The Swedish-Norwegian Fund for Support to the Colombian Civil Society (FOS) started operating in 2009 as an initiative from the Swedish Embassy in Colombia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). In 2011 Norway joined through its embassy.
The fund supports Colombian civil society organizations, base organizations as well as national NGOs and national chapters of international organizations. The organizations apply for grants through calls for proposals, either the annual calls for proposals for which specific strategic lines are elaborated every year, or the OFT-line (Open Fast Track) for smaller, urgent projects, though this line was closed in January 2017.
From 1 January 2014 the fund has been administered by FCG Sweden, through its Secretariat in Bogotá, supported by the head office in Stockholm, in close cooperation with its Governing Board with representatives from the Swedish and Norwegian embassies.
The Terms of Reference for the Fund establish the following thematic areas:
- Peace and security
- Human rights, with a focus on victims [of the armed conflict] and human rights defenders
- Democratic governance linked to peace-building
- Gender, environmental sustainability/issues and conflict sensitivity as cross-cutting issues.
The outcome objectives and output objectives for the Fund are as follows
- Civil society has contributed to enhance the peace process on local, regional and national levels.
- Increased number of initiatives by civil society related to the peace process and active participation in the implementation of possible future peace agreements on local, regional and national level.
- Increased number of women empowered as agents of peace.
- Increased number of youth empowered as agents of peace.
- Civil society has contributed to the empowerment of victims and human rights defenders.
- Advancement of land restitution processes through collaboration between civil society and responsible public entities.
- Increased leverage for human rights defenders.
- Increased levels of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition for victims of the conflict.
- Civil society has contributed to strengthened democracy on national, regional and local levels in relation to peacebuilding.
- Increased political participation, transparency and social control in relation to the public agenda for peace building.