printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Expanding Labor Rights in Burma, Vietnam, and Sub-Saharan Africa


January 16, 2014

Share

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: Expanding Labor Rights in Burma, Vietnam, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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 Burma, Vietnam and Sub-Saharan Africa.

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:

Burma (Approximately $700,000 available): DRL requests proposals for a program in Burma that promotes internationally recognized labor rights and inclusive economic growth by strengthening the organizational and representational capacity of trade unions and non-governmental organizations promoting labor rights. DRL seeks proposals that focus on increasing the representative capacity of unions in Burma, promoting workers’ rights and promoting or enhancing international labor standards. Well-developed proposals will include any or all of the following groups: disabled persons, women, youth, and migrants. Specifically, DRL seeks proposals with program activities that will:

  • Improve the internal democratic procedures, organizational management and leadership skills, recruitment practices, coalition development, bargaining power, and communication skills of trade unions;
  • Increase the capacity of trade unions and local labor civil society organizations to develop solutions to labor challenges in Burma, and present their positions to businesses, government, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), donors, local communities, national audiences, and other stakeholders;
  • Build the capacity of local civil society organizations, including trade unions, to collaborate with IFIs and businesses on developing and strengthening policies that promote inclusive economic growth and decent work, leveraging investment reporting requirements for corporations, and facilitating opportunities for collaboration;
  • Leverage upcoming political opportunities, including 1) Burma’s role as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Chair in 2014 to foster domestic and regional policies that promote workers’ rights and strengthen inclusive economic and social development; 2) make labor and inclusive economic growth campaign issues for the 2015 elections.

Competitive proposals will: 1) foster linkages between unions, civil society organizations and relevant Government of Burma (GoB) officials; 2) foster linkages between workers and activists in the core and peripheral areas of the country, and activists representing a variety of issues; 3) conduct activities inside Burma and from its borders for a program that reaches a variety of ethnic groups in Burma; 4) incorporate women in training and leadership development; 5) demonstrate flexibility by discussing how proposed activities can expand or contract under changing political conditions; 6) prioritize working with a variety of local actors, while identifying how the program will not overwhelm existing absorptive capacity of organizations; 7) create an output- and outcome-driven program with a strong monitoring and evaluation plan; 8) outline how GoB officials identified to participate in project activities will be selected and vetted against the Specially Designated Nationals list; and 9) discuss how this proposal complements or expands upon existing projects.

Vietnam (Approximately $500,000 available): DRL requests proposals for a program in Vietnam to promote the internationally recognized worker rights of 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. DRL seeks proposals with program activities that will:

  • Support and reinforce initiatives to assist Vietnam in implementing its labor code and union law to more fully meet international labor standards;
  • Advance trade union leadership opportunities for vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on women;
  • Enhance trade unions and trade union officers’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiating skills, while also enhancing their capability to track the agreements’ effectiveness;
  • Empower workers to directly elect worker representatives independent of workplace management;
  • Assist grass-roots labor unions and labor organizations to effectively promote the interests of their members;
  • Establish or support coordination and partnerships with local trade unions or trade union confederations;
  • Provide technical assistance for trade union capacity building, with a focus on incorporating gender equality issues in union activities;
  • Conduct oversight activities so that trade unions can monitor implementation of the labor law and propose recommendations when needed;
  • Discuss how proposed activities complement or expand upon existing projects, and how this project differentiates itself from work funded by other donors.

Sub-Saharan Africa (Approximately $500,000 available): DRL requests proposals that promote adherence to international labor standards and strengthen corporate social responsibility in one or more countries where there is significant foreign investment in extractives, agriculture, construction, and resource product processing and where there is willingness on the part of government and civil society to address labor rights issues in those investments. Well-developed proposals will include any or all of the following groups: disabled persons, women, youth, migrants, and/or informal sector workers. Proposals should demonstrate flexibility by discussing how proposed activities can expand or contract under changing security and political conditions. DRL seeks proposals with program activities that will:

  • Build the capacity of local and national governments to enforce labor laws and regulations of foreign-invested enterprises, particularly in extractive, agricultural, construction, and resource product processing sectors;
  • Help ensure compliance by foreign-invested enterprises on regulations regarding wages, work safety, and freedom of association;
  • Build the capacity of unions and worker associations in foreign-invested enterprises to monitor enforcement and implementation of labor laws and to recognize their labor rights;
  • Build the capacity of unions and worker associations in foreign-invested enterprises to engage in bipartite and tripartite social dialogue, engage in dispute resolution and conflict management, and better represent the interests of its members;
  • Track and measure the effectiveness of the collective bargaining and/or other agreements reached under the project;
  • Include an impact assessment of the effect of foreign-invested enterprises on workers’ rights, although this should not utilize more than 5% of total budget costs.

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).

Should an application be selected, the applicant should be prepared to start project activities no later than July 2014. Project duration is to be determined by the applicant.

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 February 11, 2014 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Bureau anticipates awarding grants in the third quarter of FY 2014 (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 regarding the solicitation, please feel free to contact

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.



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.