Monday, June 8, 2015

State Department: $2 million for lesbians, gays, bisexuals

The State Department plans to award some $2 million in grants to organizations offering programs to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in countries around the world, including Cuba.
The department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor expects to hand out awards ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
The application deadline is July 10. Details are below.

Department of State

Public Notice

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Statements of Interest: The Global Equality Fund: Programs to Protect the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons

SUMMARY

The Global Equality Fund, managed by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Statements of Interest (SOIs) from civil society organizations to protect the human rights of LGBTI people. Launched in December 2011, the Global Equality Fund supports the work of civil society organizations working to protect and advance the human rights of LGBTI persons globally.
Partners of the Global Equality Fund include the governments of Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden as well as the Arcus Foundation, the John D. Evans Foundation, LLH: the Norwegian LGBT Organization, the M-A-C AIDS Fund, Deloitte LLP, the Royal Bank of Canada, Hilton Worldwide, Human Rights Campaign, Out Leadership, and USAID. This program will focus on providing protection to individuals who experience human rights violations or abuses due to their real or perceived gender identity, and supporting allies in civil society and other sectors to increase tolerance and respect for LGBTI persons and their human rights.


This solicitation is the first step in a two-part process, which includes submission of a Statement of Interest, followed by submission of a full proposal, if invited. SOIs are concise, 2-page concept notes designed to clearly communicate a program idea and objectives without requiring development of a full proposal. After reviewing SOIs, selected organizations will be invited to expand their ideas into full proposals at a later date. The intention of requesting SOIs first is to provide organizations with time to focus on submitting creative and new ideas to address human rights challenges facing LGBTI persons and their advocates.

The Global Equality Fund is part of DRL’s broader initiative to support at-risk and vulnerable populations, including women, people with disabilities, racial and ethnic minorities, and religious minorities. This request for SOIs is part of broader and ongoing strategic programming supported by the Global Equality Fund, and seeks to address acute gaps and needs in the field.

PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to immediately access www.grants.gov or 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

We request SOIs in the two focus areas outlined below. SOIs may address one focus area only, or may respond to a combination of both objectives. Approximately $2 million in funding is available in total for both objectives for this request for SOIs, pending funding availability. Available funds will be awarded based on overall proposal strength, and not subdivided between focus areas. Organizations may submit no more than one (1) SOI per objective, for a maximum possible total of two (2) submitted SOIs.

1) Supporting Allies in Civil Society and other Sectors to Increase Tolerance and Respect for LGBTI Persons and their Human Rights

2) Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Transgender Persons

Detailed descriptions follow:

1) Supporting Allies in Civil Society and other Sectors to Increase Tolerance and Respect for LGBTI Persons and their Human Rights

The Global Equality Fund invites organizations to submit Statements of Interest (SOIs) outlining program concepts and organizational capacity to manage programs that will support programs that engage allies in civil society and other sectors to increase tolerance and respect for LGBTI persons and their human rights. Statements of interest could focus on the following areas including, but not limited to:

• Strengthening broad-based civil society engagement in support of the human rights of LGBTI Persons: Objectives may include, but are not limited to: supporting existing civil society coalitions to advance the human rights of LGBTI persons; increasing knowledge and skills of mainstream civil society organizations as well other focus area organizations such as women’s organizations, youth, disability, professional associations, children’s rights and health groups to incorporate LGBTI human rights issues as is best appropriate and in partnership with LGBTI organizations; support for broad-based civil society campaigns on LGBTI rights; and strengthening capacity of LGBTI organizations to engage with mainstream civil society organizations, either formally or informally, or to engage in intersectional work with organizations working on other population- or issue-specific human rights concerns;

• Combating societal discrimination and negative social attitudes: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, support for information and awareness-raising campaigns on the human rights of LGBTI people, increased knowledge of LGBTI amongst the general public through civic education activities including the use of traditional and new social media; promoting social inclusion of LGBTI persons along with other vulnerable groups in various sectors such as health, education, housing or others through training and civic education on diversity and non-discrimination, supporting partnerships among civil society groups and media outlets to garner more accurate, fact-based, and respectful reporting of LGBTI issues.

• Supporting the role of family and friends of LGBTI persons to increase tolerance and respect for LGBTI persons: Objectives may include but are not limited to creating or supporting existing spaces for parents, friends and allies to share experiences about LGBTI persons; increasing knowledge of LGBTI persons and their rights among families and friends; supporting family and friends to become advocates for LGBTI persons and their right, technical assistance to LGBTI civil society organizations to increase their capacity and skills and knowledge to work with families and friends.

