Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Promoting Transitional Justice and Accountability in the Western Hemisphere (WHA).
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 accountability in WHA.
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:
Forensic assistance to address legacies of gross human rights violations (up to $500,000 available)
DRL seeks projects that will: build the capacity of local forensic anthropology organizations to collect and analyze DNA samples to identify victims of forced disappearances and other serious human rights abuses; address systemic issues of lack of access to justice by strengthening national capacity to investigate and prosecute human rights abuses and build bridges between organizations working to identify the missing, other civil society groups, and relevant prosecutorial and government bodies; and empower families of victims and survivors of forced disappearances, particularly among indigenous people and other vulnerable groups, to combat political and societal marginalization through effective political participation and exercise of civil and political rights, including through advocating for justice, truth and reparation for victims.
Competitive proposals will explain clearly how use of forensic anthropological tools contribute to institutionalizing respect for human rights, societal processes of reconciliation, systematically addressing legacies of violence, and promoting accountability and justice. Successful proposals will also demonstrate a clear understanding of the country context and operating environment, including existing U.S. Government funded programs working in the same or similar areas.
Proposals must address at least two of the following topics:
Projects to address transitional justice processes and lack of accountability for gross human rights violations (up to $400,000 available)
DRL seeks projects that will address transitional justice processes in the context of ongoing lack of justice and impunity in Latin American countries with a legacy of gross human rights violations. Successful proposals will provide an analysis of the root causes of these systemic issues, explain how the proposed programming approach addresses these root causes, as well as take a holistic view of justice and impunity, articulating how the approach will ultimately serve to restore the relationship between citizens and the state in countries where this legacy impacts individual and community participation in democratic processes.
Innovative approaches and projects that build on previous initiatives to increase their overall impact are encouraged, acknowledging that in many cases in Latin America, conflicts are decades old and societies face ongoing challenges related to their effects, as well as new obstacles. For example, in places where ongoing effects of trauma and divisions within communities impede victims from organizing effectively to hold governments accountable for human rights violations, approaches to reconciliation and victim healing are appropriate.
Successful proposals will demonstrate a clear understanding of the country context and operating environment, including existing U.S. Government funded programs working in the same or similar areas.DRL encourages applicants to focus on up to 3 of the following countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Proposals must address at least one or more of the following areas:
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).
Proposals that do not meet the requirements of the announcement and Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) may not be considered. Proposals that combine themes may be deemed technically ineligible. Proposals that request more than the award ceiling will be deemed technically ineligible. Award floor and ceiling for each program area are detailed in the descriptions above.
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 two  proposals.
Technically eligible submissions are those which: 1) arrive electronically via www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov by Friday, February 28th 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 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 more favorably 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 programmatic questions regarding the solicitation, please feel free to contact Riva Kantowitz at KantowitzRB@state.gov OR DRLProgramInfo@state.gov . For questions related to GrantSolutions, account management, password access, etc. please contact: GrantSolutions User Support | (202) 401-5282 or (866) 577-0771 | firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.