What is a Peer Review Panel and who is part of it?

Young feminist collectives from FRIDA’s focus regions can submit their applications in seven languages through an online platform that currently facilitates all stages of FRIDA’s participatory grantmaking process. Groups can log into an applicant portal and work on their application until they are ready to submit it. They can track each stage of the review process on the platform. The platform is accessible on all devices. If a group is unable to apply online they can submit their proposal in another written format. 

At the moment, FRIDA only accepts proposals in writing. We know that other formats might be more engaging and more familiar to some, but so far written proposals have allowed for the most consistency in the community voting process. This also ensures that groups can read proposals at their own pace and translate text to local languages when needed.

The call is open for 4 weeks. During that time, groups can reach out to FRIDA with any questions and concerns, especially around access to technology, security, language, etc. 

Before submitting their proposal, all groups complete a short questionnaire to confirm if their collective is aligned with FRIDA’s funding criteria. If confirmed, the group receives access to the application form and if not, they receive an email that explains again FRIDA’s funding criteria. If a group who receives this email still thinks they do fit the criteria, they can reach out to FRIDA to share more information and get access to the application form.

What does the Peer Review Panel do ?

The Peer Review Panel members are assigned proposals through a secure online platform. Through this platform, they can see all applications assigned to them and communicate with other members of the Panel.  FRIDA staff assigns proposals to panel members based on the region/country/thematic of the group and the affiliations of advisors. Each application is reviewed by two members of the Peer Review Panel. They only evaluate whether applications fit FRIDA’s basic funding criteria. There is a review form that they can complete about each of the groups they review. The form consists of brief checklists for easier allocation of proposals to the next stage (Voting Groups)–in this stage, reviewers evaluate and record, for instance, whether a group is self-led, working on underfunded issues, an informal group or a larger organization, etc. 

In the review form, The Peer Review Panel can share more information about the group, their members and their work if they are familiar with it. This information is available only to the Peer Review Panel and FRIDA grantmaking staff to support the organizing of the voting and the due diligence process.

How we practice confidentiality

Before entering this process, the Peer Review Panelists sign a confidentiality agreement where they commit to discuss the proposals reviewed only within the Peer Review Panel. Before reviewing applications, we ask Peer Review Panelists to share with FRIDA if they are part of any group or if they closely collaborate with any group that has applied for funding in that cycle. In general, if a panelist is part of a group that has applied, they can’t be part of the screening process. Therefore, they must share this information with FRIDA staff before applications are assigned. We do this to protect the anonymity of all groups in the second stage of the process, where groups review each other’s proposals and vote on each other.

If panelists are not part of a group, but they know them, we ask that they share that with FRIDA so we can ensure that the group’s proposal is assigned to someone else to review. The panelist can still review and comment on other applications. If they know of a group or their work but are not closely affiliated with them, they can still review their proposal. Each proposal is screened by at least two Peer Review Panelists and/or a panelist and a staff member, so that a group’s application doesn’t rely only on one panelist’s feedback.