BRLF as Center for Excellence for Ministry of Tribal Affairs

In 2019, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India, designated BRLF as one of the Centers of Excellence (CoE) and entrusted it with two projects, including the screening of its CSO partners and conducting an evaluation study for the Usharmukti project in West Bengal.


MoTA provides financial support to CSOs through its Grant-in-aid (GIA) program to reduce development gaps in various targeted projects, selected on the basis of due diligence and implemented by local CSOs.

The main objective of the program is to increase the reach of government welfare schemes and to address challenges in sectors such as education, health, nutrition and innovation in tribal areas, in order to ensure an integrated and focused approach to the socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes population in a coordinated and planned manner. Keeping in mind our core competence in the field of CSO facilitation and screening, MoTA has appointed BRLF to carry out a rigorous screening process for shortlisting proposals from different parts of the country on various themes such as education, health and innovation.


Stage I: Pre-Funding Appraisal-I

Pre-Funding Approval (PFA)-I is the first level of the screening process to check and verify the legal compliance of organizations and ensure that the required credentials are in place. Once the documentation was submitted by CSOs, the committee verified the validity of the compliances.

Stage II: Desk Appraisal

The second level of the screening process is Desk Appraisal, to evaluate and examine the capacity of organizations and projects, budget details, project rationale and previous experiences. To evaluate all organizations, a format was designed for recommended CSOs and circulated after PFA-I.

The scoring criteria decided for selection of projects:

  • Category – I: Score 70% or more
  • Category – II: Score 60%-70%
  • Category – III: Score 40% – 60%
  • Rejected: Score less than 40%

Stage-III: Presentations by CSOs

The selected CSOs made presentations to a committee in Delhi, including the Joint Secretary and Director of MoTA. Due to restrictions arising from COVID-19 pandemic, MoTA decided to conduct the presentations online.


MoTA received 118 proposals for the F.Y. 2019-20 from different states of the country.

Out of 118 proposals received by MoTA for FY 2019- 20, 104 CSO proposals were approved and screened by BRLF, based on which MoTA took the final decision for sanctioning of projects.

Research Studies

The Grant-in-Aid Scheme was launched by the Ministry on April 1, 2008, aiming at enhancing the reach of welfare schemes of Government and bridging gaps in services (for e.g., education, health, drinking water, agro-horticultural productivity, and social security) in underserved tribal areas. Under the Scheme,100% grant support is sanctioned for 3 years to VOs/NGOs subject to prescribed financial norms and terms and conditions as stipulated by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

The Research and Knowledge Vertical of BRLF received grant support from the Statistics and Documents Division of the MoTA to conduct an evaluation study of the scheme. Under this grant, we will explore the processes of the scheme and its impact on the state, VOs/NGOs and community capacities for addressing the health and educational needs of the Scheduled Tribes.

BRLF achieves its key outcomes through strategic engagement with CSOs. We engage actively with CSOs to reduce gaps in program outlays and outcomes through strengthening of democratic institutions of governance at the grassroots, improving quality of implementation of programmes, and scaling up successful models of interventions.

CSOs often struggle to find sufficient and long-term support for significant budget components like HR and operations which directly influence the efficiency and impact the quality of livelihood interventions. Our grant support and capacity building initiatives are geared to help them find opportunities to scale and integrate with large-scale government interventions.

BRLF also enables institutional partnerships between CSOs and state governments to help them leverage programmatic resources available for national and state level programmes and schemes for rural development and livelihoods.           

As of March 2021, BRLF has committed R. 113.39 Cr (USD) toward CSO grants. Partners have leveraged a cumulative total of INR.2035.01 Cr. (USD) from government schemes and raised co-finance of R. 354.75 Cr (USD) from multiple donors.