The United States Agency for International Development in Bangladesh (USAID/Bangladesh) is seeking applications from qualified US and non-US organizations to implement an activity titled USAID’s Adolescent Health Activity.
- Objective 1: Increase the agency of boys and girls to exercise their right to delay marriage and early childbearing.
- Increasing the agency of boys and girls to exercise their right to delay marriage and early childbearing is necessary when trying to accelerate reductions in adolescent (ages 10-14) marriage and childbearing. This objective supports investments in age- and stage-appropriate interventions for girls and boys as they navigate the rapid changes of adolescence and is based on key components of Positive Youth Development. This population represents a particularly vulnerable group as they are not yet at the age of majority. The applicant should demonstrate their understanding of the sensitivities and protections of working with this age group. Increased agency of adolescents to exercise their right to delay marriage and early childbearing focuses on effects at the individual level and directly with the target population – girls and boys aged 10 to 14, particularly girls.
- Objective 1’s intermediate results include but are not limited to:
- Intermediate Result 1. Increased skills and competencies among boys and girls to delay marriage and early childbearing.
- Intermediate Result 2. Heightened aspirations of young girls aged 10 to 14, including roles for women beyond childbearing and marriage.
- Intermediate Result 3. Increased participation of boys and girls in civil activities related to elimination of early marriage and childbearing.
- Objective 2: Strengthen social support systems to delay marriage and early childbearing
- Objective 2 works at the household and community level to strengthen social support to delay marriage and early childbearing. Efforts under this objective will address social norms related to early marriage and adolescent childbearing; gender-equitable behaviors including communication and interpersonal dynamics; and gender-based violence. Together, existing norms create powerful influences that reinforce early marriage and childbearing. In order to achieve the central aim of reducing adolescent childbearing, it is necessary, but insufficient, to shift norms related to child marriage. It will also require gender transformative programming that supports women’s engagement in activities and roles beyond care-giver and mother. The results under this objective must demonstrate a shift in norms among men and women as well as girls and boys to achieve success.
- Objective 2’s intermediate results outcomes include but are not limited to:
- Intermediate Result 1. Strengthened social norms and attitudes within communities that support delayed marriage and childbearing.
- Intermediate Result 2. Increased gender-equitable behaviors among adolescents, within households, schools, and in the community.
- Intermediate Result 3. Reduced gender-based violence within households, schools, and communities.
- Objective 3: Strengthen essential and equitable services for adolescents and their families.
- Objective 3 works at the systems level to strengthen systems and community structures that facilitate healthy development of girls and boys and strengthen the capacity of their families to support positive youth development. This objective works with health and social systems to mitigate insecurities and stressors at the household level that drive child marriage. Given the complexity and breadth of drivers influencing adolescent childbearing, USAID expects the successful applicant to design and propose partnerships with Ministries, media, CSOs, NGOs and other relevant development partners working with adolescents to achieve this Activity’s goal. The successful applicant will develop and leverage relationships with and beyond health systems actors, including but not limited to economic and educational partners that hold the potential to expand opportunities for young people and reduce pressure on households to marry off young girls. Innovative partnerships and collaboration with private sector actors are encouraged as well. This includes, where appropriate, linkages with the Mission’s integrated youth activity, economic development work, and investments in education.
- Objective 3’s intermediate results include but are not limited to:
- Intermediate Result 1. Improved community and health systems and other social sectors ability to provide quality adolescent-responsive health, nutrition, and wellbeing care.
- Intermediate Result 2. Improved community and health systems and other social sectors ability to provide quality mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) for adolescents and their families at community, schools, and health facilities.
- Intermediate Result 3. Established partnerships to expand educational and economic opportunities for youth, particularly girls.
- Intermediate Result 4. Strengthened community resilience to mitigate shocks and stressors that lead to child marriage, including economic and poverty factors.
- Objective 4: Institutionalize effective solutions
- Objective 4 aims to institutionalize effective solutions. Using collaboration, learning, and adaptation to create models of what works to support communities in reducing early marriage and childbearing, and then strengthening local capacities to expand those approaches, is the focus of this objective. This objective will also work with communities to create accountability mechanisms for long-term monitoring and supporting domestic resource mobilization to ensure sustainability. This Activity will build on existing learning and evidence to accelerate progress toward reducing adolescent childbearing and elimination of child marriage in Bangladesh.
- Objective 4’s intermediate results include but are not limited to:
- Intermediate Result 1. Improved program performance through use of collaboration, adaptation, and learning.
- Intermediate Result 2. Strengthened local organizational capacity to implement and monitor locally defined solutions.
- Intermediate Result 3. Mobilized domestic resources to implement effective programs.
- Intermediate Result 4. Strengthened accountability mechanisms to ensure youth-responsive programming, including in health services.
- Subject to funding availability and at the discretion of the Agency, USAID intends to provide fifteen million dollars ($15 million) in total USAID funding over a Five (5) year period.
Risk and Assumptions
Over the course of this Activity’s implementation cycle, the following assumptions and risks should be considered. This list is not exhaustive.
- Potential mental and/or physical risks to adolescents who may be harmed by adults who are unsupportive of any piece of the activity including, but not limited to: access to health information believed to be for adults only; and adolescents defying parents’ wishes or otherwise differing from parental expectations, and shifting gender norms in a manner that could be viewed as inappropriate for the culture or for one’s age.
- This Activity will work under the assumption that the GOB will continue to emphasize the importance of reducing adolescent childbearing as part of their development agenda.
- Global and local shocks/interruptions and emergencies may occur and disrupt the availability of essential services.
- Continuous leadership turnover in different Ministries that disrupts ongoing progress/implementation because of policy shifts or lack of buy-in from new leadership as a result of the 2024 elections.
- Political and social disruption related to the 2024 national elections might affect activity implementation.
- This Activity will work under the assumption that the MOHFW is able to finalize the 5th Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Program as scheduled, with no disruptions to health programming.
- The intended beneficiaries of the Adolescent Health Activity are the very young adolescent (age 10-14) boys and girls in the divisions with a high proportion of early childbearing. The applicant is to pay particular attention to reducing inequity, which is aligned with the USAID/Bangladesh’s Health Strategy and will evaluate how gaps disproportionately affect adolescents from ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBQTIA+ community, and among other demographics and equity measures. Beyond this, the applicant may identify and propose populations of interest in order to close equity gaps and maximize USAID impact, but focusing on this age group.
- This funding opportunity is open to all eligible U.S. and non-U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) entities (other than those from foreign policy restricted countries), including educational organizations and universities, and public international organizations, etc.
- The non-Federal entity may not earn or keep any profit resulting from Federal financial assistance. While for-profit firms may participate, Prohibition against profit, no funds will be paid as profit to any for-profit entity receiving or administering Federal financial assistance as a recipient or sub-recipient, and as such, for-profit organizations must waive profits and/or fees to be eligible to apply.
- USAID welcomes applications from organizations that have not previously received financial assistance from USAID.
- Individuals are not eligible to apply.
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