Support to non-governmental organisations for conference visits
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may grant non-governmental organisations support for travel costs resulting from participation in international conferences by representatives of developing countries (and representatives of international/regional organisations representing developing countries).
The support is not intended for visits carried out by Finnish citizens and for visits of developing countries' representatives to Finnish organisations' own events, such as annual festivals etc.
The support is intended to compensate only for a representative's
- travel costs (flight, bus or train) from home country to the conference country and back
- accommodation in accordance with the State Travel Regulations
- daily allowance in accordance with the State Travel Regulations
- possible visa fee
- travel insurance during the conference.
In regard to these costs, the travel has to be conducted in accordance with the travel rules for civil servants, using the most economical means of travel. Other costs are not compensated for, because the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers requires a certain amount of self-financing.
The support covers all countries classified by the OECD/DAC as developing countries (PDF).
The objective of the conference, meeting or seminar
The conference has to promote the objectives of the Finnish Government's development policy programme, inter alia
- the eradication of poverty,
- the promotion of human rights,
- democracy and good governance,
- economic and social development,
- the prevention of environmental threats,
- gender equality and
- the strengthening of knowhow and capacity-building in developing countries.
A Finnish non-governmental organisation applying for the support has to be a non-profit organisation (a registered association or foundation) registered in Finland and have legal capacity to operate.
When applying for support for the first time, the NGO must include in the application a copy of an extract from the associations register or the foundations register. The application also has to specify the number of members of the organisation and the total income of the organisations latest financial year. The NGO may apply for support for conference travel only after it has been registered for at least one year.
How to apply for support
Support is applied for by submitting a freely formulated application including a specification of the travel costs and detailing the names, professions or specialist backgrounds of the persons participating in the conference, to-gether with a description of what countries, groups of people, institutions or organisations the invited representa-tives of developing countries represent.
The application has to be accompanied with a description of the significance and impact of the conference:
- the purpose, objectives and themes of the conference and the issues to be dealt with
- the number of the public/ visitors/ participants
- possible follow-up of the issues at other subsequent meetings
- visibility in the media.
The application must be submitted to the Ministry at least two months before the planned conference starts.
Conference travels are administered by:
Leena Wilén, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, KEO-30, P.O. Box 570, 00023 Government, Finland. Tel. +358 (0)295 350 943. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications submitted after the travel will not be considered.
Payment of support
The Ministry will send the organisation its decision concerning the application. The amount of support mentioned in the decision is the maximum, and the final amount of support will be determined on the basis of the approved costs specified in a travel expence report.
A form for commitment/ request for payment will be sent to the organisation together with the decision. As a rule, the support will be reimbursed afterwards on the basis of a travel costs account and a mission report, which the organisation must submit to the Ministry within two months after the end of the conference.
In order to obtain reimbursement for all costs, the organisation must absolutely include original receipts for all purchases in its account. No reimbursement will be made without original receipts.
The form for commitment/ request for payment should be sent to the Ministry for reimbursement.
A report has to be prepared on the outcome, observations and recommendations of the conference. This report must also contain an assessment of the impacts of the conference and the follow-up measures it may give rise to.
If the conference did not materialise as indicated in the application, its reason has to be explained in the report.