(AGENPARL) – sab 10 dicembre 2022 You are subscribed to Collected Releases for U.S. Department of State. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.
12/09/2022 07:18 PM EST
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Request for Statements of Interest: FY22 DRL Iraq Programs
Requested Objectives for Statements of Interest
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Statements of Interest (RSOI) outlining project concepts and capacity to manage programs in Iraq that will: strengthen effective governance; increase political participation and civic activism; promote fundamental freedoms, including religious freedom; support atrocity prevention, accountability, and reconciliation; and promote a community of practice in Iraq.
The SOI application is the first step in a two-part process. Applicants must first submit a SOI, which is a concise, 3-page concept note designed to clearly communicate a program idea and its objectives before the development of a full proposal application. The purpose of the SOI process is to allow applicants the opportunity to submit program ideas for DRL to evaluate prior to requiring the development of full proposal applications. Upon review of eligible SOIs, DRL will invite selected applicants to expand their ideas into full proposal applications.
REQUESTED STATEMENT OF INTEREST PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
U.S. human rights and democracy assistance in Iraq is designed to promote representative governance based on democratic principles, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms including religious freedom, and peaceful coexistence. It will also provide for the protection of and advocacy for the rights of youth, women, and religious and ethnic minorities, and others in vulnerable circumstances, as well as mitigate the impact of conflict on Iraqi communities.
Primary organizations may submit up to three (3) SOIs in response to this RSOI. There are five categories under which organizations may apply, detailed in full below. These categories are: 1) Effective Governance, Political Participation, and Civic Activism; 2) Fundamental Freedoms; 3) Atrocity Prevention, Accountability, and Reconciliation; 4) Religious Freedom; and 5) Community of Practice Development and Coordination. If your proposal addresses multiple categories, please designate a primary category that best reflects the project’s stated objectives. Also included is a standalone category for programming to support DRL’s community of practice. Please closely review the community of practice section for specific requirements of applications to this opportunity.
Competitive SOIs will include clear, detailed program strategies that illustrate the logic behind each program’s design, program-specific objectives, and the link between the program-specific objectives and one of DRL’s four categories outlined below. Applicants are encouraged to design programs to address a clearly articulated category. SOIs may contribute to more than one category, but it is strongly recommended that applicants keep SOIs as targeted as possible and clearly state the primary DRL category that the program addresses within the body of the SOI. Addressing more than one category will NOT make a SOI more competitive. Each SOI must also include the organization name, proposal title, budget amount, program length, geographic focus, and point of contact. Organizations may submit multiple SOIs within the same category.
Budget requests may range from a floor of $750,000 to a ceiling of $3,000,000. The period of performance may range between 18 and 48 months.
With the above in mind, DRL invites organizations to submit statements of interest for programs in the following areas:
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE, POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, AND CIVIC ACTIVISM
Programming should promote inclusive, transparent, and responsive governance in Iraq. DRL recognizes the intersectional nature of democracy, good governance, and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights. Applicants may consider program topics below or may propose other themes or topics that best respond to the Iraqi context. These include:
– Promote citizen participation in political and civil institutions and processes
– Promote principles of gender equity and equality per the Iraq’s National Action Plan and in line with the U.S. Women, Peace and Security Act;
– Support responsive and accountable civil and political institutions and leadership;
– Advance transparent, truthful, and principled governance and democratic processes;
– Support anticorruption measures and accountability for corrupt practices;
– Promote representative government at the national, governorate, and local levels;
– Foster participation by people in vulnerable circumstances, such as women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, and religious and ethnic minorities in political and civic processes;
– Expand, and improve the efficacy of, citizen and civil society participation in government and political reforms, including participation that directly supports legislative reforms that affect fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Programming should protect and advance fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press, expression, association, and peaceful assembly. Applicants may consider program topics below or may propose other themes and topics that best respond to the Iraqi context. These include:
– Advance protection of fundamental rights for vulnerable groups, including children, prisoners, religious and ethnic minorities, women, and persons with disabilities;
– Enable robust, sustainable, and ethical free and independent media;
– Promote an open and safe internet for all Iraqis;
– Promote inclusive responses to climate change and protection of Iraq’s natural resources and environment;
– Codify and enshrine protections of fundamental freedoms, including freedoms of the press, expression, association, and peaceful assembly;
– Support protection of worker rights and advancement of decent work principles;
– Sustain Iraqi civil society’s ability to engage safely and effectively on democracy and human rights.
ATROCITY PREVENTION, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND RECONCILIATION Programming should support inclusive efforts to protect human rights, reduce and prevent violence, promote accountability for human rights violations, and rebuild trust within and between communities and between citizens and the state.
Applicants may consider program topics below or may propose other themes and topics that best respond to the Iraqi context. These include:
– Support and empower survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) online and offline;
– Promote security sector reform that enables inclusive human rights and community participation;
– Support accountability for atrocities and human rights abuses committed in Iraq;
– Promote rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals and communities affected by conflict, including but not limited to those affected by the ISIS genocide; those affected by natural resources depletion or access to natural resources; and other factors associated with climate change and climate-related displacement.
– Establish or support mechanisms that prevent conflict and violence and promote social cohesion and reconciliation.
COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT AND COORDINATION
DRL seeks an organization to facilitate a community of practice of local and international organizations implementing democracy and human rights programs in Iraq, to include developing resources and convening periodic coordination meetings.
The successful applicant will coordinate with and build on existing DRL efforts to foster better coordination and complementarity among programs. The successful applicant will also coordinate various convenings of the community of practice, including an annual gathering of 20-40 DRL stakeholder organizations and partners. Activities should focus on the management of logistics for stakeholder specific meetings, as well as broader development of the community of practice. The successful applicant will be responsible for the logistics and coordination of the following meetings on a yearly basis, which must include robust local partner participation:
– One in-person stakeholder meeting for both international and local partners in a third country with USG participation (approximately forty participants).
– Two to four in-person partner meetings in Baghdad and Erbil (approximately 20 participants each).
– Several small-group, thematic-focused conference calls or in-person meetings.
DRL welcomes additional ideas for activities within the community of practice mechanism to continually improve and adapt coordination between the stakeholder organizations.
With the exception of the third-country stakeholder meeting, costs associated with other coordination activities should be minimal, utilizing existing office space and locations. Iraq-based partner meetings should involve only Iraq-based staff.
This programming stream must stand alone (i.e., it may not be one component of a larger program proposal). The target period of performance must be at least 24 months and the award ceiling is $1,000,000. Please note this is a different duration floor and award ceiling than the one listed elsewhere in this solicitation). If awarded, this project will be issued as a cooperative agreement.
OTHER PROGRAM INFORMATION:
All programs should aim to have impact that leads to reforms and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way. Programs should seek to include groups that can bring perspectives based on their religion, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation and gender identity. Programs should be demand-driven and locally led to the extent possible. DRL requires all programs to be non-discriminatory and expects implementers to include strategies for integration of individuals/organizations regardless of religion, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.
Applicants should conduct program activities throughout Iraq, including within the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR). Where security conditions allow, activities should take place within the beneficiaries’ communities. Travel outside of Iraq for civil society representatives in furtherance of a program’s objectives will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, programs proposing activities inside IDP/refugee camps or targeting Syrian refugees in Iraq will not be deemed competitive. Training or workshops may be used as a tool to a larger goal but should not be the main focus of a program. Projects for which assessments have already been completed that support targeted activities or interventions will be viewed favorably. Projects that have a strong academic, research, or conference focus will not be deemed competitive.
To maximize the impact and sustainability of the award(s) that result(s) from this RSOI/NOFO, DRL reserves the right to execute a non-competitive continuation amendment(s). Any non-competitive continuation is contingent on performance and availability of funds.A non-competitive continuation is not guaranteed; the Department of State reserves the right to exercise or not exercise the option to issue non-competitive continuation amendment(s).
Activities that are not typically considered competitive include, but are not limited, to:
– The provision of humanitarian assistance;
– English language instruction;
– Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;
– Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;
– External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;
– Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or are not necessary due to security concerns;
– Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;
– Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;
– Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.
Budget requests may range from a floor of $750,000 to a ceiling of $3,000,000. The period of performance may range between 18 and 48 months. Please note the exception listed to these amounts in the Community of Practice section above. Upon review of the SOI, DRL may request that the period of performance be extended to ensure safe and effective implementation of proposed program activities. Applicants must develop unique objectives that speak to the categories outlined in this request.
A proven ability to implement programs in Iraq must be demonstrated. All proposed program objectives must impact Iraqis inside the country. Working with local partners should be a central aspect of any proposed program. Proposed programs should also thoughtfully and specifically address the participation and integration of women, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minority communities, and other marginalized populations in all program elements, where relevant and possible. SOIs that utilize technology in safe and creative ways where possible to shape innovative program strategies will be viewed favorably.
DRL is conscious of the ever-changing security situation in Iraq. SOIs must realistically address the challenges and limitations the applicant would likely face implementing this program, both within the current context in Iraq and in anticipation of a further evolving landscape.
ISIS-Related Restrictions: ISIS is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). Additionally, other FTOs and/or SDGTs may have a presence in Iraq. U.S. law generally prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with or for the benefit of SDGTs, and the knowing provision of “material support or resources” to FTOs. DRL, in consultation with its implementing partner, will review proposed activities for purposes of ensuring compliance with U.S. law. DRL may require changes to implementer proposed activities and/or implementation of additional controls and risk mitigation measures.
Applicants invited to submit full proposals upon completion of the SOI process will also be requested to submit:
– A security plan in order to demonstrate situational awareness and preparedness.
– Contingency plans for proposed activities.
– Lessons learned from past programs in Iraq that demonstrate how the implementer has safely operated and responded to challenges, learning from both successes and failures, in the operating environment.
– A section in the proposal and budget to reflect appropriate resources and support for the psychosocial health of staff (i.e., activities can range from access to educational materials and training opportunities to counseling services to other contextually-relevant support).#Note1
– A gender analysis that clearly articulates how the program’s design will address the different considerations for men, women, boys, girls, and the marginalized groups within these populations throughout implementation.
Organizations submitting SOIs must meet the following criteria:
– Be a S.- or foreign-based non-profit/non-governmental organization (NGO), or a public international organization; or
– Be a private, public, or state institution of higher education; or
– Be a for-profit organization or business (noting there are restrictions on payment of fees and/or profits under grants and cooperative agreements, including those outlined in 48 CFR 30, “Cost Accounting Standards Administration”, and 48 CFR 31, “Contract Cost Principles and Procedures”);
– Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in-country partners, entities, and relevant stakeholders including private sector partner and NGOs; and,
– Have demonstrable experience administering successful and preferably similar programs. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations that do not have previous experience administering federal awards. These applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.
Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined SOI. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners.
DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited. Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process. Additionally, the Department of State prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Please see 2 CFR 200.307 for regulations regarding program income.
DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its programs and activities. DRL welcomes SOI submissions irrespective of race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status.
(AGENPARL) – sab 10 dicembre 2022 You are subscribed to Collected Releases for U.S. Department of State. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.