Call for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights, & Rule of Law Initiatives in the PRC
Department of State invites proposals
Department of State
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights, and Rule of Law Initiatives in the People’s Republic of China
PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access immediately www.grants.gov in order to obtain a username and password. It may take up to two full weeks to register with grants.gov. Please see the section entitled, "DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS" below for specific instructions. Proposals must be sent to grants.gov. No exceptions will be made for organizations that do not submit proposals via grants.gov.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for assistance awards. DRL invites organizations to submit full proposals detailing program concepts and capacity to manage projects that will: foster democracy, human rights, transparency, freedom of information and expression, religious freedom, judicial independence, criminal and civil rule of law, civil society, freedom of the press, electoral reform, public participation, labor rights, and media reform in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The Bureau will consider funding for project components that address the long-term developmental and capacity building needs of indigenous non-governmental entities working in these thematic areas. Projects in Taiwan will only be considered to the extent that they are matched with sources other than the United States government. DRL seeks to fund projects that will have a direct and lasting impact in China by promoting reforms and structural changes.
Proposals should not exceed 10 single-spaced pages in length using 12-point Times New Roman font in Microsoft Word with at least one-inch margins. Budgets should be provided separately in Excel or compatible spreadsheets. A narrative budget MUST accompany the Excel spreadsheet. Please do not submit the budget or narratives as .PDF files. Proposals that do not meet these requirements may not be considered.
Submissions should include:
• A brief statement of work followed by detailed summary of project components and activities
• A proposed work plan with dates. A detailed monthly timeline is strongly encouraged
• Clearly defined project outputs (products or services delivered, often stated as an amount, such as the number of participants trained ) and outcomes (examples include institutional changes, policy reforms, new initiatives developed as a result of the program), and short-term and long-term goals
• An evaluation plan, including measurable indicators of progress toward short and long-term goals; plan may utilize qualitative and/or quantitative methods and should address both project outputs and outcomes;
• A sustainability plan that extends beyond the grant period ensuring Bureau-supported programs are not isolated events
• A comprehensive budget to the nearest thousand, including program costs, administrative costs,, percentage of indirect cost rate to be charged to the grant, and cost-share contributions
• A brief description of the organization, including a mission statement and previous work in China and/or the East Asia and Pacific Region. Please also include previous grant management experience, including grants funded with private and/or United States Government funding
In order to avoid the duplication of activities and programs, organizations should clarify how their work would be distinctive or complementary to other international projects focused on similar topics.
An organization may submit no more than 2 proposals.
The Bureau supports innovative programs that 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. The Bureau funds projects that have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms. Projects should have potential for continued funding beyond Bureau resources. Projects must not duplicate or simply add to efforts by other entities.
DRL anticipates awarding grants by February 2007. The bulk of project activities must take place in-country and last between 1 and 3 years. U.S. - based activities, study tours, scholarships or exchange projects are strongly discouraged. The majority of activities should address the PRC, Hong Kong or Taiwan directly. Projects that have a strong academic or research focus will not be highly considered. DRL strongly discourages health, technology, or scientific projects unless they have an explicit democracy, human rights, or rule of law component. Projects that focus on commercial law or economic development will also not be highly considered.
Pending availability of funds, approximately $5 million is expected to be available under the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, for projects that address DRL objectives in China. The Bureau anticipates making awards in amounts of $300,000 - $1,500,000 to support program and administrative costs required to implement these programs.
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). Universities are allowable.
* Have demonstrated experience administering successful projects, preferably in China or similarly challenging program environments. 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 grants.gov
* Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities.
* Organizations may form consortia and submit a joint proposal. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant.
* Applicants may include subcontracts to institutions in order to provide technical expertise as a component of their proposal.
* An OMB policy directive published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 27, 2003, requires that all organizations applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements must provide a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number when applying for all Federal grants or cooperative agreements on or after October 1, 2003. Please reference http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg/062703_grant_identifier.pdf for the complete OMB policy directive.
The Bureau will review all proposals 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. Final technical authority for assistance awards resides with the Office of Acquisition Management’s Grants Officer.
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. Final technical authority for assistance awards resides with the Office of Acquisition of Management’s Grants Officer.
Proposals will be funded based on a subjective evaluation of how the project meets the criteria outlined, U.S. foreign policy objectives, and the priority needs of DRL.
1. Quality of program idea – proposals should be responsive to the solicitation and exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau’s mission.
2. Program planning/ability to achieve objectives – work plan should demonstrate substantive activities and the organization’s capacity and planning to undertake them. Objectives should be ambitious yet measurable and achievable.
3. Impact/multiplier effect – proposed program should address long-term institution building with an emphasis on moving towards sustainability, directly impact the situation in the target country, and define and reach numerous audiences.
4. Program evaluation plan – proposals should demonstrate the capacity for engaging in impact assessments and providing measurable outputs, outcomes, and short and long-term goals.
5. Institution’s record and capacity – proposals should demonstrate an institutional record of successful program management in repressive environments. The Bureau will consider past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
6. Cost-effectiveness – the overhead and administrative components of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as low as possible. Cost-sharing is highly encouraged.
DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants must submit proposals using www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 5, 2006. DRL will not accept proposals submitted via email, the U.S. postal system, FedEx, UPS and similar delivery companies, or courier. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time.
Please note: In order to safeguard the security of applicants’ electronic information, www.grants.gov utilizes a credential provider. It is the process of determining, with certainty, that someone really is who they claim to be.
The credential provider for www.grants.gov is Operational Research Consultants (ORC). Applicants MUST register with ORC to receive a username and password which you will need to register with www.grants.gov as an authorized organization representative (AOR). Once your organization's E-Business point of contact has assigned these rights, you will be authorized to submit grant applications through Grants.gov on behalf of your organization.
Each organization will need to be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR) and you will need to have your organization's DUNS number available to complete this process. After your organization registers with the CCR, you must wait 3 business days before you can obtain a username and password.
PLEASE be advised that completing all the necessary steps for obtaining a username and password from www.grants.gov can take up to 2 full weeks. DRL strongly urges applicants to begin this process on www.grants.gov well in advance of the submission deadline. No exceptions will be made for organizations that have not completed the necessary steps to post applications on www.grants.gov. Please access www.grants.gov for the all necessary information.
Technically eligible submissions are those which: 1) arrive electronically via www.grants.gov by the designated due date before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and 2) have heeded all instructions contained in the solicitation document and Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), including length and completeness of submission. If there is a discrepancy between the PSI and this announcement, please note that this document takes precedence.
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS
All proposals must be received at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 5, 2006. Please refer to the PSI for specific delivery instructions.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL/P). Please specify Samuel Chang, 202-647-4308, and/or Kara Cumberland, 202-261-8011, and/or Jennifer Mitchell, 202-261-8011 on all inquiries and correspondence. Please read the complete announcement and PSI before sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFP deadline has passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.
Published: Monday, November 13, 2006