Challenge Fund

Commercial Banks

1. Global IME Bank Ltd.
2. Bank of Kathmandu Ltd.
3. Mega Bank Nepal Ltd.
4. NMB Bank Ltd.
5. Laxmi Bank Ltd.
6. Siddhartha Bank Ltd.
7. Nepal Investment Bank Ltd.
8. Citizens Bank Ltd.
9. Rastriya Banijya Bank
10. Sanima Bank Ltd.

Micro Finance Institutions

1. United Youth Community Nepal (UNYC Nepal)
2. Vijay Laghubitta Bittiya Sanstha Ltd.
3. Nepal Women Community Service Centre
4. Nirdhan Utthan Bank Ltd.
5. Kisan Microfinance Bittiya Sanstha Ltd.
6. Kisan Multipurpose Co-operative Ltd.

Instructions for Bidders

These instructions describe the bidding process and other requirements of the Sakchyam Challenge Fund (S-CF). The Sakchyam Leadership Team and the Challenge Fund Manager in conjunction with DFID has developed the procedures set down below. It is important that bidders read and follow the instructions carefully to ensure their bids are properly considered and have the best chance of being successful. If you require clarification of any aspect of these regulations, you should contact the Challenge Fund Manager

Districts in which the Sakchyam Challenge Fund is Operating

Sakchyam priorities its investment that are focused in any of the 34 districts:

Province 6 and 7:  all districts

Province 5: Bardiya, Banke, Dang, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Kapilvastu, Arghakanchi, Rupandehi

Province 4: Manang

Province 3:  Nuwakot and Dhading

Province 2: Sarlahi

Province 1: Illam, Jhapa, and Sunsari

Sakchyam Challenge Fund will accept applications for projects that are implemented in other districts, however priority will be given to those projects that are more focused in the Sakchyam priority districts.

Organisation of the Sakchyam Challenge Fund

The Fund Manager, Louis Berger, is based in the Sakchyam Programme office in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The role of the fund manager and the regionally based field coordinators is to:

  • promote the Sakchyam Programme in the target regions and Kathmandu where target institutions maintain head offices and decision making;
  • assist bidders during the bidding process; and
  • manage funded projects

The Challenge Fund Manager and Field Coordinators can explain the regulations and processes to bidders and potential bidders, and assist bidders to understand and interpret the criteria against which bids are evaluated.

The managers are not decision makers and must remain neutral throughout the bidding process to ensure transparency of operations. Bidders should not, on any account, try to contact DFID officers.

Evaluation of Bids

Sakchyam Programme has established an Independent Assessment Panel (IAP) to decide whether or not bids should be supported by monies from the Sakchyam Challenge Fund.

The panel will assess and evaluate bids against the various criteria laid down by Sakchyam Challenge Fund. They advise the Team Leader of the Sakchyam Programme of their decisions who, in turn, through the Challenge Fund Manager will communicate the findings to bidders. The decisions of the IAP are final. The Challenge Fund Manager is happy to communicate the findings of the IAP to individual bidders on the request of the bidder.

Bidders should not, on any account, try to contact panel members. Any such approaches will result in the bid being automatically disqualified.

The Bidding Process

There is a two stage bidding process. Interested parties first submit a brief CONCEPT NOTE outlining their proposed project idea, and how the project will contribute to the achievement of the Sakchyam Programme’s stated outcomes. This Concept Note is assessed by the Sakchyam Leadership Team against the Sakchyam Challenge Fund eligibility criteria.

Bidders are advised of the findings and given the opportunity to submit a full application. The full application is evaluated by the IAP. Successful applicants are then invited to sign a grant agreement with the Sakchyam Challenge Fund to implement the project.

Bidding Timetable

All Concept Notes must be submitted to the Sakchyam Programme office in Kathmandu, or at one of the Sakchyam Programme Regional Offices for the attention of the Challenge Fund Manager. Bidders will be advised within two weeks of the outcome of the Sakchyam Leadership decisions on concept notes.

Bidders will then be given the opportunity to prepare and submit a full and detailed application. All applications must be submitted to the Challenge Fund Managers or Field Coordinators by the stated deadline, which will be approximately six weeks after notice from the Sakchyam Leadership that bidders have been invited to submit a Full Application.

Bidding rounds – comprising concept note preparations, submission and approval followed by submission and approval of Full Applications – will take less than three months. The Fund Manager will make the deadline dates for submission of Full Applications known at the time of being invited to submit a Full Application.

