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FY 2012 Funding Opportunity Announcement for NGO Programs Benefiting Refugees and Refugee Returnees in Rwanda, the DRC, Tanzania and Uganda

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-AFR-12-CA-AF-100611-GREATLAKES

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number:

19.517 – Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Africa

Announcement issuance date: Thursday, October 06, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Friday, November 04, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline cannot be considered.

Advisory: Grants.gov experiences continued high volume of activity. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal several days early to allow time to address difficulties that may arise due to system delays.

Proposed Program Start Dates: January 1, 2012—March 1, 2012

Duration of Activity: Program plans for the DRC should be no more than 12 months. Applicants must re-compete for PRM funding each year. Furthermore, in funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities.

Program plans from 12 to 24 months will be considered for activities addressing protracted needs in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Applicants may submit multi-year proposals with activities and budgets that do not exceed 24 months from the proposed start date. Actual awards will not exceed 12 months in duration. Multi-year proposals selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12-month increments and must include results-based indictors within the first 12 months. Continued funding after the initial 12-month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application as detailed in the Noncompeting Application Requirements section below and will be contingent upon available funding, strong performance, and continuing need. NGOs receiving awards under these terms will be required to submit continuation applications at least three months in advance of the end of each 12-month period of activities. Please see the “Proposal Content, Formatting, and Templates” section for additional guidance.

Current Country Specific Funding Priorities and Instructions: PRM will prioritize available funding for Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda as identified below. All proposals should target beneficiaries as identified in collaboration with UNHCR and local authorities.

(1) Tanzania and Rwanda

· Proposals for Tanzania should focus exclusively on life-saving basic preventative and curative healthcare assistance (including reproductive health) in the remaining refugee camps in western Tanzania (Nyaragusu and Mtabila).

· Proposals for Rwanda should focus on camp management, life-saving basic preventative and curative healthcare assistance (including reproductive health), water and sanitation, and/or gender based violence prevention and response for refugees.

· While PRM does not discourage activities that also include the local host population along with refugees, proposals should concentrate on activities for refugees. At least 80% of beneficiaries must be refugees.

(2) DRC

· Proposed activities for the DRC should support prevention of and response to gender based violence in areas of refugee return in South Kivu and Katanga.

· Proposals should focus on areas of high refugee return where new refugee returnees (those who have returned in 2010-2012) make up at least 50% of targeted beneficiaries. Proposals should specify refugee returnee population numbers and/or projections for 2012 in proposed locations.

· Proposals should describe how the proposed activities fit into the Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the DRC.

(3) Uganda

· For Uganda proposals should focus on protection, including prevention of and response to gender based violence in urban refugee communities.

· At least 80% of beneficiaries must be refugees with the remainder being vulnerable individuals in host communities.

General Instructions

PRM will accept proposals from any NGO working in the above mentioned sectors although, given budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

· A working relationship with UNHCR, current UNHCR funding, and/or a letter of support from UNHCR for the proposed activities and/or overall country program (this letter should highlight the gap in services the proposed program is designed to address);

· An established presence and a proven track record providing proposed assistance both in the sector and specified location;

· Coordination with international organizations (IOs) and NGOs working in the same area or sector as well as local authorities;

· A concrete implementation plan with well-conceived objectives and indicators that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and reliable, time-bound and trackable (SMART), have established baselines, and at least one outcome indicator per objective;

· A budget that is appropriate for meeting the objectives and demonstrates co-funding and/or cost-sharing by non-US government sources;

· Appropriate targeting of beneficiaries in coordination with UNHCR and other relevant organizations. Because of PRM’s mandate to provide protection, assistance, and sustainable solutions for refugees and victims of conflict, PRM will only consider funding projects that include a target beneficiary base of at least 80% refugees or 50% refugee returnees.

· Adherence to relevant international standards for humanitarian assistance. See PRM’s General NGO Guidelines for a complete list of sector-specific standards.

International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

Funding Limits:

For Rwanda PRM will consider proposals with budgets up to $1,700,000.

For DRC and Tanzania PRM will consider proposals with budgets up to $600,000.

For Uganda PRM will consider proposals with budgets up to $300,000.

As stated in the PRM’s General NGO Guidelines, PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization.

Approval of projects is subject to the availability of funding.

Proposal Submission Requirements:

See “How to Apply” (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights:

· Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov. Organizations not registered with Grants.gov should register well in advance of the November 4, 2011 deadline as it can take up to two weeks to finalize registration (sometimes longer for non-U.S. based NGOs to get the required registration numbers). To register with Grants.gov, organizations must first receive a DUNS number and register with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) which can take weeks and sometimes months. See “Applicant FAQs” section on Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/help/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) for complete details on registering.

· Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline and were not considered for funding. Please note: Grants.gov is expected to experience continued high volumes of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal several days early to avoid submission delays. We recommend that organizations, particularly first-time applicants, submit applications via Grants.gov no later than one week before the deadline to avoid last-minute technical difficulties that could result in an application not being considered.

· If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officer Wendy Henning at (202) 453-9380 or henningwl@state.gov to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

· Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. PRM recommends submitting proposals from agency headquarters. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

· NGOs that have not received PRM funding prior to the U.S. Government fiscal year ending September 30, 2004 must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. Government by submitting copies of 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, and 4) an Employer ID (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification number.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Template:

Please refer to the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in PRM’s General NGO Guidelines. PRM strongly encourages organizations applying for PRM funding to use the PRM recommended proposal and budget templates. Templates can be requested by sending an email to PRM’s NGO Coordinator. You must type “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line to receive an automated reply containing the template.

In addition to referencing the General NGO Guidelines, applicants proposing multi-year programs should adhere to the following guidance.

Applicants may submit proposals that include multi-year strategies presented in 12-month cycles for a period not to exceed 24 months from the proposed start date. Fully developed programs with detailed budgets, objectives and indicators are required for the first 12 months of activities. PRM expects all multi-year program plans to broadly outline out-year activities. Multi-year strategies should include notional budgets (budget summaries only) for out-year activities. Objectives and indicators for out-year 12-month program cycles are not required as part of the initial proposal and will be submitted with continuation applications.

PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE PRM’s FY2011 NGO GUIDELINES:

This announcement is designed to accompany the General NGO Guidelines, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered. PRM recommends using the proposal and budget templates that are available upon email request from PRM’s NGO Coordinator. Please send an email, with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line, to PRM’s NGO Coordinator.

· Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

· Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

· To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries. Any project involving the building or maintenance of physical infrastructure must include coordinates of site locations (place name, P-Code, latitude and longitude coordinates).

· Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization (where applicable). PRM strongly encourages multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs.

· Organizations that received PRM funding in FY 2010 for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

Reports and Reporting Requirements:

Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. It is highly suggested that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template. To request this template, send an email with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line to PRM’s NGO Coordinator.

Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement.

For more details regarding PRM’s reporting requirements please see the General NGO Guidelines.

Noncompeting Application Requirements

Multi-year applications selected for funding by PRM will be funded in 12-month increments based on the proposals submitted in the competing application and as approved by PRM. Continued funding after the initial 12-month award requires the submission of a noncompeting continuation application as follows:

· Continuation applications must be submitted not later than 90 days than the proposed start date of the award ( e.g., if funding the next budget period is to begin on September 1, submit your application by June 1. Late applications will jeopardize continued funding.

