APEC administers two project approval sessions per year for APEC member economies to apply for funding. Project sessions are very competitive – there are more applications than there is funding available. Members are encouraged to think deeply about their project, and consult widely with their colleagues, to ensure that they have the best possible chance of receiving funding. Funding is approved by APEC’s Budget and Management Committee (BMC). The project selection process is also explored on the APEC Project Funding Sources page in further detail and you are strongly encouraged to read the information presented there. You will also find out about the specific eligibility requirements that adhere to the various APEC project funding sources.

There are two stages to each project approval session:

  1. Concept Note Stage: The process starts with the submission of a three page Concept Note outlining the intention of the project by the dates specified below. Only approved Concept Notes proceed to the next stage.
  2. Project Proposal Stage: This stage only applies for approved Concept Notes. A Concept Note is developed into a longer and more detailed Project Proposal that specifies precisely how the project will work. Project Proposals must be submitted by the advertised Submission Deadline.

The way APEC Projects are selected will change with the first Project Session of 2018. Concept Notes will no longer be scored by both the proposing APEC forum and the relevant APEC Committee; instead all Concept Notes will be scored in a one-stage process by the APEC forum assigned with oversight for the particular funding source nominated by the Project Overseer (PO). POs will need to use a revised Concept Note template when applying for funds in 2018. This can be found here, and a copy of the Concept Note template is also located at Appendix A of the Guidebook on APEC Projects, which can be found here. The Project Management Unit has produced a quick reference guide to the 2018 changes which you can find here.

Dates for Project Session 1, 2018
1. Concept Note Stage Submission Date Notification Date of BMC Decision

Internal Submission Deadline (Submit to Program Director)

21 March N/A 
Final Submission Deadline (Submit to PMU) 28 March 27 April
What does this mean?

By the Internal Submission Deadline, submit your Concept Note to your group through your Program Director, so that it can be:

  • endorsed by your forum;
  • circulated for co-endorsement by other fora, where co-endorsement is required by the eligibility rules of certain ASF sub-funds; and
  • checked for compliance with the Guidebook on APEC Projects (eg sufficient co-sponsors; maximum number of pages not exceeded)

By the Final Submission Deadline, submit your Concept Note to the APEC Secretariat’s Project Management Unit through your Program Director. It must be endorsed (and co-endorsed where required), and be compliant with the Guidebook on APEC Projects.

Concept notes can’t be accepted after the Final Submission Deadline.

2. Project Proposal Stage Submission Date to APEC Secretariat Notification Date of BMC Decision

Submission Deadline

25 May 23 July*
What does this mean?

You must submit your Project Proposal to your Program Director by the single Submission Deadline advertised above, so that it can circulated within the proposing forum for endorsement, and reviewed against the Quality Criteria for Assessing APEC Projects (see Project Proposal Development, below). There is no longer a requirement to complete the APEC Quality Assessment Framework (QAF).

*Project Proposals which require a BMC decision before the date advertised here should be submitted to the Secretariat prior the Submission Deadline where possible. PMU will seek earlier BMC decisions where required by project timelines, but Project Proposals must be endorsed by the proposing forum, and must achieve a satisfactory rating across the Quality Criteria for Assessing APEC Projects, before they will be submitted by PMU to BMC for earlier approval.

Any Project Proposal submitted more than a week after the Submission Deadline will be considered withdrawn and BMC in-principle approval revoked.
 

Please note:        

  • All deadlines above expire at midnight, Singapore time.
  • Dates are subject to change, upon approval of the APEC Budget and Management Committee.
 
Dates for Project Session 2, 2018
1. Concept Note Stage Submission Date Notification Date of BMC Decision

Internal Submission Deadline (Submit to Program Director)

22 June N/A 
Final Submission Deadline (Submit to PMU) 29 June 31 July
 
2. Project Proposal Stage Submission Date to APEC Secretariat Notification Date of BMC Decision

Submission Deadline

28 August 26 October*
 

Concept Note Development

A project originates from an economy or economies, and is considered and delivered through an APEC forum (such as working group or a committee, etc.). Individuals affiliated with APEC fora are eligible to apply for APEC funding, provided their Concept Note and Project Proposal are endorsed by their forum. This individual, called a ‘Project Overseer’ (PO), will lead the design and delivery of the project on behalf of their economy.

The PO must prepare a three-page Concept Note describing the project’s objectives, relevance, methodology and alignment to APEC’s goals. POs must also clearly identify the specific funding source to which they are applying – see APEC Project Funding Sources. The project must secure the requisite number of co-sponsors (check with the Program Director for your forum for the required number). Concept Notes then need endorsement by the forum.

Some funding sources require that Concept Notes be endorsed by a specific forum other than your own. Your Program Director will assist where such co-endorsement is required. The Concept Note must be submitted to the APEC Secretariat Project Management Unit (PMU) by the Final Submission Deadline, for the next stage in project selection.

Concept Note Approval

PMU sorts all Concept Notes according to the project funding source nominated by the PO. Each project funding source has been assigned to a specified fora for the purposes of Concept Note eligibility assessment and scoring. In some cases, such as SOM, CTI and SCE, more than one funding source has been assigned to a responsible APEC forum. PMU will send Concept Notes to the responsible APEC fora, who will assess whether the Concept Note meets the eligibility criteria for the funding source in question, and will also score the Concept Note against pre-determined scoring criteria. All economies participate in the eligibility and scoring process. PMU then processes the results and will make a funding recommendation to BMC, based on eligibility outcomes and the scores of each Concept Note. BMC will then make an in-principal funding decision.

Project Proposal Development

Once Concept Notes are approved by BMC, the Secretariat will notify POs of the outcomes. Successful POs will be invited to expand their Concept Note into a full Project Proposal. As with the original Concept Nots, the proposal must be endorsed by the relevant forum. The PO must then submit the proposal and peer review to the APEC Secretariat. PMU also assesses project proposals according to the Quality Criteria for Assessing APEC Projects: relevance, impact, effectiveness, sustainability and efficiency. The Secretariat provides advice and assistance, as needed, until the proposal meets satisfactory quality on all criteria.

Final approval

Once proposals have reached satisfactory quality, the Secretariat recommends them to BMC for approval. Proposals that are over $200,000 in value are also approved by SOM. If the proposal is approved, the project moves to the implementation stage. 

For further information on specific projects and the process for applying for APEC funds, please review the Guidebook on APEC Projects or contact the relevant APEC Secretariat Program Directors.