Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program Call for Proposals

The U.S. Embassy SSH Program provides grants to assist small-scale ($5,000-10,000), short-term (12 months or less) community-based development projects that improve basic economic or social conditions at the village level. The SSH team reviews applications on a rolling basis and we have just released an updated Call for Proposals on the Embassy website under the resources tab.


The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program started in Zimbabwe in 1980. It is distinct from the larger-scale assistance carried out locally by the U.S. government. This program focuses on providing targeted grants to assist small-scale ($2,000-$10,000), short-term (less than 12 months), community-driven development projects that improve economic and social conditions at the local level. The SSH program in Zimbabwe has awarded more than $1 million for community-driven projects during the past ten years.

Each project is expected to:

  • Improve basic economic or social conditions at the community or village level;
  • Support high-impact, quick-implementation activities that benefit a large number of people within one year without requiring further SSH assistance;
  • Involve a significant local contribution in cash, labor, or material, and be within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain;
  • Be in direct response to the initiative and aspirations of the local community (the local sponsors of the project, who will also be its prime beneficiaries); and
  • Not initiate, continue, or supplement technical assistance programs.

Basic eligibility requirements:

  • Individuals, businesses, and government entities do not qualify.
  • Applicants must be a registered non-governmental, non-profit, or community-based organization.
  • All applications must include a significant community contribution (cash, labor, or materials).
  • The organization must be entirely Zimbabwean and its members’ Zimbabwe Citizens.
  • Applicants must display sound management in the form of financial, administrative, and technical procedures and present a system of internal controls that protects against fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • After an initial screening, a technical evaluation committee reviews applications using pre-established criteria to assess the merit of each proposal. The evaluation process is objective and transparent; standard evaluation criteria used by the committee can be accessed via the link above.
  • If your project will improve the lives of Zimbabweans and your organization meets the basic eligibility requirements, we invite you to apply for funding! See the guidelines and application linked above.

Deadline: 3 October 2017

For more information click here.

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