The general application process is as follows:

Initial Inquiry

As a first step, an applicant sends an inquiry—typically an email or letter no longer than one page—with a brief project proposal summary to the Program Management Unit (PMU). The inquiry should contain the following basic information:

1. Basic Information

  1. Name of the recipient agency or entity
  2. Name and title/position of the individual making the request from recipient agency
  3. Date of request
  4. Has the request been discussed with or developed initially by World Bank or IMF staff

2. What are the main objectives of the proposed technical assistance?

3. What are the specific issues to be addressed within those main objectives?

Describe briefly and clearly the institutional, legal, capacity or other constraints to be addressed by the recipient through the project.

4. What activities exactly is FIRST being asked to fund?

5. What short- and long-term results can be expected and how do they relate to the objectives in point 2 above?

Identify expected tangible and verifiable short-term outputs (reports, knowledge-sharing forums, manuals, etc.) as well as longer-term outcomes/impacts? Identify, in quantitative terms if applicable, the measurable indicators of the project’s impact.

6. What is the recipient agency’s role in the area to be addressed by the technical assistance?

Indicate (a) to what extent the recipient is responsible for, and in the position to coordinate the activities under the project and implement the expected changes proposed, (b) other government agencies that will be involved and (c) the nature and legal basis of the cooperation between the recipient and other stakeholders involved in implementation.

7. Financial sector development context: is the project part of a broader strategy?

Briefly summarize the reform strategy, legislative and/or capacity building agenda to which the project will contribute i.e. analytical underpinnings. If available, indicate articles of law, resolutions, strategies and other such documents which indicate the commitment of the recipient, the government and other stakeholders.

8. Are there any efforts being undertaken by the recipient, other government agencies, domestic stakeholders, bilateral or multilateral development partners to address the issues identified in point I.3 above? Are other sources of funding available?

9. Which governmental or other entities exercising oversight of the recipient support this inquiry?

Indicate whether the governmental or other entities exercising oversight of the recipient support this inquiry. Indicate the person, including title and agency, whose support may be critical for achieving project objectives.


The PMU reviews the initial inquiry and determines whether the proposal is generally eligible for FIRST funding. If deemed eligible, the PMU assists the recipient to develop and submit a full project application.

Submission of Project Application

The recipient submits a project application to the PMU. A cover letter from the supporting organization is required to accompany the project application.


The inquiry forms are available for downloading:

The proposal forms are available for downloading: