Funding Opportunities

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With the assistance of the TUC’s Partnership Programme Arrangement with DFID, there a range of funding opportunities exists.  For more information about the PPA, or the TUC and DFID, visit here.

  • Development Cooperation initiatives – for projects and initiatives that will directly benefit trade unions and workers in developing countries
  • International Development Learning Fund – for the TUC’s affiliated unions to build their capacity to raise awareness amongst their membership; and/or to work in partnership with trade unions in the global south
  • Mini Grants Scheme – for the TUC’s affiliated unions to raise awareness about international development amongst trade union members through inviting a developing country trade unionist to the UK and/or to run a small initiative.

Information about who to contact for each funding opportunity is below.

Development Cooperation initiatives

Under DFID’s new funding arrangement with the TUC via the Partnership Programme Arrangement, the TUC is funding overseas development projects led by either TUC-affiliated unions or national trade union organisations in the global south, especially in Africa and Asia. 

All projects will contribute towards reducing poverty and increasing the rights of workers in developing countries through greater support for, and strengthened capacity of, developing country trade unions. Specifically, each project must meet at least one of the first three strategic PPA objectives:  

  • improved capacity of developing country trade unions to promote decent work and good governance to government, business and international institutions at the national level;
  • poor workers and their families have improved rights and improved capacity to enforce those rights leading to higher income and better employment conditions;
  • strengthened UK and developing country trade union international development policy engagement and influence at national, regional and international levels;

All projects must set indicators to measure the progress made towards reaching the desired project outcomes which must help contribute to one or more of the PPA indicators. There must also be effective and robust systems for measuring progress towards meeting these indicators.  More information about the PPA indicators is here.

Funds are available until 31 March 2011. Projects can be longer than this, but alternative sources of funding must be found to cover any subsequent expenditure.

If a project is approved, the TUC will expect a six monthly interim report, an annual report (if longer than 12 months) and an end of project report.  

You are strongly advised to talk to TUC staff members before starting to complete the application form. There is no deadline for applications, but any interested unions are encouraged to contact the TUC as soon as possible.

International Development Learning Fund

  • The fourth strategic objective of the TUC’s PPA is to achieve greater British trade union membership understanding of and commitment to sustainable development; and to the challenges of the Decent Work Agenda for developing country workers.  
  • In support of this crucial objective, the TUC provides the training, advice and financial assistance for up to four affiliates per year to develop tailor-made strategies on development education or partnership work with unions in developing countries.

The aim of this fund is to give affiliates the experience and capacity to bid for DFID’s highly competitive Civil Society Challenge Fund. Applications to IDLF are considered by the TUC Aid Trustees in March and September each year.

Mini Grants Scheme

Mini-grants are available to affiliate unions and TUC regions, to either invite a developing country trade union visitor to the UK or run an international development awareness-raising project. The visit or activity must form part of an international development awareness strategy: a plan for a union or affiliate to contribute to the global fight to reduce poverty.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis and their outcomes also contribute towards achieving the TUC’s fourth PPA strategic objective to achieve greater British trade union membership understanding of and commitment to sustainable development; and to the challenges of the Decent Work Agenda for developing country workers.

Contact points

Gemma Freedman – for projects led by trade union organisations that benefit African trade unions and workers: GFreedman@tuc.org.uk; +4420 7467 1233
Vicky Cann – for TUC affiliated union IDLF projects that aim to work in partnership with developing country trade unions and for projects led by trade union organisations that benefit unions and workers in Asia and the Middle East: VCann@tuc.org.uk; +4420 7467 1239     


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