The Advocacy Challenge Fund is a means to support private sector organisations (PSOs) and other organisations interested in private sector development, of the four value chains(Orthodox tea, ginger, dairy and cardamom), to conduct evidence based advocacy and lobbyism activities and to support initiatives addressing responsible business issues including the Global Compact principles, corporate governance and inclusive economic development related human rights issues.

The Fund makes its funding available through competition in a transparent manner. Private sector organizations are invited to apply for funds by submitting their innovative concept notes at a particular time. These notes have to comply with the rules (eligibility and selection criteria) and demonstrate contribution towards improving the enabling environment for the value chain development, pursue responsible business initiatives or meet the UNNATI objectives.

Those concept notes that will be selected based on assessment criteriawill be asked to submit a detailed proposal thereafter.

The Advocacy Fund will provide advocacy support to the following organisations in relation to the prioritized four value chains:

Building capabilities for advocacy and dialogue: Selected private sector organisations (business associations, commodity associations, labour unions, value chain actors/working group and civil organisations) in target districts and beyond that are actively engaged in advocating the interests of their members.
Promoting sustainability: Selected private sector organisations become financially, managerially and technically sustainable and are able provide services to their members.
Promoting broad public awareness of the importance of responsible business including rights and corporate governance issues


Ilam, Panchthar, Taplejung, Dhankuta, Terhathum, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha

While the project focuses on these districts, advocacy fund may also be allocated to regional level associations and networks in the Eastern Region.


Funds are managed by International Labour Organization (ILO) in compliance to ILO and Danida Financial Management and Procurement guidelines, which follow internationally recognized accounting and auditing principles. When an application is approved, the Fund Manager will disburse funds to the concerned organization or business service provider. The Fund Manager will monitor that funds are utilized by the organization/service provider that has received the support, whereas the concerned organization/service provider will be responsible for managing the funds. Advocacy Board oversees the processes and results of the fund management.


A challenge fund is an open financing mechanism that allocates grant funding through a competitive process. Challenge funds are set up to meet specific objectives. Bids are assessed against transparent criteria. A selection committee then awards grants to those projects that best meet the aims of the fund.

Challenge funds are used to address a wide range of development issues, including health, civil society, environment, and private sector development along the selected value chains.