Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights, and Citizen Engagement in Ukraine.
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 citizen engagement in Ukraine.
PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov as soon as possible 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:
Fostering Civic Engagement in Ukraine (approximately $500,000 available): DRL’s objective is to support the role of civil society in policy formation and enhancing accountability and responsiveness of government officials in Ukraine. The program will support civil society to foster an inclusive and participatory democratic system of government and hold politicians and public officials more accountable to constituents. In order to foster more unity among civil society efforts, the program should support post-election advocacy on areas of policy formation and implementation such as ongoing efforts related to elections and election law reform; freedom of assembly legislation; and/or reversing legislation restricting the rights of vulnerable or marginalized populations. The program should also examine how well existing laws are implemented and help civil society ensure that citizens can use official institutions and mechanisms to exercise their rights. Program activities could include, but are not limited to: support for activities to encourage debate and advocacy by citizens and civil society organizations, small grants to civil society for monitoring and/or advocacy activities, creating regional civil society partnerships to increase civil society unity on advocacy efforts, or connecting Ukrainian civil society with their counterparts in one or more countries in the region through NGO-to-NGO exchanges and mentoring in order to take advantage of shared post-communist and transition experiences. Successful proposals will demonstrate a strong knowledge of civil society in Ukraine and an established ability to work with regional civil society groups.
Unless otherwise noted, all proposed programs must be for at least 18 months in duration. Proposals must demonstrate awareness of similar USG-supported programming in Ukraine and how the proposed program would complement ongoing efforts.
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.
An organization may submit no more than one  proposal.
Technically eligible submissions are those which: 1) arrive electronically via www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov by Monday, April 22, 2013 before 11:59 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.
NOTE: In order to process final awards, approved applicants will need to register with www.grantsolutions.gov.
Organizations submitting proposals must meet the following criteria:
* Be a U.S. non-profit organization meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c) (3) or a comparable organization headquartered outside of the United States, or an international organization.
* Have demonstrated experience administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards. These applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.
* Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and non-governmental organizations.
* Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.
* An OMB policy directive published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 27, 2003, requires that all organizations applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements must provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for all Federal grants or cooperative agreements in or after October 1, 2003. Please reference: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/062703_grant_identifier.pdf for the complete OMB policy directive.
* All organizations applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements will need to be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) (http://www.sam.gov/). Your organization's Duns and Bradstreet DUNS number (www.dnb.com) is needed to complete this process. After your organization registers with the CCR, you may obtain a username and password after 3-5 business days.
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
Erin Spitzer at SpitzerEM@state.gov and 202-261-8029. 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.