· Applications must be signed by the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization on the submitted SF-424.

· Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68 )

· Proposal Content, Formatting and Templates: Please refer to the guidance contained within and in the PRM NGO Guidelines. The total budget should not exceed the amount which is listed on the current Federal Assistance Award. You must submit a complete application including:

o Signed completed SF-424.

o Proposal reflecting objectives and indicators for the continuation period.

o Budget for the continuation period.

o Budget narrative.

o Most recent Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA), if applicable.

o Information on the amount of unexpended funds to include a statement of the estimated cumulative total dollar amount taking into consideration the actual expenditures shown on the Financial Status Report. Note that funds are available for expenditure only during the period in which they are awarded.

Proposal Review Process:
PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced proposal evaluation criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

PRM may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

 
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Ambassador Johnson on Freedom of Assembly and Association

(As prepared for delivery at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 3)

L to R, Amb. Cynthia Efird, Amb. Ian Kelly, Amb. Suzan Johnson Cook, Amb. David Johnson and DAS Thomas Melia, Sept. 26, 2011. Photo by USOSCE/Colin Peters.

L to R, Amb. Cynthia Efird, Amb. Ian Kelly, Amb. Suzan Johnson Cook, Amb. David Johnson and DAS Thomas Melia, Sept. 26, 2011. Photo by USOSCE/Colin Peters.

The right to peaceful assembly and association are well-established rights, essential to any genuine, functioning democratic system. But in a number of participating States, respect for these rights remains tightly and unduly restricted.

In Kazakhstan, thousands of oil workers in the western part of the country have been striking since May, demanding that independent trade unions in the region be allowed to operate without restrictions, that salaries be increased, and that there be equal treatment for foreign and domestic workers. A lawyer for the striking workers, Natalya Sokolova, was sentenced in August to six years in jail for “igniting social unrest,” just a week after being found guilty of “organizing an unsanctioned mass gathering” in front of police headquarters in Aktau. Upon his return to Kazakhstan after protesting outside the Kazakhstani Embassy in Moscow in August on behalf of the striking oil workers, opposition activist Zhanbolat Mamai was jailed for holding an unsanctioned protest—even though that protest did not take place in Kazakhstan.

Uzbekistan formally closed the Tashkent office of Human Rights Watch in June. The United States values the role played worldwide by international NGOs and regrets that Human Rights Watch will not be able to contribute to Uzbekistan’s implementation of its international and OSCE commitments to further develop civil society and transparency. On June 27—Media Workers’ Day in Uzbekistan—Saodat Omonova and Malohat Eshonqulova were detained in Tashkent and fined $1,500 for holding an unauthorized protest. They later went on hunger strike to protest government media censorship at the state television station Yoshlar (Youth), where they had worked.

In Turkmenistan and other Central Asian countries, the formation and activities of NGOs are severely restricted. Similar to laws in other Central Asian states, Turkmen law requires that all nongovernmental organizations register with the Ministry of Justice, inform the government of any foreign financial assistance, notify the government of all planned activities, and allow government officials to attend meetings and events. Groups that do try to fulfill these regulations often face administrative obstacles, particularly concerning the registration process, and only one organization has been allowed to register since 2008—the Society of Guitarists. Working without registration is a precarious option—unregistered NGO activity is punishable by fines, short-term detention, and confiscation of property.

In Russia, authorities routinely deny permission for opposition groups to rally at Triumph Square in Moscow and Gostiny Dvor and Palace Square in St. Petersburg, and then break up unauthorized peaceful gatherings at these locations. Russian democratic activists continue to be prosecuted for attempting to exercise their right to freedom of assembly. While Russian law allows one-man pickets without permits, authorities are quick to arrest these protestors as soon as they are joined by a second individual – often uninvited and reportedly from Kremlin-supported youth groups. Authorities continue to deny LGBT groups the right of free assembly through continued bans on pride demonstrations and parades.

In Ukraine, police interference with public protests and rallies has increased, most notably during peaceful protests last November over the government’s proposed changes to the tax code, and during an opposition march in Kyiv in August on the country’s Independence Day. In some cases, police arrested and detained protestors and called others in for questioning. According to the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, there were more violations of freedom assembly in 2010 than during the previous two years.

The United States welcomes the Armenian Government’s decision this spring to allow demonstrations again in Yerevan’s Liberty Square, and its commitment to investigate fully the circumstances surrounding the violence following the last presidential election. We hope this investigation will result in meaningful accountability, and that the government will work toward the elimination of all constraints on freedom of assembly in Armenia.

Azerbaijani authorities routinely deny requests to organize rallies and have refused since the end of 2005 to make available Azadliq Square in central Baku for pro-democracy demonstrations. Those who attempt to hold such demonstrations risk arrest, fines, imprisonment and beatings, as was illustrated again in March and April of this year both before and during thwarted demonstrations in Baku. According to credible reports, some were beaten or otherwise abused in detention.

In Georgia, the violent use of excessive force by law enforcement officials and reports of abuse of detainees following the May 25-26 also remain of concern and undermine Georgia’s democratization efforts. It is important that transparent investigations into such actions produce tangible results with appropriate accountability.

Finally, Mr./Madam Moderator, since last year’s HDIM, violations of freedom of assembly have reached egregious—proportions.

Since we last met, especially after the December 19 elections, Belarus has escalated the systematic repression of the freedom of assembly and association. Election night was marred by a violent campaign of repression against tens of thousands who came out to peacefully protest falsified election results. By the time the night was over, nearly 700 protestors were in detention. This number included most opposition presidential candidates, a number of whom were subjected to harsh physical treatment. More than 40 were convicted and many remain in prison, with sentences of up to six years. The recent pardons and dropping of charges are utterly insufficient. The United States again calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all incarcerated political prisoners. The crackdown included the intensification of pressure on NGOs and civil society, including the August 4 arrest of Ales Bialiatski, president of Viasna, one of two human rights groups in Belarus. Ales had often been present at this annual meeting to engage on the very same human rights concerns in Belarus that we are now discussing. No human rights organization, including Viasna, has been permitted to register in Belarus since 2003 and no independent trade union since 1999. There has also been an increase in harassment and searches of NGO premises and equipment seizures as part of the crackdown.

More recently, since June, thousands of Belarusians in more than 40 cities across the country have been engaging in peaceful protests against government policies—mainly economic policies. Plainclothes police officers, often without identification, have arrested more than 2,000 people for simply being present or clapping in support. There were no slogans, no signs, no party identification—and all the protests took place within areas freely accessible to the public. According to local human rights groups, approximately 1,500 people received sentences of between 5 and 15 days. The Belarusian authorities’ intolerance for any form of protest was underscored by recent proposed amendments to require official authorization of any planned mass presence of citizens in a public place organized for the purpose of “action or lack of action” to publicly air social or political views or protests. Under this draconian regime, one can be arrested simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, even if one is not doing anything.

 


The Lifeline: Embattled NGOs Assistance Fund

Since its creation in 1977, the DRL Bureau has been in the business of protecting and bolstering civil society. We tackled that issue with renewed vigor when Secretary Clinton made it a priority of the Department in her landmark speech on civil society in July 2010.

