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Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Request for Proposals for Human Rights and Democracy Programs in Pakistan


May 30, 2013

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Note: The deadline for this Request for Proposals has passed.

Department of State

Public Notice

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law for Pakistan.

SUMMARY

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 Pakistan.

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/nov_2012/index.htm.

REQUESTED PROPOSAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues:

Access to Justice (approximately $3 million)

DRL’s objective is to facilitate access to justice for vulnerable populations. The bureau seeks proposals that will 1) develop and implement a multi-pronged public awareness campaign that increases citizens’ knowledge of the law and available protections of their fundamental freedoms as defined below; and 2) establish or strengthen the capacity of existing legal aid centers that provide legal services to those whose rights have been violated. Legal aid centers may be permanent or mobile depending on the context of the region being served.

Fundamental freedoms are defined as freedoms of association, assembly, expression, and religion. Competitive proposals will identify key regions within the country where such programming will be of most value and explore partnerships to develop the capacity of legal professionals in the relevant regions. The program implementation timeline should be at least two years and key program staff should have a permanent presence in-country.

Elected Leaders Accountability Initiative (approximately $1 million)

The bureau’s objective is to ensure the participation of all citizens in democratic processes by promoting enhanced accountability of elected officials to their constituencies to be more effective parliamentarians. DRL seeks proposals that identify and implement tools which will allow citizens to hold their provincial and national leaders accountable for deliverables promised in campaign platforms and election campaigns. Project activities should also enhance citizens’ ability to communicate with their elected leaders and advocate for pressing issues within their communities. Competitive proposals will use multiple mediums to enhance communication among the various stakeholders. The program implementation timeline should be at least two years and key program staff should have a permanent presence in-country.

Promoting Tolerance (approximately $1 million)

DRL seeks proposals to promote mutual respect, tolerance and interreligious understanding among both teachers and students in the public school system. Examples of possible activities could include:

• Working with educational authorities and other relevant ministries to incorporate into the curriculum human rights principles emphasizing tolerance, mutual respect and the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including freedoms of religion, assembly, association, and expression for all persons equally;

• Implementing revisions to educational materials including ensuring that textbooks, teacher training materials and other educational materials promote tolerance and interreligious understanding, and working toward removing intolerant or discriminatory language and themes; and

• Developing/implementing teacher trainings that focus on familiarization with international human rights principles; developing critical and independent thinking skills for teachers, students and parents; outlining the importance of promoting religious and cultural understanding in schools.

Interfaith Initiative (approximately $300,000)

DRL seeks programs to promote mutual respect, tolerance and interreligious understanding among religious leaders and youth in Pakistan. Activities should find ways to link religious leaders, women, and youth to promote messages of peace and tolerance within their communities and across sectarian and religious divides. For example, the program could find ways to harness the power of social media to counter intolerance and create an open and safe forum for religious leaders, women, and youth discuss religious issues that affect their communities. Alternatively, the program could involve the establishment of community projects that emphasize interreligious collaboration/understanding.

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 Pakistan and how the proposed program would complement ongoing efforts. Letters of support from potential subgrantees or program beneficiaries are recommended.

APPLICANT/ORGANIZATION CRITERIA

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 internationally, 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, 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.

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/nov_2012/index.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, July 1, 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.

An organization may submit no more than three (3) proposals. Proposals that combine themes may be deemed technically ineligible. Proposals that request less than the award floor ($300,000) or more than the award ceiling (as listed above) will be deemed technically ineligible.

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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Bureau anticipates awarding grants in the fourth 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.

This request for proposals will appear on www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov and DRL’s website, www.state.gov/j/drl.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Should you have any questions, please contact Rozina Damanwala at DamanwalaRR@state.gov or Jennifer Cohen at CohenJM2@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.



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