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Request for Application (RFA) Advocacy Initiatives

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Job Description

Subject: Request for Application (RFA) Number: RFA-BUILD-005

Title: Advocacy Initiatives

RFA Issuance Date:  August 13, 2019

Deadline for Questions/Clarifications: August 31, 2019

Closing Date: September 11, 2019

Creative Associates International in Somalia is seeking applications from qualified applicants in Somalia to fund a program entitled “Advocacy Initiatives”. Eligibility for this award is restricted.  See Section C of this RFA for eligibility requirements.

An award will be made to selected responsible applicant(s) whose application(s) best meet the objectives of this funding opportunity and the selection criteria contained herein.

For purposes of the RFA “Grantee” is synonymous with “Recipient”. Eligible organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to read this funding opportunity thoroughly to understand the type of program sought, application submission requirements, and evaluation process.

To be eligible for award, the applicant must provide all information as required in this RFA and meet eligibility standards in Section C of this RFA.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the entire RFA has been received from the internet in its entirety and Creative bears no responsibility for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion process.

The application must be submitted electronically to BUILD’s Grants Department at grants@som-build.comno later than the deadline stated above.

Any questions concerning this RFA should be submitted in writing to BUILD’s Grants Department at grants@som-build.com no later than the deadline stated above.  Responses to questions received prior to the deadline will be furnished to all potential applicants through an amendment to this notice via e-mail.  Issuance of this RFA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of Creative nor does it commit the Creative to pay for any costs incurred in preparation or submission of comments/suggestions or an application.  Applications are submitted at the risk of the applicant.  All preparation and submission costs are at the applicant’s expense.

Thank you for your interest in this RFA.



Rudolf Elbling

Chief of Party



Attachment 1 – Request for Application

Attachment 2 – Application Template

Attachment 3 – Budget Template

Attachment 4 –Certifications, Assurances, and Other Statements of the Recipient and Solicitation Standard


Attachment 5 – Standard Provisions for non-U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations

Attachment 6 – Standard Provisions for Fixed Amount Awards to Non-Governmental Organizations (USAID

only) (for FAAs Only)


  1. Program Description
  2. Purpose

A core objective of the Bringing Unity, Integrity, and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD) project is to increase citizens’ participation in political and electoral processes. Any grant(s) awarded under this RFA will, support civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote a particular cause or policy in Somalia by obtaining data, facilitating stakeholder inputs and interaction, and making recommendations on their behalf to Somali government stakeholders. The focus should be on promoting citizen political participation through advocacy campaign activities and initiatives that enhance the debate, deliberation and/or implementation of a cause or an issue through public support from non-traditional supporters (e.g. Imams for sexual offenses bill) or legislation that advances fundamental human rights, including but not limited to the sexual offenses law, women’s quota,mediafreedom, disability rights, minority rights and other relevant issues in Somalia’s current context.

Civil society organizations who have been actively advocating on specific causes or issues including for example by promoting the passage or amendment of relevant legislation are invited to propose advocacy related initiatives and activities. These include but are not limited to, awareness activities (see illustrative activities below), research study, data collection and other relevant activities.Advocacyactivities should be sensitive to Somali culture and incorporate customized solutions that are responsive to the targeted communities.

CSOs including but not limited to those serving women, youth, marginalized and minority groups and groups working with persons with disabilities (PWDs) should support new or existing opportunities for engagement between civil society leaders, citizens, and government bodies to engage in effective advocacy-related initiatives. These activities should promote the engagement of various stakeholders and should take a human-rights based approach.

  1. Background

During Somalia’s democratic transition, many UN conventions are being signed onto and laws are being drafted, reviewed or even passed with little public consultation. They address key topics that are needed to guide Somali public life including;gender-based violence (GBV), women’s quota, and a Sexual Offenses Bill, as examples.

It is within this background that this RFA is released to support some key efforts and advocacy campaign plans that require civil society actors to engage and work with their governmentrepresentatives to promote such key causes and issues.