One way that DRL is supporting the Secretary’s civil society agenda is through the Lifeline: Embattled NGOs Assistance Fund, which is designed to quickly meet the emergency needs of NGOs when they get into trouble as a result of their work. For example, if NGO members are arrested on trumped up charges, we can provide funds for bail and legal representation; if an NGO is evicted without valid grounds from its offices, we can help that NGO get set up again with new office space. Lifeline also provides small amounts of funding to NGOs that want to raise awareness of the difficult, often hostile environments in which they operate and to address barriers to their fundamental freedoms of assembly and association.

Lifeline is funded by nearly $5 million in contributions from 13 governments spanning five continents: Australia, Benin, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And it is being implemented by a consortium of NGOs based from Johannesburg to Bangkok to Prague. All 13 governments have also committed to acting together to protect and support civil society through Lifeline’s SOS Warning Platform. SOS will alert donor governments when an NGO gets into trouble or when there is growing repression of civil society in a given country. The donors will then consult and act, publicly or privately and as appropriate.

Over the next 15 months, the donors and NGO Consortium will spread the word about Lifeline so that as many NGOs as possible know about the Fund and can access it when they need help. The donors will also work to grow the Fund by recruiting more public and private donors.

 


FY 2012 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-A-12-CA-DOM-092111

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.510 – U.S. Reception and Placement Program

Announcement issuance date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

Advisory: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address any difficulties that may arise.
Proposed Program Start Dates: January 1, 2012

Duration of Activity: January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012


Applicants with multi-year programs must continue to re-compete for PRM funding each year. Furthermore, in funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term funding possibilities.

Sample Attachment Formats:

Sample formats of the following documents are available on Grants.gov. The Excel documents are included in a single Excel workbook.

-Budget Summary and Detail, FY 2012 (Excel Document)

-Staff Summary, FY 2012 (Word Document)

I. Background and Purpose

The Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program is managed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State (hereinafter referred to as the “Bureau”). The purpose of the CO Technical Assistance Program is to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs for refugees approved for admission to the United States and reception and placement activities conducted upon their arrival.

Overseas cultural orientation is typically conducted in three to twenty hours over a period of one to five days, and addresses (at a minimum) the following subjects essential to processing, travel, and resettlement:

-Pre-Departure Processing

-Travel

-Role of the Resettlement Agency

-Rights and Responsibilities of Refugees

-Housing

-Transportation

-Employment

-Cultural Adjustment

-Education

-Health Care

-Money Management

This program serves to complement the Reception and Placement Program, the purpose of which is to promote the effective resettlement of all persons who are admitted to the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, including assisting refugees to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment as quickly as possible.

II. Program Objectives

The Bureau has established the following CO Technical Assistance Program objectives and activities for 2012:

A. To strengthen linkages between overseas CO programs and reception and placement activities:

1. Develop, maintain and manage a CO website and listserv;

2. Provide technical support to the CO working group;

3. On request, conduct presentations regarding cultural and/or community orientation at national and/or regional refugee resettlement-related conferences;

4. If requested by the Bureau, provide technical assistance to overseas and/or domestic CO programs regarding the integration of ESL training into CO curricula, as appropriate;

5. Facilitate overseas and domestic CO trainer exchanges; and

6. If requested by the Bureau, provide coordination and/or facilitation of special forums or workshops.

B. To provide information and materials to overseas CO programs and to domestic refugee service providers:

1. Compile fact sheets and other documents to be posted on the CO website;

2. Identify, locate, and distribute specific materials requested by overseas CO programs;

3. Ensure that all CO materials are available online, as possible and practicable, in accessible and flexible electronic format(s);

4. When requested, handle bulk distribution of hardcopy Bureau-produced materials to overseas CO providers and domestic reception and placement affiliates in order to supplement electronic materials;

5. Produce new translations of and updated content for the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as directed by the Bureau;

6. Reproduce hardcopies, and maintain and store an adequate inventory of the Welcome to the United States guidebooks, videos, and DVDs as necessary to supplement electronically-available materials at the request of the Bureau, overseas CO providers, and domestic reception and placement affiliates.

C. To provide support and technical assistance to overseas CO programs on request;

D. To provide feedback to overseas CO programs as needed with input from the CO Working Group and guidance from the Bureau;

E. To provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

III. Eligible Applicants

The Bureau intends to award one Cooperative Agreement in FY 2012 to a well-qualified non-profit organization with the required technical expertise in cultural orientation program activities. This will include agencies that have demonstrated satisfactory performance under previous agreements with the Bureau and/or agencies that meet the selection criteria described below and have demonstrated the capacity to provide required services. Applicants should understand that receipt of prior funding for the CO Technical Assistance Program is not a pre-condition for and does not guarantee continued participation in FY 2012.

In order to be considered for participation in the program, applicants must:

A. demonstrate knowledge and experience in cultural orientation curriculum and materials development, in educational program implementation, in basic ESL curriculum and materials development, and in adult teaching and learning methodology;

B. demonstrate experience working in a refugee context or with other migrant populations in the United States; and

C. demonstrate financial stability and provide documentation of at least three full years of operation in a 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

Failure to satisfy any of the three required qualifications above will preclude further consideration for participation in the program.

IV. Funding Procedures

The Bureau will enter into one Cooperative Agreement for an initial period beginning January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, subject to the availability of funds. Through the Cooperative Agreement, the Bureau will provide full financial support to the selected organization, based on the proposal submitted in response to this request. This financial support may be renewable for up to two additional years based upon budget submissions on an annual basis, as long as there remains a need for the program and the organization conducting the program provides satisfactory service, and subject to the availability of funds. At the end of three years, if the need for the program continues, the Bureau will re-compete the project, and the recipient of this award may participate in that process.

V. Proposal Evaluation Process

The Bureau will establish a panel to evaluate each proposal and may request revisions before an agreement is finalized. The panel will evaluate the proposals to determine whether and to what extent the organization’s capacity to provide technical assistance in cultural orientation will meet the Bureau’s goals and objectives for the technical assistance program. Proposals that are incomplete and/or fail to respond to all required elements of this program announcement may not be validated by the Grants.gov. In the event that an applicant’s proposal is not validated, the applicant must revise and resubmit the proposal. Applicants should be aware that the time required for this process must be taken prior to the closing date and time/deadline of this request for proposals. Proposals that are incomplete or that do not include all attachments required may not be considered as responsive. Also note that if the Bureau requests revisions or amendments to the proposal post-submission, these documents will become part of the Cooperative Agreement.

The panel will evaluate eligible proposals according to the following ranking factors (100 points possible):

1. Proposed plan of work, including access to language translation services, experience and capacity to develop CO training materials and curricula, experience and capacity to conduct trainings, experience and capacity to integrate ESL into CO curricula, ability to manage an international list serve and maintain a website, expertise to create new resources, and ability to store and distribute materials. (30 points)

2. Documented organizational capacity to manage and administer a cultural orientation technical assistance program, including demonstrated knowledge, experience, and fiscal responsibility. (25 points)

3. Documented capacity to manage activities in accordance with established program requirements and performance standards, including accountability for outcomes. (25 points)

4. Detailed and cost-effective budget and demonstrated fiscal responsibility. (20 points)

The panel will present its recommendations to the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, who will make the final award determinations.

VI. Proposal Requirements and Format

It is the intention of the Bureau to enter into Cooperative Agreements effective January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. Agencies should report all data in terms of the calendar year unless the instructions for an appendix or attachment specify another time period.

Each organization requesting consideration for the CO Technical Assistance Program through a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau must submit all information requested in the Proposal Submission Instructions.

