DRL Strengthening LGBTQI Human Rights in Francophone West and Central Africa

u.s. embassy

Relevent Country: United States of America

The United States Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) has announced a funding opportunity Strengthening LGBTQI+ Human Rights in Francophone West and Central Africa.
Civic space continues to rapidly shrink around the world with human rights defenders and civil society organizations facing increasingly hostile environments in which to operate and hold governments accountable. Francophone West and Central Africa are no exception to this global trend. In addition to coups and extraconstitutional changes in government, the people of West and Central Africa have faced widespread restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, of association, and of peaceful assembly. Repressive cybercrime and NGO laws, crackdowns on peaceful protests, and increased government monitoring have made it more difficult for civil society and independent media to operate and demand accountability for human rights violations and corruption. Members of marginalized populations face compounded challenges as they are targets of social stigma and discrimination because of their identities.
 
To address these issues, DRL announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that that will strengthen Francophone LGBTQI+ organizations’ ability to 1). Enhance the ability of Francophone African LGBTQI+ organizations and networks to protect, and affirm, the human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBTQI+ individuals and communities; 2).Empower Francophone LGBTQI+ organizations and leaders to respond effectively to attacks on human rights and engage and partner with global LGBTQI+ communities, feminist communities, environmental justice movements, and other grassroots human rights movements without discrimination and work collectively on common issues of concern within the human rights community; and  3). Strengthen the ability of Francophone African LGBTQI+ organizations and networks to organize against and address violence, legal and policy restrictions, and mis-/disinformation (including anti-LGBTQI legislation, rhetoric, and closing civic space), and support more resilient communities.
 
All programs should aim to have impact that leads to reforms and have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way.
DRL is committed to advancing equity and support for underserved and underrepresented communities. In accordance with the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Underserved Communities, programs should implement strategies for integration and inclusion of individuals/organizations/beneficiaries that can bring perspectives based on their religion, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, national origin, age, genetic information, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, political affiliation, or veteran’s status. Programs should be demand-driven and locally led to the extent possible.
 
DRL requires all programs to be non-discriminatory and expects implementers to include strategies for nondiscrimination of individuals/organizations/beneficiaries based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics pregnancy, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, or veteran’s status.
 
Proposals should address one, a combination of, or all three principal objectives, including: 
Enhance the ability of Francophone African LGBTQI+ organizations and networks to protect, and affirm, the human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBTQI+ individuals and communities.
Empower Francophone LGBTQI+ organizations and leaders to respond effectively to attacks on human rights and engage and partner with diverse global LGBTQI+ organizations and communities, and other grassroots human rights movements without discrimination and work collectively on common issues of concern within the human rights community.
Strengthen the ability of Francophone African LGBTQI+ organizations and networks to organize against and address violence, legal and policy restrictions, and mis-/disinformation (including anti-LGBTQI legislation, rhetoric, and closing civic space), and support more resilient communities.
Where appropriate, competitive proposals may include:  
Opportunities for beneficiaries to apply their new knowledge and skills in practical efforts;
Solicitation of feedback and suggestions from beneficiaries when developing activities in order to strengthen the sustainability of programs and participant ownership of project outcomes;
Input from participants on sustainability plans and systematic review of the plans throughout the life of the project, with adjustments made as necessary;
Inclusion of vulnerable populations;
Joint identification and definition of key concepts with relevant stakeholders and stakeholder input into project activities;
Systematic follow up with beneficiaries at specific intervals after the completion of activities to track how beneficiaries are retaining new knowledge as well as applying their new skills.
 
Funding Information
  • Total Funding Floor: $750,000
  • Total Funding Ceiling: $1,000,000
  • Anticipated Number of Awards: 1-2
  • Period of Performance:  18-36 months
  • Anticipated Time to Award, Pending Availability of Funds:  2-8 months
  • Outcomes
  • Illustrative outcomes may include but are not limited to:
  • Francophone African LGBTQI+ networks have improved capacity to support the rights, safety, and dignity of LGBTQI+ persons.
  • Francophone African LGBTQI+ organizations and regional networks are more inclusive, have strengthened advocacy and operational capacity and organizational infrastructure, are more strategic and effective; and are able to achieve progress in securing human rights, access to justice, legal protection, and security.
  • Francophone African LGBTQI+ organizations, including regional networks, have increased ability to engage elected representatives and parliamentarians, religious leaders, traditional leaders, and/or lawyers to ensure rights are upheld and have the capacity to engage the judicial system to uphold their legal rights.
  • Francophone LGBTQI+ organizations have increased ability to document and address violations targeting LGBTQI+ persons including intimidation and threats, physical violence, online violence or smear campaigns, and/or other forms of technology-facilitated sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) or abuse.
Eligibility Criteria
  • DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses.  DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be some occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.
  • Applications submitted by for-profit entities may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process.  Additionally, the Department of State prohibits profit to for-profit or commercial organizations under its assistance awards.