The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs’ Office of Environment, Conservation, and Water announces the Notice of Funding Opportunity (“NOFO”) for a program to take advantage of the momentum and opportunities stemming from the 2023 UN Water Conference and Water Action Decade and will seek to strategically leverage existing arenas for dialogue, such as academic, policy, and intergovernmental gatherings on water and water-related sectors and processes.
This Track 1.5 Dialogue on Global Water Security aims to foster discussions that will inform and help shape the future direction of the global water security agenda, prioritizing the involvement of “High Priority Country” representatives and strengthening their capacity to engage in international water processes. A Track 1.5 dialogue process combines elements of both official government-level negotiations (Track 1) and informal, unofficial discussions (Track 2) to foster a more inclusive and flexible environment, allowing for a broader range of perspectives and expertise while maintaining the potential for official decision-making and implementation. It offers the advantages of leveraging the expertise and influence of official actors while also incorporating the participation of non-state actors and civil society, building trust among all stakeholders and leading to a more comprehensive and sustainable resolution to complex issues.,
This time-bound, action-oriented program will explicitly feature elements designed to break out of established often narrow policy discussions and broaden the diversity of voices included in the global conversation.
Program Goal & Objectives
- The program’s goal is to strengthen global water security through improved international communication, collaboration, and coordination with particular focus on the inclusion of underrepresented voices in policy fora, such as representatives from countries most affected by, or at risk from water insecurity and/or lack of access to water and sanitation. Proposals must address the following objectives:
- Objective 1: Establish an international “track 1.5” dialogue that may inform and help shape the future direction of the global water security agenda
- Activities include but are not limited to:
- Hosting targeted workshops and events designed to foster discussions between relevant officials and stakeholders, while explicitly prioritizing and supporting the involvement of HPC representatives and other underrepresented voices
- Documents to support the preparation and follow up of such workshops (e.g., reflections, structured exchanges, joint analysis, joint drafting, etc.)
- Continuous communication and exchange opportunities via in-person, hybrid, and virtual events
- Objective 2: Inform and improve the future direction of the global water security agenda to ensure a stronger, more informed dialogue more reflective of stakeholders and communities at greatest risk of water insecurity. Activities may include but are not limited to:
- Internal or external-facing policy analysis, stock-takes, recommendations, as needed and reflective of the views of the dialogue participants and objectives of the program.
- Creating outward-facing informational and communication products based on workshops (reports, briefings, videos, articles)
- Creative use of non-traditional media to share messages geographically and sectorally.
- Objective 3: Build HPC capacity to engage more actively internationally, intentionally amplifying and making space for voices of a wider range of stakeholders that traditionally influence the global discourse on water, including youth, women, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups who have been left out of decision making processes and platforms.
- Assisting HPC representatives in identifying and communicating specific water sector challenges and/or navigating international processes or platforms.
- Performing a needs assessment prior to, and following dialogue events.
- Providing tailored direct support (I.e. counseling, advice) prior to, during, and after dialogue events to ensure full and effective participation.
- Total Funding Ceiling: $1,300,000
- Period of Performance: 36 months
Key Program Principles
- Country ownership: The program should be responsive to the needs expressed by the representative countries.
- Local knowledge: The program should work to make scientific and technical knowledge understandable and consumable to stakeholders at all levels of society and integrate indigenous and local knowledge, with the knowledge-holders’ permission, into activities and planning including identifying partners at the indigenous and local level.
- Partnerships and project sustainability: Projects should leverage additional institutional or outside resources to expand the impact of the program, contribute to sustainability of the program.
- Gender considerations: Gender perspectives will be part of program planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
- Utilize Existing Resources and Expertise: When possible, the applicant is encouraged to leverage existing initiatives, programs, and opportunities to further the goals of the project.
- Overall, this program will seek to diversify and deepen the international conversation on global water security, which will help to ensure that water security supports economic growth while also addressing economic and social inequalities. By intentionally supporting and building the capacity of HPC representatives and underrepresented voices, the program will strengthen the effectiveness, responsiveness, and sustainability of international efforts to strengthen water security, while also improving water security outcomes in HPC countries.
- Applicants are welcome to suggest additional performance outputs and outcomes to the ones listed below based on the proposal’s plan for achieving goals. The outcomes should reflect the program objectives. Outputs or other metrics should directly support the program outcomes. The outputs listed on this award are for tracking purposes.
- Indicative Outcomes or Results:
- A series of in-person, hybrid, and/or virtual events, including relevant government officials from HPCs and under-represented voices.
- Evidence of a broader dialogue, inclusion ofunderrepresented voices.
- Evidence of impact in formal or informal global processes (documents, statements, etc.)
- A compendium of communications materials, both for internal and external use.
- A final report, including recommendations and/or guidance for international uptake.
- Indicative Performance Outputs:
- Total number of member states and other stakeholder groups engaged in meetings, including specific numbers on underrepresented voices.
- Total number of participants engaged in activities
- Number of institutions strengthened to manage water resources through each activity.
- Anecdotal narratives and qualitative indicators of progress/success.
- Number of other donors who provide funding or in-kind contributions as cost share.
- OES welcomes applications from U.S.-based non-profit/non-governmental organizations with or without 501(c) (3) status of the U.S. tax code; foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO); Public International Organizations; Foreign Public Organizations; and private, public, or state institutions of higher education.
For more information, visit Grants.gov.