Proposal Submission Instructions

The Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (hereinafter referred to as the “Bureau”) welcomes the submission of proposals for the 2012 Cultural Orientation (CO) Technical Assistance Program, overseen by the Bureau. The deadline for submission of proposals is November 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. noon EST.

The goals of the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program administered by the Bureau are:

(1) to strengthen linkages between overseas cultural orientation programs and reception and placement activities;

(2) to provide information and materials to overseas cultural orientation programs and to domestic refugee service providers;

(3) to provide support and technical assistance to overseas cultural orientation programs on request;

(4) with input from the Cultural Orientation Working Group and guidance from the Bureau, to provide feedback to overseas cultural orientation programs as needed; and

(5) to provide other technical assistance requested by the Bureau, subject to availability of funds and adequate staffing levels to perform assigned tasks.

The Bureau prefers that applicants submit via Grants.gov. In extreme circumstances, the Bureau has the discretion to accept proposals via e-mail or in hardcopy. The Bureau will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants who are unable to submit via Grants.gov due to technical difficulties should contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov at least one week prior to deadline to secure a trouble ticket. Applicants should then immediately contact the specific PRM point of contact identified in the respective funding opportunity announcement in order to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

Once submitted, Grants.gov will send applicants via e-mail a notice of receipt of proposal documents. If correctly and completely submitted, an additional notification “validating” receipt or rejecting (with errors noted) of the proposal will be e-mailed to the applicant. Once received by the Bureau, an applicant will receive a final notification of receipt by the Agency from Grants.gov. An applicant who has not received Grants.gov validation within 48 hours of submitting the proposal should immediately notify the Admissions Office at 202-453-9259.

Applicants should adhere to the following guidelines when preparing proposals:

-All documents in the proposal should be submitted electronically on 8.5 inch by 11 inch pages with one-inch margins.

-All documents in the proposal must be in 12-point Times New Roman font.

-All pages of the proposal must be numbered. Page numbers should restart at “page 1” for each separate file/attachment (Excel or Word Document) that is submitted. Applicants must adhere to page limitations as described in the detailed instructions below.

-Sections within each narrative should be sequential as directed in the detailed instructions below.

Required Information
Required Forms (Instructions accompany each form in the electronic Grant Application Package):

1. OMB Standard Form 424 (Version 02)– Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424 02 form can be found at: http://www.grants.gov/techlib/424_20090131.doc)

2. OMB Standard Form 424 A — Budget Information – Non Construction Programs

3. OMB Standard Form 424 B — Assurances – Non Construction Programs

Other Required Information (Instructions are detailed below):

A. Project Narrative

B. Budget

C. Budget Narrative

D. Organization and Program Key Staff

E. Current U.S.G. Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA)

F. If the organization has not received funding from PRM prior to the U.S.G. fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government by providing copies of the following: 1) the most recent external financial audit, 2) non-profit tax status under IRS 501 (c)(3), 3) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number, and 4) Employer ID number (EIN)/Federal Tax Identification

Sample Attachment Formats:

Sample formats of the following documents are available as online attachments to these instructions. Please note that the format used in each of these samples is suggested, not mandatory. Submissions in alternate formats are acceptable provided all required information is provided.

-Budget Summary and Detail, 2012 (Excel Document)

-Organization and Program Key Staff (Word Document)

A. PROJECT NARRATIVE

Organizations interested in entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau for Fiscal Year 2012 must submit a Project Narrative containing the information specified below. Each section I – V of the Project Narrative should be subtitled and numbered to correspond with the required information sections below. If any individual section of information is not applicable, that fact should be specifically stated. Each portion of the narrative should not exceed the number of pages indicated in the corresponding parentheses below. Please note that page numbers should be sequential for the entirety of the Project Narrative and should not restart with each section of required information. Submit the Project Narrative as an attachment by selecting the “Project Narrative Attachment Form” in the Grant Application Package.

I. Organizational Structure (Maximum 2 pages)

Each organization should describe its organizational structure, including the number of staff assigned to the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program and how it will manage CO Technical Assistance Program activities.

II. Project Management and Implementation (Maximum 8 pages)

Organizational Capacity and History

All organizations should include a narrative describing the history and development of the organization; its background in cultural orientation or similar activities and its experience in developing cultural orientation or similar materials, particularly as pertains to refugee populations; and its experience and capacity to provide technical assistance related to the provision of cultural orientation or similar topics. Organizations must be sure to include a detailed organizational staffing plan that describes the CO Technical Assistance management function that each individual will perform.

Proposals should also include evidence of at least three years of operation in a non-profit 501(c)(3) status.

Training Capacity

Organizations must describe their experience, ability, and capacity to provide training and CO technical assistance in:

-Presenting at meetings, public fora, conferences, and workshops;

-Conducting workshops and training on teaching methodology and curriculum development;

-Facilitating the exchange of best practices among programs;

-Facilitating international travel for staff exchange programs.

Technical Expertise in Development of Resource Materials

Organizations must illustrate their experience and describe their ability to:

-Administer the CO electronic discussion list;

-Distribute materials to overseas and domestic CO service providers and reception and placement agencies and store existing CO materials prior to distribution in both electronic format as well as hardcopy;

Develop an online repository for CO resources and maintain the CO website;

-Develop background papers or fact sheets on refugee populations, as determined in collaboration with the Bureau;

-Provide translations of the Welcome to the United States refugee orientation set, which includes the book, the VHS, and the DVD; and

-Update trainer support materials to accompany the Welcome to the United States orientation video, including the Trainers Guide.

Plan of Work

All proposals should contain a detailed plan of work, including a timeline for activities and projected outcomes. It is recommended that objectives and activities be submitted in SMART format.

B. BUDGET

The sample budget format enclosed includes columns reflecting the Bureau (federal) and other (non-federal) funding sources as well as the total funding need. The budget summary requires each applicant to provide a breakdown of sources of any non-federal funding and the amounts. This breakdown should correspond to the amount of non-federal funding included in the budget.

The following provides guidance for the preparation of budget submissions using the sample Excel format provided. Please note that in the sample summary format some basic program information is requested in addition to the summary budget figures (on two separate tabs in the sample Excel workbook). Note that budget information is required by quarter, and agencies should provide real quarterly budgets, factoring in activities such as trainings and events.

The 2012 Request for Grant Proposals (RFGP) for the Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program includes the requirement that each proposing organization submit a line item budget for calendar year 2012 costs by quarter, following the instructions below.

Personnel and Fringe Benefits

This section of the budget should list individuals whose responsibility is to provide technical assistance in cultural orientation, or to conduct cultural orientation-related activities as specified in the full announcement. Costs should include salaries and benefits of full-time and part-time program and administrative personnel associated with providing or supervising the provision of CO technical assistance. Provide salary and Full-time Equivalent (FTE) for each individual. Fringe benefits should be provided as a single line item, representing total cost for all CO staff listed. Personnel whose costs are included in an agency’s overhead base may not be included here.

If an employee works 100% of the time on the CO Technical Assistance Program, that employee should be listed as 1.0 FTE. If an employee works less than 100% of the time on the CO Technical Assistance Program, the FTE and funding level for the employee should be prorated appropriately. Organizations are reminded that any employee charged directly to the CO Technical Assistance Program must complete time sheets demonstrating that the claimed amount of time was actually devoted to working on the CO Technical Assistance Program versus other responsibilities.

