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(Offre en anglais) The U.S Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) lance un appel à candidatures pour un Programme de subventions locales Retour vers les opportunités


Middle East Partnership Initiative

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Échéance

15 Mars 2018 Il y a 7 mois

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Détails de l'opportunité

Régions concernées par cette opportunité: Tunisie

Local Grants Overview

The Office of Assistance Coordination’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Program seeks single-country proposals for its Local Grants Program. The Local Grants Program serves as the MEPI Program’s most direct means of supporting organizations in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Local Grants Program seeks projects that build links among citizens, civil society, government, and the private sector in response to emerging opportunities. The Local Grants Program supports projects that align with U.S. foreign policy goals and promotes U.S. interests in the region, enhancing stability and increasing prosperity across North Africa and the Middle East.

These grants are designed to support two areas of the MEPI Strategic Framework:

  • Participatory Governance: Enable civil society to effectively interact with government officials to increase responsiveness to citizen needs. Enhance citizens’ ability to actively participate in their governments and develop a more informed citizenry. Enable government officials’ engagement with, and responsiveness to, their citizens to resolve issues of shared concern.
  • Economic Reform: Enable citizens, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector with the skills and resources to provide economic opportunity, foster economic growth, and promote improved business enabling environments.

The MEPI Program’s Regional Offices, located in the Middle East and North Africa, manage the Local Grants Program. Applications are reviewed and evaluated on the criteria outlined within these Proposal Submission Instructions. For this PSI, U.S. Embassy Tunis seeks to support projects that will contribute to the following Key Objective areas identified by the MEPI Local Grants Annual Program Statement (APS), published November 30, 2017 under CFDA number 19.500:

  • Objective 3: Encourage citizens’ engagement in participatory governance and decision-makers’ willingness to work with citizen groups and civil society organizations.
  • Objective 7: Increase civil society’s representation of the needs of citizens through collective action on the local level.

The specific project focus areas that this PSI seeks to support are outlined in the section below.

U.S. Embassy Tunis Project Priority Areas

In addition to the overarching objectives identified above, U.S. Embassy Tunis has identified anti-corruption as the specific priority area as outlined below, and set forth the following guidance for applicants:

Problem Statement:

At least two thirds of Tunisians believe that national-level government institutions are corrupt, but only half of them trust civil society and its ability to play a role in addressing this corruption. The opportunity to ensure the transparency of local governments, which are increasingly counted upon to address citizens’ needs and deliver services, is critically important through collaboration with civil society. To contribute to the Government of Tunisia’s (GOT) existing anti-corruption efforts at the national level, the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia seeks applications that will address corruption within local government institutions and improve perceptions of corruption.

Civil society is an important element of open governance and can hold government agencies accountable for fulfilling open government obligations. Civil society also plays an important role in educating the public on how to access public information.

The Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development are currently supporting transparency and anti-corruption efforts in Tunisia’s national government institutions. Proposed activities under this opportunity must not duplicate or otherwise overlap with existing reform efforts of these institutions but rather focus on improving the effectiveness of civil society organizations to improve government transparency and reduce corruption at the local level.

In Tunisia, MEPI utilizes the World Bank definition of corruption, which is “the abuse of public office for private gain,” but encourages applicants to be more specific. Examples of corruption that this program seeks to address, among others, include bribery and extortion; cronyism and nepotism; and misappropriation of public funds.

Project Objectives:

To address the problem of corruption locally, the U.S. Embassy Tunis seeks proposals that support civil society organizations and local level anti-corruption initiatives in the following sector(s): public procurement, the health sector, and municipal services.

Proposals must identify local/regional case(s) of corruption in one of the aforementioned sectors that the project could address, raise awareness of, or work to eliminate. Proposals must respond to at least one of the following objectives:

  • Increase citizen participation in reporting instances of corruption.
    • Promote initiatives that provide platforms to report local-level corruption and develop strategies to increase their use by citizens and civil society groups
    • Monitor, evaluate, and report on government responses to the reports.
  • Create mechanisms to help prevent corruption.
    • Create tools that highlight instances of corruption.
    • Develop or utilize existing methods/platforms to monitor and ensure local-level transparency and accountability (e.g. through established social media platforms and local media outlets such as radio).
  • Work with local public officials to improve transparency, integrity, and accountability.
    • Develop mechanisms to solicit and incorporate citizen feedback into local decision-making.
    • Initiate joint public and private sector anti-corruption initiatives.

All applicants to this PSI should remain cognizant of ongoing or planned work by other actors in Tunisia and be careful not to duplicate effort.

The following activities and costs are not covered under this announcement:

  • Direct technical assistance to local or national government institutions;
  • Direct technical assistance to media outlets;
  • Exchange activities with other countries or territories;
  • Activities that appear partisan or that support individual or party electoral campaigns;
  • Academic or analytical research (if not necessary as part of a larger project);
  • One-time events, such as stand-alone conferences, training sessions, and one-off round tables.

