Greater efforts are required to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia. SEI Asia, support from Swedish government (SIDA), has committed to enhancing current 2030 Agenda efforts by seeking new solutions through effective long-term partnerships. These partnerships are fundamental for 2030 progress. In 2018, the Strategic Collaborative Fund Phase 2 (SCF2) programme was launched to provide platforms and opportunities for these partnerships. SCF2 fosters regional cooperation and policy dialogue for sustainable development and environmental sustainability in the region, toward integration of the SDG framework.


The Strategic Collaborative Fund Phase 2, active from 2018-2022, builds capacity and enables learning for increased collaboration. SCF2 will create long-term partnerships to enhance policy development and institutional capacity building in Asia, under the framework of regional integration and the SDGs. It will hold strategic events that seek to build more effective regional policies that contribute to SDG achievement. Cognisant of the fact that human rights and gender equality are key to achievement, the programme will emphasize these throughout its work as it champions regional collaboration for transboundary environmental policy development, as well as fostering dialogue with other regions, particularly East Asia (China) and Europe. SCF2 will provide partners and participants with leading-edge information and applicable knowledge for policy development.


Component 1: Inter-regional cooperation with China and Europe

Inter-regional platforms are central to SCF2 dialogue between Southeast Asia and other regions. SCF2 will link to the prime interregional policy development forum, the China-ASEAN Environment Cooperation Forum (CAECF), to address issues related to shared resources and the impacts of trade expansion. SCF2 will also connect with the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ASEF), facilitating a dialogue between the two regions on matters aside from commerce that are equally important for both regions’ prosperity and well-being.

Component 2: Regional cooperation within Asia-Pacific

Though ASEAN has brought progress in regional integration, collaborative efforts towards SDG achievement in the region are still few and poorly coordinated. SCF2 will increase regional collaboration on key transboundary environmental issues, such as pollution, water governance, energy flows, natural resource use efficiency and climate change. These issues will be linked to the 2030 sustainable development agenda through private sector engagement. SEI will provide support for initiating, organizing, and hosting key events on selected issues. Support will take the form of coaching and provision of financial resources, as well as provision of technical expertise to lead regional collaboration efforts toward autonomous collaborative policy development.

Component 3: Learning and capacity development

SCF2 will support regional partners to integrate gender and implement a human rights-based approach in their collaborative activities. This will be achieved through the development of open online courses on gender equality and rights-based approaches, as well as mentoring and coaching for selected partners. The courses and mentoring will enhance institutional capacity and knowledge to ensure that gender, human rights and poverty reduction are central to regional environmental and climate change policies and the SDGs.

Component 4: Programme management

SCF2 will focus on efficient and effective management with the right boundary partners and appropriate level of expertise where needed. Simultaneously, programme monitoring and evaluation will identify target policies and track how new knowledge has been applied to produce, improve, or adapt policies through partner engagement. This component will also work to ensure the institutionalization of gender and rights-based approaches into partners and participants’ current and future programmes and operations, as well as encourage heightened efforts toward SDG and Agenda 2030 achievement.


The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), with support from the Government of Sweden, is driving an initiative that supports regional environmental and sustainable development events under a programme called the Strategic Collaborative Fund. This programme aims to promote informed policy dialogue, allowing different groups and stakeholders to share knowledge through provisions of grant support for regional forums and other strategic events with the goal of helping to shape public policy to advance sustainable and inclusive development and poverty alleviation in Asia towards the achievement of SDGs.

Aware of the challenges in gender equality, human rights and poverty in regard to bringing underserved communities into consideration within the policy dialogue, the Strategic Collaborative Fund seeks to target these communities and integrate them into its work. Under this initiative, organizations across Asia, or those addressing issues in the region, are invited to submit concept notes for convening regional environmental policy forums.

In addition to grant support to regional events, the programme also provides institutional capacity building to grantees and partner organisations consisting of online learning facilities (MOOCs) and coaching on gender and social equality and rights-based approaches. Technical support on each theme will be provided, in addition to advice on policy strategies in relation to the relevant SDGs.

What we seek

SEI welcomes concept notes for regional strategic events in Asia, in particular South and Southeast Asia, that focus on advancing environmentally sustainable development with integration of gender and social equality and rights-based approaches, in addition to poverty reduction, into the themes and design of these events.

The events should include a mix of representatives from government, private sector, civil society, research or academic institutions and development partners that ensure active exchanges between participants.

The Strategic Collaborative Fund seeks to change mindsets and everyday practices to ultimately benefit the citizens of the region, with particular attention to marginalized groups including, but not limited to, those living in poverty, women, youth, children, ethnic minorities and other environmentally vulnerable groups, based on their specific contexts.