Travel

This section of the budget should include travel costs related to the CO Technical Assistance Program for the purposes of conducting trainings, presenting at national and/or regional conferences, and participation at other relevant Bureau meetings such as the CO Working Group. Provide a brief description of the travel in the comments section (for example, number of trips for what purpose at a cost of $xx per trip). Provide details regarding proposed expenditures for conference travel. Travel costs listed should include local taxi fares, POV mileage, airfares, and per diem (when required for overnight trips). For each trip, include departure and arrival cities, number of travelers, and duration of trip/number of days.

Equipment/Furniture

This section of the budget should include equipment costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide separate estimates for expendable and nonexpendable equipment and furnishings, with explanation in the comments section.

Office Supplies

This section of the budget should include supply costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Items listed in this section would include (as examples) stationery, copier paper, envelopes, paper clips, pens, pencils, file folders, or other small items generally used within one (1) year or less.

Professional Fees

This section of the budget should include contractual costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide the information according to appropriate category (e.g. computer or program consultants, services of certified public accountants whose work is directly related to CO). Applicants are reminded that contracts not dedicated entirely to the CO Technical Assistance Program may not be charged to the program.

Space/Utilities

This section of the budget should include space and utilities costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program. Provide estimated costs for such items as rental or lease of office space, telephone service, postage and courier service, electricity, heat, water, and custodial and maintenance services – all for the appropriate share of the agency’s costs in these categories devoted to the CO Technical Assistance Program.

Other

This section of the budget should include costs directly attributable to the CO Technical Assistance Program not covered by any of the previous categories. Such costs must be individually itemized and explained. Some examples of costs that might appear in this section include subscriptions, briefing and orientation materials, and conference registrations.

Overhead

This section should include only those charges resulting from the application of a Government (U.S.G) approved indirect cost rate to recover an appropriate portion of an organization’s indirect costs. Organizations with an approved negotiated indirect cost rate should submit via PDF attachment a copy of the most recent approved U.S.G. negotiated indirect cost rate agreement to support the rate reflected in this category. Organizations are reminded that headquarters costs not dedicated entirely to the CO Technical Assistance Program may not be charged to the program.

C. BUDGET NARRATIVE (Maximum 4 pages.)

The Budget Narrative should describe in full detail each of the above mentioned items included in the Budget for calendar year 2012. The Budget Narrative should thoroughly and clearly describe each item, correspond with the information and figures provided on the Excel budget format, be easy to follow and understand, demonstrate cost reasonableness and that calculations are mathematically correct, and comply with guidelines and limitations.

D. CO PROGRAM STAFF

Applicants should submit information on proposed Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance Program staff and other involved staff, including their proposed responsibilities, using the sample format that is provided. List on this attachment all staff members working on the CO Technical Assistance Program, including the hours per week each will spend performing CO Technical Assistance Program tasks, and a description of the duties performed.

 


Determination and Certification of the Colombian Government with Respect to Human Rights Related Conditions

On September 7, 2011, the Department of State determined and certified to Congress that the Colombian Government is meeting statutory criteria related to human rights. This determination and certification, pursuant to Section 7046(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010, as carried forward in the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, permits the full balance of FY 2011 funds for the Colombian Armed Forces to be obligated.

During the certification period, the Colombian Government took a series of important steps to improve respect for human rights, both within the Armed Forces and in Colombia at large. Since taking office one year ago, President Santos signed a new Military Penal Code, facilitated the appointment of a Prosecutor General after a 16-month vacancy, supported judicial authorities’ efforts to vigorously combat corruption, strengthened efforts to dismantle illegal armed groups, and passed legislation stiffening penalties for crimes against human rights defenders, among other steps. The government also significantly improved respect for and recognition of human rights defenders by eliminating judgmental commentary by government officials about such groups and individuals, increasing outreach to NGOs, and publicly condemning threats and attacks against them. Most notably, in June, President Santos signed a historic Land and Victims’ Law that will provide assistance, reparations, and land restitution to approximately four million Colombians – including victims of state violence – over the next decade.

More remains to be done. Threats and attacks against human rights defenders continue to be a significant problem, as the Colombian government acknowledges. As the government has advanced its land restitution policy, criminal interests have targeted land activists; more than a dozen have been murdered this year. Despite a sizeable protection program, NGOs claim the government is not effectively protecting human rights defenders and have underlined the importance of designing and putting in place a comprehensive security strategy to ensure effective implementation of the Land and Victims’ Law without violence. NGOs rightly stress the importance of investigating and prosecuting threats and attacks against human rights defenders. The new Prosecutor General is committed to improving the administration of justice and to eliminating the backlog of pending human rights cases, including some 1,500 alleged cases of extrajudicial executions. It is essential that the Colombian government support her with appropriate resources and clear political will. Finally, while much progress has been made, it is important that the Armed Forces—both military and police—stay focused on the years-long process of building a human rights culture within their institutions, especially by rebuilding trust in those communities most affected by the conflict and where allegations of collusion with criminal groups persist.

The United States Government remains committed to engaging with the Colombian Government, international organizations, and human rights groups to improve the human rights performance of the Colombian Armed Forces and build respect for human rights throughout the country. President Santos’ commitment and energy present a unique opportunity for the government, civil society, and the international community to work together to find solutions to the remaining challenges in order to build a lasting peace in Colombia.

 


Assistant Secretary Posner’s Remarks at Afhad Women’s University “Civil Society and U.S. Foreign Policy”

Assistant Secretary Posner speaks at Sudan's Ahfad University on August 3, 2011. Photo by U.S. Embassy Khartoum.

Assistant Secretary Posner speaks at Sudan's Ahfad University on August 3, 2011. Photo by U.S. Embassy Khartoum.

I wish all of you a happy and blessed Ramadan. At this time of self-reflection and renewal, I am especially pleased to be invited here.  I wanted to come to Afhad Women’s University today to speak to you but also to listen to you and engage in a dialogue.  I believe that Sudanese youth, and particularly Sudanese women, can and must play a leading role in building peace, stability, and broad-based economic growth in your country.  I hope that some of you will do this within government, but that all of you will do it as members of civil society.

The United States government and particularly my boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — have been emphasizing the importance of civil society in crafting strong constitutions, building stable societies and developing sustainable democracies.

In our country, and in a growing number of countries around the world, it is no longer unusual for young people to work in non-governmental organizations — NGOs — and then go into government. And after serving in government, many go back to being active in civil society.

As you may know, Secretary Clinton began her career in an NGO. She was a lawyer for the Children’s Defense Fund.  And President Obama started his political career as a community organizer in Chicago. In those roles, both of them represented vulnerable populations, and both urged the U.S. Government to serve its citizens better.

Now, that’s not to say that in a democracy, governments and NGOs always see eye-to-eye. They don’t — and they shouldn’t. But there is a common recognition that it takes the work of many different kinds of citizen groups to improve democracy and governance. They do it by informing governments about issues that may not yet have hit the radar of busy officials. They do it by advocating for vulnerable people whose needs are not being met through existing government policies or programs. They do it by pushing government to do better, to work more efficiently and to spend its time and resources on the issues that matter most to the people.  And they do it by holding those of us in government accountable for our actions.

