The U.S. Department of State at U.S. Embassy Panama City 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 Governance, Transparency, and Accountability in Panama.”
The RCS is organized into five pillars. Due to congressional global earmarks for democracy and governance programming, projects must contribute to one or more of the three lines of effort under Pillar II of the Strategy: combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law:
- 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 that 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.
- 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.
- 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 vulnerable populations.
CARSI assistance supports a safer and more secure region where criminal organizations no longer wield the power to destabilize governments or threaten national and regional security and public safety. It also supports initiatives to prevent the entry and spread of illicit drugs, violence, and transnational threats to countries throughout the region and to the United States. 6 The five pillars of CARSI are:
- Create safe streets for the citizens of the region.
- Disrupt the movement of criminals and contraband within and among the nations of Central America.
- Support the development of strong, capable, and accountable Central American governments.
- Re-establish effective state presence and security in communities at risk.
- Foster enhanced levels of security and rule of law coordination and cooperation among the nations of the region.
Successful grant proposals will focus on programs that contribute to making Panama’s democratic institutions strong, transparent, and inclusive. Proposals should be oriented towards activities by civil society organizations (CSOs) to assist or complement central/local/municipal government efforts to improve the delivery of government services – particularly to vulnerable and/or marginalized communities – and increase the government’s ability to hold corrupt actors accountable and reduce the level of impunity. The proposals should foster collaboration among CSOs and government institutions – through technology solutions, capacity building, or other means as necessary – to advocate for change and/or improve government transparency and accountability across all levels. Applicants should address one or more of the following project objectives:
- Objective 1: Panama’s democratic institutions implement meaningful reforms to hold corrupt actors accountable and decrease impunity.
- Objective 2: Panama manages public revenues transparently and is accountable for investing public resources responsibly.
- Objective 3: Panamanian civil society demands government accountability and can influence policy outcomes. The government of Panama upholds the values and practices of liberal democracy; citizens hold their government accountable for these actions.
- Objective 4: Panama’s government adequately resources judicial and oversight institutions, ensuring their independence, and promotes reform of personnel selection and retention processes to create a competent civil service that provides nonpartisan continuity and services to all residents of Panama.
- U.S. Embassy Panama expects to award up to four grant agreements based on this NOFO. The anticipated total federal funding amount is $1,000,000.00. The period of performance for each award is between 18-24 months with an anticipated start date of September 30, 2023.
- Award Ceiling: $500,000
- Award Floor: $250,000
- Applicants who are eligible to apply are U.S. and overseas-based NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs), Public International Organizations (PIOs), Educational Institutions, and other qualified organizations that can respond to the NOFO and be able to mobilize in a short period of time. A consortium of organizations can apply together if there is one lead organization submitting the proposal. U.S. and overseas-based Non-Governmental Organizations, and International Organizations are strongly encouraged to apply with a Panamanian NGO sub-grantee.
- Locally based projects involving community interaction 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 also can increase the likelihood of sustainable impacts.
- 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.
For more information, visit Grants.gov.