Other objectives which reflect the broad goals reflected above may also be considered.

Programs must be led by or have strong support from and participation by LGBTI community members. Organizations are encouraged to include components that focus activity at the local and/or community level, and that include sub-grants to local LGBTI organizations. Organizations may also want to consider different forms of inclusive sub-granting, such as advisory committees for grant selections. Organizations are welcome to submit SOIs that include a range of objectives from those listed above, or that focus exclusively on one objective. As appropriate, organizations are encouraged to include provisions for responding to security incidents and safety and security of program staff and LGBTI community members as activities are implemented.

SOIs from all geographic regions are welcome. When assessing the geographic and thematic scope of SOIs, organizations are strongly encouraged to consider where they have demonstrated expertise and existing relationships with local partners. SOIs that take advantage of existing opportunities for change in national contexts or respond to acute human rights violations or human rights backsliding are also encouraged.

2) Promoting and Protecting the Human Rights of Transgender Persons

The Global Equality Fund invites organizations to submit Statements of Interest (SOIs) outlining program concepts and organizational capacity to manage programs that will protect and advance the human rights of transgender persons. Statements of interest could focus on areas including, but not limited to:

• Legal Gender Recognition and Strengthened Legal Protection: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, equitable legal gender recognition for transgender persons, including implementation of existing gender recognition laws; law and/or judicial system reform that enables transgender persons to exercise their universal human rights; improving capacity of lawyers and civil society organizations to assist transgender persons; combating discrimination against and exclusion of transgender persons in access to employment, housing, education, family and relationship-based legal protections and other social institutions; and strategic and positive engagement from regional and international human rights mechanisms.

• Protection from violence, including sexual violence and hate crime, and combating impunity: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, increased capacity to document violence targeting transgender persons as well as investigation processes (or lack thereof); increased and proactive engagement from national authorities, including police and other law enforcement agencies, to prevent, mitigate, or respond to violence against transgender persons; increased protection, safety and support for transgender persons and their advocates at-risk of violence or who have experienced violence; and establishment of or support to broad-based advocacy coalitions.

• Transgender Health and Human Rights: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, increased access to medically necessary and culturally competent health care both related and non-related to medical transition; efforts to de-pathologize gender diversity and transgender identity throughout policy and healthcare models at global, regional, and national health bodies; and documentation and advocacy around violations of human rights in health care contexts.

• Organizational Development and Capacity: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, increased capacity of local or regional organizations to develop and implement strategic plans, work plans, budgets, communication strategies, risk assessments, security plans and increased capacity of organizations to mobilize community members and build constituencies.

Other objectives which reflect the broad goals reflected above may also be considered.

Programs must be led by or have strong support from and participation by transgender community members, and should develop the leadership and build the capacity of transgender communities.

Organizations are encouraged to include components that focus activity at the local and/or community level, and that include sub-grants to local transgender organizations. Organizations may also want to consider different forms of inclusive sub-granting, such as advisory committees for grant selections.

Organizations are welcome to submit SOIs that include a range of objectives from those listed above, or that focus exclusively on one objective. As appropriate, organizations are encouraged to include provisions for responding to security incidents and safety and security of program staff and transgender community members as activities are implemented.

SOIs from all geographic regions are welcome. When assessing the geographic and thematic scope of SOIs, organizations are strongly encouraged to consider where they have demonstrated expertise and existing relationships with local partners. SOIs that take advantage of existing opportunities for change in national contexts or respond to acute human rights violations or human rights backsliding are also encouraged. SOIs that promote lessons learned and respond to challenges in implementing or replicating existing best-practices gender recognition laws (e.g. in Argentina and Malta) are encouraged.

Approximately $2 million is available for programs of the Global Equality Fund, pending funding availability. To support direct and indirect costs required for implementation, DRL anticipates making award amounts of $100,000 - $500,000. DRL grants generally must be completed in one to three years. When designing SOIs, organizations may identify and include areas where technical assistance from the private sector may assist in meeting program objectives.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

An organization may submit no more than two (2) SOIs of two (2) pages each. SOIs that do not meet the requirements of the announcement may not be considered.

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, and with 1-inch margins.

SOIs must include:

1) Brief description of the organization, including the organization’s mission statement and previous work advancing the human rights of LGBTI persons. 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.

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.

4) Brief statement on the methodology to be used in the project evaluation.

5) An estimated budget figure. The budget should include intended Primarily Headquarters-Based Costs, Primarily-Field Based Costs, Indirect Costs, and Cost-Share. 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.