These functions are indispensible. I say that from my personal experience. I began my career as a lawyer and then did human rights work at NGOs for more than 30 years before joining the government. Over these three decades, I have been able to see with my own eyes how the interplay between civil society and government has helped countries emerge from conflict and corruption and become stronger.

Let me give a few examples:

– When I first started working in sub-Saharan Africa in the mid-1970s, there were virtually no NGOs except in South Africa and Zimbabwe, which was then called Rhodesia. Now there are civil society groups on every part of this continent, trying to turn weak democracies into truly representative and strong ones, and make strong democracies grow more transparent and responsive. The new constitution that was adopted by Kenya last year was the result of a decade-long struggle by civil society and government to create a constitution based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.  And William Matunga, the former head of the Human Rights Commission, a leading NGO, has become the new chief justice.

– As an American, I find many parallels with civil society in my own country’s history. Of course Kenya’s constitution is an entirely Kenyan document, which is why the people have placed their hopes in it. But the open, consultative nature of the constitutional process was much the same in spirit. And by the way, the framers of the U.S. Constitution were at it for a decade. There were sharp regional divisions and different political histories and wide differences of opinion among the original 13 states. And if you think that process was easy, I encourage you to read their papers. Their debates over such questions as how to enforce the rule of law, how to put checks and balances on power, how much secrecy a government should be allowed and how much transparency should be required are still being reread and re-argued today.

Assistant Secretary Posner meets with faculty at Sudan's Ahfad University, August 3, 2011. Photo by U.S. Embassy Khartoum.

Assistant Secretary Posner meets with faculty at Sudan's Ahfad University, August 3, 2011. Photo by U.S. Embassy Khartoum.

That Constitution was in the broadest sense the product of civil society at its best. Of course it was flawed – it allowed slavery and failed to give women voting rights. Though we amended the constitution to abolish slavery in the 1860s and to give women the right to vote 60 years later, today we are still constantly working to build a more perfect union.

I have had the privilege of seeing civil society transform other countries in my own lifetime. In the Philippines, which grappled with serious problems with corruption, flawed elections, and lack of rule of law, I was involved with several human rights and legal organization that became part of a broader an open, electoral system. That resulted in the 1986 election of Corazon Aquino, the first woman leader and freely elected president of the Philippines. Civil society organizations pushed the government to create an independent electoral commission that presided over her historic election.

Likewise in Indonesia, hundreds of civil society groups are working on promoting democracy, human rights and religious tolerance and a range of other issues. Their efforts have been central to transforming a country with a history of ethnic conflicts into a vibrant young democracy. It’s a pluralistic system and one that respects religious diversity. Indonesia’s political stability has created as an environment that has attracted domestic and foreign investment. The economy has boomed. And this month Secretary Clinton flew to Bali to take part in a Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society.

This dialogue is part of a broader U.S. diplomatic effort to reach beyond government-to-government relationships and engage directly with the people of other countries. We seek to find ways to cooperate on issues of mutual interest, whether it’s human rights or environmental issues, improving education and employment opportunities for women and girls, or cooperating on global heath issues.

And finally, I’d like to say a word about the critical role we have seen women play in building peace and security around the world. Women suffer disproportionately in wartime and they continue to be grossly underrepresented in peace negotiations. Yet women have played a critical role in resolving conflicts, from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka, especially by insisting that peace settlements address the chronic unresolved issues that tend to make conflicts simmer on and then reignite again in a few years.

It is also worth studying the examples set two women who have helped countries wracked by violence build peace from the ground-up: former President Roza Otunbayeva of Kygyzstan and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.  And as you may know, President Otunbayeva set an interesting precedent for her young democracy by taking office and then declining to run for re-election in order to create a tradition of peaceful and prompt transfer of power.  But I will leave you with a quote from President Sirleaf. She said, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

So I hope you will dream big dreams, and then get involved. Democracy is not a spectator sport, and young people around this inter-connected world understand this intuitively. Most of those I meet are eager to get involved in shaping their societies, making them more inclusive, more respecting of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in doing so, making them stronger. The United States will support you in these efforts.

Thank you. And I’m happy to answer questions.

 


Remarks at the USAID Panel on Business and Human Rights at the National Press Club

Melike Yetken Speaks about Business and Human Rights at a USAID sponsored event at the National Press Club

Melike Yetken Speaks about Business and Human Rights at a USAID sponsored event at the National Press Club. Photo credit: Patricia Adams/USAID.

I want to thank USAID for sponsoring today’s conversation on Business and Human Rights which I believe to be a critical human rights issue in this day and age. I am honored to be on such an esteemed panel and am very pleased to see many familiar and new faces here today. All of you have helped shape this conversation and many have helped governments, including the U.S. government, come to grips with the challenges and opportunities in this field. Business and human rights is especially important in today’s world where non-governmental actors – whether companies, NGOs or armed extremist groups — have increasing power to do good or ill. And often they are operating outside of government control or even influence.

Traditionally, human rights law has focused on governments – the duty of governments to protect the fundamental human rights of their citizens. But this is no longer enough. The global business community has grown in power and influence, and so must its responsibility for protecting human rights.

Today, half of the world’s 100 largest economies are private companies. The other half are the economies of nations. What this means is that when we measure corporate annual revenues and compare them to the gross domestic product of countries, half of the corporations are as large as nations. If Wal-Mart were a nation, its annual revenues this year would rank it roughly 30th in the world – ahead of Malaysia, Belgium, Nigeria and Sweden. And this isn’t a fluke, it’s a pattern. The Fortune 500 companies have continued to grow despite the global recession.

In this emerging global economy many of the rules of the road have yet to be written. This is a moment in time when smart, thoughtful and creative action by governments, NGOs, and companies is urgently needed.

In terms of human rights, there are four broad areas that deserve greater attention:

• First, manufacturing supply chains and their labor practices;

• Second, security and human rights in zones of armed conflict, especially with respect to the extractive industries;

• Third, labor and other human rights issues in the agricultural sector; and

• Fourth, the role of the private sector with respect to free expression on the Internet.

In each of these areas there is an important role for governments to play, often in close collaboration with companies themselves, but also civil society organizations. Now, governments alone cannot answer all of these challenges or regulate in all of these areas. But we also cannot assume that companies, acting alone, will always do the right thing.

The U. S. government is committed to working with the private sector, civil society, and governments as allies and partners to make human rights a reality, especially in those places where governments struggle to impose rule of law and companies face the difficult task of taking principled actions. So we all must be looking for alternative ways to build new global rules of the road.

As we all know, many corporations operate in some of the toughest territories in the world, in places where the discovery of natural wealth can fuel bitter conflict.

It is not easy for a company to take on responsibility for respecting human rights. But especially in places where governments may be too weak or unwilling to enforce the rule of law and protect individuals’ rights, companies often find themselves acting as the first line in promoting best practices for human rights. It is the job of governments to support companies in making the right choices. One way to do this is by facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues to identify and address problems inherent in a particular sector or region.

The international community has developed many mechanisms to address business and human rights.

I’d like to recognize the longtime contributions of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Human Rights, Transnational Corporations, and Other Business Enterprises, John Ruggie, who has been a conceptual leader on these issues. At the Human Rights Council session that ended in June, Professor Ruggie presented his final report as Special Representative: The Guiding Principles for the Implementation of the UN Protect, Respect, and Remedy Framework organized around three foundational principles:

• First, the state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business;

• Second, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and

• Third, the need for victims to have access to remedies.

The Guiding Principles were developed and were embraced by all groups following extensive consultation with government, corporate actors, and a wide range of civil society actors. As a result, they offer a common platform and plan of action for the global community in advancing human rights where they intersect with business.

But, translating his vision into action requires a commitment from companies, governments and civil society to cooperate on the hard issues.

As a government, we now must pursue the crucial next phase- implementation – with diligence, creativity and resources to ensure that we reach our ultimate goal: Improving the lives of people around the world. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State is currently exploring how we can support targeted high impact projects to advance John’s work.

We also believe in the potential of multi-stakeholder initiatives as a mechanism to address these tough issues.

It is my experience that companies are much better positioned to address human rights concerns when they work in a multi-stakeholder environment that includes not only other companies, but also civil society, academics, investors, and sometimes governments. This approach is critical because it creates a forum for invested actors to confront evolving human rights challenges, and because it provides a way to demonstrate the value of these processes through an accountability mechanism. Like the Ruggie Framework, these multi-stakeholder initiatives can also fill the void where governments can’t or won’t live up to their duty to protect their citizens.

But for multi-stakeholder initiatives to work, the standards they set must be clear, specific, and backed by a credible monitoring mechanism. The initiatives themselves need sound rules of the road, in the form of a comprehensive governance structure. And they need to be implemented, monitored, verified, and evaluated in a way that is transparent and encourages compliance.

So let me walk you through a few examples of multi-stakeholder initiatives.

The Fair Labor Association is a good example of what can be done. It’s a collaboration between companies, colleges and universities, and civil society organizations, that has been improving working conditions in factories around the world since 1999. The FLA has developed a Workplace Code of Conduct, and created a practical process for monitoring, remediation, and verification and a third-party complaint mechanism. As a result of all of these steps, the FLA has succeeded in strengthening worker protections at hundreds of factories, from Bangladesh to Mexico.

For the past 10 years, the United States and many people in this room have been working together on another initiative, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. As you may know, the VPs provides guidance to extractive companies on maintaining the safety and security of their operations in a manner that respects human rights. The VPs are the only human rights guidelines designed specifically for the oil, gas, and mining industries. Because these industries frequently work in areas where central governments are weak and human rights are all too often trampled, this administration is committed to strengthening the VPs to maximize its impact in these tough environments. We are working to create a sound governance structure as well as an external monitoring mechanism, so that it can meet these very real challenges.

And, of course, we continue to work on the urgent crisis over conflict minerals in the Great Lakes region of Africa. As you know, the U.S. Congress has recently passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,

which aims to break the links between the illicit trade in natural resources in the Great Lakes region and the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. President Obama signed it into law last year. The law requires companies that use tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold in their products to publicly disclose whether any of those minerals originated in the DRC or an adjoining country. If so, the company must provide a report of the measures taken to exercise due diligence on the source and chain of custody of the minerals, including an independent audit to verify conditions of work in the supply chain. While the law is requires companies to report publicly on their procedures, we hope it will eventually lead to a conflict-free supply chain of minerals from the region.

Another area where we are working is in developing a new International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. 125 members of industry have all signed on to this Code of Conduct which requires them to respect human rights regarding, among other things, the use of force, detention, torture, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, forced labor and discrimination. We fully support this nascent organization, which is doing its due diligence to set up a strong architecture of accountability and transparency by establishing a robust certification procedure and a credible grievance mechanism.

Finally, I want to talk about an issue that is fundamentally important to the intersection of business and human rights: Internet Freedom.

We urge all companies, U.S. and international, to consider the human rights implications of their actions, and the Internet is of course a critical area of concern these days. Secretary Clinton has put Internet freedom on the map as a key diplomatic priority. At its core Internet freedom concerns a set of human rights — the right of freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly, the right to freedom of association. We must consider how these rights apply to new technologies and the steps that governments and business need to take to protect and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

By now, every government understands the power of ordinary citizens to harness the Internet and social media to organize and express themselves.

Some have embraced these new technologies as a way to connect with and serve their citizens. Others are redoubling their attempts to control them.

We are witnessing the rise of cyber attacks on the computers of independent media, Distributed Denial of Service attacks on the sites of watchdog groups, and other attempts to thwart the work of civil society.

We are seeing the development of more sophisticated tools for cyber-repression, including filtering, surveillance, anti-circumvention, and network-disabling technologies by government security forces in closed societies.

This is one of those hard problems I spoke of earlier. I don’t have all the answers, and neither does the U.S. government. But I do believe that the multi-stakeholder approach is the right way to discuss and address these emerging challenges.

Thank you very much.

 


Statement by Ambassador Rice on the United Nations Economic and Social Council Decision to Grant Consultative Status to Three NGOs

The United States applauds today’s decisions at the United Nations Economic and Social Council to overturn the Committee on NGOs and grant consultative status to three organizations: the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) , the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. We are pleased to have worked with a broad coalition of like-minded countries, including France and Belgium, as well as civil society representatives, to help bring about today’s results.

IFES is a U.S.-based organization that aids governments around the world in conducting free and fair elections. The Belgium-based ILGA is committed to combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as to promoting the universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression works to promote freedom of opinion and expression in Syria and throughout the Arab world, and now holds the distinction of being the first NGO from Syria to be welcomed through the doors of the UN. Its director, Mazen Darwish, is a brave human rights advocate who continues to work for the realization of freedom and dignity in Syria. We look forward to the day when a just and democratic Syria is home to scores of vibrant NGOs like the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression.

All three of these organizations should have been granted consultative status by the Committee on NGOs, but we are pleased that the full Council took appropriate action to reverse these rejections.

 


FY 2011 Funding Opportunity Announcement for NGO Programs

Funding Opportunity Number: PRM-AFR-11-CA-AF-071811-HORN
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number: 19.517
Announcement issuance date: Monday, July 18, 2011

Proposal submission deadline: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

ADVISORY: PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to allow time to address difficulties that may arise due to system delays.
 

Proposed Program Start Dates: Immediately

Duration of Activity: No more than 12 months.

In funding a project one year, PRM makes no representations that it will continue to fund the project in successive years and encourages applicants to seek a wide array of donors to ensure long-term and diverse funding sources.

Current Funding Priorities for refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya:

(a) For Kenya, only proposals for assistance programs in response to new Somali arrivals in refugee camps will be considered.

(b) For Ethiopia, only proposals for assistance programs in response to new Somali arrivals in refugee camps in the Dolo Ado region will be considered.

(c) Proposals must focus on the following sectors: Health, Emergency Nutrition, Protection (including prevention of and response to gender-based violence and assistance to unaccompanied minors), Shelter and Infrastructure, and/or Water and Sanitation.

(d) PRM will accept proposals only from NGOs working in the aforementioned sectors that are existing PRM partners with FY 2010 or FY 2011funding.

(e) PRM will give priority to proposals from organizations that include activities that build on existing programs in response to the influx of new arrivals from Somalia to the above referenced camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

International Organizations (IOs) that are engaged in programs relevant to the assistance addressed by this PRM funding announcement should ensure that these programs are made known to PRM on or before the closing date of this funding announcement so that PRM can evaluate all IO and NGO programs for funding consideration.

Funding Limits: None.

As stated in the General NGO Guidelines, PRM looks favorably on cost-sharing efforts and seeks to support projects with a diverse donor base and/or resources from the submitting organization.

