders.

4.2  Country Level Procurement Analytics: Procurement Notices Quantitative Analysis

The below tables show the percentage, based on the number of calls for proposals and grant opportunities, of the highest four developmental sectors per each country. The number of procurement notice assist implementing partners of profit and nonprofit businesses and organizations to understand the market size in terms of quantity and frequency of opportunities.[2]

[2] Procurement analytics is based on the number of publicly published Tenders and Grants https://bit.ly/2F5rEZj

576 tenders and grant opportunities were published by either EuropeAid, EU instruments and EU funded projects. Apparently, all MENA region share the same development sectoral priorities of Democracy and Governance, Economic Growth, Women Empowerment. Other sectors of concerns were water and wastewater, environment and energy, agriculture and human rights

Call for Proposals (Tenders) and / or Call for Applications (Grants) are either centralized issued from Brussels or are issued through EU country-based delegations. The centralized one usually are for thematic program with worldwide coverage. If it’s on the country level, the delegation, in principle, does all the work: It publishes the calls for proposals, appoints the experts of the evaluation committee, and so on. Even when it is centralized, the central level asks concerned delegations in the area the project proposal came from about their opinion on the project, on its relevance, on the way it fits in with the polices, on the organization itself, etc.

5.0  Way Forward to Secure EU Contracts and Grants

Usually EU-funded projects are medium to large in terms of monetary value. They include several thematic components. Applicants and proposers need to have built up a track record.  Therefore, most of these applications and proposals necessitate the formation of consortiums. The best way to partnerships is to select those partners that will fill a gap in the expertise required. Having a partner with such expertise with previous experience with the EU is a certainly an added value. There are many organizations and businesses who have been awarded tenders and grants from the EU recently. A sample of these organizations include the following:

6.0  sample opportunities


This report was made possible through the research and analysis, by Beit Al Karma Consulting specialists, of public information and knowledge of development assistance providers and actors in the Middle East. The opinion(s) expressed herein are those of Beit Al Karma Consulting and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of the listed organizations, institutions, companies and foundations. The information displayed doesn’t imply that listed organizations have reviewed or approved such content. This report intended to build the capacity of development implementing partners, profit and nonprofit, to forge informed partnerships, develop and design development projects all aiming at improving project’s delivery and development aid effectiveness. Copyright© 2019 DARPE All Rights Reserved. 

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