Granting Opportunity from Counterpart International: Civil Society in Action
Issuance Date: March 31, 2023
Closing Date: April 20, 2023
Closing Time: 18:00
SECTION I: FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION:
The Civil Society in Action (CSA) is a five-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Counterpart. The goal of CSA is to enhance civil society sustainability through improved financial viability, organizational capacity, and policy dialogue. Counterpart’s vision for CSA is to enable local organizations and civic movements to enhance two key dimensions of civil society: CSOs’ impacts on policy discourse (the external effect) and CSOs’ representation of constituents (the internal effect).
To this end, CSA will support the civil society sector’s financial viability at the national and community levels (objective 1) and enhance the capacity of community-based organizations (objective 2), ensuring that CSOs improve their delivery of both external and internal effects. CSA will also enhance CSOs’ skills, knowledge, and opportunities for dialogue (objective 3) to effectively engage in public policy and evidence-based advocacy, further enabling CSOs’ ability to deliver external effects. We will achieve these objectives through a process that is locally-led and ensures local ownership of development results (objective 4).
CSA Program Objectives:
Objective 1: CSO financial viability improved
Objective 2: Organizational capacity of CBOs enhanced
Objective 3: CSO and government dialogue on public policy enhanced Objective 4: Locally-led development promoted
Civil Society in Action (CSA)/Counterpart International (Counterpart) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from Armenian CBOs to implement activities focused on supporting democratic processes in their communities such as but not limited to establishing dialogue with the local government, actively engaging in identifying community issues by using existing mechanisms like participation in community council meetings and public hearings, community's participatory budget development and budget monitoring, contributing to local policy making; and engaging with women, youth, and marginalized population. The geographic focus under consideration includes five Marzes: Ararat, Armavir, Kotayk, Aragatsotn and Gegharkunik.
Through the CSA grants program, it is expected that CBOs across Armenia will be more capable and empowered to support community development and meet citizens’ needs in each Marz.
CSA/Counterpart anticipates awarding two grants in each selected Marz ranging from 2,000,000 AMD to 2,500,000 AMD for the first year. Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be reviewed by independent selection committee members. Based on the results, the selected organizations will be invited to present a full application – Request for Application (RFA). As a result, a maximum of 10 successful applicants will sign grant agreements.
During the project implementation, the CSA team together with the selected Intermediate Service Organization (ISO) will provide Organizational Development (OD) support to selected CBOs. After the first year, selected organizations with high performance will be able to submit new proposals and continue collaboration with CSA/Counterpart. The expected duration of CSA/Counterpart’s support or the period of performance is limited to the official length of the CSA Action - October 20, 2022 – October,19 2027.
CSA/Counterpart reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. NOTE: Applicant organization must be registered in the Marz of their operation.
SECTION II: AWARD INFORMATION:
Subject to the availability of funds, CSA/Counterpart anticipates awarding two grants in each announced Marz ranging from 2,000,000 AMD to 2,500,000 AMD for the first year. As a result, 10 CBOs will be able to submit a full application (RFA). EOIs will be reviewed by the independent selection committee members.
Note: During the next year (2024), a new announcement will be launched for the remaining five Marzes.
Please note the award is exempt from VAT. All grantees will be provided with an official VAT exemption letter.
SECTION III: ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION:
The applicant / application must meet the following requirements:
- Be officially registered in Armenia and work in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including but not limited to pertinent local laws and status. In case an applicant is not yet registered, commitment to be registered prior to signing agreement shall be clearly stated in the application.
- Registered with a Unique Entity ID (UEI) through www.sam.gov.
- Meet the project’s objectives and principles.
- Contain expected outcomes and results consistent with and linked to the project objectives.
- Applicant is not in the list of the US Government debarred organizations.
Types of Grantees Eligible:
- Community Based Organizations (CBOs)
- Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
- Professional Associations
Twenty (20%) percent of the cost share (cash or in kind) is required; applicants are encouraged to contribute resources from their own private or other sources excluding US Government funding for the implementation of this program where feasible.
Administration of Award
For non-U.S. organizations, USAID Standard Provisions for non-U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations would apply.
Applicants may obtain copies of the referenced material at the following websites:
o Standard Provisions for Non-U.S. Nongovernmental Recipients: http://usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/303mab.pdf
CSA/Counterpart will review proposals using a two-stage process. First, applicants shall submit an EOI of no more than four pages to CSA/Counterpart before submitting a full proposal (RFA). Please see detailed instructions below under “EOI instructions”.
