March 6, 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 for Sri Lanka.

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 Sri Lanka.

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:

Increasing Support and Safety for Journalists (Approximately $500,000):

DRL’s goal is to strengthen the capacity of independent media in the area of investigative journalism and increase safety and support for journalists in Sri Lanka. The bureau seeks proposals that will 1) increase the capacity of independent media to effectively investigate and report in a restrictive environment; 2) provide digital and physical security training to journalists, bloggers and other media professionals, including those who work in post-conflict areas and cover issues such as reconciliation, accountability within a rule of law framework and democratic governance; AND 3) establish a mechanism that offers legal support and advocacy for media professionals who are facing legal challenges. Competitive proposals will 1) focus on journalists working in English as well as Tamil and Sinhala media outlets; 2) include journalists from throughout the country rather than focusing just on Colombo.

Facilitating Reconciliation (Approximately $500,000):

DRL’s goal is to facilitate cooperation across religious and ethnic lines to advance reconciliation so that all citizens of Sri Lanka can live with each other in peace. The bureau seeks proposals that will create opportunities for religious and ethnic groups to come together to promote reconciliation through cross-community communication and programming. Activities should include: (1) developing a plan to promote reconciliation at the community level using the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report recommendations as a starting point; (2) identifying community leaders, including youth and women, to facilitate and advance the reconciliation process; and (3) implementing concrete actions to build inter-community trust and understanding such as peace-building and dialogue activities, or other mechanisms to foster inter-communal collaboration. Organizations should identify pilot communities with significant multi-ethnic and religious populations where program activities would be implemented.

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.

Technically eligible submissions are those which: 1) arrive electronically via www.grantsolutions.gov or www.grants.gov by Friday, March 29, 2013 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.

NOTE: In order to process final awards, approved applicants will need to register with www.grantsolutions.gov.

APPLICANT/ORGANIZATION CRITERIA

Organizations submitting proposals must meet the following criteria:

* Be a U.S. non-profit organization meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c) (3) or a comparable organization headquartered internationally, or an international organization.

* Have demonstrated experience administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards. These applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

*Be a registered user of www.grants.gov and/or www.grantsolutions.gov . NOTE: This process can take up to one month for new organizations so please register early. See additional details below.

* Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders including non-governmental organizations.

* Organizations may form consortia and submit a combined proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.

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.grantsolutions.gov or http://www.grants.gov/ and DRL’s website, www.state.gov/j/drl.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Should you have any questions, please contact Rozina Damanwala at damanwalarr@state.gov or 202.431.9305. 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.