Proposal Submission Requirements:

See “How to Apply” (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/applicant_faqs.jsp#applying) on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights:

· Proposals must be submitted via Grants.gov.

· Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application on Grants.gov. Applicants who have done so in the past and experienced technical difficulties were not able to meet the deadline. Please note: Grants.gov is expected to experience continued high volumes of activity in the near future. PRM strongly recommends submitting your proposal early to avoid submission delays.

· If you encounter technical difficulties with Grants.gov please contact the Grants.gov Help Desk at support@grants.gov or by calling 1-800-518-4726. Applicants who are unable to submit applications via Grants.gov due to Grants.gov technical difficulties and who have reported the problem(s) to the Grants.gov help desk and received a case number and had a service request opened to research the problem(s), should contact PRM Program Officers Cathy Baroang at (202) 453-9381 or BaroangCA@state.gov or Chris Upchurch at (202) 453-9384 or UpchurchCM@state.gov to determine whether an alternative method of submission is appropriate.

· Applications must be submitted under the authority of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) at the applicant organization. Having proposals submitted by agency headquarters helps to avoid possible technical problems.

· Pursuant to U.S. Code, Title 218, Section 1001, stated on OMB Standard Form 424 (SF-424), Department of State is authorized to consolidate the certifications and assurances required by Federal law or regulations for its federal assistance programs. The list of certifications and assurances can be found at: http://fa.statebuy.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=161&menu_id=68.

Proposal Content, Formatting and Template:

Please refer to the “Proposal Submission and Review Process” section in PRM’s General NGO Guidelines. PRM strongly encourages organizations applying for PRM funding to use the PRM recommended proposal and budget templates. Templates can be requested by sending an email to PRM’s NGO Coordinator. You must type “PRM NGO Templates” in the subject line to receive an automated reply containing the template.

PLEASE TAKE SPECIAL NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE PRM’s NGO GUIDELINES:

This announcement is designed to accompany PRM’s General NGO Guidelines, which contain additional administrative information and explain in detail PRM’s NGO funding strategy and priorities. Please use both the General NGO Guidelines and this announcement to ensure that the proposed activities are in line with PRM’s priorities and that your proposal submission is in full compliance with PRM requirements. Proposal submissions that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in these guidelines will not be considered.

· Proposals should outline how the NGO will acknowledge PRM funding. If an organization believes that publicly acknowledging the receipt of USG funding for a particular PRM-funded project could potentially endanger the lives of the beneficiaries and/or the organization staff, invite suspicion about the organization’s motives, or alienate the organization from the population it is trying to help, it must provide a brief explanation in its proposal as to why it should be exempted from this requirement.

· Focus on outcome or impact indicators as much as possible. At a minimum, each objective should have one outcome or impact indicator. Wherever possible, baselines should be established before the start of the project.

· To increase PRM’s ability to track the impact of PRM funding, include specific information on locations of projects and beneficiaries. Any project involving the building or maintenance of physical infrastructure must include coordinates of site locations (place name, P-Code, latitude and longitude coordinates).

· Budget must include a specific breakdown of funds being provided by UNHCR, other USG agencies, other donors, and your own organization. PRM strongly encourages multi-lateral support for humanitarian programs.

· Organizations that currently receive PRM funding for activities that are being proposed for funding under this announcement must include the most recent quarterly progress report against indicators outlined in the cooperative agreement. If an organization’s last quarterly report was submitted more than six weeks prior to the submission of a proposal in response to this funding announcement, the organization must include, with its most recent quarterly report, updates that show any significant progress made on objectives since the last report.

Reports and Reporting Requirements:

Program reporting: PRM requires quarterly and final program reports describing and analyzing the results of activities undertaken during the validity period of the agreement. It is highly suggested that NGOs receiving PRM funding use the PRM recommended program report template. To request this template, send an email with the phrase “PRM NGO templates” in the subject line to PRM’s NGO Coordinator.

Financial Reports: Financial reports are required within thirty (30) days following the end of each calendar year quarter during the validity period of the agreement; a final financial report covering the entire period of the agreement is required within ninety (90) days after the expiration date of the agreement.

For more details regarding reporting requirements please see PRM’s General NGO Guidelines.

Proposal Review Process:
PRM will conduct a formal competitive review of all proposals submitted in response to this funding announcement. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on the above-referenced proposal evaluation criteria and PRM priorities in the context of available funding.

PRM may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will provide formal notifications to NGOs of final decisions taken by Bureau management.

PRM Points of Contact:

Should NGOs have technical questions related to this announcement, they should contact the PRM staff listed below prior to proposal submission. (Note: Responses to technical questions from PRM do not indicate a commitment to fund the program discussed.):

PRM Program Officer Cathy Baroang (BaroangCA@state.gov; 202-453-9381), Washington, DC

PRM Program Officer Chris Upchurch (UpchurchCM@state.gov; 202-453-9384), Washington, DC

Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Horn of Africa Lubna Khan (KhanL@state.gov), U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 


Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the First Meeting of the Lifeline Donor Steering Committee

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I apologize for being late.  I had the opportunity to meet with the president this morning, and we met a little bit longer than planned.  But let me thank you all very much for being part of this very exciting initiative.  And I want to thank our team — Mike Posner and his team from the State Department — for working with all of you to arrange this.  And I want to thank our seven NGO partners who will act as a clearinghouse, both for tracking and receiving requests for help from NGOs around the world that we then will be dispersing funds to.

We think this is — as is obvious from the turnout — an idea whose time has come, to have an organized response to those who are on the front lines of democracy and freedom and human rights, often at great cost to themselves.  We established the Lifeline last year with a $2 million contribution.  This year we have pledged another $1 million.  And I am very pleased that our support was more than matched with a $1.4 million commitment from all of you.  So thank you very much.

I think that the trends are so contradictory.  Because, on the one hand, we have more and more people seeking to realize their rights, and on the other we have, in the past 5 years, more than 50 nations creating laws and regulations aimed at stifling the peaceful movement for democracy and freedom.

So, I think, as we lay a foundation to help embattled NGOs continue their fight for democratic values, the Lifeline fund can help in two ways.  First, it will provide financial assistance to watchdog and advocacy NGOs, by doing everything from paying for new cell phones they need, helping to keep contact with jailed activists, launching legal appeals, paying for medical bills for those who have suffered abuse at the hands of government security.  Second, we can help NGOs stand up to repressive government action by giving grants to rally local and international support through media campaigns to help build coalitions with civil society.

And I think our seven NGO partners are creating a virtual SOS warning platform to improve our abilities to identify where and when people are in danger.  So we can get a response as quickly as needed.  So we are really excited by what we have accomplished in just a year of working on this, and what we can do together.  And I very much appreciate the commitment that you have made, Yuri, to contribute for two more years.  And I appreciate Ambassador Bruce Davis from Australia for your commitment for another year, because we have to really see how this works.  We have to make a commitment to it.

And then, I think we can attract more private money as we go forward, to have a fund that is not just government commitment, but private commitment, if we prove we can use the money effectively and get it to the people who need it the most in a timely manner, not tied up with bureaucracy and procurement, and signing a million forms, and all the things that, unfortunately, governments are well known for.

So, I think that what we are launching today is really a unique partnership with tremendous potential.  So I just want to thank you all for what you have done, and for the vision that brings you here.

 
 

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