Our activities abroad > Orange Knowledge Programme (overview) > Institutional Collaboration Projects


The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now officially extended the Orange Knowledge Programme until 31 December 2024. As announced in a Programme Update. There are no new opportunities for Institutional Collaboration Projects, please note that ongoing projects and training initiatives within the Orange Knowledge Programme will not be extended as a result of the new end date.

The grants are awarded to projects that are in line with the priorities for development cooperation in the country. Priority themes are specified for every call.

Why participate?

The Orange Knowledge Programme gives Dutch vocational and higher education institutions the opportunity to run a project in developing countries in their area of expertise. It gives organisations from OKP countries the opportunity to work with Dutch knowledge institutions on priority themes.

This enables staff from both parties to learn from working with project partners across the world. Local communities and students in OKP countries profit from this new knowledge.

The programme covers most of the costs for running the project; for some countries co-funding is required.

Who can participate?

The projects need to be a joint effort between a Dutch partner and an organisation from an OKP full-programme country.

The Dutch partner needs to:

  • be registered at the Dutch Chambre of Commerce (KvK) as a vocational or higher education institution;
  • have sufficient capacity to responsibly manage projects and funds, as demonstrated by a Checklist for Organisational Capacity Assessment (COCA);
  • have signed the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education or Vocational Education and Training;
  • be registered in the Crebo or CROHO register of vocational or higher education institutions acknowledged by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, or provide a master's programme that is registered in the CROHO register.

Please note: make sure you submit the COCA form well before applying for a proposal. You can submit a COCA form throughout the year. An approved COCA is valid for a maximum of 1 year and can be used for different applications.

The other partner organisation needs to be:

These can also be ministries, national commissions or non-governmental organisations.

You can also apply as a consortium consisting of 1 or more Dutch partners with 1 or more partners in an OKP full-programme country. You need to then assign 1 of the partners as the lead for the Dutch side and 1 as the lead for the other country.

Grant obligations

Before applying in result to a call, please consult the grant obligations and conditions for projects:

Grant obligations and conditions institutional collaboration projects OKP‌ (396.2 kB)

More information following our Programme Update of 17th of June:

- Example cases GOC (123.76 kB)

- Explanation GOC (123.76 kB)

In the video below you can see an example of institutional collaboration between Dutch and foreign knowledge institutes:

Application process

You can only apply for funding in response to a specific call for proposals. You can find these on our Open calls page.

If you see a call that you want to respond to, you need to find 1 or more project partners. To find the right partners, see the details above under ‘Who can participate'. Also, check the tips below under 'How to find a Dutch partner'.

Together with the partner, you need to prepare a proposal that meets the criteria specified in the call document.

Make sure you submit the proposal and all the additional documents required before the call deadline.

We first of all check all applications for the call as follows:

  • Does the project lead have sufficient capacity to operate within the regulations of the government in the specified country?
  • Does the project have a minimum duration of 1 year and will it be finalised by 31 Dec 2021?
  • Does the budget for the proposal not exceed the maximum amount specified in the call document?
  • If required, has the appropriate co-funding been agreed?
  • Have all other criteria in the specific call document been met?

All proposals that meet the above minimum criteria are then assessed on:

  • quality of the partnership;
  • project relevance;
  • project approach and design;
  • project management;
  • technical quality of the application.

You can find details on the scoring questions and the maximum number of points awarded for each area in the assessment explanation:

Application assessment explanation institutional collaboration projects OKP‌ (149.53 kB)

For each of these areas the proposal is awarded a certain score. The higher the total score, the better the chance of success for the proposal.

Time schedule

You can find a time schedule of closing dates, and the date when the results are communicated in the documentation for the individual call.

How to write a strong proposal

Keep the following tips in mind for writing a strong project proposal:

  • find a partner that has experience in the priority theme as specified in the call;
  • make sure the proposal is aligned with the Country Plan of Implementation and the call document;
  • make sure the activities in your proposal have value for money compared to the budget;
  • include details on co-funding, in cash or in kind, as this is encouraged;
  • try to focus on cross-cutting themes such as: gender, inclusion of marginalised groups, employability, private sector development and environmental sustainability.

How to find a Dutch partner organisation

If you are in one of the Orange Knowledge partner countries and see a call for a project proposal you need one or more Dutch project partners to submit the proposal together. Here are some tips to find a partner:

  • Check the study in NL website to see a list of programmes offered by Dutch education institutions that are involved in the Orange Knowledge programme. You can contact one of these institutions to see if they are interested in working with you on a project.
  • Check the results of previous projects that were granted funding. You can see the organisations involved in these projects:

Granted institutional projects - Overview - Orange Knowledge (261.42 kB)

You can also contact the Dutch embassy in your country to ask for more information on Dutch organisations that are already active in your country.

Still not found a good partner?

If you are having trouble finding an institution to partner with, send your specific request to our Facebook or Twitter account (Nuffic Global Development), so we can share it on social media. Please tell us:

  • the country you are from;
  • that you are looking for an education institution for collaboration;
  • the call you are interested in.

Partner Identification Rounds

Nuffic may publish an invitation for expressions of interest in order to identify organisations in one of the full programme countries with specific capacity demands. We call these invitations Partner Identification Rounds (or PIRs). Check our Open calls page for these Partner Identification Rounds.

Disclaimer: While PIRs are listed on the Open calls page, they do not qualify as calls, but as invitations for expressions of interest.

Code of Conduct

When we implement our programme, we acknowledge our Code of Conduct. In our Code of Conduct we describe how we put our mission and values into practice every day. We explain the professional and ethical behaviour that is expected from all of us and those who handle OKP Institutional Collaboration Projects.

Read our Code of Conduct

How to submit a report


If your project is granted funding, you are committed to implementing the project and reporting on its progress and outcomes. To give you some guidance, we have gathered all information you need to submit a report and, if applicable, close your OKP institutional collaboration project.

How to submit a report

In addition, these documents may be applicable to you.

Guidelines mid-term evaluation Institutional Collaboration Projects‌ (95.80 kB)

Are you submitting a mid-term evaluation? This document tells you how to do so.

Form for change of team members or contact details (64.35 kB)

Use this format to inform us if there is a change in the management team members or contact details.

Format to report on changes in outcomes and outputs‌ (85.40 kB)

Use this format to inform us if:

  • the outcomes or outputs of your project will not be (fully) achieved;
  • you cannot achieve them on time;
  • you cannot fulfil one of the other obligations stated in the grant obligations and conditions.

Share your stories

We encourage you to to promote your Orange Knowledge project! We have defined some communication guidelines to assist you:

Communication material Orange Knowledge Programme