The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications for projects that address impunity for those who facilitate and perpetuate the misuse and diversion of arms exports.
DRL’s goal is to promote comprehensive end-use reporting to ensure that weapons do not fuel violations of human rights or International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and promote accountability when they do. DRL’s objective is that civil society can effectively report on the use of weapons and the conduct of forces employing them, including the use of U.S. weapons in violations of human rights and IHL, and other civilian harm. DRL seeks to support civil society in providing credible information about the misuse and diversion of arms exports, in publishing reports of such information, and engaging with the governments concerned to promote accountability for those responsible for misuse and diversion.
Priority regions for this program are: Near East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia, and Western Hemisphere.
DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of commitment, with translations, if necessary, for any partners identified in the proposal, and encourages all applicants to either have a strong in-country presence and/or work closely with local civil society organizations. If the proposal will include offshore program activities, the applicant must justify this approach and demonstrate experience using this methodology.
DRL requires all programs to be non-discriminatory and expects implementers to include strategies for nondiscrimination of individuals/organizations/beneficiaries based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, or veteran’s status.
Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:
- Opportunities for beneficiaries to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts;
- Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of programs and participant ownership of project outcomes;
- Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project, with adjustments made as necessary;
- Inclusion of vulnerable populations;
- Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities;
- Systematic follow up with beneficiaries at specific intervals after the completion of activities to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.
- Funding Floor (lowest $$ value): $1,000,000
- Funding Ceiling (highest $$ value): $1,000,000
- Anticipated Number of Awards: 1
- Period of Performance: 18-48 months.
- Anticipated Time to Award (pending availability of funds): 6 months.
Responsive projects should be designed to achieve the following outcomes:
- Increased knowledge and capacity among civil society to promote human rights, IHL, and civilian harm considerations in conventional weapons transfers and use.
- Improved and increased end-use reporting of arms exports.
- Governments acknowledge, prevent, and address the misuse and diversion of arms exports.
- DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.
- Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process. Additionally, the Department of State prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures.
Activities that are not typically allowed include, but are not limited to:
- The provision of humanitarian assistance;
- English language instruction;
- Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;
- Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;
- External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;
- Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or are not necessary per security concerns;
- Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;
- Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;
- Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.
For more information, visit DRL.