Please note the following:
- Do not submit a full proposal unless requested by CSA/Counterpart. Only upon receipt of positive CSA/Counterpart written feedback on the EOI, the applicant is requested to develop a full proposal.
- Applicants must submit the EOI in accordance with the instructions in SECTION IV B below.
In the first stage, all interested applicants are required to submit an EOI no longer than four pages based on a strict format here.
Application form (Please fill in the form from the link above):
- Title page
- UEI Number
- Organizational background
- Executive Summary
- Problem Statement
- Problem Solution Strategy
- Beneficiaries’ Participation, Partners, and Target Audience
- Project Management
- Project Monitoring
- Project Sustainability
- Budget and Budget Narrative
- Gantt chart
- Staffing Table
- Funding Declaration
- Due Diligence Questionnaire (shall be completed prior to signing a grant agreement)
- Required Certification as per ADS 303.3.8
The EOI shall demonstrate the applicant’s capabilities and expertise with respect to achieving the goal of this program. The instructions for developing the EOI are listed in the next section below.
EOIs will be reviewed in terms of responsiveness to this announcement. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how their proposed work will contribute to CSA/Counterpart’s objectives listed in Section I.
- Application shall be submitted in English, using Arial font, font size 12, single (1) line spacing, A4 page format.
- The application shall not exceed four (4) pages total.
- Applicants shall attach the copy of the state registration certificate.
- Appendices and attachments are not counted towards the four-page limit.
- The application and all attachments shall be submitted as one combined and signed PDF document (no separate files).
- The application will be rejected if it does not match the presented format.
- Application submission in accordance with the instructions does not guarantee that the project will be funded.
- CSA/Counterpart will not cover any costs related to the preparation and/or submission of the required application package.
- The applicant shall obtain a UEI number prior to signing an agreement with CSA/Counterpart (please see the guide in the following link from sam.gov for help in obtaining a UEI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C87wSCYKTcE)
- Please submit EOI package electronically to: [email protected]
- The deadline for applications is April 20, 2023, 18.00 (Yerevan time). Late applications will not be accepted.
B. Application Process
If an EOI is approved, CSA/Counterpart will contact applicants and provide instructions and templates to complete a full application (RFA).
Do not submit a full proposal unless requested by CSA/Counterpart. Only upon receipt of positive feedback on the EOI, the applicant is requested to put together a full proposal for CSA/Counterpart‘s consideration.
SECTION V – EOI REVIEW INFORMATION
A. Evaluation Criteria for EOI
EOI will be reviewed in terms of responsiveness to the announcement, appropriateness of subject matter, and creativeness. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate how their proposed work will contribute to solving local community issues listed in SECTION I. All sections in the EOI form will be evaluated based on information clearly presented under the following headings:
a. Technical Merit 10 points
- Relevance to program goals and target beneficiaries
- Effectiveness of the project outputs
- Sustainability of project results
- Anticipated impact on the beneficiaries
b. Project Management 20 points
- Effectiveness of the project organization to complete the project activities successfully
- Appropriateness of the project management and monitoring approaches
- Adequacy of the proposed personnel and facilities to implement the project activities
c. Past Performance / Organizational Capacity 10 points
- Past performance in similar projects
- Relevant staff skills to the proposed project
- Experience in geographical region
- Written accounting and procurement procedures
- Capacity to adhere to USAID financial guidelines
d. Feasibility and Cost Effectiveness 10 points
- Are costs reasonable, allowable, and allocable
- Is the proposal cost effective?
- Does the proposal have the required percentage of cost share?
SECTION VI - PROJECT CONTACTS
Any prospective applicant desiring an explanation or interpretation of this EOI must send questions in writing to [email protected] by April 20, 2023, 18:00 to allow a reply to reach all prospective applicants before the submission of their applications. After the specified deadline no questions will be accepted. Oral explanations or instructions given before award of a grant will not be binding. Questions and answers will be published here Q&A by April 12, 2023, 18:00.
The complete application shall be submitted in PDF electronic form in English with the required attachments no later than the closing date and time specified on the front page of this EOI to [email protected]
SECTION VII - OTHER INFORMATION
Issuance of this EOI does not constitute an award or commitment on the part of CSA/Counterpart, nor does it commit CSA/Counterpart to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.
CSA/Counterpart reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted. Further, CSA/Counterpart reserves the right to make no awards as a result of this EOI
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