Through the INITIATE Small Grants Program, we provide small grants to human rights organizations to implement Social and Behavior Change campaigns —allowing them to apply concepts and principles they learned through Advance and helping them expand their digital communities.

Initiating Social and Behavior Change (SBC) prototypes and campaigns

The INITIATE Small Grants Program aims to provide technical and financial support to civil society organizations (CSO) to conduct deeper and more focused audience identification, behavioral insighting and design activities, and SBC campaigns. The grants will empower CSOs to engage influencing groups in I-ACT’s target priority areas through campaigns intended to promote rights-seeking, -affirming, and -claiming behaviors.

INITIATE  is open to qualified member human rights organizations of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Alternative Law Groups (ALG), CHR-CSO Consultative Caucus on Human Rights (C4HR), and Child Rights Network (CRN). 

There will be consecutive rounds of proposal solicitation per year to provide multiple opportunities for these organizations to apply. Watch this space for announcements and updates about INITIATE.

Got questions? Read the FAQs or email



For this initial call, we will provide eight (8) small grants with the maximum funding support of One Million Pesos (Php 1,000,000.00) per qualified member organization of the ALG. I-ACT’s support will prioritize the following interventions:


CSOs are encouraged to build on I-ACT’s existing evidence base and conduct small-scale research to design their own SBC interventions. Diagnosis defines the target audience, the desired behavior, and the barriers or facilitators of human rights behaviors. This can be done through surveys, focus group discussions, deliberative forums, etc.


CSOs will test various SBC prototypes using different messaging and (online) platforms. CSOs may develop or redesign at least two (2) prototypes for testing. Upon testing, CSOs will assess which prototypes are best for scale-up to a broader audience.


Scale-up aims to expand the CSOs’ digital communities through a) deployment of the best SBC prototype/s and campaigns to a broader audience, and b) increasing their reach to include influencing groups identified by I-ACT.

Cross-cutting issue to be supported under INITIATE:
Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI)


I-ACT aims to advance CSOs’ capacities for integrating gender equality, disability, and social inclusion principles by ensuring that the SBC campaigns are GEDSI-informed.

I-ACT suggests allocating at least 7% of funding support for this area. I-ACT will also provide small grants to CSOs that prioritize campaigns that address specific intersections between GEDSI and human rights such as:

● Mothers left behind by War on Drugs
● Women deprived of Liberty and reintegration
● PWDs (persons with disabilities)
● Misogyny


Organizations that meet the following eligibility criteria are welcome to apply:

Member organization in good standing of ALG

Participation in I-ACT’s ADVANCE SBC Training Program

Government-registered entity


Each CSO interested to apply for the INITIATE Small Grants Program are required to submit an EOI letter discussing the following:

Background of the organization

Short description of proposed activities which contain a brief overview of planned activities for diagnosis, prototyping, and scale-up

Contact person and details

EOIs must be addressed to the following:

Atty. Paolo Francisco Camacho
Chief of Party, I-ACT Project

Attention to:
Atty. Christine Antoniette Ramos
Senior Program Officer

Letters should be submitted via email to and with the subject line “[Name of organization]: Submission of EOI for INITIATE Program under the I-ACT Project (Date)”

Ex: The Asia Foundation: Submission of EOI for INITIATE Program under the I-ACT Project (22 April 2022)

Only shortlisted CSOs will be contacted.
For urgent concerns or clarifications, contact Ms. Russel Ramos, Program Officer, at +63905-667-3556.

Deadline of Submission: 22 May 2022, 12:00 PM (PHT)


What is Social and Behavior Change (SBC)?

SBC is a systematic approach that applies behavioral theories and research addressing behavior change at the individual, community, and societal levels. It is targeted, grounded in existing data, and is measured to show impact.

What is a “behavior”?

A behavior is an observable action in response to a stimulus. An observable action means that behavior occurs beyond the mind—even a behavior done alone and in secret is still potentially observable. This definition also implies that there is an actor that experiences the stimulus and subsequently reacts to it.

Opinions, knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and other mental processes are NOT behaviors. These may eventually affect behaviors but are not in themselves a concrete action. For example: you may become aware of a petition to pass a policy you support. This awareness is not yet the behavior itself, but it may lead to the actual observable behavior of signing the petition.