Concept Notes and Full Applications must be made on official Sakchyam Challenge Fund forms, available from the Sakchyam Programme Office in Kathmandu and Regional Offices, or downloadable from the official Sakchyam Programme website All documentation must be submitted on paper and electronically to by the deadline date.  Early submission of Full Applications and Concept Notes are welcome, so that the Challenge Fund Managers can check in advance their completeness and give guidance to bidders.

Concept Notes and Full Applications must be made on official Sakchyam Challenge Fund forms, available under the following URLs:

All documentation must be submitted on paper and electronically to by the deadline date. Early submission of Full Applications and Concept Notes are welcome, so that the Challenge Fund Managers can check in advance their completeness and give guidance to bidders.

Contracting Arrangements

The core elements are:

  • grant agreements from the Sakchyam Challenge Fund will be drawn up between Louis Berger and successful applicants;
  • disbursements of Sakchyam Challenge Fund monies will be made in accordance with the work-plan set out in the approve full application, the first disbursement can be an advance and subsequent disbursements being made on the basis of expenditure incurred and future requirements;
  • second and subsequent disbursements will be dependent on satisfactory progress of the project concerned including receipts and other documentation to support previous expenditure, pro forma to support requests for further disbursements, and evidence of contributions made by the applicant as per the project work plan;
  • disbursements will generally be quarterly;
  • the Challenge Fund Manager will be monitoring progress and exercising prudent financial control throughout the disbursement period; and,
  • organisations that are in receipt of Sakchyam Challenge Fund funds will be required to present an annual statement from their auditors verifying expenditure of Sakchyam Challenge Fund funds and their contributions – such statements to be prepared at their cost by their external auditors


Grant agreements will also commit organisations receiving Sakchyam Challenge Fund monies to maintain adequate records of operations and be willing to provide these to the Challenge Fund Manager or DFID as required. Contracts will also permit the Sakchyam Programme officers to visit the organisation and the funded project at any time, subject to reasonable notice being given.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Projects

Organisations that are implementing projects with Sakchyam Challenge Fund monies will be required to submit monitoring reports throughout the project implementation period to assess progress, project impact and achievement of objectives. These will be submitted on a regular basis to the Challenge Fund Manager.

The intent is that monitoring and evaluation reports will be concise and informative and will not represent an onerous burden.

The Challenge Fund Manager may supplement these reports with onsite visits as required. Sakchyam Challenge Fund recipient organisations are expected to assist monitors and evaluators to carry out their tasks.

Publicity and On-going Promotion

The objectives of the Sakchyam Programme include the encouragement of new and innovative approaches to financial service provision. The Sakchyam Programme will therefore be seeking to publicise success wherever possible. Recipient organisations will be expected to assist the Communications Manager in this task by providing such information as may be required for this purpose. In publicising the work of the Sakchyam Programme, the Communications Manager will consult with the organisations concerned to ensure that information placed in the public domain will not cause any commercial disadvantage to the organisation concerned.

 Funded by UK aid from the British Government, the Sakchyam Challenge Fund for Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme is built upon DFID’s belief that the lasting removal of poverty requires the birth and growth of profitable businesses – it is these that offer people the chance of financial independence and well-being – through job creation and financial security. DFID also believes that the creation and growth of profitable businesses requires effective financial services.

Sakchyam Challenge Fund (SCF) works with private sector organisations wanting to invest in commercial financial services in emerging markets in the Programme’s target districts. Specifically, SCF aims to improve the access of poor and middle income groups (including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)) to services such as credit, savings, leasing, insurance, and investment capital. SCF offers vital assistance to organisations seeking to capitalise on exciting financial services business opportunities now emerging in target districts of the Far Western and Mid-West Regions of Nepal.


A Challenge Fund issues a challenge to the private sector and other players to come-up with innovative and new products and services aimed at poor people and communities. A Challenge Fund can help develop effective partnerships between the private sectors and civil society with public sector approval. By establishing a pot of money governed by specific objectives, it is possible to encourage increased and profitable private sector activity in chosen areas. In this way the public sector gains from the substantial and additional private sector funding channelled into its programmes. At the same time, the private sector may gain because the risk sharing taken on by the Fund makes neglected projects viable and/or profitable.

For more information on the Sakchyam Challenge Fund, please contact: