SUMMARY: The Office for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL/PHD) announces an open competition for assistance awards. Organizations may submit grant proposals that address programs and activities that foster democracy, human rights, and the development of civil society in Cuba.
Awards are contingent upon the availability of Fiscal Year 2004 funds. Money will be available under the Economic Support Fund for projects that address the development of democratic institutions and human rights protection in Cuba. The Bureau anticipates awarding between 3-13 grants in amounts of $500,000 - $2,000,000.
BACKGROUND: These funds will be used to support innovative, cutting-edge programs which uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, and build civil society in countries and regions of the world that are geo-strategically important to the U.S. Projects should have an immediate impact and must not duplicate or simply add to efforts by other entities.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor has identified the following issues in Cuba as priorities:
? Human Rights and Democracy: Grants for activities supporting democratic and human rights groups on the island and to fund an increased flow of information to the island on transitions to a political system based on democracy, human rights, and a market economy.
? Women: Programs to support democracy-building efforts by women, such as programs to train, develop, and organize non-governmental or independent women?s groups in Cuba.
? Afro-Cubans: Programs to develop democracy building and civil-society groups within the Afro-Cuban community.
? Youth: Programs to reach out to disaffected Cuban youth to enable them to take greater political/civil society action in support of democracy and human rights in Cuba.
? Civil Society Development: NGO training programs to promote peaceful methods to support a peaceful democratic transition and build civil society and advocate greater respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
? Material Assistance: Provision of computers, short-wave radios, satellite dishes, decoders, faxes and copying machines by U.S. and third-country NGOs to independent Cuban civil society groups, including independent journalists and other independent civil society actors not specifically referenced in this RFP (e.g., independent economists, doctors, etc.)
? Independent Libraries: Programs to re-stock, strengthen and expand the Cuban independent library network and to promote their solidarity with national library associations in Europe and Latin America.
? Independent Labor: Programs to promote membership and organizational development in Cuba and to facilitate international contacts by the independent labor movement in Cuba.
? Project implementation should begin no earlier than January 2005.
? Projects should not exceed two years in duration. Shorter projects with more immediate outcomes may receive preference.
? Project activity should take place abroad. U.S-based or exchange projects are strongly discouraged.
? Projects that have a strong academic or research focus will not be highly considered. DRL will not fund health, technology, environmental, or scientific projects unless they have an explicit democracy, human rights, or rule of law component.
? Projects should include detailed plans for evaluation and assessment of impact; plans may utilize qualitative and/or quantitative methods and should address both project outputs and outcomes.
? Projects should include a follow-on plan that extends beyond the grant period ensuring that Bureau-supported programs are not isolated events.
In order to avoid the duplication of activities and programs, proposals should also indicate knowledge of similar projects being conducted in Cuba and how the submitted proposal will complement them.
Please refer to the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for complete budget guidelines and formatting instructions.
The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will review them for eligibility. Proposals will be deemed ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein and in the PSI. Eligible proposals will be subject to compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other Department elements.
Eligible applications will be competitively reviewed according to the criteria stated below. Further explanation of these criteria is included in the PSI. These criteria are not rank-ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation: quality of the program idea; program planning and ability to achieve program objectives; multiplier effect/impact; program evaluation plan; institution's record/ability/capacity; cost-effectiveness.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
The Office for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL/PHD). Please specify Lisa Rende-Taylor 202-647-3218 or Chris Sibilla 202-647-7479 on all inquiries and correspondence.
Please read the complete fedgrants.gov announcement before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the proposal review process has been completed.
TO DOWNLOAD A SOLICITATION PACKAGE VIA INTERNET:
The Solicitation Package includes this RFP plus the Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) which contains detailed award criteria, specific budget instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. The entire RFP and PSI may be downloaded from the HRDF section on the Bureau's website at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/c7607.htm
The terms and conditions published in this RFP are binding and may not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be binding. Issuance of the RFP 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 and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements. Final technical authority for assistance awards resides with the Office of Acquisition Management?s Grants Officer.
Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.
Who can apply:
Nonprofits Having A 501(C)(3) Status With The IRS, Other Than Institutions Of Higher Education
Private Nonprofit Institution/Organization (Includes Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals)
Eligible functional categories:
Human Rights and Democratization Initiatives in Cuba
If you have problems accessing the full announcement, please contact:
Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Office of the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy