International Cooperation Agency
Community Empowerment Program of Japan International
Cooperancy Agency (JICA) in the Philippines
The Japanese Government provides various assistance to meet the diverse
needs of developing countries through Official Development Assistance (ODA).
With the increasing role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in society
as actors responsible for the nation building and human development, the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has introduced Community Empowerment
Program (CEP) in 1997.
CEP was created to directly benefit people at the grassroots level in developing
countries for the improvement of their livelihood and welfare. Under this
program, projects with endorsement from the government of the eligible country
will be implemented together with NGOs.
Objectives of CEP
The overall goal of CEP is to reduce poverty and improve standard of living
of poor communities through community-initiated sustainable social and economic
CEP aims to:
- Directly meet the social and economic development needs of the people
concerned, in particular the basic needs of the poorest strata of the
- Demonstrative effective and innovative approaches to problem solving
which could be replicated in the country;
- Diffuse effective development approaches that have been established
by the NGOs in the country;
- Enhance the development capacity of target communities;
- Transfer knowledge and know-how from Japan that are helpful for effective
social and economic development at community level.
Participatory community development projects in the following areas that
effectively use local resources to provide direct benefits to the grassroots
level are eligible for a contract with JICA under CEP.
- Community development
- Elderly, disabled and child welfare support
- Health and hygiene improvement
- Women's empowerment
- Improvement of living environment
- Capacity building
- Promotion of local industries
Project Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for funding, projects must:
- Use appropriate development approaches being undertaken with resources
which are commensurate with the objectives being pursued so that the
important needs of the beneficiaries are met effectively and efficiently;
- Encourage and facilitate self-help among beneficiaries through their
active involvement and participation in defining goals, devising means
and implementing and managing projects;
- Have commitment of proponent and beneficiaries that has to be demonstrated
through their counterpart contribution to the project in cash and in
- Have clearly stated goals and well-defined and quantified objectives
which can be achieved within a reasonable span of time;
- Be consistent with development plans and programs of the government
of the country and the JICAs development cooperation policy.
- Use innovative approaches to problem-solving and have potentials for
wider application in other communities;
- Utilize the technical input from Japanese;
- Encourage the use of existing community structures and strengthen
involved community after the completion of the project;
- Be designed reflecting the careful examinations on important external
factors and risks to the project;
- Be implemented with an effective mechanism for operational and financial
monitoring and feed-back of its results;
- Projects are expected to have duration of maximum 36 months. New projects
usually (but not necessarily) start in October and initially funded for
months. Subject to a satisfactory evaluation and the availability of funds,
further funding will be allocated to the project for another two years
and a half according to Japanese fiscal year from April to March of the
- The intended beneficiaries of the project should be organized prior
to their application for assistance from CEP. The proponent should have
relationship with the target beneficiaries.
- The normal value of CEP funding for an individual project will be
(15 million yen equivalent in foreign currency, or other amount if specified
by the JICA Overseas Office) per 12months)
- Project that are supported by other donor agencies technically and/or
financially are not eligible for CEP. Nevertheless proposed project could
have been formulated as a part of a program that is supported by other
- 5. As an indication of their participation and commitment to the project,
the proponent and beneficiaries must jointly provide a counterpart contribution
that is equivalent to at least 10% and preferably more than 25% of the
total project cost. Counterpart contribution, machinery and equipment,
etc. ) the value of the fixed assets counterpart shall be given to the
cost that can be saved by providing the asset, i.e., rental expenses, rather
than the capital cost of the asset itself.
- Expenses eligible for CEP funding include those for:
- seminar and training;
- construction and civil works;
- research, monitoring and evaluation;
- facilities, equipment and supplies;
- rental of vehicles, offices and furniture;
- salaries for project staff;
- technical services;
- temporary workers;
- other expenses such as transportation, travel, printing, communication,
Only those expenses directly related to the project are eligible. CEP
fund cannot be utilized as initial capital for credit and/or micro-enterprise.
Disbursement of CEP fund will be on a 3-month basis. Maximum amount
of advance payment at time is limited to 40% of the total CEP fund. Release
shall be based on the approved cash flow of the project. 10% of the CEP
fund will be retained to ensure the submission of final report on the project.
In advance, prior to the implementation of the project, an agreement
in the form of Minutes of Meeting among JICA Overseas Office, proponent
NGO, and authorities concerned of the Government of the country will be
concluded. Based on this agreement, JICA Overseas office and the NGO will
conclude a contract. Then the NGO will implement the project in accordance
with the contract agreement under the supervision of JICA Overseas Office.
For all the projects under CEP, technical assistance will be provided
by Japanese experts including Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)
members. Inputs of experts will not normally exceed three (3) person-month
per year. These experts will be dispatched at the expense of JICA based
upon an official request from the government of the country.
Quarterly progress and financial reports are required from NGOs with
projects supported by CEP. Monitoring visits and audits are conducted
as part of the monitoring activity, and are prerequisites to the consideration
of subsequent fund releases.
Eligibility of NGOs
NGOs such as volunteer organizations, non-profit organizations, community
organizations and other private or semi-governmental organizations which
implement development programs can apply for CEP provided that:
- it is registered with an appropriate authority of the respective country.
has more than three (3) years proven track record in the activity of
the concerned sector.
- it can demonstrate its capability for efficient and effective implementation
Application and Appraisal
Applications for CEP must be signed by a responsible office-bearer of an
organization whose name and designation are clearly indicated. These must
be submitted to JICA office in the form of a project summary. Proposals may
be submitted from January to March.
After a desk-appraisal in April, proponents whose project is selected for
further consideration shall be requested to submit additional information.
Once these information are received, on-site appraisal visits will be conducted
by JICA office. Final approval will be made by JICA headquarters.
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