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FY 2008 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Programs Assisting Iraqi Refugee Populations


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March 17, 2008

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Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
Washington, DC

 

Deadline for Proposals: April 18

The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) values its continued cooperation with non-governmental organization (NGO) and international organization (IO) partners worldwide. PRM will accept proposals from NGOs and IOs that satisfy the guidelines below.

PRM is hereby soliciting proposals for humanitarian projects benefiting Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries with a sizable Iraqi refugee population. PRM will consider proposals from NGOs and IOs with proven track records in implementing refugee assistance programs. Higher consideration will be given to organizations that have well-established operations in the country of program activity.

Requirements and Priorities for Proposals

In fiscal year 2008, PRM will issue two separate funding announcements: the current announcement for new projects as described in this NGO Guideline, and a subsequent NGO Guideline to be issued later in the year continuing or expanding activities in health, education and humanitarian assistance programs in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

In general, PRM favors proposals that fill demonstrated critical gaps in protection and assistance programs and are coordinated with UNHCR’s activities. PRM expects that while a majority of beneficiaries of proposed programs will be Iraqi refugees, programs are encouraged to include a minority of vulnerable host-country populations. Programs are encouraged to prioritize the needs of women and girls and the most vulnerable groups among the Iraqi refugee population (eg., female-headed households, disabled or isolated refugees, victims of trafficking and/or gender-based violence etc.).

All NGOs and IOs proposing projects must be registered to operate in the country of the proposed activities or conclusively demonstrate they will be able to initiate operations within 3 months of an award. Regional proposals (covering one or more countries) will be considered but can not exceed $5 million while single country programs can not exceed $2 million per proposal.

All projects should integrate the appropriate SPHERE, Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) or other recognized international standards when establishing program indicators. Impact as well as input measures are strongly encouraged and all projects should be linked to any relevant UN-sponsored data collection mechanisms such as UNHCR’s Beneficiary Information System (BIS) in Jordan. Proposals demonstrating co-funding or having a strong plan establishing sustainability without continued PRM funding are preferred.

For this Announcement, PRM has identified 3 program areas for funding consideration:

1. psychosocial and mental health programs;

2. livelihood and skills building; and,

3. civil society capacity building

NGOs and IOs are encouraged to submit proposals addressing one, two or all three of the identified needs of Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan or other country with a sizable Iraqi refugee population. Programs can be country specific or include two or more countries.

Please review PRM’s FY 2008 Guidelines for Overseas Assistance for more information on PRM requirements for proposals, including measurable objectives and indicators. If PRM funds your project, the objectives and indicators selected will be formally written into a cooperative agreement. PRM will use these objectives and indicators to evaluate the impact of projects and expect that our partners will self-evaluate and report based on the same set of indicators. Impact as well as input measures are strongly encouraged. All projects should be linked to any relevant UN-sponsored data collection mechanisms such as UNHCR’s Beneficiary Information System (BIS) in Jordan. Proposals demonstrating co-funding or having a strong plan establishing sustainability without continued PRM funding are preferred.

Project proposals must be submitted via the grants.gov website no later than April 18, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. (EST) Proposals posted after these dates will not be considered.

 

Priority Activities for Funding Consideration

PRM will accept proposals for the following types of IO or NGO activities in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon or other countries with a sizable Iraqi refugee population. Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and organizations should not feel compelled to limit their proposed activities to these suggestions.

1. Psychosocial and Mental Health programs

Develop psychosocial and/or mental health screening and care programs that reach wide audiences. Community-based program models are preferable to small-scale intensive programs serving only a limited number of beneficiaries.

  • Developing or expanding community-based programs that provide psychosocial support activities for Iraqi adults and children.
  • Developing or expanding the capacity of host government, NGOs or local organizations to appropriately identify, assess and refer Iraqi refugees requiring supplementary mental health services.
  • Where existing mental health services are determined to not be adequate; enhancing, expanding or improving those services’ capacity to provide professional or appropriate mental health services to Iraqi refugees.
  • Developing and implementing appropriate mental health activities according to Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines.
  • Assessing stress-related psychological and mental health problems in national staff who are providing care for Iraqi refugees. Developing a psychosocial support program and provide services for international and national organizations in Jordan and Syria which are providing direct support to Iraqi refugees.

2. Livelihood and Skills Building

Maintain, expand, or develop the professional skill sets and capacities of Iraqi refugees that will contribute to rebuilding Iraq when they return to their home country or, where permitted, can help sustain themselves or their families in host countries until they can return home. Examples of activities that will be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening professional and paraprofessional skill sets and promoting professional links between Iraqi professional associations and institutions and Iraqi refugee populations.
  • Conducting professional and paraprofessional skills training (e.g., Continuing Medical Education or CME, teacher training, refresher courses, etc.).
  • Developing essential vocational and life skills among refugee populations. (e.g., electrical, mechanical, construction, sewing, small business skills, etc.)

· Providing landmine and unexploded ordnance or other awareness training to returning refugees.

3. Civil Society Capacity Building

Expand and enhance the capacity of governments, international and national NGOs, local civil society organizations and Iraqi and host communities to implement assistance and protection programs for Iraqi refugees in cooperation with international organizations. Examples of activities that will be considered, include, but are not limited to:

· Expanding or reinforcing existing protection and assistance coordination mechanisms.

  • Ensuring the appropriate and transparent sharing of relevant beneficiary or program needs information among NGOs and civil society institutions and other organizations assisting Iraqis.
  • Expanding cross-referral networks among programs assisting Iraqis.
  • Promoting the registration of Iraqi refugees with UNHCR.
  • Fostering dialogue between Iraqi refugee populations and local community leaders and associations, host government officials and/or UN, NGO and civil society service providers.
  • Encouraging increased volunteerism within the Iraqi refugee population by identifying and using professional and practical skills within the Iraqi refugee population to assist the community.
  • Raising awareness and understanding of Iraqi refugee legal rights and responsibilities in host countries.
  • Coordinating activities (cultural, sports, etc.) at community centers or other locations that foster constructive and meaningful interaction between Iraqi refugees and between Iraqi refugees and host community members. Such activities could assist in outreach and be used to promote linkages within the Iraqi refugee communities.

IOs and NGOs are encouraged to propose programs that include a mix of elements from the above categories. PRM will consider a broad range of activities, but priority will be given to programs that include one or more of the elements from the above categories.

 

Submitting Proposals

Guidance

PRM will not fund projects beyond a twelve-month period. In funding a project for one year, PRM makes no representation that it will continue to fund the project in successive years.

Please keep in mind that the budget for the proposed program should identify not only the funding request to PRM, but also those portions of the program to be funded by the NGO itself, UNHCR or other UN/IO agencies, USAID, or other donors. Proposals that receive co-funding are strongly encouraged.

PRM will accept proposals from any organization that is able to satisfy the requirements of these guidelines although, given our budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

  • A working relationship with UNHCR and/or UNHCR or other UN support for the proposed activities and/or overall country program;
  • A proven track record in providing assistance to refugee populations and an established presence in the countries for which they are submitting proposals;
  • Appropriate targeting of beneficiaries in coordination with UNHCR and other relevant organizations, as well as the relevant government(s).
  • A strong monitoring and evaluation plan with clear evaluation criteria that measures the impact of program activities.

NGOs that have never received PRM funding must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government, including submission of an audit report performed by independent public accountants in accordance with U.S. Government Auditing Standards before they will be eligible to receive PRM funding. Proposals inconsistent with the guidance herein may be rejected without review.

Application Process

See “How to Apply” section on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights below:

1. Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should sign up well in advance of the April 18, 2008 deadline as it can take up to two weeks for a registration to be finalized (and sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers).

2. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov at least one week before the April 18, 2008, deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in the application not being considered.

3. Applicants who are unable to submit via Grants.gov due to technical difficulties must contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov at least one week prior to the April 18 deadline to secure a trouble ticket. At least one week prior to the deadline and immediately upon receipt of the grants.gov trouble ticket, applicants should contact one of the two program officers listed below to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate. Please note that e-mail in lieu of submissions via Grants.gov will NOT be accepted.

4. Proposal formatting and content: Please refer to the FY 2008 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance available at http://www.state.gov/j/prm/funding/181444.htm. These guidelines are also available on Grants.gov in the “How to Apply” section.

 

For any questions, please contact:

Jay Zimmerman

Program Officer

(202) 663-3442

ZimmermanEJ@state.gov

Adrienne Nutzman

Program Officer

(202) 663-1037

NutzmanAB@state.gov

Office of Assistance for Asia and the Near East

Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration

U.S. Department of State

Fax: (202) 663-1061

 

Proposal Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

1) To what extent does the proposal meet one or more of the priorities stated in the guidelines;

2) Does the organization have a proven track record (capacity, past performance, and experience) in the country for which they are submitting the proposal;

3) Does the applicant’s implementation plan appear likely to accomplish the objectives stated in the proposal within the given time period – e.g., clear, measurable, and achievable objectives and indicators focusing on impact; well-conceived monitoring/troubleshooting plan; etc.;

4) Is the budget appropriate for meeting the objectives listed and does it accurately reflect activities and capacity – e .g., appropriate staffing levels, appropriate balance between costs of running/monitoring the program vs. direct assistance to beneficiaries; cost-sharing;

5) Is the project well coordinated with the host government, other NGO implementing partners, UNHCR, and/or other IOs involved? Does the program have a clear strategy for handover or sustainable continuation?

PRM will conduct a review of all proposal submissions by convening proposal review teams to evaluate proposals based on the above evaluation criteria and PRM’s priorities in the context of available funding.

In order to provide NGOs and IOs with timely feedback, PRM will inform applicants of a panel’s decision to recommend or not recommend funding proposed activities, and may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will follow up with formal notifications to applicants of final decisions taken by Bureau management.



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