The U.S. Department of State at U.S. Embassy San Jose is seeking applications from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Public International Organizations (PIOs), Educational Institutions, and other qualified organizations for a grant to implement a program entitled “Strengthening Government Through Civil Society Engagement.”
Project planning and solicitations must align with Pillars II (Combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law) of the Administration’s RCS. Projects must contribute to one or more lines of effort of the RCS Pillar II.
Pillar II: Combatting corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law ·
- LOE 1 – Strengthen democratic institutions to improve governance and rule of law
- The United States will work with countries to promote reform agendas across all branches of government, so government better serves all citizens. This will include a focus on adequately resourcing judicial and oversight institutions, ensuring their independence, and promoting reform of personnel selection and retention processes. ·
- LOE 2 – Prioritize an anticorruption agenda
- The United States will work regionally, bilaterally, and, if they must, unilaterally to root out corruption and enhance transparency across the region.
- LOE 3 – Improve administration of public resources
- The United States will work with governments to establish proper budgeting, management, and use of public resources at the local and national levels to enhance service delivery for all citizens, including in underserved areas and for vulnerable populations.
- These pillars must meet and overlap with the five goals of Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) goal #3, support the development of strong, capable, and accountable Central America countries.
The Five Goals of CARSI in Central America:
- Create safe streets for the citizens of the region;
- Disrupt the movement of criminals and contraband to, within, and between the nations of Central America;
- Support the development of strong, capable, and accountable Central American governments;
- Re-establish effective state presence, services, and security in communities at risk; and
- Foster enhanced levels of coordination and cooperation between the nations of the region, other international partners, and donors to combat regional security threats.
- Support the development of strong, capable, and accountable Central American governments; with Central American civil society demanding government accountability without reprisal of their rights and can influence policy outcomes. Host nation governments uphold the values and practices of liberal democracy and citizens hold their governments accountable for these actions.
- Objective 1: Strong democratic institutions that foster protection of human rights
- Strong and accountable democratic institutions are the basis of good governance, social inclusion, and protection of human rights. Post is interested in proposals that strengthen institutional responses to citizen’s needs while promoting inclusion of underserved populations. Potential projects include development of spaces to promote social dialogue to protect and advance human rights, especially among vulnerable populations.
- Objective 2: Increasing civil society’s role in environmental governance
- Civil society organizations play a key role in developing, implementing, and advancing environmental policies, across multiple scales but especially at the local level. Promoting civil society’s role in these processes proves fundamental to ensure vibrant and resilient communities that promote sustainable use and conservation of natural resources.
- Objective 3: Capable governance in Puntarenas and Limon that promotes social inclusion
- Capable governance institutions effectively address the most pressing needs of citizens. Post seeks projects that advance this objective in the provinces of Puntarenas and Limon. Proposals may include actions to strengthen employability governance and jobs policy, including improved interagency coordination to address employment exclusion.
- Award Ceiling: $500,000
- Award Floor: $150,000
- Expected # of Awards Funded: 4 to 5
- Number of Applications: One (1) per applicant organizations
Cross-Cutting and Additional Activities
- Utilize Local Resources and Expertise
- Local-based projects that prioritize community interaction and engagement with local civic and government leadership historically have had the best chances of success. Proposals that include the utilization of local resources and expertise are highly encouraged. Partnerships between civil society organizations can also increase the likelihood of sustainable impacts. International applicants must include collaboration with domestic organizations and institutions.
- By the end of the project, grantees should demonstrate that the project has:
- improved government services to provide public resources and publish data,
- made government stronger, more capable, and accountable,
- strengthened civil society organizations to promote accountability and improve their role in environmental governance, and/or
- contributed to safer and more productive communities through improved government services.
Desired Results and Required Outcome Indicators:
- The applicant will develop a project-level Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) with annual and end-of-project targets and results anticipated for key performance indicators. The following tables show examples of indicators that will be measured, as well as illustrative targets, upon which the recipient will be responsible for monitoring and reporting during and after the project. In addition, U.S. Embassy San Jose will regularly monitor each project’s performance to assess whether project activities are on track and targets are being achieved.
- By the end of the project, applicants must demonstrate that the project has contributed to at least one of the following three focuses:
- strengthened policies/procedures to improve government services;
- making government stronger, more capable, and more accountable; and
- enhanced engagement between government and civil society that will be sustained beyond the project timeframe.
- Required Outcome Indicators
- Number of civil society organizations strengthened to promote policy dialogue, advocate for change and/or serve as watchdogs on key issues.
- Number of civil society organizations receiving USG assistance engaged in advocacy interventions and/or policy interventions that affect their communities.
- Number of government service providers and civil society organizations that reduce corruption opportunities in service provision.
- Total number of civil servants having received training
- Illustrative Output Indicators
- Outputs are the results of what your organization does. For example, the number of participants who successfully complete a job-training course or received job placement through your activities are outputs. Below are examples of required output indicators.
- Example Output Indicators:
- Platforms developed to facilitate public requests for services.
- Women that attend weekly individual counseling sessions.
Participants and Audiences
- Proposals should focus on vulnerable populations that may include, but not be limited to, women and girls, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, people of African descent, members of racial and ethnic minorities, refugees and internally displaced persons, members of religious minorities, LGBTQI+ persons, rural residents, migrants, and individuals adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.
Priority Region: Puntarenas and Limon
- Applicants who are eligible to apply are U.S. non-profit/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS or overseas-based NGOs, institutions of higher education, and international public organizations (IPOs) and other qualified organizations that are able to respond to the NOFO and be able to mobilize in a short period of time. Local Costa Rican NGOs are highly encouraged to apply.
- To be eligible for a grant award, in addition to other conditions of this NOFO, organizations must have a commitment to non‐discrimination with respect to beneficiaries and adherence to equal opportunity employment practices. Non‐discrimination includes equal treatment without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and political affiliation.
- Applicants are reminded that U.S. Executive Orders and U.S. law prohibits transactions with, and the provision of resources and support to, individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. It is the legal responsibility of the recipient to ensure compliance with these Executive Orders and laws. This provision must be included in any sub‐awards issued under this grant award.
- The Department of State will issue an award to the Applicant whose application represents the best value to the U.S. Government based on technical merit, efficient use of U.S. Government funds, and satisfactory organizational capacity. The Department of State reserves the right to make an award based on the initial application received with or without discussion or negotiations.
- U.S. Embassy San Jose encourages applications from potential new partners.
For more information, visit Grants.gov.