Likewise, systems, contexts, and other environmental factors are NOT behaviors. These are also likely to affect behaviors and should be considered alongside mental processes in designing behavioral interventions. For example, the existence of bike lanes is not a behavior, but the bike lanes themselves can influence road users to act accordingly and stay in their designated spaces.

What is Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC)?

SBCC is a holistic approach using communication as the primary vehicle for SBC interventions. SBCC is a crucial part of the SBC toolkit. It provides a framework that uses advocacy and communication strategies to bring about individual and societal change. SBCC requires a systematic and targeted approach that goes beyond a single flyer or social media post. It uses holistic strategies that do not only rely on mass media but also consider digital platforms, community interactions, and interpersonal communication.

What should the small grant target?

At the minimum, the SBCC campaign plan embodied in the small grant should be able to identify the target (desired) behavior, target audience segment, and target geographic area.

How did I-ACT choose its targets?

During the first year of I-ACT, we implemented various surveys and research activities to attain the project’s baseline and targets.  I-ACT processed the results using three (3) targeting parameters:

  • Low engagement in human rights – These are Filipinos who currently express negative opinions or attitudes towards human rights, possess low levels of awareness, or have little to no engagement in support of human rights. This parameter helps I-ACT avoid preaching to the choir.
  • High accessibility – This parameter refers to both physical and cognitive accessibility. Physical accessibility requires target groups to be easily reachable through online and offline interventions, while cognitive accessibility means that target groups do not carry hardline or fixed political positions or attitudes towards human rights.
  • High influence – These are Filipinos possessing the social and political capital needed to shape the attitudes and behaviors of individuals within their respective spheres of influence.

What are I-ACT’s broad target behaviors?

The following are I-ACT’s broad target behaviors in support of human rights:

  • Rights-seeking behaviors are performed by those who are seeking information about their rights. Rights-Seeking actors may not be able to name or define their rights but may act instinctually or out of common-sense knowledge. They may already be lurking, paying attention to organizations and social issues, but remain otherwise inactive.
  • Rights-affirming behaviors are practiced by those who already know their rights and are simply enjoying the opportunity to participate. While this category is an improvement over Rights-Seeking behaviors, care must be taken to ensure that Rights-Affirming doesn’t lead to your audience taking their rights for granted.
  • Rights-claiming behaviors require the most involvement and engagement. Rights-claiming actors may perceive their rights to be under threat or violated outright and are spurred to act. Note that the incidence of rights violation does not automatically lead to rights-claiming behaviors because of barriers to action such as potential risk, de-prioritization, and systematic inequalities.

What are the priority target behaviors of I-ACT for human rights organizations?

While there exists a range of behaviors that promote human rights, certain behaviors are prioritized due to their significance, scalability, and impact:

  1. Joining digital communities – An easy behavior for audiences that also adds a lot of value to any organization. A wider digital reach means a bigger captive audience, almost certainly ensuring a broader impact for any future campaign.
  2. Volunteering – A natural extension of the first behavior and relevant if your organization’s community is large but inactive. 
  3. Charitable giving – The behavior Filipinos report to be one they are most likely to do in the future, and is essential in ensuring an organization’s viability and sustainability.
  4. Referral and endorsement – “Bring a friend” or “endorse this organization” are part of a set of behaviors that simultaneously activate existing community members and amplify your organization’s reach.

Under the small grant, is the organization required to cover ALL I-ACT’s priority areas and segments?

Not necessarily, the organization may choose at least one (1) priority geographic and audience segment.

Who are the influencing groups?

I-ACT identified eight (8) target audience segments or so-called “influencing groups.” These are Internet Users, Class C (Middle class), Gen Z (Born from 1997 to 2012), Workers, Mothers, Relatives of Migrant Workers, Millennials (Born from 1981 to 1996), and Boomers (Born from 1946 to 1964). 

I-ACT targeting parameters (low engagement, high accessibility, high influence) were considered in selecting influencing groups and target geographic areas, alongside contextual factors such as the operational presence of coalition partners, population size, and media reach. Engaging these groups and areas optimizes project resources while aiming for maximum impact owing to the potential scale to be gained by working along with these identified parameters.

What are the digital communities?

Digital communities include but are not limited to social media communities (e.g., Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube), email subscription lists, chat applications (e.g., Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, Signal), and websites (e.g., message boards, forums), with members who may also be referred to as followers, subscribers, account holders, and the like.

