January 16, 2013

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: Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Prevention Initiative

SUMMARY

The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals from organizations seeking to provide emergency assistance and protection to survivors of gender-based violence, including harmful traditional practices, as well as those under credible threat of imminent attack, and/or organizations that may need protection.

Background:

In response two executive orders from President Obama, the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) propose a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Emergency Response and Prevention Initiative. This emergency response program will address the immediate security needs of survivors of severe Gender-Based Violence, as well as individuals under credible threat of imminent attack due to their gender.

The Obama Administration has put women and girls at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. Promoting and protecting the human rights of populations at risk of gender based violence is essential to building stable, democratic societies; supporting open and accountable governance; furthering international peace and security; growing vibrant market economies; and addressing pressing health and education challenges. Regardless of the form that gender-based violence takes, it is a human rights violation or abuse, a public health challenge, and a barrier to civic, social, political, and economic participation. The Initiative directly addresses the priority to expand USG programming in this area, which is objective four of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. The Initiative will focus on two of the five main policy pillars of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, namely, protection from violence and access to relief and recovery.

Policy References and Resources:

The U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/196468.pdf

The U.S. National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/email-files/US_National_Action_Plan_on_Women_Peace_and_Security.pdf

President Obama’s Executive Order 13623 on Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/10/executive-order-preventing-and-responding-violence-against-women-and-gir

President Obama’s Executive Order instituting the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/19/executive-order-instituting-national-action-plan-women-peace-and-securit

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 their proposal online. Please see the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm

REQUESTED PROPOSAL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Prevention Initiative

(Approximately $500,000 for first year)

DRL invites organizations to submit proposals to manage a Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Emergency Response and Prevention Initiative to provide emergency response mechanisms for survivors of gender-based violence, as well as those under credible threat of imminent attack due to their gender. This Initiative would primarily provide emergency assistance and protection for survivors of gender-based violence, including harmful traditional practices.

Definitions and examples of Gender-based violence:

“Gender-based violence” is understood as violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex, gender identity, or perceived adherence to socially defined norms of masculinity and femininity. It includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse; threats; coercion; arbitrary deprivation of liberty; and economic deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life. Gender-based violence takes on many forms including female infanticide; child sexual abuse; sex trafficking and forced labor; sexual coercion and abuse; neglect; forced suicide; domestic violence; elder abuse; and harmful traditional practices such as early and forced marriage, so-called “honor” killings, and female genital mutilation/cutting.

The Initiative will also provide short-term assistance to civil society organizations with linked emergency assistance to either individuals or communities, including additional support such as enhanced security and measures to prevent future threats or attack. Prevention efforts will also include short-term assistance to civil society organizations who are leading efforts to raise awareness about acute and imminent GBV threats confronting their communities, including the cases of individuals under immediate threat. The Initiative will also provide a focal point for improving emergency GBV network coordination and collaboration.

The Initiative will work toward the following objectives:

1. Provide emergency assistance to individuals facing extreme acts of gender-based violence, including harmful traditional practices.
2. Provide prevention and/or protection assistance to human rights defender organizations and/or individuals who are working to address gender-based violence.
3. Provide a focal point for improving global emergency GBV response network coordination.

POTENTIAL AVAILABLE FUNDING AND PROGRAM DURATION

Pending availability, USD $500,000 is expected to be available for the first year, with the intent to expand to multiple years. The project will initially be 12 months.

Cooperative Agreement for NGO Consortium:

As DRL seeks proposals with global expertise, access, and networks, applicants are encouraged to consider a consortium approach. DRL will consider awarding a cooperative agreement to a consortium of at least four NGOs with global reach (“Consortium”), with one lead organization serving as the primary recipient/applicant (“Primary Applicant” or “Lead Organization”). DRL employs this cooperative agreement mechanism in order to provide the Consortium with a pre-approved grant vehicle that allows for rapid response/disbursement of resources when the situation on the ground requires it.

If awarded, the Consortium will work closely with DRL to design, in a timely fashion, targeted programs that address a myriad of issues in various ways. DRL may approach the Consortium with an idea for a program or the Consortium may propose a program idea to DRL, but the two will work together to design the program that one or more members of the Consortium will implement.

Consortium members must demonstrate a global reach, the capacity to implement large program activities in a time-sensitive manner that could be multi-year in nature, and the technical expertise for the broad scope of activities to be undertaken.

The Primary Applicant will be required to develop a detailed program plan outlining the role and responsibilities of the other NGO partners in the Consortium and how the Consortium will work and consult with DRL. The Primary Applicant should submit a letter of commitment from each NGO partner in the Consortium.

Proposals should allocate requested funding to provide as much direct assistance to the program’s activities as possible and keep overhead costs to a minimum. The Lead Organization shall obtain receipts and/or reimbursement documentation for all expenditures over $10,000 and for those under $10,000 to the extent possible.

The Consortium should ensure that it has a solid reach in all geographic regions, and can maintain, through a demonstrated track record, strong relationships with experienced, reliable, local partner NGOs across the globe. Strategies to develop stronger contacts to improve the administration of the program can be included, but associated costs must be reasonable and kept to a minimum.

Vetting will be required in accordance with the Department’s standard vetting procedures.

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 two [2] proposals.

Technically eligible submissions are those which:

1) Arrive electronically via www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov by

Friday, February 15, 2013 before 11:30 p.m (23:30) 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

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 2013 (according the USG fiscal year calendar). Projects 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 they are elected members of government.

The information contained 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, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/p/c12302.htm .

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Should you have any questions regarding the solicitation, please contact

Betsy Bramon (BramonB@State.gov) and/or Barbara Paoletti (PaolettiB@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. No State Department official may provide comments or guidance on any proposal before the competition closes.