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Open Call for Proposals Announcement

Open Call for Proposals Announcement

 

USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project in Albania  

“Actions to Address Democracy, Governance, Civic Engagement, and Corruption”

 

 The USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project in Albania seeks to award grants to Albanian civil society organizations (CSOs), working alone or in partnerships with other CSOs, to promote local democracy, good governance and anti-corruption in Albania.

Issuance date:                                                                                            July 12, 2018

Deadline for questions:                                                                          August 15, 2018

Closing date for application submission:                                        September 4, 2018

USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project background

The goal of Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project in Albania is to support and strengthen the capacities and accountability of civil society organizations (CSOs), government bodies, and private sector entities in Albania to foster and sustain democratic processes. To achieve this goal, the Project will focus in the following three areas:

Component I: Assessment of Albanian organizations.

In the framework of Component 1, the project will identify beneficiary organizations working in the democracy and governance sector, assess those organizations and develop interventions to improve their ability to effectively work for public participation and government oversight, improved governance services, efforts against corruption, civic education and capacity-building activities, and improved management of organizational resources. The project will work with beneficiary organizations to identify specific areas for organizational improvement and develop an action plan to address the needs.

Component II: Grants under contract.

In the framework of Component II, the project will award grants to Albanian CSOs focusing on (but not limited to) areas of election oversight, women’s empowerment, marginalized population rights, anti-corruption, and increased citizen oversight and/or provide practical experience for the capacity building training they will receive. The grants must further one or more of the three objectives: (1) Local capacity for long-term impact built; (2) Democracy, governance, and civic education strengthened; and (3) Vulnerable populations’ participation more fully in society improved.  

Component III: Technical Assistance

The project will design and provide additional technical assistance based on the organizational assessment conducted and accepted under Component I. The support will be in different forms of training and technical assistance. It will focus on (but not limited to) organizational development, financial management, strategic planning, program design and management, networking and fundraising, etc.

By successfully addressing the three program elements, Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project in Albania will achieve the project goal: to support and strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs), government bodies, and private sector entities in Albania to foster and sustain democratic processes. Two Expected Project Results will contribute to reaching this objective: (1) Improved organizational and technical capacities of civil society organizations, government bodies, and private sector entities; and (2) Enabled civil society organizations to implement initiatives relating to local capacity for long-term impact, democracy, governance, and civic education, and vulnerable populations’ participation in society.

Funding focus area

The USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project seeks creative, innovative and collaborative applications in support of activities that will directly further one or more of the three objectives:

(1) Local capacity for long-term impact built;

(2) Democracy, governance, and civic education strengthened; and

(3) Vulnerable populations’ participation more fully in society improved.

The project provides grants for civil society organizations to enable them to carry out their initiatives. The civil society organizations that are registered and functional and deal with issues of civic engagement and democratic governance including CSOs involved in election oversight, women’s empowerment, marginalized population rights, good governance and anti-corruption at local and central level, increased citizen oversight, capacity development, etc. are encouraged to apply for grants. Types of activities that can be supported through the grants include:

  • Capacity building activities aiming at building the capacities at the individual, institutional, coalition/network, and systems level, especially of associations for marginalized people;
  • Advocacy, stakeholder dialogue, and joint action initiatives to build trust and foster democracy and inclusive socio-economic growth;
  • Training, exchange, and dissemination activities aiming at dissemination of international best practices, introduction of new technologies, and “learning by doing”;
  • Organization and functioning of the community service delivery oversight committees to enhance government accountability;
  • Good governance monitoring (including surveys, production of analysis, corruption assessment reports);
  • Activities aiming at establishing and institutionalizing the citizen-government engagement;
  • Oversight of election processes;
  • Oversight of political processes;
  • Participation of vulnerable populations;
  • Activities aiming at improving the situation of people living with HIV/AIDS, LGBT, women and other marginalized groups.

Applicants are reminded that applications that are: (i) aligned with the goals of USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation project; (ii) feasible; and (iii) innovative will receive consideration.

CSOs that represent women, sexual minorities, disabled persons, remote regions, and ethnic minorities are encouraged to apply.

Funding amount, timing, and eligibility requirements

The Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project will award Fixed Amount Awards (FAA) for civil society organizations. Fixed Amount Awards allow for grants that focus on milestone accomplishment rather than monitoring costs incurred in the performance of the award by the Grantee. FAAs are generally awarded where there is certainty about the cost, when the achievement of results or milestones is readily discernible, and when the costs can be segregated by milestones.

The USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project plans to award multiple grants for projects spanning 12 (twelve) – 15 (fifteen) months. Albanian civil society organizations will be asked to submit full project applications proposing the types of activities that will be supported through the grants.

The maximum grant amount is 30,000 USD. Approximately 240,000 USD will be allocated to this type of grants. The actual number of awards under this open call is subject to the availability of funds and the interests and requirements of USAID Albania as well as viability of applications received.

Grant funds may be used only for activities directly related to the implementation of the project.

Only CSOs legally registered in Albania are eligible to apply under this open call. Applicant organizations should also meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least one year of operational experience.
  • Have a governance structure that ensures proper rotation of leadership and delegation of power, including, at least: a Board of Directors, a Chairperson, and/or an Executive Director.
  • Have a transparent system of bookkeeping that complies with Albanian legislation and International Accounting Standards (IAS).
  • Must not be a debtor, and must have cancelled any debt to the state or arranged for full debt payment prior to receiving the first disbursement of the USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation project grant funds.
  • Must operate as an independent non-politically affiliated organization.
  • Must not be debarred, suspended, excluded or otherwise ineligible to receive US Federal funding.
  • Members of public administration and/or leaders of political parties cannot participate in a grant project, as a director or as grant-remunerated participant.