What is a prototype?

A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a program, product, system, or approach built to test a concept or process. All prototypes must have a central testing issue or hypothesis as well as an intended target user or audience. However, prototypes need not be disseminated to the public nor do they need to be in the medium of the finished product during testing (e.g., storyboard of a video presented to a focus group). 

I-ACT will require the organization to develop a minimum of two (2) prototypes for testing: one (1) initial prototype and at least one (1) iteration. Through the I-ACT’s Advance SBC Training Program, the participants will be able to learn how to develop an SBC prototype, test, and scale-up.

What is scale-up?

“Scale-up” is the process of deploying and rolling out an SBC intervention to a broader public audience. Successful scale-up entails significant increase in the target audience’s public’s engagement with the campaign by performing the desired behaviors. Examples include increased membership in the organization’s digital community, surge in donations, and a high volume of interest to become volunteers. After prototyping, I-ACT will work closely with the organization in determining which prototype is the most effective for scale-up based on a set of criteria.

What if my organization’s current target audience and/or areas are not within the I-ACT’s priority, can I still apply for the Small Grants Program?

Yes, you can. Kindly elaborate your desired audience or area if it is a subcategory of the I-ACT’s target. For example, if the area of interest is in environment advocacy, the organization may target Class C/Millennials environmentalists.

What is the process and timeline of the INITIATE Small Grants Program?




Note: The timeline below is for one round only. The same applies to the next rounds.
Drafting of Solicitation of Expression of Interest (EOI) TAF 1 week
Release of Solicitation of Expression of Interest (EOI) TAF 1 day
Questions and clarifications Proponents 1 week
Deadline for EOI submission Proponents 1 week
Consolidation and evaluation of EOIs TAF 1-2 weeks
Drafting of solicitation of detailed proposal TAF 1 week
Release of solicitation of detailed proposal TAF 1 week
Deadline for detailed proposal submission Proponents 2-3 weeks
Application of Unique Entity Identifier through the SAM System at Proponents

1-2 weeks


Due Diligence and evaluation of proposals TAF and Proponents 2-3 weeks
Subgrant processing and awarding TAF 2 weeks
Orientation on small grants manual, contract, TAF safeguarding provisions, MEL, etc. TAF and Subgrantee 1 day
Start of subgrant implementation Subgrantee From the contract signing date
Submission of workplan Subgrantee 1 day
Implementation of activities Subgrantee 6 months
Submission of monthly report  Subgrantee 5 working days after the end of the month covered 
Submission of end-of-project report Subgrantee 15 working days after the end of the project  
Quarterly meetings I-ACT and subgrantee Every quarter

What if the organization’s representatives are not yet done with the ADVANCE SBC Training Program, can we still submit the Expression of Interest (EOI)?

Yes, we highly encourage the organization to submit an EOI pending completion of the ADVANCE Training Program. Organizations can also reach out to any of the I-ACT team members for guidance, clarifications, or recommendations.

What if we don’t have any plans for gender equality, disability, and social inclusion (GEDSI)?

That’s fine. We are willing to guide your organization in designing feasible GEDSI activities.

What’s the ideal allocation of a One Million Peso-budget?

We will ask the organization to submit a detailed budget proposal. The budget may contain the salaries of employees, fringe benefits (government mandatory benefits), travel (if applicable), materials, consultants fees (if needed), other direct costs (activity-related costs), and admin costs (office rental, utilities, etc). We will provide the organization with a list of the allowable and unallowable costs during the call for a full proposal. Below are the recommended budget proportions:



Personnel and Fringe Benefits 40%
Travel 10%
Consultants 5%
Other Direct Cost 20%
Admin Cost 10%
MEL 8%



This is the first time my organization is applying for a small grant with The Asia Foundation. What support will be provided to us in this regard?

The Asia Foundation, through I-ACT, developed a Small Grants Manual that outlines the key processes in a small grants program, discusses key grants concepts and principles, and includes all the necessary templates. I-ACT will also hold a series of grants management sessions.

Who can I reach out to if I have additional questions?

You may send an email to copying Ms. Russel Ramos, Program Officer, at or Ms. Asmin Monib, INITIATE Small Grants Program Coordinator, at