  1. Objectives

Advocacy-related activities supported by BUILD will help CSOs deepen the ability of citizens to engage in the political processes both at the Federal Government and Federal Member State level. To this end, the specific objectives for any activities funded through this RFA are to support advocacy campaigns initiatives that:

  1. Support actions that promote the development of a specific positionsin regard to identified draftcauses or policies. This should include commissioning research and/or surveys to provide an evidence-base for subsequent advocacy activities.
  2. Increase participation of Somalis in taking a defined position on an issue including byhelping pass or implement a law and conducting customized activities to raise awareness around the benefits of such lawsto Somalis.
  3. Increase citizens’political participation by actively engaging them in the advocacy process, particularly if those citizens are directly affected by the passage or implementation of the law.
  1. Illustrative Activities

Illustrative activities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Drafting of an advocacy campaign action plan focused on a specific objective and related activities.
  • Building capacity and raising awareness of stakeholders and/or beneficiaries on related topics.
  • Collecting and disseminating evidence/data to advance a position on akey issue lin a manner that outlines its impact on Somali citizens and society at large.
  • Strategically convene meetings/conferences with key decision makersalongside legislators to advance a position on a draft law or encourage implementation of a current law.(This could include: roundtable meetings, panel discussions and one-on-one meetings).
  • Production and strategic dissemination of products intended to raise awareness among a target audience of the benefits of a bill. These can include print materials, art competitions, poetry and songs, video clips, PSAs etc.
  • Engagement of media outlets including official radio and TV stations as well as media CSOs to promote the identified legislation through talk shows, PSAs, call-ins, etc.
  • A CSO working to help women victims of political or domestic abuse who feel too afraid to speak for themselves.
  • Helping win support from Imams/religious leaders or clan leaders for Sexual Offenses Bill, NGO Bill or a similar piece of legislation.
  • Helping win support beyond Mogadishu and Banadir from influential community and clan leaders for women’s quota, SOB, NGO Bill and facilitating where such support can be publicly expressed and shared with government officials.
  • A CSO or a network of CSOs organizing a series of related events throughout Somalia that leads to broad public support and peaceful calls for government stakeholders to complete the constitutional review and demanding for the government officials to keep the public informed about efforts to do so.
  1. Authorizing Legislation

Awards are authorized in accordance with Creative Associates International Cooperative AgreementNo. AID-623-A-16-00001 with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

  1. Award Information
  2. Estimate of Funds Available and Number of Awards Contemplated

Subject to the availability of funds, Creative plans to issuemultiple or a single award(s) under this RFA.

The total estimated amount of funding available under this RFAis up to $50,000 for a single award and a cumulative total of $150,000 for multiple awards.The amount of each award is subject to negotiations, and each award amount may or may not fall in the range previously provided. Furthermore, Creative is not obligated to issue awards up to the amount of funding available.

Creative reserves the right to fund one, some, or none of the applications submitted.

  1. Period of Performance

The estimated start date will be upon signature of award, on or aboutSeptember 15, 2019. The anticipated duration of Creative’s support isup to6months.

  1. Award Mechanisms

Creative’s final determination on award mechanism will be based on its assessment of an applicant’s risk prior to award. If Creative’s assessment identifies weaknesses or deficiencies that call into question the applicant’s ability to manage an award, Creative may elect to remove the applicant from consideration under this funding opportunity or select a mechanism more appropriate for the applicant’s current capacity.

The most common award mechanisms issued by Creative are fixed amount awards (FAAs) and in-kind awards. Under FAAs, payments are performance based and issued to an awardeeafter its successful completion of pre-defined programmatic milestones. Under in-kind awards,Creative a) makes payments on behalf of the grantee and/or b) procures/delivers goods and services on behalf of the grantee.

Creative also may elect to issue cost-reimbursable awards (i.e. simplified or standard grants) to grantees in instances where: a) applicants demonstrate sufficient financial management capacity to implement such mechanisms and b) such awards are determined to be appropriate mechanisms for implementing the program description.

