Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the Social Investment Fund a bank?
A: SIF is not a lending institution. It is a statutory body established by law in l996. SIF is the implementing agency for projects undertaken by the Government to address the basic needs of the poor in an efficient, transparent and ethnically sensitive manner.
Q: Can I get individual financial assistance from SIF?
A: SIF projects are implemented in a manner that uses a community-approach and as a rule of thumb SIF does not offer direct financial assistance to anyone. For example, SIF would implement a project for the training of new tour guides or dive masters using a third party as the training institution.
Q: Is SIF operated by the Government?
A: SIF is governed by a Board of Directors, who have the mandate to:
Approve the procedures and criteria for project and programme selection, and the project and programmes submitted for its consideration in accordance with;
Approve the policies regarding the management of projects, programmes and activities, and financial regulations and its tendering, procurement and disbursement procedures;
Approve the budget;
Approve the rules prescribing the procedures of, including the quorum for, the meetings of the Fund, and the manner in which it will transact its business.
Q: Is SIF related to the Social Security Board?
A: The Social Security Board and the Social Investment Fund are two separate and unrelated institutions with a defined mission and set of objectives.
Q: Does SIF built street and drains in a village or town?
A: In general, SIF does not implement projects which aim to establish new streets and drains. This is the responsibility of the respective municipal authorities. SIF however, does implement infrastructure projects, which have a major impact on a respective community. For example, SIF would finance a major drainage project if such drain passes through the heart of a town or village and if the construction of such facility would protect the community against major flooding.
Q: What are the areas in which SIF offers assistance for projects?
A: SIF implements projects that have an impact on the community in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation, economic infrastructure, organizational strengthening, micro-credit program and social services.
Q: Does SIF finance multi-million dollar projects?
A: SIF typically does not finance projects in excess of Bz $1.0 Million. All projects must be supported by a community-based organization, even if it is submitted in co-ordination with another institution.
Q: If I am small contractor, can I get one of SIF contracts?
A: All contractors wishing to enter into a work contract agreement with SIF, must first be registered with the institution. SIF reserves the right to verify all information supplied in the contract registration form, including the capability of the applicant. Contract registration and project application forms are available on this website or from the main office in Belmopan or our district offices in Corozal Town and Punta Gorda.
Q: How are SIF contracts awarded?
A: All contracts are awarded by competitive bidding in a transparent and honest manner using established contract or procurement procedures. All contracts above $200,000 must be advertised through the local newspapers where qualified contractors are invited to submit their bids. Contracts below $200,000 may be awarded through bids by invitation. Quotations from three separate contractors must be obtained. All bids are professionally evaluated by a Project Evaluation Committee, who recommends the best bidder to the Executive Director, who in turn makes a final decision. All contractors recommended for a project must be approved by the respecting financing agency before a contract is awarded.
Q: Who finances SIF projects and budget?
A: Financing of SIF operations is secured through negotiations between the Government of Belize, spearheaded by the Ministry of Economic Development, and international agencies. Contributions from the Government of Belize are included in the yearly national budgets under Cap II and Cap III. International sources of funding for SIF include the IBRD/World Bank, the CDB/BNTF, UK-DFID and E.U.
Q: How does SIF decide where to implement a project?
A: SIF projects are implemented on the basis of a request made by a community provided that funds are available for the execution of such project. Project requests can be made by members of or a group in a respective community. A letter or a completed project request form must be submitted to the Executive Director. In order to implement its work plan effectively, SIF has divided the entire country into regions. The Northern Region, includes the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. The Central Region includes the Belize and Cayo Districts and the Southern Region includes the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. A Technical Officer and a Field Officer are assigned to each region. In addition to its main office in Belmopan, SIF also has district offices in Corozal and Punta Gorda Towns.