All organizations must be registered on either www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov. Organizations that currently do not have a DUNS number or active CCR registration can still register on grantsolutions by:

1. On the grantsolutions homepage, click on “Login to GrantSolutions” on the upper right of the screen

2. On the login page, click “Register” under “First Time Users”

3. On the next page, click on “Continue the GrantSolutions registration process without a DUNS number”.

All organization should be aware that if invited to submit a full proposal, an active DUNS and CCR registration will be required. All organizations are strongly encouraged to begin this process of obtaining a DUNS number and an active CCR registration.

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

Please use the following guidelines for completing the SF-424:

1. Type of Submission: Application

2. Type of Application: New

5b. Federal Award Identifier: Please enter zeros or leave blank

8a. Please enter name of organization

8b. Please enter the organization’s EIN or TIN number or leave blank for non-U.S. based organizations

8c. Please enter the organization’s DUNS number (without dashes) or leave blank if you do not have a DUNS number yet. A DUNS number will be required when submitting a full proposal.

8d. Please enter the organization’s address

8f. Please enter the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of the primary contact person for this SOI

9. Please select type of applicant from pull down list

11. The CFDA number is 19.345

12. Please enter the Funding Opportunity Number (similar to DRLA-DRLAQM-14-006) and Title (similar to The Global Equality Fund: Programs to Protect the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Persons).

15. Please enter descriptive title of project

16a. Please enter congressional district of applicant organization or leave blank for non-U.S. based organizations

16b. Please enter N/A or zeros

17. Please enter the approximate start and end dates of the proposed activities

18. Please enter the amount requested from the USG under “Federal,” any cost-share under “Applicant,” fill in the total, and otherwise use zeros.

19. Please enter “c”

20. Complete as indicated

21. Complete as indicated

Please fill in the following fields of the SF-424B:

Page 2 - Complete applicant organization and title of authorized official sections.

APPLICANT/ORGANIZATION CRITERIA

Organizations submitting SOIs must meet the following criteria:

• Be a non-profit organization or an international organization; or

• Be a university or research institution; or

• Be a for-profit organization or business, although there are restrictions on payment of fees and/or profits to the prime recipient under grants and cooperative agreements.

• Have demonstrated experience administering successful projects, preferably targeting the requested country and/or region, or a similarly challenging program environment. 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.

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

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

REVIEW PROCESS

DRL and Partners of the Global Equality Fund will review all SOIs for eligibility. Eligible SOIs will be subject to compliance of Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and 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 Department’s Grants Division.

DRL and Partners of the Global Equality Fund will solicit for full proposals based on an evaluation of how the SOI meets the solicitation review criteria. A State Department Review Committee will evaluate proposals submitted under this request. Applicants should be aware that Partners of the Global Equality Fund, which include USAID, like-minded governments and foundations listed above, may participate in the proposal review process. Standard review criteria include:

1) Quality of Program Idea

SOIs should be responsive to the solicitation and appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's mission of promoting human rights and democracy. The bureau prioritizes innovative, stand-alone programs. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities.

2) Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong SOI will include a clear articulation of how the proposed program activities contribute to the overall program objectives and demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable. SOIs should address how the program will engage relevant stakeholders and should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights programs within the context of the proposed program.

3) Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

SOIs should clearly delineate how elements of the program will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people, workshop participants use skills from a workshop to address local concerns that are relevant to a wider national audience). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

DEADLINE AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Applicants must submit SOIs using www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov by 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Friday, July 10, 2015. DRL will not accept SOIs 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.

No exceptions will be made for organizations that have not completed the necessary steps to post applications on www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov.

Direct all questions regarding www.grantsolutions.gov registration and submission to:

GrantSolutions Customer Support

Contact Center Phone: 888-577-0771

Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8AM – 6PM Eastern Standard Time

Email: help@grantsolutions.gov

Direct all questions regarding www.grants.gov registration and submission to:

Grants.gov Contact Center

Phone: 1-800-518-4726

Business Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Email: support@grants.gov

It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that SOIs 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The information contained in this solicitation is binding and may not be modified by any DRL Bureau representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the solicitation does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the Government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program evaluation requirements.

This request for SOIs will appear on www.grants.gov, www.grantsolutions.gov, and DRL’s website, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT

For questions related to SOI submissions please contact Kerry Ashforth at ashforthkn@state.gov.

Once the SOI deadline has passed, U.S. Government officials - including those in the Bureau, the Department and at embassies/missions overseas - must not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

2 comments:

Lou Mercer said...


I shared this on my facebook page. I am so proud of the work you do.

Tracey Eaton said...

thank you!