  1. Eligibility Information
  2. Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for an award under this funding opportunity, an applicant must be any of the following types of organizations:

  1. Nonprofit Organizations
  2. Civil Society Organizations
  3. Media Outlets

Applications from coalitions or networks of CSOs are also welcome. Any CSO coalition/network applying for funding under this RFA should clearly indicate in its application the CSO that will serve as the legal representative for the coalition/network and sign grant documents should its application be approved for funding.

Individuals and governments are not eligible to apply.

Preference will be given to applicants to strategically partner with other CSOs to complement their existing skills and/or outreach to support government accountability, increased participation of women and youth in public life, youth leadership, human rights, civic awareness, and strengthened concepts of citizenship.

Additionally, to be considered for an award, an applicant (including a CSO coalition/network) must:

  • Be based in Somalia
  • Have a bank account in the name of the applicant
  • Adhere to generally accepted democratic leadership and participation principles, and
  • Contribute effectively to and work cooperatively with BUILD staff and directives.

An applicant must be officially registered and working in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including but not limited to pertinent local laws and status. In lieu of official registration, a grantee may show proof of effort to secure registration, exemption from registration, or show cause for why such registration is either not optional or practicable.

  1. Cost Sharing or Matching

Cost sharing is not required under this funding opportunity

  1. Limit on Number of Applications

Each eligible organization may submit only one application per organization. Please note that issuance of this RFA does not in any way obligate Creative to pay for costs incurred by prospective applicants in the preparation and submission of an application.

  1. Application & Submission Information
  2. Address to Request Application Package

Any requests regarding this RFA package may be addressed to:

Attention:                           Grants Department

Email Address:                   grants@som-build.com

  1. Content and Form of Application Submission

Each applicationmust be submitted in two separate parts: a)TechnicalApplication and b) Cost Application. To prepare both parts, applicants mustusethe templates provided in Attachments 2 and 3, which provide instructions on the required content and format. Applicants not following these instructions are at risk of being considered non-responsive to the requirements of the RFA and eliminated from further consideration. All information must also be submitted in English. If the application is in any other language, it will be considered non-responsive and eliminated from further consideration.

Applicants should retain for their records one (1) copy of the application and all enclosures which accompany it.

Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, Creative prefers to receive applications electronically. However, Creative also recognizes that certain limitations related to internet connectivity and/or access to information and communications technologies may prevent certain applicants from submitting in electronic format. Therefore,Creative also accepts hard copy submissions.

  1. DUNS Number

To receive an award, successful applicants may be required to obtain a valid Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number. If requested by BUILD/Creative to obtain a DUNS number, information regarding registration can be found at the following website: http://www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number.html

  1. Submission Date & Time

Applicants must submit their Technical and Cost Applications prior to the closing date and time listed on the cover page. Applications that are submitted late are at risk of not being considered for review. Late applications are marked as “late”. Creative reserves the right to accept and include late applications in the review and award process only when: a) Creative considers it to be in its best interest and b) applications received on time have not yet been opened and reviewed.

  1. Funding Restrictions

Construction activities proposed under this RFA are not allowable under this RFA.  Furthermore, the following funding restrictions apply to the following grant types:

  1. Fixed Amount Award Agreement – (1) the duration of a fixed amount award may not exceed three (3) years; and (2) the fixed amount award must not include the purchase of any real property.
  2. Simplified Grant Agreement – (1) the grant agreement will not exceed $150,000 USD; (2) the grantee will not purchase any goods or services, except as authorized pursuant to 22 CFR 228 or ADS 310 or any applicable waivers, and the grantee will not purchase any single item that has a useful life over one year and a cost of $5,000 or more; (3) all costs under the award are direct, meaning that no indirect costs are allowable.

All costs proposed in an application must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable.

Creative will not reimburse for any costs incurred prior to the signing of a grant agreement.

