February 15, 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: Democracy, Human Rights, and Rule of Law in: Indonesia, Near East Regional and other.

SUMMARY

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Statements of Interest (SOI) from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that support the bureau’s policy priorities for fostering democracy and human rights in the below listed countries/regions. This solicitation does not constitute a formal Request for Proposals: DRL will invite select organizations that submit SOIs to expand their ideas in full proposals at a later date.

PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to immediately access www.grants.gov and www.grantsolutions.gov in order to obtain a username and password. It may take up to a week to register with grants.gov. Please see the section entitled, “DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS” below for specific instructions.

REQUESTED STATEMENT OF INTEREST PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

DRL invites organizations to submit statements of interest outlining program concepts and organizational capacity to manage projects that will advance DRL objectives to allow and protect religious freedom for all citizens and non-citizens, including those of minority faiths and non-believers, which can be a means to reduce sectarian violence and improve social stability. Programs should empower civil society to urge governments to advocate and speak out for the rights of other religious communities as well as for non-believers. Program concepts should address the following areas:

Indonesia – (approximately $400,000 available) DRL is requesting a proposal for a program in Indonesia to work in areas experiencing religious tension. Potential activities could include: promoting greater societal respect for religious freedom and diversity; promoting religious tolerance while countering violent extremism; encouraging intrafaith dialogue to counteract tensions within religious groups; opportunities for individuals from different faith backgrounds to work on areas of common interest; or addressing religious freedom from a rule of law, good governance, and/or related framework.

NEA Regional – (Approximately $750,000 available) DRL will support a program to promote freedom of expression and association for majority and minority religious populations, focusing on youth and religious leaders. The program will design and implement a participatory online network and related social media tools to help foster respect for religious diversity, reduce sectarian tensions, counter violent extremism, and respond to calls for the punishment of blasphemy and apostasy. The program may use existing or new media platforms, and must protect the security and privacy rights of all participants; the platform should be multilingual and have regional reach, as well as conduct outreach to garner participation.

Tolerance/Anti-Semitism – (approximately $300,000 available) Contemporary forms of anti-Semitism include: the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, and defacement of synagogues and Holocaust monuments with anti-Semitic graffiti, stereotypic anti-Semitic depictions of Jews in cartoons and accusations of blood libel. Other trends include Holocaust denial, Holocaust glorification or Holocaust revisionism. Globally, there is resurgence of extremist groups with a corresponding rise in reported and presumably unreported incidents of anti-Semitism. These factors are usually combined with growing nationalistic movements that target “the Other”—be they immigrants, or religious or ethnic minorities—in the name of protecting the identity or “purity” of the majority. DRL will support a program that addresses these issues in places where anti-Semitism is at its most virulent.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

An organization may submit no more than one (1) SOI of two pages each per program area. SOIs that do not meet the requirements of the announcement may not be considered. SOIs that request more than the award ceiling will be deemed technically ineligible.

For all application documents, please ensure that:

1) All pages are numbered,

2) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper, and

3) All Microsoft Word documents are single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins.

SOIs must include:

1) Brief description of the organization, including the organization’s mission statement and previous work in the appropriate country/region. Due to page limitations, a general organizational history is not recommended. Information should clearly demonstrate an institution’s record and capacity and may include previous grant management experience, whether funded through private or United States Government resources.

2) Description of how the project supports DRL’s policy priorities and how the project is innovative, sustainable, and does not duplicate current efforts. See “Additional Information” below.

3) Project description, including project duration and objectives. Outputs and outcomes should also be provided. Outputs and outcomes should clearly link to project objectives and include target benchmarks. Please include the appropriate “Standardized Program Structure” Program Area(s) and Element(s) to be addressed. More information on the Standardized Program Structure and Definitions is available at http://www.state.gov/f/c24132.htm and http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/141836.pdf

4) Brief statement on the methodology to be used in the project evaluation. Please see the materials related to monitoring and evaluation and Proposal Submission Instructions found on DRL’s website, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm

5) An estimated budget figure. The budget should include intended: Primarily Headquarters-Based Costs, Primarily-Field Based Costs, Indirect Costs, and Cost-Share. Please see DRL’s PSI, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm for general guidelines on budget categories and DRL standard budget definitions. Please note that while a detailed budget is not requested at this time, organizations invited to submit full proposals must not exceed the estimated SOI budget figure.

Organizations must also fill out and submit SF-424 and SF-424B forms as directed on www.grants.gov.

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. Applicants are to follow the above technical requirements for a Statement of Interest.

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 three [3] Statements of Interest.

Technically eligible submissions are those which: 1) arrive electronically via www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov by Friday, March 22, 2013 before 11:59 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 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.grantosolutions.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

Jennifer Cohen at cohenjm2@state.gov or 202-261-8129. 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.