Award Information

  • Funding Mechanism Type: Cooperative Agreement, Grant, or Fixed Amount Award
  • Estimated Award Ceiling: $250,000
  • Estimated Total Program Funding: $1,000,000
  • Estimated Award Floor: $50,000
  • Length of Project Period: 12-24 Months

U.S. Embassy Tunis will be conducting outreach meetings as follows:

  • Bidders’ conferences (Information sessions):
    • February 13, 2018 (Medenine and Tatouine)
    • February 14, 2018 (Gabes)
    • February 15, 2018 (Tozeur and Gafsa)
    • February 16, 2018 (Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine)
    • February 17, 2018 (Kairouan)

Eligibility

Eligible applicants include: Local civil society organizations, non-profit organizations, community groups, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, private sector organizations, and universities based in Tunisia that meet all other eligibility criteria noted below, including all required registrations.

Applicants must have prior experience working in Tunisia on issues related to anti-corruption, civil society capacity building, open government, and/or citizen engagement. For detailed information on additional eligibility criteria for the MEPI Local Grants Program, please reference the 2018 Annual Program Statement.

Preference will be given to MEPI Alumni, but new partners are also welcome to apply. Please see the Evaluation Criteria section below for more information about MEPI Alumni preference.

Required Registrations and Other Information

As detailed in the MEPI Local Grants Annual Program Statement, all organizations must have active registrations of the following:

  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), formerly referred to as a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code
  • System for Award Management (SAM)

Registration with the IRS may be required. Please review the Annual Program Statement to determine if this registration is necessary for your organization.

Note: if organizations are in the process of registration, and have encountered documented, technical registration issues, these applications will be reviewed for eligibility on a case by case basis provided the application is recommended by the selection committee. Per U.S. law, valid and active registration in the relevant systems is a requirement to receive grant funds.

The registrant or entity is required to create an account in each of these websites by initially creating a Username and Password in all sites:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS), if necessary;
  • D&B for a UEI;
  • and ultimately, the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).

The Legal Business Name and Address must be precise and MATCH EXACTLY when entering it into the IRS, D&B DUNS, NCAGE, and SAM.gov websites—this includes spaces, parentheses, capitalization, small letters, punctuation, etc. Please apply for the D&B DUNS Number and NCAGE Code at the same time to reduce waiting time of information.

For detailed information on registering for the MEPI Local Grants Program, please reference the MEPI Local Grants Annual Program Statement (APS).

Application Requirements

Complete applications must include the following:

  • Project Narrative (not to exceed eight (8) pages in Microsoft Word). Organizations are strongly encouraged to use the Project Narrative Template provided with the MEPI APS to complete the Project Narrative. If an organization chooses not to use the provided format, the Project Narrative must capture all the requested information outlined in the document and clearly label each section for clarity. Project narratives should articulate a logical relationship between proposed activities and desired outcomes – presenting the cause and effect “chain of results” that a project hopes to achieve.

Please note the eight page limit does not include the any other required application document, including Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple documents in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe file.

  • Detailed Line-Item Budget and Narrative (preferably in Microsoft Excel): Includes three [3] columns including the request to MEPI, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget (see Budget Template for more information on budget format). A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for sub-grantees should be included in additional tabs within the excel workbook. The budget template includes a section which allows for substantive explanations and justifications for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, MEPI recommends applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the SF-424A. Personnel costs should include a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key staff, base salary, and percentage of time devoted to the project. The budget narrative should provide additional information that might not be readily apparent in the detailed-line item budget, not simply repeat what is represented numerically in the budget, i.e. salaries are for salaries or travel is for travel. A line item budget template and additional budget guidance is provided with the APS.
  • Roles and responsibilities of key project personnel (2 pages maximum): Please include short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.
  • References: Full names and contact information (email, phone) of beneficiaries or partners involved in a project your organization conducted within the past two years, whom we might contact to ask about your work.
  • Standard Forms: Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF424B; completed and signed SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” (if applicable)
  • Attachments: Not to exceed ten [10] pages total, in Microsoft Word that include the following in order:
    • Draft Activity Monitoring and Evaluation Plan:
      • Specific, quantifiable performance indicators (outputs, outcomes, and impact) and targets for the overall objectives included in the original application and activities in annual work plans;
      • A description of monitoring systems to measure program progress against overall objectives; and
      • A plan for data collection and measurement of overall program outcomes and results, including collection of baseline data, and for the use of data collected by the program to improve program planning and performance.
    • Matrix of past performance information: the applicant must provide a matrix of all its contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements involving similar or related programs during the past three years.
    • Letters of support and MOUs with any proposed partners or sub-award recipients.
    • MEPI Alumni Information: Please complete the one-page MEPI Alumni Status form provided with the APS.