  1. Other Submission Requirements
  1. Format of Submission – The Technical and Cost Applications must be submitted separately if sent via electronic format or packaged separately if delivered in hard copy format.
  2. Submittal of Applications – The Technical and Cost Applications must be submitted electronically or in hard copy to the e-mail address or address located in ‘1’ above of this Section. Should an applicant experience any difficulties in submitting an application, they should contact Raxma Yusuf Salad, +252 (0) 618741588.
  3. Questions & Answers– Questions regarding this RFA must be submitted in electronic format or hard copy to the same email/physical address above no later than the due date and time listed on the cover page for clarification questions. There will only be one round of questions and answers throughout the RFA process.

Any information given to a prospective applicant concerning this RFA will be furnished promptly to all other prospective applicants as an amendment to this RFA if that information is necessary in submitting applications or if the lack of it would be prejudicial to any other prospective applicant.

  1. Application Review Information


  1. Criteria

Each application received by the RFA closing date will be reviewed against the eligibility criteria outlined in “Section C. Eligibility Information”. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered for award. Eligible applications that arefound to be incomplete willbe determinednonresponsive and also not considered for award.

Eligible, responsive applications will be reviewed in accordance with the technical and cost criteria set forth below. Following this review, Creative may request the apparently successful applicant(s) to submit a revised application and/or responses to clarifying questions by a specified date. Creative reserves the right to award without requesting clarifications or additional detail in an application.

Technical Evaluation Criteria

The technical application will be evaluated against the following criteria:

Technical Approach: 45 points

The applicant’s score on technical approach will be based on the following factors:

  • Evidence-based Analysis of the Advocacy Problem Evaluators will measure the strength of the applicant’s ability to explain the issues/problems that the project will address. At a minimum, this should include a high-level political economy analysis of the situation that the recipient seeks to change.
  • Innovativeness of Activities Evaluators will measure the strength of the activities proposed by the applicant to determine if they are innovative, clearly defined, achievable, and relate directly to the applicant’s stated goals and objectives for the program.The applicant should describe, in detail, how evidence/data will be collected.
  • Relevance to Program and SustainabilityEvaluators will measure the relevancy of the applicant’s stated goals and objectives to the stated goals and objectives of BUILD.Evaluators will determine the strength of the measures proposed by the applicant to ensure sustainability of proposed activities after the period of performance.
  • Impact on BeneficiariesEvaluators will measure the strength of the applicant’s ability to involve the groups most impacted by the legislation in the project.
  • Challenges & SolutionsEvaluators will measure the strength of the applicant’s ability to describe potential implementation challenges and its proposed solutions to overcoming these challenges. This should include network analysis of the key obstacles for a successful advocacy effort.

Management & Staffing Plan: 20 Points

Evaluators will measure the strength of the applicant’s ability to describe how its proposed management structure, approach, and systems will be employed to successfully implement activities and ensure program efficiency and effectiveness.

Past Experience:15 Points

Evaluators will measure the strength of the applicant’s past experience

  1. implementing similar projects and
  2. implementing projects in the geographic areas targeted under this RFA.

Gender-Sensitive Programming: 20 points

Evaluators will measure the degree to which gender sensitivity is incorporated into the applicant’s response. For example, applicants should describe actions the program can take to promote women’s participation and empowerment, engage men and boys in gender sensitization; and treating women as full participants and not solely as beneficiaries.

Cost Evaluation Criteria

Once the technical review of the application(s) is completed, BUILD/Creative will evaluate the Cost Application(s) of the apparently successful applicant(s) for cost reasonableness, allocability, and allowability. Additionally, an apparently successful applicant’s organization must demonstrate adequate financial management capability during a pre-award risk assessment conducted by BUILD/Creative.

Cost Evaluation Criteria

Once the technical review of the application(s) is completed, Creative will evaluate the Cost Application(s) of the apparently successful applicant(s) for cost reasonableness, allocability, and allowability.Additionally, an apparently successful applicant’s organization must demonstrate adequate financial management capability during a pre-award risk assessment conducted by Creative.

