Call for proposals: Promotion of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Focusing on Ending Child Marriage and Child Pregnancies in Uganda

Important note: the deadline for submission of proposals has passed. Proposals are no longer accepted.

1. Introduction

About Terre des Hommes Netherlands

Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL) is a development organisation dedicated to children; it is named after a book by the famous French writer and World War II pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – author of "The Little Prince". Even before this book was published, he wrote "Terre des Hommes" (Earth for Mankind) in which he called upon 'the people of the earth' to take their responsibilities seriously and to show solidarity. He said: "There is no third world. There is one world for which we are all responsible."

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the cornerstone of all our programmes. This Convention represents the recognition by the international community that not only do children deserve to be protected, but that they have a right to be so. These rights have been enshrined in this almost universally accepted treaty and have subsequently been incorporated in national legislation in an overwhelming majority of the world's nations. 

The main theme of TdH-NL's work centers on the issue of child exploitation, the most serious violations of the rights of the child. TdH-NL's definition of child exploitation covers: (a) the Worst Forms of Child Labour; (b) Child Trafficking; (c) Sexual Exploitation of Children; (d) Sexual Reproductive Health Rights / Child Abuse.
Increasing numbers of children fall victim of human trafficking, sexual exploitation or hazardous forms of child labour as defined by the ILO's 1999 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO Convention 182). TdH-NL strives to prevent child exploitation, remove children from exploitative situations and ensure that they can develop in a secure, healthy and supportive environment.

TdH-NL’s approach

TdH-NL's programmes are based on the Theory of Change (ToC), aiming to create a world free of child exploitation (please refer to Annex 1 - TdH NL Theory of Change). Because TdH-NL wants to stop child exploitation in a structural manner, the organisation does not only help victims but also tackles the problem at its roots. The main strategies in this ToC are the 5 P's: Prevention, Provision, Promotion, Prosecution and Partnership & Participation.


To prevent child exploitation, TdH-NL invests in education, but also in raising awareness among children and adults. And because poverty is the main reason for child exploitation, TdH-NL also offers parents the opportunity to increase their incomes via savings and credit groups.


Children who are victim of exploitation, need protection. TdH-NL provides shelter, health care, counselling and education and help them build a new future. The organisation also offers help to family members and involves the community in protecting children.


It is important that victims can stand up for themselves and perpetrators are not allowed to escape justice. TdH-NL thus helps children to report cases to the police. They can also count on legal assistance and help during the criminal prosecution. The organisation also trains local police and justice. 


TdH-NL stands up for children's rights. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness of children's rights and conducts research to identify and call attention to trends and developments in child exploitation. Furthermore, TdH-NL follows and influences decision-making of local and national governments, businesses and international organisations (like the UN) and advocates for the implementation of these decisions. To prevent children from being exploited and to ensure victims of exploitation receive adequate help.


TdH-NL strengthens civil society in the promotion of children's rights as a precondition to ensure children are protected. The organisation invests in the organisational and institutional development of southern civil society organisations. 

TdH-NL always works through local project partners. These partners are familiar with the situation on the ground and know the best ways of reaching out and helping the children concerned.

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Uganda 

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Uganda has been supporting local NGOs and networks in the implementation of projects which prevent child exploitation, provide assistance to exploited children and influence relevant policy and practice at local and national level. In aligning the country level interventions to TdH-NL's global strategy (2016 - 2020), the Ugandan programme will focus on Stop Child Exploitation (SCE) projects addressing the four major thematic areas. The geographical scope covers Central, East and Northern regions.

Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) / Child Abuse (CA) - Previously TdH-NL has focused on supporting implementation of the national Alternative Care framework in Uganda aimed at preventing unnecessary institutionalisation of children and developing appropriate care alternatives when separation is inevitable. In the new strategy it will equally address issues of SRHR for young people focusing on child marriage and early pregnancies. 

Child Trafficking and Unsafe Migration: TdH-NL will work towards the elimination of child trafficking in and between our countries of operation. We aim to support well integrated and interlinked initiatives to ensure that legislation and policy initiatives are rooted in practical experience and action.

Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL): TdH-NL's focus is on the worst forms of child labour, with a particular emphasis on child domestic workers and those children working in or around areas of mineral or oil extraction.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC): TdH-NL will support initiatives that aim to prevent and respond to the problem by strengthening child protection systems at all levels including laws, policies, regulations and the provision of comprehensive services to child victims.

2. Call for Proposals: Promotion of SRHR, Focusing on Ending Child Marriage and Child Pregnancies in Central, East and Northern Regions of Uganda

Tackling child abuse and violations of SRHR is an important theme in TdH-NL's current strategic plan (2011­-2015). As part of its new strategic plan (2016­-2020), TdH-NL plans to increase its support to comprehensive projects addressing this theme in Eastern Africa. The Uganda programme will specifically address Child Marriage and Child Pregnancies. Initial focus will be on three year projects (2016-2018). 

Invitation for applications & eligibility criteria

TdH-NL is inviting non-governmental organisations (NGOs or CSOs) with the required framework to submit a full proposal. This call is open to organisations to apply independently as well as in a consortium / in partnership (i.e. more than one applicant).

If an application is made as a consortium, the applicant should as the consortium lead clearly state how the project will be managed and should indicate a clear role for each partner. The appointment of a consortium coordinator position is recommended, to be included in the management costs.

Funding is only granted to national organisations (non INGOs) fully registered in the country of implementation. Any sub granting partners must also be fully registered.

Outline of the requirements applicants need to meet in order to be considered for TdH-NL’s funding:

  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to be fully registered in the country of implementation
  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to demonstrate a successful track record in addressing child abuse and / or violations of SRHR 
  • The proposals need to show a coherent programmatic approach
  • The proposed project needs to be based on the Theory of Change with related outcomes

Proposals that do not meet any of the criteria in this call and that do not use the formats provided will automatically be disqualified.


Despite the existing legal and policy frameworks in Uganda, there are still high levels of child sexual violence and abuse. For instance, Child Marriage (CM) continues to rob millions of girls around the world of their childhood. It forces them out of education and into a life of poor prospects, with increased risk of violence, abuse, ill health or early death. Police statistics in Uganda show that 21 children are (sexually) abused every day. According to UNICEF's 2015 report, "State of the World's Children ̈, national statistics show that 40% of women in Uganda were below the age of 18 at the time of marriage. One in every four girls between 15 and 19 is already a mother or pregnant with her first child in Uganda (UNFPA report). The situation is worse for children under difficult circumstances like refugees, children on the move and those living on the streets and/or in extreme poverty. There is evidence that child marriage and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse are linked to the social norms and inequalities as drivers. 

While Uganda has the necessary legal and policy frameworks to address the problems of child abuse, there are significant problems and gaps in the child protection systems in Uganda coupled with weak implementation of statutory laws and policies on child protection. Effective implementation is hindered by various factors such as; 1) Inadequate resources necessary to support implementation of laws and policies which then translates to poor facilitation of government departments involved in preventing and responding to child protection threats; 2) Poor staffing of key government departments (e.g. social welfare departments) that are instrumental in monitoring and responding to child abuse; 3) The low capacity and motivation of duty bearers (police, judiciary and Civil Society Organisations) on preventing and responding to child abuse, child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); 4) At community level, there are weak systematic reporting and referral mechanisms which means children, caregivers and communities might be reluctant to report incidents that happen. 

There is limited awareness among children, community members and even duty bearers on children's rights, their roles in child protection as well as on the negative impacts of child marriage, early pregnancy and FGM. 

In regard to teen pregnancies and reproductive health rights, there are access and utilisation challenges for young people. They do not receive accurate, timely appropriate information and education on reproductive health rights, gender roles and cultural gender practices; which contributes to the widespread gender based violence that is prevalent in the country. 

