Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF): Inviting applications for ‘grant’ to work toward a world where  rights to access safe and legal abortion are established and protected, women are empowered to exercise these rights and  lives are saved.

Funding brief: The Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) works toward a world where  rights to access safe and legal abortion are established and protected, women are empowered to exercise these rights and  lives are saved. Hosted by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), SAAF supports local and grassroots organizations, providing flexible grants for projects that:
Increase access to quality abortion services with a focus on addressing the needs of poor, vulnerable and hard to reach women and girls
Support legal and policy reforms in countries where abortion is restricted
Tackle negative societal norms and attitudes towards abortion, in order to create an enabling environment that ensures every woman and girl has access to quality abortion services
Generate and disseminate evidence to improve the quality and effectiveness of abortion programming and advocacy strategies

By visibly funding projects using an international funding mechanism, SAAF works to de-stigmatize abortion and to legitimize the abortion debate by creating and supporting a ‘network of champions’ who are more empowered to work at local and national levels.

For a better chance of receiving funding, an application should:
Address the needs of low-income, marginalized, young and/or otherwise underserved women and girls.
Sow the seeds of change, e.g. by bringing about a change in the operating environment through advocacy initiatives, or establishing new, more effective ways of delivering services
Build capacity either in the course of implementing project activities or undertaking specific capacity development initiatives in the field of abortion
Be able to demonstrate sustainability of impact/leave some footprint behind after the funding is finished
Approach access to safe abortion from a human rights based and gender transformative perspective

They are particularly interested to fund projects that:
Address abortion issues in a restricted environment with inherent risks (including humanitarian and conflict settings)
Are catalytic and increase the impact of other actors working in this field
Recognize and aim to mitigate or transform gender inequalities and power relations that affect women’s ability to realize their sexual and reproductive rights.

They will not fund applications that:
Are vague or lacking in specific detail
Do not include clear and realistic objectives
Are not well thought-out and where the activities do not reflect the problem statement
Include only ambiguous awareness-raising or ‘sensitisation’ activities without a clear influencing and follow-up strategy
Are not realistic or feasible within the timeframe or budget
Do not demonstrate a convincing strategy to achieve meaningful change

Grant stream 1: Supporting progressive abortion laws and policies through targeted advocacy
Examples of project initiatives and strategies:
Changing policies or regulations through public campaigns (for example petitions, marches, media campaigns);
Development, reform or implementation of guidelines regulating comprehensive abortion or post-abortion care;
Building strategic partnerships with coalitions, working groups or committees (national and/or local) working on progressive abortion laws, clinical guidelines/regulations etc.;
Evidence-based advocacy with policy makers, opinion leaders and key professional groups;
Developing strategies to counteract the anti-choice movement.

Grant stream 2: Breaking the silence and changing attitudes and norms towards abortion through awareness raising and behaviour change.
Examples of project initiatives and strategies:
Information dissemination – Inform the general public, health professionals and other key groups of the legal status and availability of safe abortion services. This could be through a range of media including, television, radio, billboards, SMS, social media, websites etc. This information cannot focus solely on the dangers of unsafe abortion but must recognise abortion as a women’s right.
Promoting positive attitudes – Development or implementation of sexuality education programs for youth that include accurate information regarding contraception and abortion
Dissemination of best practice – The identification and promotion of best practice in abortion-related programmes
Measure and fight stigma surrounding abortion in local communities and among medical professionals

Grant stream 3: Improving access to safe abortion services
Examples of project initiatives and strategies:
Introduction of new abortion technologies. This includes the introduction and implementation of safe technologies for the delivery of abortion services, including manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) and medical abortion.
Provision of quality comprehensive abortion care or post-abortion care services focusing on young, under-served and/or vulnerable women.
Introduction of innovative service delivery models – such as task-shifting or harm reduction approaches – that increase access to safe abortion care for hard to reach populations
Improvement of access to voluntary post-abortion contraception
Harm reduction – This area includes projects that aim to reduce harm and preserve the health of women in situations where the legal framework, policies or practices prohibit access to safe abortion services. This includes training non-medical professionals (pharmacists, lay health workers, telephone hotline counsellors) to provide women with information on harm-reduction (i.e. information on safe methods of abortion such as medical abortion)
Quality of care – The training of staff and service providers in quality of care standards, and the rights of the client for the provision of non-judgmental and sensitive counselling and services.
Capacity building – This area may include projects that aim to create centres of excellence or to facilitate inter/intra-regional and south-to-south exchanges and transfers of expertise.

Grant stream 4: Generating understanding and evidence on abortion through research
Examples of project initiatives and strategies:
Research and documentation – Research incidence of abortion and/or unsafe abortion; the demand for abortion services; post-abortion and abortion complication case load; the impact of unsafe abortion on women, their families and communities; and the legal status of abortion and actual practices.
Abortion and vulnerable groups – Documentation of how unsafe abortion disproportionately affects young, poor and marginalized women.
Qualitative needs assessments – Initiatives concerned with assessing knowledge, attitudes and practices among community groups regarding abortion and unsafe abortion.
Operations research – Projects aiming to determine optimum aspects of service delivery for safe abortion services in under-served/difficult areas or with marginalized populations.

All research projects should also have a plan for the dissemination of the findings. Make sure that you include explanations about your dissemination plan in the activities section (3.6) of the application form.

Donor Name: Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF)
Funding name: SAAF Round 5

Deadline for submission of concept note;11th, August. 2019 at 23:00/11pm BST/London time
Deadline to submit first draft of full proposal (if invited): Early October 2019

Funding details link: Click to view

Funding limit: The maximum grant will be US$80,000 for up to 15 months.

Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.

Project start date: Projects will start on 1st January 2020.

Project duration: up to 15 months

Eligible organization: As below

Local organisations registered in countries listed here are eligible to apply. SAAF can fund projects led by individual organisations, a group of organisations or national and regional networks based in the Global South.
Organisations without a formal registration will be allowed to apply if they have a fiscal sponsor.

Types of projects will be considered-
● Any project that improves the enabling environment for the promotion and delivery of safe abortion services and/or the prevention of unsafe abortion through locally-led changes in legislation, policy, service delivery and attitudes is eligible for funding.
This may include the entire spectrum of activities from service delivery to advocacy for policy change or research. The guidelines contain some examples of the types of initiatives or strategies that could be implemented, but the list is not exhaustive.

Eligible Country:
Priority Countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, West Bank and Gaza Strip, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Other Eligible Countries: Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Cabo Verde, China (People’s Republic of), Colombia, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niue, North Macedonia, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saint Helena, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Wallis and Futuna.

Submission mail:

Other important link:
Guideline: Click to view
Form (Proposal): Click to view
Form (Budget) Click to view
About: Click to view

How to apply: Please send the application form, budget and relevant documentation by email to, with the subject lineConcept note submission

File format: Please submit the application form and budget in their original files (Word and Excel). Do not send files in .pdf format

Checklist: Please make sure that all the necessary documents are attached:
☐ Application form with all the sections completed – maximum 15 pages (Word document)
☐ Completed budget template (Excel document)
☐ Certificate of Registration of the organization (if the project is proposed by a group of organizations or network, please provide this information only for the leading organization).
☐ Tick the box (of proposal format) if your organization is not registered. You can apply if you do not have a registration, but you will need a fiscal sponsor (see guidelines for more information)
☐ Your most recent audited financial statements (if the project is through a network/alliance, please provide this information only for the leading organization).
☐ Tick the box (of proposal format) if your organization does not have audited financial statements

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