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The first selection of North-South-South networks for the 4th programme period characterized by experience and high quality

Changes introduced by the 4th Programme period

In December 2012 the decision regarding funding for a 4th Programme period covering the period 20013-2015 of the North-South-South network programme was taken by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The first Call with a budget of €2.15 MIL was opened in January with a deadline of March 7th. The focus of the NSS programme remains on student and teacher mobility, however, a larger share of the overall budget will be allocated to intensive course activities (shift from earlier 15% to current 20%). A new activity related to dissemination of results obtained within network activities and intensive courses was also added. Scholarship amounts were increased to answer changed requirements related to obtaining visas and residence permits.

To support transparency of the evaluation process selection criteria and their relative weight were implemented during the spring application round. As a result of the selection process proposals were ranked according to three categories; highly recommended, recommended and not recommended. The quality of the proposals was highlighted through the relatively very high number of 20 highly recommended proposals (55%). These proposals were in line with Finnish development policy goals, target country and HEI strategies, they presented sound management of activities, reflected southern ownership and wide impact.

Further information about the selection process can be found in the Guidelines for applicants.

Balanced interest among Universities and Universities of Applied Science

A total of 36 proposals were received, out of which 11 were new. There was a slightly bigger interest from the Universities of Applied Sciences with 19 proposals against 17 from the Universities. Proposals were widespread in terms of subject areas, nevertheless, the health care and social work representatives are increasingly active within NSS; a majority of 14 proposals were received within these subject areas (40%). The higher education cooperation is geared mostly towards Eastern African countries, even though proposals also covered Egypt, the Palestinian authority, the Balkans, Asia, Latin-America and Central Asia.

A total of 23 new partner institutions involved in the selected networks

A total of 17 networks were proposed for funding, among them only one entirely new network. However, the long-running networks have included a total of 23 new partner HEIs to broaden the impact of the network activities and previous experience gained.

The budget of €2.15 MIL was allocated to 299 student mobility periods between Finland and developing countries; 172 incoming students and 127 outgoing. 149 teacher mobility periods were supported; 80 incoming and 69 outgoing. Furthermore, 17 intensive courses and 17 dissemination measures, both implemented in the south, were financed.

The group of networks selected for funding cover several subject fields, even though social and health care are still in focus.

The main target countries are in East Africa and naturally consist of Finnish long-term development cooperation partners, but the selected networks also cover for example Peru, Vietnam, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, the Palestinian authority and Mali.

The following call for proposals will be opened in October 2013, with a contract period running from June 2014 to August 2016, with a budget of €2 MIL.

More information:

Results of first Call for proposals within the 4. Programme period of North-South-South

Statistics from the February 2013 application round

Information on the North-South-South programme

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