  1. Review and Selection Process

To evaluate the application(s), Creative will establish a Selection Committee (SC) comprised of threemembers with expertise relevant to the program requirements described in this RFA. Throughout the evaluation process, Creative will take every step to ensure that members of the SC do not have any conflicts of interest or the appearance of such with any organization submitting an application in response to this RFA. An individual shall be considered to have the appearance of a conflict of interest if that individual or that individual’s spouse, partner, child, close friend, or relative works for, is negotiating to work for, and/or has a financial interest (including being an unpaid member of a Board of Directors) in any organization that has submitted an application for review by the SC. Members of the SC shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from any applicant.

The Chief of Party makes the final decision on all awards made under the RFA.

  1. Award Administration Information
  2. Award Notices

A Notice of Intent to Award will be provided to the point of contact listed in the application of the apparently successful applicant(s). Please note that such notification does not guarantee an award.An apparently successful applicant must first demonstrate that it possesses or has the ability to obtain the necessary management competence to practice mutually agreed upon methods of accountability for funds and other assets provided. To this end, the applicant may be required to submit additionalinformation about its organization (i.e. Articles of Incorporation or other documentation substantiating the legal character of the applicant or key individuals within its organization) for vetting purposes. Final issuance of an award will be contingent upon the timely receipt of the information requested and the successful completion of Creative’s vetting process/pre-award risk assessment.

  1. Award Administration

This award will be administered according to the following:

For USAID-funded programs:

  • U.S. based NGOs (if applicable) are subject to 2 CFR 200, 2 CFR 700, and ADS 303maa
  • Non-U.S. based NGOs are subject to ADS 303mab
  • RFAs under which FAAs may be awarded should reference ADS 303saj, Fixed Amount Awards to Non-Governmental Organizations
  1. Reporting

Reporting requirements (including a reporting schedule) will be provided in the award document. The specific reports required will depend on the award type and project duration; however, examples may include the following:

  • Monthly Report(s) including a description of progress made during the reporting period, photos of program activities, challenges encountered during implementation, activities planned for the next reporting period, etc.
  • Final Program Report includinglessons learned, success stories, a description of the program’s impact vis-à-vis its goal and objectives, etc.
  • Financial Reports including planned obligations, actual expenditures, funds remaining, etc. as well as a detailed Final Financial Report.

Please note that issuance of final payment will be contingent upon Creative’s receipt and acceptance of the Final Financial Report and/or Final Program Report.  Please note that final payment for Fixed Amount Awards (FAAs) is contingent on the completion of the final milestone and acceptance of its deliverables.

  1. Marking and Branding

Applicants selected for award will be required to follow the following marking and branding requirements:

Any grants awarded under this RFA will follow the provisions of the approved Branding and Marking Plan detailed in the Cooperative Agreement between Creative and USAID for the BUILD project, along with any necessary waivers for co-branding and/or co-marking obtained by BUILD/Creative. Branding and marking requirements will be communicated to successful applicants prior to the start of grant implementation.

  1. Environmental Compliance


1 a) The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, Section 117 requires that the impact of

USAID’s activities on the environment be considered and that USAID include environmental

sustainability as a central consideration in designing and carrying out its development programs. This

mandate is codified in Federal Regulations (22 CFR 216) and in USAID’s Automated Directives

System (ADS) Parts 201.5.10g and 204 (http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ADS/200/), which, in part,

require that the potential environmental impacts of USAID-financed activities are identified prior to a

final decision to proceed and that appropriate environmental safeguards are adopted for all activities.

The environmental compliance obligations are further elaborated in the agreement between Creative and client. In the event this clause is applicable, Creative will conduct the due diligence to ensure meetingclients compliance requirements on environmental monitoring and evaluation.

  1. Contact Information

The applicant(s) may use the following addresses to contact Creative in writing or via email regarding this funding opportunity:

Email Address:                   grants@som-build.com

  1. Other Information
Creative reserves the right to fund one, some, or none of the applications received.

Annex A – Work Plan Template

Attachment 2 – Technical Application ]

Attachment 3 – Budget Template

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