Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law for the Lower Mekong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Colombia, and South-South Cooperation.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that promote democracy, human rights, and rule of law in the Lower Mekong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Colombia, and South-South Cooperation.
PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov immediately in order to obtain a username and password to submit your application. For more information, please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), updated in November 2012, available at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.
REQUESTED PROPOSAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues:
Lower Mekong (Approximately $500,000): DRL seeks program proposals that build the capacity and raise the awareness of marginalized populations, with a particular focus on migrant workers, and allows them to enjoy fundamental labor rights. Target countries might include Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam. Well developed proposals may:
Vietnam (Approximately $300,000): DRL requests proposals for a program in Vietnam to promote the following internationally recognized worker rights: freedom of association and collective bargaining. Well-developed proposals will include any or all of the following groups: disabled persons, women, youth, migrants, and/or informal sector workers. Well-developed proposals may:
Malaysia (Approximately $200,000): DRL requests proposals for a program in Malaysia that addresses the situation of migrant workers and leverages labor law related to migrants. Competitive proposals may:
Bangladesh (Approximately $500,000): DRL seeks proposals to strengthen the capacity of independent organizations representing workers in Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) sector. Bangladesh is second only to China as the world leading exporter of readymade garments, yet workers receive the lowest industry wages anywhere in the world. Women comprise about 80 percent of the roughly 4 million RMG sector workers. Recent high-profile cases, including the November 2012 fire that killed 112 workers in the Tazreen factory as well as the murder of Aminul Islam, underscore the extent to which workers face enormous difficulty in exercising their basic rights. Proposals should address some of the following:
Competitive and well developed proposals will:
Colombia (Approximately $500,000): The proposed program should help build and strengthen tripartite social dialogue processes and related institutes in Colombia, with a particular focus on enhancing social dialogue. The program should support the goals of the 2011 Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights and work directly with tripartite partners (government, business, labor), while closely coordinating with current USG programs in Colombia. Social dialogues should take into account political, institutional, and technical aspects and should also be individually tailored to a variety of levels: national, sub-regional, and/or sectoral. In order to contribute to the creation of a culture of trust and ensure sustainability after the project ends, proposed activities should strengthen tripartite social dialogue institutions and may include (but are not limited to): the dissemination of promising practices among regions and sectors; the organization of planning meetings with participants prior to the implementation of capacity building initiatives in order to establish buy-in; and the utilization of a training-of-trainers approach to provide technical assistance and develop knowledge of core labor rights. The proposed program should include a component involving women and youth. Programs that support Afro-Colombian workers and leverage current labor programs in Colombia are encouraged.
South-South Cooperation (Approximately $350,000): Civil society organizations in developing countries have expertise that is often not present in U.S. or international NGOs. To take of advantage of this often underutilized expertise, DRL requests proposals for a triangular cooperation program to promote workers’ rights. Through knowledge sharing and technical assistance, the project should broaden the reach of innovative approaches to workers’ rights. Activities should focus on promoting the rights of migrant workers OR organizing workers in the informal economy. Target regions are Asia and Africa, inclusive of North Africa. Proposals should limit the scope of activities to either South-South cooperation around a particular sector or country and/or South-South knowledge sharing around a specific objective. Competitive applications will demonstrate a sound plan for achieving partner buy-in and the ability to facilitate substantive South-South networking. Applicants currently engaged in South-South cooperation programs should explain how additional funding will complement or expand ongoing activities. DRL will not select proposals centered on one-time conferences or a series of meetings.
DEADLINE AND TECHNICAL ELIGIBILITY
Please refer directly to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), updated in November 2012, available at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.
Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted at any time. Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in this document and the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI).
To ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Committee will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.
Technically eligible submissions are those which: 1) arrive electronically via www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov by Monday, February 18, 2013 before 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST); 2) heed all instructions contained in the solicitation document and Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), including length and completeness of submission; and 3) do not violate any of the guidelines stated in the solicitation and this document.
It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that proposals have been received by www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov in their entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.
Once the Request for Proposals deadline has passed, U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas may not discuss competing proposals with applicants until the review process has been completed.
NOTE: In order to process final awards, approved applicants will need to register with www.grantsolutions.gov.
The Bureau anticipates awarding grants in the third quarter of FY 2013 (according the USG fiscal year calendar). Programs that leverage resources from funds internal to the organization or other sources, such as public-private partnerships, will be highly considered. Projects that have a strong academic, research, conference, or dialogue focus will not be deemed competitive. DRL strongly discourages health, technology, or science- related projects unless they have an explicit component related to the requested program objectives listed above. Projects that focus on commercial law or economic development will be rated as non-competitive. Cost sharing is strongly encouraged, and cost sharing contributions should be outlined in the proposal budget and budget narrative.
DRL will not consider proposals that reflect any type of support, for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization, whether or not elected members of government.
The information in this solicitation is binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the solicitation does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program evaluation requirements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Should you have any questions regarding the solicitation, please feel free to contact
Mitchell Alva at AlvaMG@state.gov, Marissa Brescia at BresciaMA@state.gov, or DRLProgramInfo@state.gov. Once the deadline has passed, State Department officials and staff—both in the Bureau and at embassies overseas—may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.