Evaluation of applications

USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project will review the applications and select those that it intends to fund, and will proceed to negotiate an award with each successful applicant subject to the availability of funding. The final decision for funding will be based on both a technical review and the availability of USAID funding. USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project reserve the right to fund one or more or none of the applications which may be submitted. If the solicitation becomes irrelevant for any reason or funding is unavailable, USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project reserve the right to close the solicitation.

All applicants may be subject to a pre-award financial and management review and must demonstrate that they have a rigorous financial and monitoring system in place that will ensure auditable systems and records.

Applications will undergo a comprehensive evaluation including the initial review and technical evaluation.

The initial review or Eligibility Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the Eligibility Evaluation Checklist below.

Eligibility: The prospective Grantee should meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:

  • Be duly and legally registered in accordance with the Albanian law. In case of a consortium, the organization representing the others should be duly registered.
  • Have at least one year of organizational operational experience.
  • Must not be a debtor to the state, must have cancelled any debt to the state, or have arranged for debt collection prior to receiving the first disbursement of the Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project grant funds. (This eligibility requirement will be checked for shortlisted applicants only.)
  • Must successfully clear all the checklist items under ANTTARC’s vetting checklist (background, conflicts, suspension and debarment, and anti-terrorism).
  • Have demonstrated ability to manage grant funds (evidence of financial accountability, systems maintenance of accurate, detailed records of all expenses, and have designated financial management personnel).
  • Must operate as an independent non-partisan affiliated organization.

Application completeness: The applicant organization should submit all and accurate required documents as following:

  • Court decision and Organization’s Statute.
  • Tax identification number (NIPT).
  • Certificate from the tax office that your organization has no debts to the state.
  • A document issued by the auditing entity for the last year and / or a financial report.

Application evaluation (technical evaluation) will be conducted based on a set of criteria including:

  1. Technical Approach (60 points)
  1. Project Design and Feasibility
  • The degree to which the application is responsive to the request for applications and adequately addresses Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project goal and results;
  • The potential of the project to successfully achieve the objectives outlined in the PWP and AWPs;
  • The geographic focus of the proposed project and its relevance to stated objectives and anticipated results;
  • The extent to which the project introduces innovative and potentially replicable approaches;
  • The level of coordination of the project activities with other USAID or other similar foreign programs.
  • The degree to which the project accomplishes Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project work plan tasks or advances USAID and Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project goal and results (or whether the project accomplishes goal and results more properly within the scope of another USAID project or other donor project).
  1. Impact
  • The effectiveness of the proposed method(s) to reach out to and engage targeted project beneficiaries in project activities;
  • How wide the target group will be who will benefit from the proposed activity of the grant;
  • The potential of the project to make a substantial and measurable impact;
  • The extent to which the project highlights, contributes to, and influences important policy issues, which may be addressed by local, regional, and national policy makers.
  • Whether the project results will be sustainable.
  1. Organizational, Technical and Management Capability (40 points)
  2. Technical and Management Capacity:
  • The track record and demonstrated commitment of the applicant to implement proposed activities and demonstrated ability to work well with other organizations and partners;
  • The experience and expertise of the management team and proposed project personnel; and
  • The provision for appropriate project monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanisms and staff.
  1. Organizational Capability
  • The general financial strength of the applicant;
  • The organizational structure and good governance practices of the applicant;
  1. Cost Proposal – Pass/Fail test (no points allocated)
  2. The budget must be (i) complete and fully documented, (ii) reasonable, and (iii) allocated to appropriate budget categories.
  3. The budget must demonstrate a clear and direct relationship between proposed activities and the proposed use of funds;
  4. Proposed expenditures must be allowable and allocable to the project

Timelines

Indicative timelines of the grant administration process are presented below.

DATES TIME
Deadline for requesting any clarifications from the Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation project August 15, 2018
Deadline for submission of Applications September 4, 2018
Information to applicants on eligibility evaluation September 25, 2018
Information to applicants on the application evaluation (technical evaluation) October 20, 2018
Improve and finalize the application October 30, 2018
Conduct risk assessment, grant agreement, and vetting November 10,

2018

Getting final approvals and signing grant awards November 20, 2018

Deadline for Submission of Questions

Interested applicants may submit questions related to the Open Call for Proposals by e-mail to ngocenter@icc-al.org through August 15, 2018. Responses to queries and questions will be posted on the website at http://anttarc.org. No requests for meetings or phone calls with any project staff will be accepted during the application process.

Issuance of this Open Call for Proposals does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of the USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation project, nor does it commit the project to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.

Application Package

To download the application package, please see the Open Call announcement at www.anttarc.org. Alternatively, please contact the USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project at ngocenter@icc-al.org for an application form. Please reference “Open Call–USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation” in your request.

Questions relating to the Open Call for Proposals can be sent to ngocenter@icc-al.org until 15 August 2018.

How to submit proposals?

The USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project will accept proposals in English only.

Applications will be accepted no later than 17:00 Tirana time on September 4, 2018. Late applications will not be considered.

Applicants should submit their proposal (2 print copies and a CD) and required supporting documents during regular business hours (09.30 – 17.00, Monday through Friday) in a sealed envelope to:

USAID Accelerated Civic Development and Cooperation Project in Albania

Rruga Reshit Collaku, Pallati Bores, 1/20

Tirane, Shqiperi.

 

Annexes (included in GUC Manual annexes)

Annex 1.1 Project_Proposal_Form (1)

Annex_1.2_Project_Proposal_Budget_Template

Annex_1.3_Project_Budget_Guidelines