Currently, there are efforts from different actors to address the problem of CM and early pregnancies in Uganda. However, the challenge is that these efforts are still fragmented and uncoordinated, posing a problem of limited learning and sharing between agencies and between different stakeholders including the private sector. 

There is therefore need for an integrated project to stop child sexual abuse by all stakeholders for an effective collective voice to address gaps in prevention, promotion and prosecution related intervention strategies.

Expected outcomes

This Call for Proposals aims to promote SRHR, by focusing on ending CM and child pregnancies in Central, East and Northern Regions in Uganda. It specifically aims to address the following outcomes:

1. Children at risk (especially girls) are increasingly aware of their rights and devastating effects of Child Marriage and early pregnancies thus claim their SRHR

2. Children (especially girls) have increased access to quality formal & non formal education and health services

3. Families and communities are increasingly aware of the harmful impact of Child Marriage and early pregnancies thus protect children 

4. Government protects children (especially girls) from Child Marriage and prevent violations of SRHR by making or reviewing and adequately implementing laws and policies 

5. Law enforcement agencies convict abusers of children

6. Civil society organisations protect the rights and best interest of children

7. The private sector increasingly contributes to ending CM and promoting SRHR

Intervention strategies - types of activities

Strategies to be considered by applicants should be in line with the 5 P's strategy of TdH-NL. A minimum of 2 of the 5 P's should be included in the proposed project. 
Examples of activities (important note: this list is for guidance purposes only and is not exhaustive):

1. Advocacy to ensure enforcement of the legislation and operationalisation of related policies on child marriage and child pregnancies

2. Empowerment of children especially girls through school clubs and community groups

3. Service provision for girls/ victims of CM including education/ vocational education/ psycho social support/ support in income generating activities

4. Community-based child protection structures are supported and actively take part in protecting children from CM and early pregnancies

5. Members of judiciary and police staff are trained on child protection and child-friendly interview techniques

Applicants are invited to indicate innovative approaches that feed into the expected outcomes (i.e. beyond the examples listed above).

Geographical focus

The following areas in Uganda are eligible for funding: Central, East and Northern Regions.

Duration and budget

The initial planned duration of a project should be 33 months, starting on 1 April 2016. Contracts will be entered into on yearly basis; the first one to cover 9 months (1 April - 31 December 2016). 

Depending on the project design, the budget ranges from EUR 250,000 to EUR 300,000 for the full duration of 33 months. The budget should be presented as per the required format (please refer to Annex 4 - TdH NL EA Project Budget Format), entailing the budget for the first 9 months as well as for the subsequent 2 years. The budget for the first 9 months should not exceed EUR 100,000 for 2016.

The proposed project budget should be at least 85% programme cost and not exceed 15% management cost (inclusive of a maximum of EUR 2,600 for ICT*).

*TdH-NL's reporting and accounting system is Internet based; with a view to this, all project partners are required to have or acquire sufficient equipment and Internet access.


  • Publication of the Call for Proposals: Wednesday 21 October 2015.
  • A Q & A session about this specific Call for Proposals will be organised by TdH-NL Uganda office for which all interested parties are invited on Tuesday 3rd November 2015, 10am - 12noon, at Land Mark Hotel Muyenga in Kampala.
    (note that prospective applicants should cover their own travel cost to this location)
  • Deadline of submission: Monday 16 November 2015 (12.00 EAT)
    Send your proposal to with subject heading: SRHR/Child Marriage Project Proposal [+ name of (lead) applicant]. Include all required attachments / annexes.
  • Review and shortlisting will be done by TdH-NL on or before 15 December 2015. Shortlisted proposals will be subject to a more detailed review including clarifying questions, validation of information and capacity assessment of project applicants.
    Deadline for shortlisted applicants to answer questions raised: 15 January 2016.
  • Final selection will be done by TdH-NL on or before 7 February 2016, after which the selected projects will be submitted to TdH-NL's Head Office for final review and approval.
  • Projects will start on 1 April 2016. If so required, a mobilisation period of 2 months can be built into the project design, resulting in an effective project (activities) start date of 1 June 2016.

List of annexes

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