Examples can include letters of support from local government institutions, the media or other relevant stakeholders. These documents will not count towards the page limit

  • NICRA (If Applicable): If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a .pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by program and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding and does not count towards the page limit. If your proposal involves subawards to organizations charging indirect costs, please also submit the applicable NICRA as a .pdf file.

All submissions must include these components, and must be submitted in English.

Please note: The MEPI Program retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this PSI.

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:

  1. Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the MEPI Selection Committee;
  2. Submission of required documents to register in any applicable U.S. government grant systems, if receiving MEPI Program funding for the first time, unless an exemption is provided;
  3. Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award

Proposal Review Process

A MEPI Selection Committee at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis reviews all local grant proposals. The U.S. Embassy in Tunis will inform organizations if their proposals will or will not be shortlisted for further consideration. Only the most competitive proposals received by MEPI Committees will be selected for further consideration by MEPI’s regional offices, which will process and negotiate the awards. The issuance of a grant award by a MEPI Regional Office is contingent on the availability of funds and the negotiation and finalization of an approved budget and award package.

Proposal Review Criteria

Applications should address the evaluation criteria outlined below. Selection Committee members will evaluate each application individually against the following criteria, and not against competing applications. Committee members will assign scores to each proposal corresponding to the criteria below, for a total of 100 possible points.

Approach and Responsiveness to Priority Areas (25 points)

  • The applicant clearly describes how each proposed project activities will address one of the objectives outlined in the Project Objectives section. The applicant clearly defines the project beneficiaries and explains how participants will be selected including the criteria for selection and selection process.
  • The applicant acknowledges if activities similar to those proposed are already taking or have taken place previously, and provides an explanation as to how proposed new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing/recent activities.
  • The applicant articulates potential challenges to project implementation and proposes contingency plans.
  • The application describes the division of labor among the applicant and any partners.
  • The proposed project design is original creative, and feasible.

Project Design and Achievable Objectives (40 points)

  • Proposal provides a clear articulation of how proposed activities will contribute to the project objective(s) AND in turn will also contribute to overall MEPI Key Objectives (3 and 7).
  • Activities are clearly developed and detailed, including estimated timeframe.
  • Proposal clearly explains how activities will achieve desired results, and the overall project design is realistic in terms of feasibility and expectations.
  • Objectives should be measurable, results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame.
  • The applicant provides local/regional cases of corruption that their product could address, raise awareness of, or work to eliminate and/or provides a definition of corruption.
  • The applicant proposes project activities that engage civil society, government, institutions, or citizens outside of the city of Tunis.
  • The applicant demonstrates existing relationships with local government, public institutions, or civil society organizations.

Institutional Record and Capacity (20 points)

  • The applicant demonstrates experience working in Tunisia on issues related to anti-corruption, civil society capacity building, open government, and/or citizen engagement.
  • The applicant demonstrates capacity for responsible fiscal management of donor funding (e.g., successful management of a previous sub-award or grant).
  • The applicant has adequate staffing and demonstrates the capacity to manage the proposed project.
  • The applicant demonstrates that at least a majority of staff speak Arabic or French professionally.

MEPI Alumni Status (10 points)

MEPI Alumni are encouraged to apply, but we also welcome new partners. Applicants may qualify for preference based on the status of at least one individual at the organization.
MEPI Alumni are defined as:
a) former participants of the exchange programs;
b) beneficiaries in previous MEPI training programs lasting more than 5 weeks;
c) or individuals who have held a leadership role supporting MEPI programming at an organization that has received a previous MEPI grant.

Cost Effectiveness (5 points)

  • Budget indicates reasonable cost estimates based on local standard rates.
  • All costs are clearly defined in terms of purpose, as well as detail indicating how amounts have been calculated. Budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.
  • Project design takes into account opportunities for cost-savings and budget does not include expenses that are not essential to effective project implementation.

Please note: While cost-share is NOT a requirement of this PSI, MEPI does encourage applicants to leverage organizational resources where possible. If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, the MEPI Program’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Additional Information

The MEPI Program will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization or armed actors.
Applicants should be aware that the MEPI Program understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that the MEPI Program cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

Documentation

Critères d'éligibilité

  • Local civil society organizations, non-profit organizations, community groups, non-governmental organizations, professional associations, private sector organizations, and universities based in Tunisia that meet all other eligibility criteria noted below, including all required registrations.
  • Applicants must have prior experience working in Tunisia on issues related to anti-corruption, civil society capacity building, open government, and/or citizen engagement. For detailed information on additional eligibility criteria for the MEPI Local Grants Program, please reference the 2018 Annual Program Statement.
  • Preference will be given to MEPI Alumni, but new partners are also welcome to apply. Please see the Evaluation Criteria section below for more information about MEPI Alumni preference.

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