Grant value

SEI will support 7 themes in 2020 and aim to cover one grant per theme. A total of SEK 450,000 (approximately USD 45,000) will be awarded per grant. The awards can fund one or more events in their entirety or provide supplemental funding to already confirmed co-funded event(s). The delivery period of event organization and impact monitoring must be within the timeframe of one year, April 2020 – February 2021.

Grant recipient

Recipient organizations should generally be based in Asia, but if they are based outside the region, the proposed event should address issues relevant to Asia and engage stakeholders in Asia.

Organizations that are currently Sida’s grantees are not eligible to apply as the lead organization but can be part of the consortium.

Recipients are expected to be mainly nonprofit organizations or networks with experience in providing platforms for policy dialogue to enable engagement of different groups and stakeholders. Participants should be able to share knowledge and experience primarily in environmentally sustainable development while addressing related gender equality, environmental rights-based approach and poverty reduction issues in Asia.

SEI encourages participation from the private sector, and applications from business forums or networks will be considered if they also seek to engage with the public sector and/or civil society organizations with whom they are not currently interacting. Funding cannot be used for covering private sector actors’ participation in the supported event (related travel and accommodation expenses). It should, however, be used to increase participation of other stakeholders such as civil society and the public sector. A cost-sharing option for micro and small enterprises with resource constraints can be considered.

Please note that applications for any of the SCF2 themes should consider the possible implications for human rights of topics addressed, including any gender-related aspects. Broad rights-based approaches, such as participation and accountability, should also be considered in the implementation of events. SEI and partners (the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law) will provide support during the preparation and/or implementation of events, as agreed with grantees, to help elaborate these perspectives.

Criteria for selection

The following criteria will be used during concept note review and selection:

  • Provides evidence of regional-level outreach and scope in the Asia region (South and Southeast Asia), as opposed to a country-level event
  • Addresses the thematic focus and relevance to environmentally sustainable and inclusive development
  • Demonstrates how the event leads to positive impact on gender equality, rights-based approaches and poverty reduction
  • Demonstrates how the event would target and benefit the citizens of the region, with particular attention to the poor, women and other marginalized groups
  • Ensures diverse participation including the public sector, private sector, civil society organizations, research and academic institutions and development partners
  • Uses innovative methods and technologies to enhance participation and active discussion among participants
  • Shows proponents’ institutional capacity for organizing regional events


Please download the concept note template here.


Application deadline is 29 February 2020, 5.00pm (Indochina Time).

Kindly complete your concept note by using the template and upload your concept note through the online application form available at this link.

The evaluation process will take place in March 2020.  Successful applications will be notified through email by the end of April 2020.

For further information please contact Wanaporn Yangyuentham, Programme Manager (wanaporn.yangyuentham@sei.org).

SCF2 brings experts, policy makers and communities together in Asia on a regular basis to build the effective partnerships that are vital for reaching the 2030 Agenda in the region. The following are our upcoming events for  2019 and 2020. Please visit the link, or use the Fund contact for more information.


29 – 30, Yokohama, Japan: Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) Annual Conference

The Role of Consumer in Triggering Changes in Consumption & Production

Partner: the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)


17 – 18, Nanning, China: China ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Forum

Promote and Foster Regional Green Growth: Best Practices for Eco-city Development and Sustainable Ocean Ecosystem Management

Partner: Center for International Cooperation and Exchange, Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of the People’s Republic of China


8 – 9, Yogyakarta, Indonesia:  Challenges and Opportunities on Indigenous Knowledge System and Practices and Rights-Based Sustainable Development: A Southeast Asian Forum

Theme: Climate Change Adaptation

Partner: Samdhana Institute

13 – 17, Penang, Malaysia: “Grassroots Community Resilience” at the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum 7 (APUF-7)

Theme: Disaster Risk Reduction

Partner: Asia Coalition for Housing Rights

18 – 18, Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Consultation to Promote Actions to Improve Asian Deltas Resilience

Theme: Water

Partner: WWF Greater Mekong

28 – 31, Quezon Province, The Philippines: 9th Southeast Asian human rights and business conference

Theme: Energy

Partner: Forest Peoples Programme

29, Singapore: Roundtable on the Environment and Social Inclusion: This event will focus on four main themes: 1) Sustainable financing for circularity; 2) Producer to Consumer Sustainability (P2CS); 3) Closing the loop, gender & plastic and 4) Climate-friendly energy in agriculture.


18 – 19, Singapore: Responsible Business Forum

Circularity 2030: Next generation leaders.


2 – 4, Bangkok, Thailand: Climate Smart Women Connect: Climate and Gender Justice for Indigenous Women in Asia

Theme: Gender

Partner: CUSO International

 January 2020

TBC, Vientiane, Laos: Sharing and learning from regional experiences to build effective and harmonized policy on sustainable agriculture in the Mekong Region: Regional Dialogue Workshop

Theme: Agriculture

Partner: Department of Policy and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laos