The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity sources and approves investments using a two-stage application process.
Once successful projects are selected and contracted, this is followed by disbursement, monitoring and evaluation and learning steps taken during the implementation phase of each approved project.
The broad process the Fund uses is below:
- A public invitation to submit Project Concept Notes or Initial Applications;
- Screening of the initial Project Concept Notes by the Fund Manager, in terms of defined eligibility and selection criteria to arrive at a Project Concept Notes shortlist;
- Submission of the Project Concept Note shortlist to the Mastercard Foundation for review;
- Review and approval of shortlisted Project Concept Notes by the Foundation to proceed to Business Plan stage;
- Communication to successful applicants to submit Business Plans/Full Applications;
- Submission of Business Plans to the Fund Manager by shortlisted applicant firms;
- Financial and technical appraisal of applications in terms of the project eligibility, selection criteria and other project approval procedures by the Fund Manager, who then prepares its recommendations in a Business Plan Review Memorandum for each application;
- Review and evaluation of Business Plans and Business Plan Review Memos by the Fund Managers’ Strategic Management Team, who make clear funding recommendations to the Foundation;
- Review and evaluation of Business Plans and Fund Manager recommendations, presentations of the Project to the Fund Selection Committee, and selection of awardees by the Foundation. The Foundation awards financial support to those eligible applications that offer the potential for the highest impact bearing in mind the project eligibility and selection criteria;
- Sign-off of final Business Plan Review Memoranda by the Foundation for the approved Projects;
- Preparation of Participation Agreements by the Fund Manager, which stipulate disbursement schedules, milestones, reporting requirements and targets. These are operative for the life of the Fund. The Fund Manager then enters into a contract with the recipient firm on behalf of the Foundation;
- Disbursements, and monitoring of project implementation by the Fund Manager to the Project (through self-reporting required and from regular Project visits) on an ongoing basis based on deliverables achieved; and
- Distilling and dissemination of relevant learnings from both successful and failed projects to various audiences.